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M c G ill To as tm a ste rs Cl ub

Masters in Action

Volume 10, Issue 2 Spring/Summer 2013

Having Fun!

Picture Gallery on Page 4-5

Challenge Accepted Summer marks the beginning of a new year for the leadership team of McGill Toastmasters. The new executives are all about making our club better and helping members on their public speaking journeys.

A Thousand Words I recently watched “A Thousand Words”, starring Eddie Murphy. Ironically, or maybe fate had something to do with it, I saw the movie on the same day that I lost my voice. Naturally, I had to wonder, what is the weight of a single word? What ripple effect do our words have on others? Is there more to expression and communication than just words? I love words. They can be woven together to create thought-provokingly rich tapestries. They can give new life to caged ideas, wings to featherless notions. They can be strung together like pearly orbs and worn on the sleeve. Words dance together and then suddenly there’s a spark that creates an explosion of feeling. You’re thrown up against a wall, breathless, because you didn’t know that words could be so powerful. You stand powerless in the shadow of what you thought you knew. Words can also be incredibly hurtful. Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me. Would that that were true but as cliche as it sounds, words hurt more than physical brutality because words are like tattoos seared into the heart and burned beneath the skin. Human beings are fragile, this side up please. Read carefully they are stamped “Handle with care”. But who cares enough to search for invisible ink when they themselves have been hung upside down and swung around long enough to have their lungs gasp for oxygen and their brain swell with internal pressure created by an external struggle?

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When I was a child, I used to garnish my mother dishes with parsley leaves and orange peel. Why? In my world, food is not supposed to only be delicious, but also visually appealing. This passion for colour and vitality in the little things around me has followed me around since. I still “beautify” dishes when I cook, but this desire to improve things is now rooted much deeper into my personality. Nowadays, I help businesses create stunning websites to attract more customers. In my vision, this is simply an extension of rose shaped carrots on the side of a plate. It is with the same passion that I took on the role of Vice President of Public Relations for McGill Toastmasters. Coupled with my affinity for technologies, I am ready to spice up things this upcoming year. Some of the new additions to the newsletter will focus on mentorship, leadership and personal branding as part of a yearlong theme of “Stretching Your Limits” with Toastmasters. Lastly, I want to encourage each of you to get involved in the creation of our newsletter. Email me any form of art or writing, any questions or advice you might have for your fellow Toastmasters and stay tuned for more exciting changes!

- Diana Cheptene

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But in the end, what do we remember? Is it the words that are spoken, like silken scarves caressing the skin? Is it the impact they cushion, like a well-worn mattress moulded to fit the curve of your spine? Or is it the actions they string together? Words like fluff between our real intentions. Words that confuse. Words fill the air because we are terrified of suffocating under the weight of silent air. At the end of the day I remember the picture of a dragon carefully coloured in, symbol of strength to an adult with cognitive disabilities, the bracelet strung together by an autistic teenager. I remember the beautiful paper card lovingly crafted by a dear friend before an important interview. I remember the comfort and support offered by friends during difficult times, more than I remember exactly the words they spoke. I can mark my life by the passage of words. Labels that sum up more words. Yet simple words cannot describe the nuances of our emotions, the intensity of our tastes, the textures of our feelings. The English language has 172 000 words in current use, according to the Oxford dictionary. Out of all of those, one way to say “I love you”, one way to reaffirm a human bond. Otherwise you have to

use the brush of your imagination to paint words on the blank canvas of someone else’s mind, in the hopes of imprinting yourself firmly yet delicately. In contrast, the Inuit have seven different words for love, seven different ways to form connections. Back to Eddie Murphy and “A Thousand Words”, and I think that life really is about the journey. It’s about discovering the moments where we learn about ourselves and our values and beliefs. We learn what is truly important to us, we learn who is there to support us. Yes, these things can be communicated through words. But the actions that accompany the words are much more important. Just look at Martin Luther King. “I have a dream” would not mean nearly as much if it hadn’t been reinforced. Words inspire actions, but we tend to remember the actions over the words.

