Webinar Contest Competitors Wanted

If you attended EVV CON 2022, you saw our webinar contest introduced by keynote speaker Mike Carr, 2020 World Champion of Public Speaking. Although there is no EVV CON 2023 in the works so far (because we’re still trying to work out some issues with Toastmasters rules), you have an opportunity to show off your online speaking skills in a webinar contest coming up on June 12 (register to compete or to attend).

Although the June 12 event will be hosted by Online Presenters Toastmasters, all the competitors will be guest speakers, with OP members playing supporting roles. You’re also welcome to attend a May 8 club contest for Online Presenters club members.

A webinar contest speech is a 5-7 minute speech where you’re challenged to demonstrate your mastery of the online stage and show that you can create engagement with the audience. See my blog post about the ideas behind and the history of the contest.

The webinar contest is not an official Toastmasters contest format, but it is an opportunity for members to demonstrate what they have learned about presenting effectively on an online platform. Other clubs and districts who like the concept may want to put on their own event according to our rules or create their own version.

In the absence of an officially blessed online Toastmasters conference on the EVV CON model, a district might be an ideal venue for competitors from multiple clubs to meet on a level playing field.

I hope to see you as a contestant, judge or attendee at one of these events.

David F. Carr Chair, EVV CON 2022 and VPE at Online Presenters david@carrcommunications.com

Dear Toastmasters: Any update on rule changes to allow non-district multi-club events?

Here is an update on the issues that have made EVV CON’s organizers hesitate to put on another event, as communicated to the board’s email alias as well as to President Kinsey.

From: David F. Carr
Date: Mon, Apr 17, 2023 at 8:00 AM
Subject: Any update on rule changes to allow non-district multi-club events?
To: Board Contact, Matt Kinsey

A year ago this month, I was scrambling to reorganize an unofficial Toastmasters event as a non-Toastmasters event after getting a cease and desist letter from your lawyers. The EVV CON event was a success despite all that, but it was a shame that an educational event organized by Toastmasters from Toastmasters had to distance itself from the Toastmasters brand. The organization shouldn’t be going out of its way to discourage initiative.

President Kinsey told me months ago that the issues I’d raised were still under consideration by the board, but I haven’t heard any update. I maintain Toastmasters ought to have some process for allowing collaboration between clubs based on common interests, rather than the traditional geographical organization of districts. The corporate world is going through a somewhat similar process of figuring out how to manage the possibilities created by remote work and distributed workers, versus the virtue of bringing people back together in person. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Toastmasters is finding it as challenging as those companies are, but these issues are important.

The two solutions that make the most sense to me would be to either:

* Establish some official organizational unit that would operate like a corporate Center of Excellence that could host events and promote other activities outside of the boundaries of traditional geographical districts.

* Provide a clearly-defined process Toastmasters leaders can follow to get approval for a multi-club event or activity and pool their resources, including the ability to establish a budget and account for it according to Toastmasters standards.

If you have a better solution, great, but I’d hate to see these issues ignored indefinitely.