District 86 Toastmasters Fall conference

November 27, 2015 at 3:21 pm 6 comments

In July, I completed a proposal for a workshop for the fall Toastmasters District 86 conference in November. It seemed a long time until the conference, but these things must be done ahead of time to give the organizers time to sort through the submissions and select the workshop presenters.

From our holiday spot in the Kawarthas, I completed the last steps of submission and enjoyed my holidays while awaiting an answer. The best thing, indeed, after submitting anything for consideration, from a poem to a book manuscript or a workshop proposal, is to forget about it and go on with other things, like holidays with our family and a visit to a Toastmasters club in that district.


Buckhorn Lake resort


Naturally Speaking Toastmasters, Peterborough, ON

It was early September before I received the phone call one evening from the Education chair, Jacklyn Payne, that my proposal had been accepted. I was excited and anticipating the conference when I would present, but I had to get down to work and build up my workshop from the ideas and outline I had presented. Between other commitments, it was time to get to work on it.

A lot of thinking and writing went into that workshop. Research too, that I would use to support my workshop, titled ASK for Direction on Mentoring.


Here I am with my workshop assistant, Doris Tuckett, on the Friday afternoon.


and my second workshop assistant, Albert.

Toastmasters calls these assistants Activators, which is really a scientific term. Our networking breakfast business associates got a ‘charge’ out of my response to this.

(conference photo)



My music stand came in handy as we had no lectern, but the sound equipment (mic and speaker) came with me from Kitchener. Thanks, guys at Sheridan Sound, Kitchener, for being so amazingly helpful.

(conference photo from Flickr)





Some of my engaged audience members, listening and then laughing about a story I told

(conference photos)

Thanks to both Doris and Albert for making sure the details around my presentation were covered, and to Chris  Brown, President of our  Energetics Toastmasters club, who helped take down my equipment and get it to the car.


23004361822_7834bfaef8_z(conference photos) At head table, left to right: Gary Schmidt, Vitaliy Fursov, Janice McDonald


After my workshop was past and my things put away, I sat back and relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the conference, the speakers and contestants for both Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests, and of course Gary Schmidt (shown above at left of speaker Vitaliy Fursov), a past Toastmasters International President. I had really hoped to hear more from him since he travelled so far to be with us.

I couldn’t miss our own district speaker, Neil Dunsmore, who backed up much of what I said about mentoring in his thought-provoking, lively and inspirational keynote speech on Saturday morning. He also spoke of his own mentor, Dawna Bate, a fellow member of his first club. He often “bounced ideas off her” on what he should or shouldn’t keep in his speeches. He gave us much to think about.

Thank you, Neil. One great highlight of the entire weekend.


22590966708_c3ed652991_z(conference photo) Neil, a quiet moment in his keynote

Neil also managed the sound board and mics for the speakers at the main hall presentations and dinners as well as the contests.


The times I attended my book table, I had opportunity for conversation with others who came by to check out my table and tell people about the books I was selling.


My book table in the Petun Room at the conference centre


Now it’s more than a week since I gave my workshop and attended the rest of the conference, District 86 Fall Toastmasters conference in beautiful Blue Mountain near Collingwood. I’ve received some lovely compliments on my workshop, for which I am very grateful. It was a good experience over all, and giving a workshop to fellow Toastmasters, you really need to be “on your toes.”


Oh, and if you’re on Facebook, look for the Energetics Toastmasters and my page (Carolyn R. Wilker) and like us too.


Entry filed under: photography, public speaking, relationships, storytelling, talent, travel.

And the weather changes– again From my writer’s notebook

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. heimwee2456  |  November 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Hello, can we do follow for follow, please? 🙂

    • 2. storygal  |  November 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you for your response.

      Do you mean to follow me or Toastmasters, or both? 🙂
      You can follow me with the “Follow” button that should be at the bottom of my blog page, or you can sign in to Facebook, and look for my page, Carolyn R. Wilker, or Energetics Toastmasters. My website has links too. http://www.carolynwilker.ca/

      I’ll add District 86 Toastmasters link to the post so you can check back in a short time.

      • 3. heimwee2456  |  November 27, 2015 at 5:55 pm

        Yes, I have already followed your blog 🙂 Toastmasters is such a good organization, I know the Slovakian Toastmasters, but they don´t do reunions that often and overally, aren´t that much active.

    • 4. storygal  |  November 28, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Yes, I plan to follow you as soon as I respond to your latest comment. Thanks for stopping by. I will look forward to seeing more of your wonderful travel photography.

      • 5. heimwee2456  |  November 28, 2015 at 4:05 pm

        Thank you a lot! Have a nice day 🙂

  • 6. storygal  |  November 28, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    That’s right. I just saw the follow comment in my Inbox. You don’t do conferences there? There’s something about a conference. It’s like a reunion, seeing people I only see there, but there’s more to it as well. It’s educational.

    What country is home for you?


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