Toastmaster and Product Manager Norkys Crespo

NorkysCrespoIn 2011 I arrived in Oakville, Ontario as a new immigrant. Originally from Venezuela, English was my third language after Spanish and French.

I decided to intensify my learning of the English language through a focused university program. Even though I finished the English program with great marks, I thought something was missing for me. I felt a lack of communication skill and was almost afraid to talk to others.  As a Pharmaceutical Product Manager, I needed to change that.

One day someone mentioned Toastmaster’s and I decided to investigate.  I’m really glad I did, and really glad I joined Glen Abbey Toastmasters in September 2012.

I thought the motivation for people to join Toastmasters was to become better public speakers and communicators by achieving their Competent Communicator designation at the end of 10 speeches. What surprised me was how many people focus on mastering public speaking and taking leadership roles - essentials skills for dealing with people anywhere. I learn a lot from people in our club that have been Toastmasters for over 10 years.

I’m also very happy that the club experience ties closely with my expectations and goals. Since joining Toastmasters, my communication and public speaking skills have improved considerably. It’s also changed my life for the better. At GATM I have found a very supportive environment and a friendly atmosphere. I have met very interesting people. I get powerful feedback each time I deliver a speech or take on a role. I get to take on leadership roles – this past year I was on the Club Executive as Club Secretary. I have a great time at every meeting.

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2014 Area 52 International Speech and Evaluation Contest Winners

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Congratulations To The 2014 Area 52 International Speech and Evaluation Contest Winners:

  • Tony Corrie (right) - International Speech Contest winner - Glen Abbey Toastmasters.  Tony also went on to win 3rd place at the Division L International Speech Contest.
  • Frederique Herel (left) - Evaluation Contest winner - Mighty Oaks Toastmasters.  Frederique is also a Glen Abbey Toastmaster.
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2014 International Speech and Evaluation Contest

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    Congratulations To Our International Speech Contest Winners (left to right) Tony Corrie (1st), Srini Kesavan (2nd), and Mike Kozak (3rd)
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    2-2014-International-Speech-and-Evaluation-ContestCongratulations To Our Evaluation Contest Winners (left to right) - Armando DeSousa (2nd) and Mike Kozak (1st)
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    3-2014-International-Speech-and-Evaluation-ContestHuge Thank You To Our Chief Judge - Sean Connor and Contest Chair - Chris Roode
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    International Speech Contest Participants (left to right) - Tony Corrie, Srini Kesavan, Frederique Herel, Mike Kozak, and Paul Dubal
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    Evaluation Contest Participants (left to right) - Pratap Reveru, Chris Czerwinski, Armando DeSousa, and Mike Kozak
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Congratulations to the International Speech and Evaluation Contest Winners! 

What a great contest.  Excellent speeches and evalautions by everyone.  We'll be cheering for our first place winners Tony Corrie at the Area International Speech Contest and Mike Kozak at the Area Evaluation Contest. 

A special thank you to all the contest participants and volunteers who made this contest a great success:

  • Contest Chair - Chris Roode
  • Chief Judge - Sean Connor
  • Target Speaker: Derek Donnan - TAIE Toastmasters
  • Sergents At Arms - Ross Cree and Miguel Yeara
  • Greeter - Loise Githinji
  • Counters - Eileen Bonnetti and Rachel Desouza
  • Timers - Abazar Nezafat and Sophie Yang
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2014 Humorous and Table Topics Speech Contest

Wednesday October 1, 2014.

If you are looking for a fun-filled evening full of laughter mark that date in your calendar. At 7.30 Toastmaster Sushila Pereira will be chairing the 2014 Glen Abbey Toastmasters humorous and table topics contest. Laughs are guaranteed so be prepared. Come on out and support our brave contestants and dedicated volunteers. The winners will be representing Glen Abbey at the Area B-35 contest hosted by Trafalgar Toastmasters at Oakville Central Library at 7pm on Monday October 6, 2014. 

See you there! 

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Toastmaster & Author Paul Dubal

PaulDubalAuthorWho Knew?  That here in our membership at Glen Abbey Toastmasters (GATM) is a budding Author with not one, but two books published to date.

That’s right, Paul Dubal, Author of “Crimes against Humanity” and most recently “The Dictator of Britain”, resident of Oakville, and a member of GATM. Paul was recently featured in an article in the Oakville Beaver.

Paul has been a member of GATM since October 2012 and is our current VP of Membership. We interviewed him recently to ask how Toastmasters has helped him as an Author both professionally and personally.

Toastmasters has helped me in so many ways. One of the biggest challenges for an author is to seek an audience for their work and this means a degree of self-promotion. Today this is often carried out in the social media sphere but more often than not means being able to talk about the books.

Gave Me Confidence

I found that the skills I acquired at Toastmasters have been extraordinarily useful in a number of situations. For example when I was conducting a book signing at Chapters, I needed to have the confidence to approach people and ask them if they would like to buy my book. I fully understand that for a customer, buying a book for $20 from a first time author is a risk.  I was able to put my ideas together and provide an eloquent and articulate 'sales pitch' about the book.  I was also able to explain why they would enjoy reading it, which convinced many people to decide to buy.

Put My Ideas In Order

I think it has also helped in social situations when people have asked me what my books are about.  I could spend several hours telling them everything about my books but I suspect they would have fallen asleep or made their excuses and left. The discipline acquired from Toastmasters is that I can put my ideas in order on the spot and provide a summary and key highlights of the book that is short and punchy.  It also gives enough information to generate enough interest for the person to check out the book. That skill is surprisingly difficult to attain, and Toastmasters has been invaluable in that regard.

Enjoy Speaking

Finally, I hope to promote my books further in a number of ways - to do more online / newspaper (and hopefully radio) interviews. The recent interview I did for the Oakville Beaver received a lot of attention so that will be a good model to follow. I would also like to present at book clubs and other places to promote my work.  Toastmasters has given me the confidence to get up in front of any type of audience and speak fluently and confidently and above all, enjoy the experience!!

Paul’s books are available to order in hardback, paperback and in all e-book formats through his website www.paulmichaeldubal.com and at most online bookstores.

Paul we wish you great success in your growing career as an author.

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Area 52 Humorous and Table Topics Speech Contest

We're cheering for Glen Abbey Toastmasters Humorous and Table Topics Club Contest winners Tony Corrie and John Walker as they head to the Area 52 Contest.  Come out and cheer them on.  Thanks to everyone who participated in the Club Contest - all your speeches were great.

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