2020 News

Supporting College Students

February 24, 2020

In an annual tradition that's been running for over ten years, members of Valley Town Toastmasters made a presentation to students at Mohawk College about prepared and impromptu speeches.

This year's presentation was organized by club President Walter Lehman, left in photo, who drafted a precise agenda that was displayed on two projector screens and lauded by the student's professor as a model of excellence. Walter opened the presentation with a talk on the importance of effective messaging.

Club member Tony Bratschitsch, centre in photo, followed with a ten-minute explanation of the value of saying "a few words to the right people at the right time".

Club Secretary Tom Shears, right in the top photo, gave a tutorial on the importance of impromptu speaking and he placed special emphasis on the "power of pauses".

This event was another successful effort by Valley Town Toastmasters to support the community.

The class of approximately 80 students reacted positively to the tips and suggestions provided by Walter, Tom and Tony.

Innovating the Valley Town Way!

Report by Walter Lehman, President; Photos by Darryl Hartwick, VP Education

Pictured in the photo from left to right: Tom Shears, Walter Lehman, David Hayes, Theresa Horak and Peter Schwarz. Not in photo but in attendance: Katie Rees, Joanne Peters and Darryl Hartwick.

On Friday, February 7, 2020, several members of Valley Town Toastmasters conducted a "Lunch & Learn" session in the Atrium of McMaster Innovation Park (MIP).

Several of Valley Town’s members, Theresa Horak, Peter Schwarz and Katie Rees, work out of MIP. With the help of introductions and invitations by Theresa and her company LoAllay, Valley Town Toastmasters brought a condensed open house format to MIP.

After a few opening remarks, Walter Lehman moderated a panel discussion that included David Hayes, Theresa Horak, Joanne Peters, and Peter Schwarz. Panelists shared their personal experiences as a member of Toastmasters and described the many benefits. The discussion included how Toastmasters helps to develop leadership and communication skills, along with a description of their own examples.

Tom Shears then masterfully conducted an impromptu speaking session. Our own Katie Rees took the lead and showed guests how to participate in Table Topics! After breaking the ice, several guests joined in, together with several of our own club members.

Thank you to Darryl Hartwick, VP Education, who attended and captured many great pictures and video of the event!

The "Lunch & Learn" session is an example of how Valley Town Toastmasters is trying to innovate the Valley Town way. Not everyone is aware that Toastmasters is much more than just public speaking. The "Lunch & Learn" was a first step in spreading the word about how Toastmasters can help meet the leadership and communication needs of entrepreneurs and others in a very cost effective and practical way.

It is hoped that Valley Town Toastmasters can work to build a long-term relationship with, and be a valuable resource for, those working out of MIP. Following the event, Valley Town has already held discussions about the possibility of conducting a Speechcraft program at MIP. This has the potential to be a real win-win scenario - Valley Town can help teach the very skills that entrepreneurs (including engineers and scientists) often need, while also providing a great avenue for our own members to deepen their own learning and complete meaningful projects through teaching. A huge opportunity for growth and development for everyone! In addition, Toastmasters can demonstrate that it can easily be valuable resource for those associated with innovation and entrepreneurship.

Thanks to all the team members of Valley Town Toastmasters team members that contributed to the event as we learn to “Innovate the Valley Town Way!”

Area 51 Contests

January 16, 2020

The Area 51 International Speech & Evaluation Contests was well attended. Despite having only three clubs (Brant TM from Brantford, McMaster TM from west Hamilton and Valley Town TM from Dundas), the area contest drew a large audience who witnessed a well organized event.

Area 51 Director Ruth Larbie, right in photo, did a superb job in supporting the contest chairs Kelly Nash (left) and Emily Nichols (centre). These three leaders kept the contest moving flawlessly.

This was the first time that Kelly and Emily chaired an area contest. They are both members of Valley Town Toastmasters

Congratulations to our club president, Walter Lehman, for winning the International Speech Contest.

Walter is pictured holding the Golden Toaster which is symbolic of many good things within the camaraderie of our area's clubs and members.