Coach Carole Online Heart Place

Heart Place!

If I could wrap up my feelings of the last three months in just one word I would say tumultuous! Upheavals in life can make you or break you and when you place all those events in order by biggest impact on you, the ones that appear at the top include – Death, Divorce and Moving House!

The tumult in my life recently has been Moving House!

After 20 years we have moved from our home and BnB cottage on a 3 acre semi-rural block into a Modern house on a regional suburban block. The impact on both Alex and I has been profound! We have shifted our ‘heart place’ and replaced the old way of life for the new! We have said goodbye to our old homestead and breezed in to a new sanctuary – the start of an exciting adventure into our ‘silver senior years!’

We have not had time to get bored in social isolation, we have been decluttering and downsizing! We have not been overly concerned with fears of contracting Covid-19 as our focus remained firmly on the future!

Starting afresh in a new home means so much to me! I have now carved out a new trajectory – my goals have changed to focus on a new way of being! For years I have been known as Coach Carole in the world of Toastmasters – and I have been privileged to earn my Distinguished Toastmaster Awards for services rendered! For about 18 years I have been defined by Toastmasters – an all consuming passion to lead and support others in their personal objectives! For the last 3 months I have been busy assisting other Toastmasters in Moving and Meetings Online!

Now its time for me!

The new me will spend more time writing – non-fiction ecourses and blog posts that feature my genealogy pursuits – alongside my memoir writing for a reality check, and poetry and fictional stories to satisfy my creative urge! I will have time to connect again with my memoir writing group and to participate in more ecourse creation courses online!

The new me will have more time for patchwork quilting and reading!

On reading: a dear friend asked recently if I will read my books again – the many that I have unpacked in the move – my answer is yes, most definitely! On one shelf sit my books on astrology, i-ching and Tarot; on another shelf sit my books on Celtic mythology; another shelf sit a collection from Felix Dennis (gifts from him for helping with his family history); on another shelf sit the novels that changed me by favourite authors (Dirk Bogarde, Maeve Binchy, Ken Follett, Rosamunde Pilcher, JRR Tolkein, Diana Gabaldon and Fiona Lowe) – and thats just one book case! These I can dip into again as I look for inspiration for my own writing!

On quilting: I uncovered a UFO whilst packing up my stuff last week, this UnFinished Object inspired me to finish it and in doing so to design my sewing space in a spare room at the new house! The quilt top is still in pieces, so the first task is to join the pieces, the next task is to create the borders – more sewing, and then sandwich the quilt top,  batting and backing ready for the actual quilting! This quiet creative process will help me to focus on something other than ‘screen work’ – a metaphor for piecIng together my new life.

My heart place is beginning to change my thinking process – I am recharged and ready to ‘unpack my thoughts’ and share more of me with you! My personal task and objective  this month has been to maintain a daily journal of my thoughts – I started that in hand written format in one of those small journals with just 40 pages! Writing small amounts frequently seemed to suit my journalling style whilst packing and unpacking – a short relief from using the tape gun to construct the ‘millions’ of cardboard boxes.

Oh but I am not consistent! I started with good intentions then got distracted with the ‘thousand and one’ things that needed doing – the notifications to service providers of change of address – the coordination of the dates and times of ‘uplift’ by removalists – the logistics of itemising and labelling of inventory lists – all those pressing deadlines to ‘get my house in order’! My diary entries became sporadic! It is definitely better for me to set aside ‘journalling time’ – like right now as I write this post at 6:00 am.

I close now with a short list of things that inspired and supported me in the move to my new ‘heart place’:

  • the care and support from our real estate agent
  • the friendship and assistance from our neighbours
  • the advice, financial and legal advice from our solicitors
  • the fortitude, patience and diligence of my husband
  • the advice and support from my online networks

The vision of 39 Maygar Avenue painted clearly in my minds eye kept spurring me on to achieve our ‘heart place’

Where is your ‘heart place’?

leadership Pathways

2020 Vision in Hindsight!

Club Executive Role

During 2019 (July – December) and 2020 (January – June) my focus has been on providing the best support possible for my home club at Indigo Speakers. We are a small club with a big heart! As VP Education I was keen to coach all members to select their Path and get started with their projects and speeches for Levels 1 and 2. Some have already completed those first two levels and are rocketing into Level 3.

