Digital Communicators and Manchester Communicators Joint Club Meeting May 31, 2021 06:00 PM

By Kavita Dulai

Title: Moments of Fun : Impromptu Speaking (Table Topics)
Theme : ‘A replay of childhood stories’

Love it or loathe it, table topics (Impromptu speaking ) is a powerful tool for developing ‘off the cuff’ speaking skills
As Toastmaster’s founder, Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, stated, “We learn best in moments of enjoyment.”

This meeting was no exception, we had fun and loved the creativity and imagination behind this special joint meeting. As with all our meetings we had a special theme which was carefully weaved into the meeting ….. ‘A replay of childhood stories’

Andrew Bennett DTM (District 91 Champion) shared his top tips on Impromptu Speaking.
1 :Step up. Take any opportunity that comes your way for answering a table topic. We answer these types of questions anyway in life.
2 :Be a good Listener (don’t panic ) so you give yourself the chance to capture the topic.
3 : Get into a sense of flow (repeating the questions helps)
He went onto say that ‘everything thing is within us and ready to be accessed to answer any table topic which was beautifully demonstrated by Mar Cano.
Toastmasters is dedicated to every aspect of Public Speaking including prepared and Impromptu speaking. DCOM is a club for those who want to improve their online presence and use of digital tools in their presentations.
Join our next meeting as a guest on 14th June at DCOM
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Interaction at its peak at Digital Communicators!

Who would ever have imagined that one day we could get ‘highly interactive’ on a digital platform with people all around the World? Have you?

Last Monday, this is exactly what happened at Digital Communicators the more so the Toastmaster of the Day, our beautiful Colette, set the meeting theme as ‘Let’s get interactive’. And guess what?? She started interacting with all the members days before the session asking what we expect to gain from the meeting, results of which she displayed proudly in her background image on the meeting day.. and she even requested everyone to interact via the chat option of zoom.. That was a first for me seeing the number of messages going through the chat..

In the very beginning portion of the meeting, the President was interacting with our distinguished guest, the Rockstar, Boy Band from many years ago, Singer with the Bachelors, DEC CLUSKEY. Oh yeah.. we do have a lot of surprises and visits to Digital Communicators!! We just wished he could have sung few lines for us.. maybe next time as he did promise to visit us again..

I am sure you will all agree with me that a club is nothing without its members. And the success of the members brings happiness to the club, makes us all happy. Congratulation Pat Caslin for your wonderful achievement – 2nd place in the District 71 International Speech Contest.. We are all PROUD of you!!

3 speeches were lined up. They were a mixture of sharing, inspiration and amazement. Mehfazur talked about his mother being his best coach with the best magical words which he still recalls vividly ‘Everything will be ok’. President Nik, inspiring as ever, raised his voice with the message loud and clear: ‘It’s about stepping up’. Club mission, officer roles and why you should be part of the digital communicators were covered. The challenge that still remains is for us all to get aligned and let’s help each other to grow. And finally, Pamela amazed us by diving us into her triathlon journey and how she managed to get the medal amidst the waves and the sharks

Do you hear the gentle lapping of the waves, feel the soft sands between your toes while you are sitting under the palmtree? In this unprecedented time, Hazel, our Table Topics Master, brought us to a world of vacation and we could literally imagine ourselves on a holiday of our preferred destination, with the person of our choice and doing the activities we so longed for. How great would that be if it could all be true right now!!! Remember to be all ears in this segment as you can be picked up for the shot gun evaluation of one minute.

Evaluation is what keeps members coming in with a view of getting better. Our team of evaluators Pat, Antonia and Mar were fantabulous in commending and recommending our speakers. Watch the recording and you will discover the useful tips which I am sure are useful for you as well!!  And as usual, we could see Antonia with her digital tool where items were popping up on her background as she delivered her evaluation. And of course, Mar, our Prezi master. After all, we are Digital Communicators!!