In this issue

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by Anna Cias

We are, in some cultures especially, so used to being judged. And when we are on display, like at Toastmasters, all our ‘imperfections’ are agumented and visible to others, to critique. But we must remember that our ‘imperfections’ are what makes us unique - and beautiful! Without them, all of us would be the same - and boring! Every person is different. Every person has their unique cultural background and family background - and this way they contribute to make the world more enlightened and aware because every perspective, every point of view enriches our own view of the world. We notice things we haven’t noticed before. We see the new meanings, new interpretations of things around

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us. And it is all thanks to our diversity - in other words, our ‘imperfections’. So, if you are new, or a guest to Toastmasters and you are afraid you will not fit in, or it is too challenging of a task for you - remember this: you are unique, and your uniqueness is the priceless gift you give us. Every speech will be an expression of YOU, and YOUR viewpoint and it will enhance and enrich our own! Your path to where your are right now is a lesson and an expansion of our understanding of the world, and it is precious to all of us. All your struggles to be visible, to be heard, are going to meet a welcome here, because all of us are here to learn, and to listen, as much as we are here to express ourselves.


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What Diversity Really Means

A THOUSAND WORDS by Elise Frymil





MCGILL TOASTMASTERS CLUB Meetings are held every Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 688 SHERBROOKE STREET WEST, ROOM 1559 MONTREAL, QUEBEC H3A 3R1 DISTRICT 61, CLUB #4311 Guests are most welcome! To attend a meeting as a guest, please RSVP by email to membership@mcgilltoastmasters.

MASTERS IN ACTION The McGill Toastmasters Club Newsletter Masters in Action is published sfour times a year. Everyone is encouraged to participate and submit articles.

WHO? This newsletter is the work of the volunteer members of the McGill Toastmasters Club. We all actively participate in documenting our club successes, interests and involvement within the Toastmasters Community in order to share it with others, and demonstrate how much fun it is to be a Toastmaster.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Any comments or suggestions for improvement are greatly appreciated. You can contact the newsletter ed itor at

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by Johnny Sit

McGill Toastmaster’s Alumni Night

On January 29 2013, the club held an All Alumni Night in conference room 1041. Former McGill Toastmasters members attended the meeting, Mark Styles, Millie Malde, Nadine Husain, Lloyd Mangahas, Suzannah Baum and Donald Venskus came back to share their McGill Toastmasters experience with current

members. This meeting was specially setup with three back to back table topics sessions and a panel discussion with the alumni about what they learned from their McGill Toastmasters experience. They all discovered in their own ways how the Toastmasters program helped

them become better speakers. A special speech was given by guest alumni Donald Venskus. “When you hit a fork in the road, any direction you go, a Toastmaster will be well prepared” said Donald. This was a special meeting with special people, good food and great public speaking!

Jump into TLI! The Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) takes place every year in January and June. The TLI is an opportunity for toastmasters across Montreal to attend workshops on many topics by world-class presenters, meet and network with other toastmasters. Four of our club’s officers and members attended the workshop this year. Read what they had to say about the experience. Sometimes, we forget how social Toastmasters can be. For me, the TLI is like the group talking in the kitchen at a party--except there’s no background music or alcohol. At the TLI, you see hundreds of people who care about the same thing--public speaking and leadership. And we all share a common vocabulary. That makes creating new relationships a little easier, and you can continue to build on your existing relationships. What’s not to like? Well, it is on at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday.

- George Tabah

Listening to Harry Kingston’s speech was actually a pleasant opportunity by itself regardless of all useful tips he pointed out on VP-membership. He is absolutely a professional and experienced speaker whose speech was to the point and useful.

guests and introduce our club and explain the procedure to them. These factors determine if the guests would like to be part of the club. Asking this question from ourselves that; would we be interested to join this club at its current condition if we were at guest’s shoes?

A few interesting points he mentioned during his speech were: VP-membership are the true representatives of the club as they are the first people the guests -potential memberswould see and perceive as a toastmaster. It is important how confidently we greet the

It is also important to talk to guests at the end of the meeting and ask if they will return to the meetings. If not, we should ask them what could be reformed, changed!