We had experimented during the year to enable guests to join the meeting online through Zoom and have the Toastmaster in the physical venue display that from their device. This worked well for me when I was unable to travel to the venue, I just used my iPhone to connect to my Zoom room and asked the TMoD to link into same room. This enabled me to participate in the meeting fully.

virtual victory May 2020By the time that COVID-19 Pandemic closed our doors for physical meetings, Indigo Speakers were already primed and ready to go with ‘Moving Meetings Online’. The experience has boosted morale and enhanced skills for members who have stepped up to present on the small screen with alacrity; stepped into the timer role with timer’s coloured background colours; volunteered to be the TMoD and others to take on a new aspect of their role as Sergeant-at-Arms.

Area Director Role

It has been challenging to juggle the demands of being an Area Director at the same time as being a club executive. Club visits were easy ( being a member of all 3 clubs in my north east corner of D73) but organising the Area Contest and the Club Officer Training took more effort.

Here in the North East region we strive to reduce the amount of travel required for physical events such as these and we try to vary the venues to cater for members in Wangaratta,  the Indigo Valley and Albury Wodonga surrounds.

aerial view indigo valleyOften the round trip to attend such events will involve at least one hour’s drive each way. Facilitators often need to travel up the Hume Freeway from Melbourne (4 hours away). One successful strategy we used at the COT event in February was to beam in a presenter from the Southern corner of Victoria via Zoom.

That strategy saved a 6 hour journey for Kevin Broughton, DTM, our presenter on Leadership.

There have been some personal rewards for me in this season as I observe and applaud the individual development of those I serve in my clubs and Area. I am especially proud of the three regional clubs in Area 29, Albury Wodonga TM, Indigo Speakers and Wangaratta TM.

District 73 Toastmaster of the Year Award!

Reflections on the DToY

coach carole 2020Just one week ago, on Saturday 16 May, I received the highest award from my District; District Toastmaster of the Year. I share this award collaboratively with Darrell Klar, DTM! Congratulations to Darrell Klar, DTM – your award is well deserved. This is the second time that Darrell and Carole have featured in the champion lists together; in 2017 we had both received 9 awards and gained our Triple Crowns triple fold.

This second time around award for District Toastmaster of the Year, was a beautiful gift for me in my birthday month of May and one that I am immensely proud of. My first time round I shared the award in 2017 with Tracy Green, DTM (former District Director). I especially want to thank those who nominated me for this year’s award and for the trio for selecting Darrell and Carole in 2020.

My Toastmaster journey this year has been tumultuous, challenging and rewarding. Here in my 75th year of life I can sincerely say that I ‘made a difference’ for Toastmasters in various corners of the world and particularly in District 73. It has been an honour to be the Area Director for clubs in Area N29, to visit their physical and online meetings, and to provide some guidance and observations for their club success.

coachcarole district pathways coordinator badgeAs D73 Pathways Coordinator for this year I have been privileged to lead a very talented and generous team to provide guidance and training for many Pathways and Zoom focussed Toastmasters, both near and far. The recent online sessions on Moving Meetings Online program during the lockdown period were particularly gratifying and I was proud to see colleagues step up into the world of online Toastmasters with ease. A huge thank you to the team:
Christina Barbonio, Michael Clancy, Debbie Horoba, Darrell Klar, Amit Merwar, Heath Gilham and our wonderful Trio (District Director Sue Pederick, Program Quality Director Vicki Goodwin Travers, Club Growth Director Karl Hughes) for planning, promoting, presenting, facilitating and recording these events.

Another year in serving Toastmasters has enabled me to also reach the Distinguished Toastmaster status once more. As I finalise my DTM project for Pathways and await the end of my year in office as Area Director, I look forward to another plaque to add to my Victory Wall at the end of June 2020.

Carole McCulloch

AKA Coach Carole

leadership Pathways

DTM project: D73 Pathways Coordinator

dtm project manual.JPG

My journey for this project!

I was appointed Pathways Coordinator in 2019 and so much has happened in one year in office!

D73 aims to have 100% Pathways Adoption by end of June 2020.

Clubs across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania are now more confident with their approach to adopting Pathways. It has taken time to achieve this, especially as many were focussed on completing their legacy projects.

Team Pathways has achieved a series of recorded training tutorials and has provided a range of resources for members to become confident in using Pathways.