All our other role players did justice to their roles. Pam our timer, Andrew our interactive grammarian with the word of the day synonym, and of course our innovator and technology savy member Julian who brought another dimension to the open feedback role. I think we speakers are indeed lucky to be part of digital communicators where we get so much of valuable feedback.  And we were blessed to have a guest Andrew who gave us valuable suggestions for improving our session. Thank you Andrew!!

To conclude, a very interactive session where we have witnessed interactions at its peak and also saw how using digital tools enhances our interaction. And remember, this happens only at Digital Communicators.

What are you waiting for?

Join us at all of our sessions and learn more and invite your friends to like us on Facebook, twitter and visit our website.

Videos: Club Meeting on 24th May 2021

Another lively and energetic meeting – enjoy the recordings….

President Nik Lakhani gave a presentation on the Mission of the club and encouraged members to run for election to the Executive Board (elections on June 14th).

See the interactive presentation produced, below:

Our next club meetings:

Monday 31st May 2021 at 18:00 London time – AGENDA – REGISTER TO ATTEND

Monday 14th June 2021 at 18:00 London time – AGENDA – REGISTER TO ATTEND

Monday 28th June 2021 at 18:00 London time – AGENDA – REGISTER TO ATTEND

#digitalcommunication #onlinecommunication #digitalleadership #zoom #selfdevelopment #toastmasters

Digital Communicators goes ‘As Pretty as a Picture’!

How many of you have ever felt ‘As pretty as a Picture’? Last Monday 10th May we had the honour to transport ourselves to the National Gallery in London guided by our DTM Toastmaster of Day. The meetings at Digital Communicators are a work of art because of the pulchritudinous members, fellow Toastmasters from other clubs and guests. Also, because of all the energy, experience and eagerness to keep facing new challenges and learning. 

When it comes to digital technology to communicate, I would like to focus on digital tools used to enhance different roles: virtual backgrounds, Prezi Video and OBS to enhance

1. Zoom virtual backgrounds, and Toastmaster of the Day

Firstly, what a creative way to use virtual backgrounds to co-create our particular Digital Communicators Gallery! Our TMoD Andrew proved that being creative can enhance digital communication by recreating virtual spaces with a simple click in the Zoom options. However, technology also can be manual, apart from digital. Who would like to take the challenge our TMoD posed by bringing to the table other types of technology, like a pen? 

Our Toastmaster of the day in the company of Aristotle.

2. Prezi Video, and Table Topics

Secondly, what a challenge for our Topics Master to use #Prezi video! Why not congratulate Pam for having the courage to use this digital tool to facilitate the Table Topics section! As a suggestion, what if after showing the whole picture, she would have shown herself and the picture by the side?

3. OBS, and speech evaluation

Thirdly, what a surprise when our latest member showed us how using #OBS can also enhance our digital communication even when delivering an evaluation! She indicated best practices and lessons to learn to go along with her speech evaluation. We could see she has a lot to offer to the club. Thank you, Antonia, for joining us.

Finally, what a great idea from our president to include open feedback with commendations and recommendations at the end of the session! Feedback is one of the quiddities of Toastmasters, and of our club as well indeed. Yet, if the open feedback is only for the prepared speeches, why not do that right after the speech evaluations are given? And what if we used a digital tool to capture as much feedback as possible? Using a tool like Padlet, Slido or Mentimeter could help us gather feedback from all the audience at the same time. Afterwards, the speakers could take those comments to analyse them more calmly and deeper. 

Once again our meeting excelled because of every single member who made it happen ‘As pretty as a picture’! Yes, and… Let’s also be mindful about those areas for growth. We are digital communicators, but not perfect yet. As our guest Panos said, ‘You don’t need to be perfect, but to care enough to be your best’. What a better place to be your best than at Digital Communicators?

If you want t enjoy the whole show and continue learning, have a look at both videos shared by our President Nik Lakhani in the previous post. There you will be able to check these and many other meaningful aspects in detail. What are you waiting for?

