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Members' Forum March 2019

An open platform for your tips, tactics, comments and encouragement.



A Recipe for the Workplace

“A Recipe for the Evaluation Sandwich” [November 2018] by Bill Brown, DTM, is also a recipe for success in the workplace, especially for those tasked with providing feedback to others. Recognition, encouragement and constructive feedback are exactly what employees, regardless of cultural back­grounds, are looking for from their managers.

For more than 20 years as a leadership development consultant and Toastmaster, I have worked with hundreds of managers in different countries and attended countless Toastmasters meetings in different places. My observation is that Toastmasters who are conversant with providing feedback that motivates and promotes growth in others are more effective leaders at work.

As more and more employers come to realize this strong connection, Toastmasters is well positioned to be their partner of choice in personal development.


Philip Lai

Port Credit Toastmasters
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada




Learning in the Dark

In October 2018, our club (pictured above, with the lights on) tried something new: We held a “Dialogue in the Dark” meeting. The room’s lights were turned off, and we conducted the meeting in darkness. Our club organized this endeavor to practice our vocal variety techniques, because in the dark, a speaker’s body language and facial expressions are not as important as their speaking pitch, pace, volume and vocal pauses.


Toastmasters ALE HKMembers of the ALE HK Toastmasters club in Hong Kong, China

The experience was awesome! It stimulated our creativity to think outside the box. For instance, how would you give timing signals in the dark? Our timer, Tony, prepared a flashlight and covered the light bulb with transparent color lids, so we could see the green, yellow and red lights during the respective time limits.

We couldn’t write or read in the dark, so we had to stretch our mental note-taking skills. Evaluators had to memorize their statements. Our general evaluator, Pauline, managed to address all role takers >and deliver her points without using notes. Brava!

Thank you to my club for introducing this new experience. In darkness, we find that our skills are often brighter than we think.


Ho-yin Mak, CC

ALE HK Toastmasters club
Hong Kong, China




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