My leadership tasks included:

  • Creating a Project plan
  • Forming a team
  • Creating a Communication plan
  • Creating an Action plan
  • Formulating production process
  • Selecting educators & presenters
  • Sharing agendas, running sheets & resources
  • Scheduling and managing learning sessions
  • Empowering attendees in Pathways and Zoom
  • Assisting the growth of leadership skills
  • Promoting and reporting on activities in Pathways Corner for Southern Cross Newsletter

Capture Southern Cross logo


steps-3747068_1280Recruit capable team

Empower presenters

Validate training program

Involve the team

Verify process and outcomes

Engage and educate effectively


pathway-286368_1280Select a Path and Electives with confidence

Undertaking improved skills in navigating Base Camp

Reinforced project and level completions within clubs

Virtual sessions for increasing Zoom confidence in  for online club meetings

Improved skills in presenting for the small screen in Zoom

Variety of training segments within the Zoom sessions and empowering other Toastmasters to take the lead

Enabling access to training resources (recordings) to the D73 Website (Online Education page)


DTM Final Speech purpose

Project Plan and Team Sheet

Project Google Drive repository

D73 Zoom Account

Messenger Group

Development Flow Chart

D73 Pathways Training Model Page 2

Succession Plan

A new Pathways Coordinator will be appointed by the new District Director for the 2020/2021 year.

This will ensure ongoing support for D73 Toastmasters and clubs to achieve adoption rates and educate new Toastmasters.



online clubs

Diary of an Online Toastmaster: Revisited

Moving Meetings Online Training

I have been deep into online training for Toastmasters in the last four weeks, since I last wrote in my Diary of an Online Toastmaster. The month has just flown by in a whirlwind of Zoom meetings; as all clubs now practice physical distancing by meeting online.


mmo flyer imageA training project called ‘Moving Meetings Online’ was prepared collaboratively with the D73 Team Pathways to help clubs to run their meetings online and learn how to master Zoom. The program consisted of three workshops run over consecutive weekends in April with the following titles:

  • 101:Be a confident first time Zoom User
  • 102:Build skills as a confident Zoom Host
  • 103:Demonstrate being an effective Zoom Master

The training model for this program was a traditional delivery of Educationals (15 minutes) with a facilitated Q&A segment (5 minutes)  immediately after. Session timings were capped at 1 hour and 15 minutes and recordings made of each one. Each Educational provided an overview of how to use the Zoom functions and Tools effectively. This model enabled several D73 Toastmasters to step up into roles such as Zoom Host,  Zoom Master, Toastmaster of the Day and Timekeeper.

capture sample agenda templateLessons Learned:

  • Provide practical resources for participants prior to, during or after training sessions and remind attendees to complete a Feedback Survey. eg Agenda templates
  • Need to schedule team meetings prior to each training session to ensure that each person knows what their role is and how to contact each other during the online sessions. eg private chat in Zoom or message on smart phones.
  • Ensure that the session roles are given to separate individuals, and enable them to focus on their tasks in that role. eg Avoid being the Zoom Master and TMoD concurrently!
  • Plan the promotional aspects of such training events with all district members in mind. We need consistency of promotions, registrations and notifications to enable awareness  of training opportunities for members across two time zones. eg Ensure that the program for the month is displayed in the District Newsletter.

Follow up plan:

  • Further Zoom sessions could dig deeper into the practicalities of Moving Meetings Online and enable more participants to have hands on experience with Zoom Mastery. eg Reschedule 101, 102 and 103 and simplify content.
  • New sessions could focus on the Basics of being a Toastmaster for those who are brand new to Toastmasters. eg Introduction to Pathways education, participation in club meetings, overview of club officer roles, and introduction to speech delivery.

light-bulb-moment-2615457_1280Light Bulb Moment!

Toastmasters need time to become comfortable in the online environment! Provide any time training resources and readings for them to focus on prior to, during and after the real time training sessions.

Toastmasters can also be encouraged to visit other online club meetings prior to training.