Videos: Club Meeting on 10th May 2021

What an energetic and vibrant meeting it was… I had the privilege to honour the following:

  • Andrew Bennett (District 91 Table Topics Champion 2021)
  • Julian Cereceda (District 34 International Speech Contest (Spanish) Champion 2021)
  • Pat Caslin (District 71 International Speech Contest Finalist 2021)

Congratulations to you and for the club to come together to support you

Remember we have a change in our club meeting registrations

Our next meetings are:

Monday 24th May 2021 at 18:00 London time –AGENDA – REGISTER TO ATTEND

Monday 31st May 2021 at 18:00 London time – AGENDA – REGISTER TO ATTEND

#digitalcommunication #onlinecommunication #digitalleadership #zoom #selfdevelopment #toastmasters

‘As Pretty as a Picture’ – 10th May Live Report

What a pulchritudinous audience today at Digital Communicators! In today’s brief account, I summarise the highlights of the meeting.

If you want to develop multiple skills, both oral and written communication, both impromptu and prepared speeches, social media engaging skills, and digital skills to support and reinforce your message accordingly, the live reporter is the ROLE!

In the coming days, you will also be able to learn more in a deeper analysis which I am going to share in a blog entry. Coming soon…

Digital Communicators and Contests

By Colette Ainscough

‘There’s a first time for everything’ a phrase I have told myself many times, the more so since I joined the advanced online club that is Digital Communicators. Challenges have opened to me that were not even in my Toastmaster psyche before joining this club.  These very challenges have become like ‘food for my soul’.  Oh yes it can be hard but hey if it was easy every single person on this wondrous planet of ours would be able to rise to communication and leadership digital skills.  I do not see that around me, do you?

Opportunity knocks on the Toastmaster door regularly throughout the year in the form of Contests.  Digital Communicators have dual and dual-plus members from Divisions and Districts everywhere.  The club offers encouragement and support as contestants challenge themselves to move through the ranks to competition success.

This coming May 2021 Toastmaster competitions hot up as Pat Caslin (District 71) takes part in the International Speech Contest Semi Finals.  Andrew Bennett is competing in the Table Topics and Evaluation Contest Semi Final (District 91), and Julian Cereceda does the same in the Final of the Spanish Contest (District 34). All the best Digi Comers!  I believe that Pat, Julian and Andrew are experienced, thoughtful, engaging, and inspiring speakers who always strive and challenge themselves for excellence delivering their message just like its ‘food for their souls’.  

At competition level Digital Communicators proved a ‘collective selflessness’ like no other I have witnessed before.  Our Clubs initiative under President Nik Lakhani began running support sessions for its members as they competed for both Digital Communicators and their home clubs across the globe.  Now that is something special!  Really special!

Let me name our other amazing Competition Entrants who challenged themselves since this club chartered.  Rinku Saha (Humorous Contest, Division G), Ishrat Bundhun (3rd Place, International Speech Contest, Division N), Krishn Ramchurn (3rd Place, Evaluation Contest, Division N), Kavita Dulai (International Speech Contest, Division L), Colette Ainscough (International Speech Contest, Division M).  I am proud to be on that list, proud of me but more importantly proud of Pat, Julian, Andrew, Rinku, Ishrat, Krishn, Kavita and every single Digital Communicator member for rising to the competition challenge in one way or another!

‘There is a first time for everything’, its true for me and its true for you as well! Jump right in as a Digital Communicator. Rise to the next competition challenge.  Do it for Digital Communicators Club or your home Club.  Remember we are here to develop skillsets. 

I leave you here having written my very first blog post with a quote by John Schaar.  Read it carefully and read it twice. “Twice”, I hear you say!  Yes, read it twice!  “The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating.  The paths are not to be found but made.  And the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination”.


‘Yes, and…’

Mar Cano writes about Monday´s 23.04.21 meeting.

Last 26th April fellow Toastmasters members from other clubs and guests from different parts joined Digital Communicators to enjoy an exceptional meeting. The Toastmaster of the day Pat guided us with a very adequate theme when working collaboratively and as a community: the power of a ‘Yes, and…’

Meeting in progress at Digital Communicators.

