Dial In to Lean In
I’d been a member of Toastmasters for just six months when the pandemic hit. I had joined the Tube Talk club because, of all the clubs in London that I could’ve chosen, I found this group among the warmest and most welcoming of them all. So when covid made our face-to-face meetings impossible, I presumed that my public speaking adventure would be on hold for a while. After all, how could a group known for the warmth of its welcome, deliver that same welcome through a computer screen? How could Tube Talk continue to provide the support it is known for via a medium that is, by definition, remote?
As our fortnightly meetings moved to Zoom, we were all confronted with the push and pull of the opportunities that online meetings opened-up versus the intimacy that it simply cannot replicate. But over the weeks and months, we have begun to find our groove. By our October 28 meeting, we had, unwittingly, revealed the formula for what has helped our Toastmasters club remain as supportive and welcoming online as it ever was face to face.
The October meeting began with a humorous speech from club stalwart Alex. The speech, entitled Corona Life, took us on a journey through the lighter side of the lockdown. As the audience listened with amusement – our laughter no less real for us being ‘on mute’ – I realised that this was the first secret to why Tube Talk has maintained its comradery even in the time of covid. As a group, we’ve chosen to lighten up, laugh and embrace the peculiarities of this moment we’re living through – the inevitable technical glitch, the bizarre backgrounds, the interruptions, the lags that happen as the internet slows.
Our second speaker of the evening was Massimo. He gave a talk on leadership. It was apt for Massimo to win the evening’s award for Best Speaker because he certainly has ‘shown up’ for the club and the area as a whole, proving much-needed leadership during these demanding times. Overall, our club executive team has shown an unrelenting dedication and determination to maintain the momentum of the group. Every fortnight, they fight the good fight to fill the meeting roles while encouraging every member to keep working towards their public speaking goals.
Our final speaker of the evening exemplified all that is positive about remote Toastmaster meetings: the ability of members and guests to dial in from anywhere. Over the weeks, Tube Talk has welcomed visitors from all over the globe who we’d never had chance to meet in the ‘old world.’ Mo, although a visitor from a nearby club, was one of many guests we’ve welcomed over the covid months. His talk focused on education and the different styles of teaching. The topic marked the final puzzle piece in the secret to what makes Tube Talk special: education. In October, the club was top of the leaderboard for education in our area, meaning that Tube Talk members have, this year, met more Toastmaster milestones than any other club.
So if you want to laugh and learn how to lead while getting the kind of educational support that is so special to TubeTalk, dial-in to our fortnightly meeting. Our welcomes are as warm as they ever were!
Post by: Christina
Meeting Reporter on Wed 28 Oct 2020
Tube Talk Toastmasters Club