  1. Further Reading: Moving Meetings Online eCourse
  2. Resource: Online Toastmaster Meeting Roles
  3. Resource: Online Toastmasters Meetings Agendas
  4. Club Hopping Opportunities for easy-Speak users:
    Take the Toastie Tour with Online Meetings







online clubs

Diary of an Online Toastmaster

Wednesday 18 March 2020

ycc board room (2017_11_09 05_44_11 UTC)I attended my Indigo Speakers club meeting via Zoom whilst the other members practiced appropriate social distancing in our usual meeting room for our second meeting of the month. For me the experience was made enjoyable and I felt included.  An experienced member accessed my Zoom room on her iphone with ease and I remained at home. The audio was very good from both venues and I was able to see others in the room when the camera on the iphone was focussed on various areas of the room.

club central online attendanceMany months ago Indigo Speakers had already indicated to prospective visitors and guests that our club permitted virtual attendance. That was recorded in Club Central by selecting the Club Demographics and clicking the Online Attendance Accepted option. See above.

At that meeting we discussed our plans for meetings during COVID-19 pandemic. It was agreed we would meet online in Zoom for the time being, with each member logging in from their own home. We can now boost our membership by inviting other community members to attend these online meetings as a visitor on the first and third Wednesdays of the month during the mandated period of social distancing. Details here.

Thursday 19 March 2020 (afternoon)

GTOAs  a  former member of the Global Trainers Online Advanced Online Toastmasters Club I was invited to assist as Chief Judge in a Mock Online Contest.

I had been a Contest Chair and a Chief Judge in many land-based contests and had, over the last few years of being an onliner, practiced the skills of being an Online Contest Chair and Chief Judge. The tasks involved for both are quite different and challenging at first. The Mock Contest was a commissioned event for leaders in D7 and attracted a large number of their members.

GTO2 return to main room messageLeader Michelle used Zoom, of course, and I created Breakout Rooms for the Judges where they could be briefed on the online protocols of casting their votes.  Once they were briefed they could return to the Main Room individually. Later they could be called back to the Breakout Room individually to present their results to the Chief Judge and the Counters. Officials could ask Judges to return to Main Room again and then tally the results, sending a Private Message to the Contest Chair when ready.

GTO1 message for judgesIt was also necessary to create Breakout Room for Contestants, this was especially important for the Evaluation Contest that we were demonstrating. Contestants could be in a private quiet area to prepare their notes supervised by the SAA, and then asked to return to the Main Room through a Broadcast Message from the Zoom Master.

Note: It is recommended that the Zoom Master not have another role. The creation of Breakout Rooms, assigning contestants or judges to the rooms and closing rooms, is an intense process.

Thursday 19 March 2020 (evening)

TWB meeting 19 march 2020I attended an online meeting with the Toastmasters Without Borders– one of the early chartered 100% online clubs sponsored by colleagues in D73 and mentored by yours truly. That night they attracted many visitors and guests with a high quality online meeting featuring three prepared speeches and six impromptus. There was a busy round robin segment in which every visitor could test their audio.

It was inspiring to watch the way this club managed their meeting with close attention to the cultural and language differences among their international members.

Saturday 21 March 2020 (morning)

ablaze video on websiteI attended an online meeting with the Ablaze Online Advanced Toastmasters, a vibrant club that meets early on Saturday mornings (6:00 am for me). This meeting featured a long educational project speech, opportunities for many table topics impromptus, lessons from Magda and a busy round robin segment. This meeting too attracted a large number of attendees and yet everyone had a chance to speak briefly and gain valuable experience of being an online meeting attendee.

Ablaze Advanced Toastmasters is a 100% Online club. Our members are our top priority. Heart above headcount is our motto. In this club, we live the values of TM.

Saturday 21 March 2020 (afternoon)

d73 calendar onlineI had offered my service as a Judge for the Division Contest being held online for Central Division in D73. During this event I learned how to be more efficient in the use of Breakout Rooms from Emma the Zoom Master and how to facilitate smoothly as the Contest Chair Kerry. I experienced what it was like as a Judge to be assigned to the Breakout Room seamlessly and prompted on how to return individually. We were briefed on the use of our Ballot forms and how to cast our votes to the Chief Judge and Counter via Private Chat message in Zoom, and our job was done.

This event was a complex arrangement of a variety of some physical locations for contestants, delivering their speeches whilst on view by computer cameras on their own laptops or one provided by the Contest Chair, and a Zoom presence for the Judges.

Note: Lessons Learned at this session were invaluable for me, just in time, for my next roles for other Online Contests. See below.