In an advanced club like DCOM, we value everyone’s ideas and we make them grow for the benefit of the whole club. We also embrace our mistakes and support each other to turn them into co-creating learning opportunities and learn from them. Therefore, a ‘Yes, and…’ mindset can make a difference when collaborating in our club projects and beyond.

This topic was reinforced by our Topics Master Colette, who challenged all the audience to answer the questions she posed with the prompt ‘Yes, and…’ This was definitely a great practice for all us to think how to start positively. Also, let’s remember that ‘Yes, and’ is very powerful to acknowledge that in everyone’s idea there may be at least a small % of reason. 

Yes, our Topics Master was very wise to connect the impromptu speaking section with the theme of the day. And it may have been even wiser to choose the participants more carefully. Of course, everyone is eligible to be asked to participate in it. However, what if instead of choosing members who are performing challenging roles, like the producer or the live reporter, other members and guests were called upon for that purpose? Personally, as a live reporter I found that hard to perform my best as an impromptu speaker. But following the Toastmaster spirit, so I did. 

Meeting 23.04.21 at Digital Communicators. Gallery View

Worthy to mention was the creativity of Topics Master, when it comes to ??????? ???????????, by using such a catchy sound! This particular type of evaluations we do during Table Topics is definitely extremely valuable and a great learning opportunity to develop both our active listening and evaluation skills in an impromptu way. In our club, we find value in giving as much feedback as possible, as gifts for all the participants to keep growing in our learning journey as public speakers. Yet, honestly, what if we consider renaming those evaluations using a more peaceful language? 

As for the speeches which were delivered, we had the chance to get to know our fellow Toastmasters a bit deeper. First, Vincent embarked us on a journey to his cultural immersion in London long ago. Second, Mahfuzur took us with him on another type of journey to the “The past, present and future of effective coaching”, and shared the quiddity of his life: active listening. Third, Pam made us dive into a journey of her own sharing her ability to sleep anytime anywhere… A secret which she unveiled openly and humorously in front of us. From now on, we know we don’t need to be offended if she gets asleep in one of our speeches. We learned it’s nothing personal!

In relation to those, speech evaluators Andrew, Sep and Ola did an insightful job by diving deep into and bringing awareness to particular aspects, from which I would highlight: 

  1. Take the audience on a trip with you
  2. Use storytelling for engagement
  3. Use the whole space in your virtual screen

Insightful, cheering and accurate were also the reports given by our General Evaluator Pamela, our timer Hasel and our grammarian Ish. Delving into the grammarian’s report, Ish showed us once again how to play with the language smartly by putting the focus on the use of rhetorical devices, like oxymorons, alliterations, personifications… taking the grammarian’s report to a truly advanced level! 

Meeting26.04.21 at Digital Communicators. Speakers view.

Before we come to an end, we need to thank the cheering role of those who opened the meeting and greeted people with their best smile, both greeters Philip and Adrienne. Yes, and also the members behind the scenes, like our producer Julian. This time he succeeded in recording live! Because practice makes perfect… Or at least progress.

To conclude, let’s remember the wise words our Toastmaster Pat and our General Evaluator Pamela shared with us: the quiddity of a Toastmasters meeting is in evaluations and feedback, and in listening. Yes, and… I would also add that one of the quiddities of eerie Toastmasters meeting is every single person who commits to make it happen! Thank you all for your participation and eagerness to keep growing as a Toastmasters community. 

And… Remember to come back to DCOM, where Digital Communicators are Open to More!

Mar Cano takes up the role of reporter at Digital Communicators and delivers a very visual summary of our latest meeting.

On this short summary Mar Cano engages with us on a very visual summary of our latest meeting.

She truly embraces the idea of having a reporter at our sessions, producing high quality videos very quickly so you can watch it even before the meeting.

If you want to know a more deep analysis do not forget to check her out her blog entry, coming later this week.