- Mehrnoosh Azodi

Although I usually prefer to spend snowy Saturdays huddled at home with a cup of hot chocolate, the TLI is an experience not to be missed (and fortunately there is coffee!). It’s always amazing for me to see that there is a world beyond McGill Toastmasters. - Marzieh Chiasi

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McGill Toastmastersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 15th Anniversary!

Spring Social Bowling

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A special thanks to Elise Fryml and Kelly Barbosa for organizing our summer social!

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Transition Ceremony

A special McGill Toastmasters meeting on July 9th, 2013. We were joined by Toastmasters Outremont, HEC Toastmasters and NDG Leaders to thank the outgoing executive team and welcome the incoming McGill Toastmasters executive team!

McGill Toastmasters Picnic at Beaver Lake, Parc Mont-Royal

Huge shoutouts to Johnny Sit for helping preparing our food, to Elaheh Bos and Rosalia Felice for entertaining us and Diana Cheptene for organizing the event.

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Club Officers 2013-2014

Marzieh Ghiasi CC, CL Immediate Past President

Provides the supportive club environment members need to fulfill their self-development goals, making sure that members benefit from the Toastmasters educational program, and helping the club recruit new members and retain current ones.

Johnny Boghossian


Provide support to the incoming president and executive team.

Responsible for coordinating an active public relations and publicity program Responsible for providing and maintaining the positive environment and the programs through which members can learn and grow.

Diana Cheptene Vice President Public Relations

Elise Fryml Vice President Education

Responsible for building membership and ensuring a strong membership base by satisfying the needs of all members

Angela He, ACG, ALB, Mehrnoosh Azodi & Philippe Toutou

Vice President Membership

Responsible for organizing and promoting the mentorship program. Responsible for promoting the Competent Leadership track. Armita Dehmoobadsharifabadi

Kelly Barbosa Vice President Mentorship

Lila Malde, CTM, CL & John Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Agata, ATMB Treasurer

Responsible for keeping clear and accurate financial records of club business and for seeing that the club remains financially stable.

Vice President Leadership

Responsible for keeping clear and accurate records of club business, including membership records and correspondence with Toastmasters International

George Tabah


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Cheung Hei (Johnny) Sit & Shahad Radwi


Responsible for maintaining club properties, arranging the meeting room and welcoming members and guests at each meeting. Spring/Summer 2013 - Masters in Action

Jump in to see the latest speech videos!

by Johnny Sit

Have you watched your speech video yet? If not, Jump In! You can find the instructions on how to access the videos on > Member Resources > Download your video. As free online storage limits are more and more limited to free accounts, normally up to 5GB for free, Mediafire has also changed to follow the trend of other companies to limit their storage space as well in order to make money.

New imposed limits from to 10GB have shut down our new videos upload operations with them. They are still hosting our 21.19GB of videos for free, you can feel free to browse the current videos. However we can no longer add new ones onto the storage. Since there are other free services out there, we have decided to move again to find something better once more.


The IT Corner! New voting system McGill Toastmaster is now more green! If you’ve been to any of our recent meetings, you may have noticed that McGill Toastmasters has moved into the 21st century with a new electronic voting system. A great big thank you to our brilliant member James Wen who has developed the voting app, and donated voting hardware to our club!

We are testing a couple different services at the moment and your feedback is most appreciated. So far, the best contender seems to be []. We will be doing further testing before settling down on a new service. New instructions will be online at in the coming weeks.

to our new members

The sign-up sheet now viewable online

Do you ever have that moment of panic when you realize you don’t remember what role you were signed up for? No need to worry anymore. Our club signup sheet is now available for online viewing. This sheet cannot be edited by members and is for viewing only, but is updated real-time by the VP Education. See the online sign-up sheet at: member-resources/signup-sheet/.

Deep Sarma Philippe Toutoungi Tianyu Zhou Mona Aflaki Kevin Kwateng Joshua Stieglitz Shahad Radwi Rupal Patel Gadiel Weigensberg Nathaniel Kennedy Noble Beri Lainjo Elenita Calubag Hong-jie Guan Helen Xu

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” -Dale Carnegie

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Newsletter spring summer 2013