Saturday 21 March 2020 (evening)

Capture Agenda in Google SheetThe online Toastmasters Meeting called ‘Moving Meetings Online’ was scheduled for D73 and D69 attendees at 7 pm AEDT (UTC +11). We used Zoom of course, and attracted 160+ attendees across the districts. I had setup the Agenda to offer D73 Toastmasters an opportunity to deliver a speech or play a role in the online meeting, sharing it with them as a Google Sheet. (see above)

We learned again how important it is to prepare key role players for their task in an online meeting. Practice sessions were offered prior to the event and discussions took place offline in various social media tools such as Messenger, What’s App and Facebook.

This meeting was designed to showcase a typical Toastmaster meeting online and to provide educational information on how to run the meeting. With that event now satisfactorily sparking interest in the process of Moving Meetings Online, we have planned another for 28 March 7 pm AEDT (UTC +11). The Saturday night seems to appeal, given the current restrictions on attending functions with crowds or eating out in restaurants.

By participating in Online Meetings (the new normal) you will find new ways to grow as a speaker and a leader.

Sunday 22 March 2020 (morning)

humorous winners at kellysI had been asked to be the Zoom Master to help with D73 Ranges Division Contests online. They, like many other Divisions needed to act quickly to organise an alternative to running the contest in the usual way. I had not really known what to expect in a hybrid arrangement so I took on the challenge to increase my knowledge and expertise.

My previous online activities that week gave me the confidence to approach this complex task. At this contest the speakers were (mostly) in a physical location and the judges were online. Guests and visitors formed an online audience for the speakers who had prepared for the International, Humorous, Evaluation and Table Topics contests. Humorous winners are shown above with Division Director Kelly and Contest Chair Nola! Congratulations to all participants, officials and audience for a great event.

We learned how important it is for clarity of audio (minimised echo) for online speakers to have the best impact. The online Zoomers also learned how to remain silent in voice and in text chat during the speeches. The judges learned how to be nimble and the contestants learned how to be flexible.

Note: Ensure that your venue has a carpeted speaking area to provide better acoustics and place the microphone in an optimal position to capture best volume.

breakout room creation

breakout room creation from my view as Zoom Master

The first process of creating and moving judges into the breakout room in Zoom was a little tense, but then I understood how to make it seamless for the judges. Having a list of the Judges names and updates of any changes was crucial. During the second contest I relaxed and did a better job, taking some screen images along the way.

Note: You need to have the Host permission in the Zoom room to execute the task.

Sunday 22 March 2020 (evening)

The final event for me last week was the International Video Speech contest for members of the Firebirds Collective, 100% online club, where I was the Contest Chair.

colour coded speaker orderThis time the organising team decided to have the contestants briefed in a separate Zoom room altogether prior to the contest. I presided over that briefing and helped the five contestants get to know the protocols of competing online. (Each of these contestants had competed online before, so my job was easy.)

The selection of speaker order needed an innovative approach and I chose this one. The picture above displays the end result of speaker position choice. I created the slides using coloured rectangles in PowerPoint and used Screen Share in Zoom to display. I asked the speakers in alphabetical order to choose a colour and I added their name to that rectangle. The colours, revealing the speaking order number, formed separate slides that were then displayed. I recorded the results on the first slide and  the contestants and Toastmaster of the Day, could record the result. The TMoD asked for the speech titles and I added those in the last rectangle ready for copy and pasting.

Then we left the briefing Zoom and returned to the Firebirds Collective Zoom room with plenty of time before the Judges returned from their briefing. The contest was facilitated by the Toastmaster of the Day after the SAA had briefed the audience on the meeting protocols online.

This event attracted over 60 attendees who were most impressed with the smooth running of the contest, the high calibre of speakers and many stayed on for the ‘after party’ for a discussion.

Lessons Learned

Online Participant needs to have good internet connection, good audio and video functions on their device, and willing to participant with both.

Online Chief Judge needs to have prepared the judges prior to the meeting eg request the submission of eligibility forms via email.

Online Judge needs to have the Ballot sheet beside them and to be swift in responding to the request to cast votes in the private chat to the Chief Judge.

Zoom Master needs to have confidence and expertise in the use of the Zoom Breakout Rooms as well as keeping an eye on the Chat panel and prompt with private messages.

Online Contest Chair needs to have access to a separate Zoom room for the contestant briefing and how to use a Breakout room in Zoom for gathering contestants in the Evaluation and Table Topics contests.



If you are looking for ‘best practice’ in running online meetings for your club, try visiting one or more of the existing 100% online clubs.


If you are seeking support and advice for preparing to move online, apply to join the Online Alliance Facebook group.


If you are wanting to discuss the potentials, protocols and purpose of online training for Toastmasters, apply to join the Online Toastmaster Training Facebook group.

Zoom hosted Toastmasters Contests v1.0

If you need to run your contests online, this PDF document provides valuable advice. Thank you to Kit Barritt from D71, United Kingdom.

If you are planning on moving your meetings online (specifically to Zoom) for your Toastmasters Club this short ecourse will help.




online clubs

How to get your club meetings online!

Some years back I created a simple free ecourse on Starting an Online Club. This was in the heady days when online clubs were just emerging in the Toastmasters environment. At the time of writing that ecourse, in 2017, we had just eight online clubs! Now we have 28 totally online clubs – all of which are designated as Undistricted! Of course there are hundreds of clubs around the world that have been enabling virtual attendance and have been successfully running their meetings online. This post is designed to spark your interest in participating in the short ecourse right here in this site called ‘Moving your Meetings Online

how to move your meetings online

Overview of Content

Each chapter is a Page or a Post in this Blog.

  1. Prepare to go online
  2. Gather your resources
  3. Build your community
  4. Create your online presence
  5. Create online agendas
  6. Create online meeting roles
  7. Access support
  8. Schedule your meetings
  9. Facilitate your meetings
  10. Record and share your meetings
online clubs

Toastmasters: Plan your Meetings in Zoom

Virtual Meetings

The recent Corona Virus Pandemic has impacted on our lives in many ways. One that I will focus on in this post, is related to an alternative strategy for group meetings of Toastmasters – ‘virtual meetings’ = meeting via video conference. I have been keeping up-to-date on the advice from the World Health Organisation and our Australian CoVid 19 Advice and Risk Policies.

We must stop, contain, control, delay and reduce the impact of this virus at every opportunity. Every person has the capacity to contribute, to protect themselves, to protect others, whether in the home, the community, the health care system, the work place or the transport system.

Leaders at all levels and in all walks of life must step forward to bring about this commitment across society. 

Toastmasters Club Leaders are currently discussing alternative methods for keeping their clubs meeting without having to travel and meet in public venues. This strategy may well be something for your club to consider. Its more than just selecting a video conferencing tool, it is all about planning for the transition and the facilitation.

Zoom is my video conference tool of choice and my advice will be centered around that tool in the following Transition and Facilitation Tips for Toastmasters.

Tips for Executives: Learning Plan

zoom screen imageStep 1: Discuss with your executive team the benefits of offering some of your meetings online and introduce them to Zoom

Step 2: Visit the support website and learn how to access and use Zoom.

Step 3: Setup your own Zoom account and practice with a friend

Step 4: Schedule an Executive meeting in Zoom and try it out with your team.

Tips for Facilitators: Action Plan

Blogging your Family Tree flyer image

Step 5: Practice how to use Zoom on a laptop, tablet or mobile device.

Step 6: Notify your club members of the plan to run virtual meetings.

Step 7: Create a simplified agenda for a meeting (eg one speaker, one evaluator, a few table topics) and invite your club members to attend.

Tips for Toastmaster of the Day: Meeting Plan

Zoom headersStep 8: As the Toastmaster of the Day, access your Zoom space about 30 minutes prior to meeting start time and be ready to meet and greet attendees.

Step 9: Help new users become familiar with the Zoom features (eg audio, video, chat, share screen.)

Step 10: Display the Agenda on screen and explain the process of meeting online. Start the meeting.

Managing Zoom Meeting Strategies

Experiences from being a member of several online Toastmaster Clubs has shown me the benefits of having some specific strategies for managing the Zoom Toastmasters meetings. For example these strategies that can be used before, during and after the online meeting:

Before the meeting begins

  • ask participants to join the Zoom event at least 20 minutes prior to start time to enable technical checks
  • request a Technical Sergeant-at-Arms to provide an overview of Zoom features for interaction, and provide advice on screen sharing for slides etc.
  • request the Toastmaster of the Day to facilitate the meet and greet opportunities

During the meeting

  • request the Technical Sergeant-at-Arms to record the meeting
  • request the Timer to display visual and audible timing devices
  • request a Chat monitor to check on comments and votes in text from participants
  • request the Speakers to activate screen sharing if required, prior to starting their speech

After the meeting

  • request the VPE to sign up speakers and other roles for the next meeting
  • request the Technical Sergeant-at-Arms to send a link to recording to the group

More Learning

If you are keen to experience a well planned and well delivered Online Toastmaster Club event you will find sample club meeting recordings in You Tube. Here’s one from the Online Presenters Toastmasters YouTube Channel recorded in February 2020:

For more details on how to Facilitate an Online Meeting, please read these posts.
Zoom Posts

Find out more about what is providing for educators in response to the need for more online meeting opportunities.

If you want practical Zoom tutorials for Toastmasters, join us in April for scheduled online learning. See the District 73 Southern Cross Newsletter and the Calendar for details.

pathways conversations

Roadblocks on your Path!

Do you need inspiration?

sign-1167333_1280Several weeks have just flown by as we focused on family and things other than Toastmasters. Now its time to get organised again for the TM year.

What are your goals this year? What projects are you working on? What will motivate you to achieve Path completion?
For me, I have one more project to complete and one more ‘Lessons Learned’ speech to give and my 4th Path will be complete.
I am also working still on my DTM project as Pathways Coordinator for D73. I have completed ‘Effective Coaching’, ‘Visionary Communication’, ‘Strategic Relationships’ and working on ‘Team Collaboration’.
What Path are you working in? What are your challenges with the Projects? How will you motivate yourself and others?
Here’s my Summer Lament:
Last year things stalled along the way – life and death issues distracted me and I got a bit lost. This year has not begun well with another death among my friends (Cancer again) so January was a wipe out. February looms large now and I should step forward again and complete my Path commitments and help others achieve theirs.
Blogging your Family Tree flyer imageI thought that I would achieve my 3rd DTM in 2020, but now I am not so sure that I need another. One more plaque to find a place for? What is my motivation? Should I begin another Path? Will I be seeking another achievement in Toastmasters or should I be focusing on my ‘memoir writing’?
The fires in Australia have also been impacting our lives for several months, and in the face of life and property threats, I lack the impetus to get going again on my Path.
There are some great improvements in Base Camp that could inspire me: a) I can look ahead and select any project b) I can choose another Path easily c) Base Camp navigation is simplified.
(see Pathways Update article in the January Southern Cross)
elephant-4250190_1280Are you at a crossroads; do you have roadblocks in your Path; do you need inspiration and motivation? Are things looking a bit grey at your place?
Do we need to address the ‘elephant in the road’?
Maybe we just need to visit the D73 Pathways Learner Guide again.
Perhaps I will be inspired whilst attending our Division Contests, the Club Officer Training during February, or the District Officer Training in Melbourne this weekend? Or perhaps you may have some words of encouragement and inspiration to help me move past this recent roadblock in my Path.
Coach Carole Online

Anam Cara: turning point!

Reality bites sometimes when you least expect it. You know you have something to offer and you know you can make a difference in someone’s life! You have life experience; you have skills and knowledge; and you  have the drive to lead others. You have the capacity to pick yourself up and follow your goals. BUT, sometimes that small voice inside your head keeps holding you back!

That has been my story for the last six months – I am my own worst enemy!

Planning ahead for a successful method of earning a passive income seemed to be within my grasp. I had my tools of trade, my writing and instructional design skills, and I set out to make a difference for a few others who wanted to tell stories of significant others. I spent several months writing my ecourse and polishing the content early in 2019. I knew that I had something that would appeal to many people, especially family historians. I knew that I needed to get the message out there to entice them to look at my ecourse; and I did know how to follow the instructions for developing and launching a course. I knew the importance of trialing a course and getting the feedback from trusted participants; colleagues and students who would tell me straight, what worked and what needed refinement.

All of that was put in place midway through the year and I was encouraged by the way in which my triallers embraced the course and fulfilled all of the requirements for completion. Later I was empowered by their feedback and their support; and their willingness to share.

I knew that I needed to engage groups of people with presentations about my course, both face to face and online; but nothing really came of those in tangible ways. I had failed to learn how to market my presentations, my course and my business; and to build a client base that would sustain a passive income goal. No money to pay for such learning about marketing and I was right back at the beginning. Oh such a subtle slide backwards!

Challenge after challenge was put in my path this year to refine and then publish the course ready for new learners. The life got in the way; family illness and loss held me back – I lost some of my drive and those goals languished in my self pity. Goals I had written on my drawing board were covered over and left unnoticed for many weeks. None of my family history stories had been updated in months and I had given up my subscriptions to genealogy sites I could no longer afford. Even my blog posts had dwindled to small contributions and then completely dried up.

Social media sites I had built and invited others to join were neglected and left to decay! Followers I had attracted and colleagues I had nurtured were being ignored!

By October I was convinced that my dream was nothing but a fantasy and that I should focus on concrete actions to earn money the hard way. Nothing seemed to give me hope – to remind me of my own goals – and I retreated – telling myself I had no energy and nothing left to give. I found other things to fill my time; little tasks, reports and obligations to others. My own plans were frozen in time. My ideas were no longer being noted and written into my forward planning and I lost my way.

For many months I had felt like my life was adrift with no real purpose and I lacked guidance to bring myself back on track. Not one reading of my beloved Runes had taken place since early this year. I had even failed to call on my soul friend (‘mo Anam Cara’) for solace and guidance. Not even one solitary piece of poetry had arisen from these black days! Had my mind gone on sabbatical? Some days were more difficult than others; often it took much more effort to get out of bed and I could easily drift into the early morning with nothing to show for my time. No one knew of this internal anguish as I kept my mask on around others. My life was not punctuated by massive health issues or life impacting events such as those I was observing around me – life for me, had simply become beige.

Then an epiphany – I realized that I needed to tell my own story and get back on the drawing board. I had listened to the stories of others in their speeches, podcasts, movies and books – people like me who are doing the best they can with what they have – and finally the penny dropped! My own thoughts were depressing my talents; my own self talk was destroying my confidence and my indolent, lazy self had taken over rendering my days into meaningless nothingness.

I pieced together all the messages into an awakening; messages I was receiving through my disturbing dreams, the type of books I was reading and the style of movies I was surfing through. Dreams that focused on the ‘many rooms in my house’ (the pieces of me) teaching me how to get out of danger or retrieve what was mine – were the catalyst for this awakening. I was seeking a new path a new goal!

Something must be changed! That change has to come from within; a change to sweep away the negativity, the poor me attitude and the lack of self confidence. I need to redeem my drive and I need a new goal! I need to write, I need time to write and I need my writing to mean something to me and to others. I need to carve out specific time for that writing and to heed that other inner voice that is finally getting loud enough to be heard.

Self worth is such a fragile thing – easily tattered by odd black thoughts and becomes inert by self doubt. We often seek out distraction from other peoples stories to bury our own.

What am I writing about here? I am sharing my resolve to pick up the pieces and to navigate forward on a new trajectory!

I am inspired by great writers, great producers and great speakers! I can transform my next journey as they have done! I can write my stories from a new perspective – I can set them in the future and use my future awakening to rewrite the past!

Anam Cara: turning point!


online clubs

Episode 2: Seven Essential Ingredients

seven essential ingredients for episode 2

In Episode 1 we considered how to choose the story to tell; who it is about, its scope and why it is important to tell.

Our families have roots that stretch back in time to other places and other dimensions – the past lives of our ancestors have had their impact on us. Family History is made up of the myriad of stories of individuals in our family tree and it is from these stories that we get a true sense of ‘who we think we are’.

In Episode 2 we consider the essential ingredients for your story!

Digital Storytelling Tips:

Episode 2: Seven Essential Ingredients

These 7 essential ingredients were developed by Joe Lambert from the StoryCenter, the continuing education facility for digital storytelling around the world. Your storytelling success will be enhanced by including them in your story.

  1. Point of View
  2. Dramatic Question
  3. Emotional Content
  4. Authentic Voice
  5. Soundtrack
  6. Pacing
  7. Economy

Storytellers you can learn the art of Digital Storytelling Online through this self-paced course and collaborate with other participating storytellers. Take advantage of the special price for the next 10 enrolled participants.

Join the growing community of enthusiastic digital storytellers in social media and learn from other family historians at Digital Storytelling Community