Running a Webinar for Toastmasters using GotoWebinar

A great blog post from Marketo about how to promote your webinar

Manual Checklist for GotoWebinar

Schedule a test call with your co-presenters before your live event. (at least one, if the co-presenter is having difficulties or seems very uncomfortable, make sure you schedule at least a second one closer to the event as well)

Schedule your webinar meeting, pass along the webinar registration link to anyone that’s going to be advertising it and/or have it available where you are going to advertise it, i.e. website, social media, etc. as far in advance as possible.

Add any co-presenters as panelists and/co-organizers, anyone can be made a presenter, including attendees while the webinar is running, so if you forget to invite someone they can login using the registration links for regular attendees.

Add any polls ahead of time (choice of one choice, or multiple choice polls) ask the co-presenters in advance if they are going to run polls, and coordinate when during the webinar they will be run.

Ask for any handouts ahead of time and pre-load them in (up to 5 files) once the webinar is in session you can’t add them, but can add them in the webinar toolbar but it’s occasionally glitchy.

Prior to the webinar, turn off or unplug any phones, neighboring computers you might get feedback from, and make sure your “space” to going to be quiet. Free the rooms from potentially barking dogs and other distractions. Don’t have anything in the oven that can potentially set the smoke alarm off even if you have someone in the house, you can’t rely on them to take care of it.

Start early before you go live to give yourself time to get logged into everything and quickly fix any issues or restart/reload any windows/applications, check video/sound, etc.) At least 15 minutes prior to the webinar, ½ hour is much better, make sure any co-presenters login in AT LEAST 15 minutes prior if not before, recommend ½ hour pre-login as well. Logging in right before the webinar starts one always runs into a technical glitch.

Make sure you have your introduction ready for your co-presenter and have rehearsed walking through it. Check for name pronunciations prior to the webinar.

Until you hit start broadcast, you and the other presenters and/or panelists can speak with each other and technically attendees can’t listen in until you hit the start broadcast button (do not rely on this as it has glitched) ie don’t discuss anything confidential or personal.

When you are ready and the co-presenter is all set to go, switch control to them, hit start broadcast and then don’t forget to hit record before giving your introduction.

As part of your introduction, I always mention we will be doing some housekeeping before our presenter starts, ie. Mention the webinar is being recorded, it will be available ……………………………………….. Everyone by default all the attendees are muted. If you have questions, please ask them to the right in the question bar to your right and mention that its best to ask the questions as they occur to them. You will answer questions at the end of the presentation.

The runner of the webinar should ask questions, have the co-presenter answer them instead of having the co-presenter read and answer (frequently they will forget to read aloud the questions and just verbalize the answers leaving attendees in the dark as to what they are talking about). It’s best to have to motive/move questions put together ahead of time in case there is a lag in questions or in some cases people may not have any but some general Q&A can spark discussion. It’s best to stick with questions being typed instead of unmuting people.

When the webinar Q&A is done, thank the presenter, mention that if there are questions that occur to attendees after the webinar is over please feel to email and it will be passed along. Mention again the webinar was recorded it will be available……………………

Thank everyone for attending, have a great night/morning afternoon and stop the webinar by going to the X at the top of the right hand side by box.

As soon as you close the webinar a box will come up and Convert recording into a viewable file.

Running the Webinar Tips

  • Be connected to the Internet via Ethernet/Hardwired connection. Wireless connections will work, but your audio and video quality will suffer and you may have playback issues if you are recording.
  • If you plan to use music, videos, or images, remember to use only what you have permission to use. YouTube can and will remove all sound from a video with copyrighted music.
  • Wear a headset if possible, it cuts down on external noise and audio and mics are easier to hear and have a better sound quality then having someone call in on their phone.
  • Have at least several cups of water handy and remind your co-presenter to as well.
  • Turn off any program or device that will compete for your bandwidth. This includes things like Google Drive and Dropbox that automatically update.
  • Make sure any popups, ie. antivirus reminders are not going to pop up during your presentation, pass that along to the other presenter as well.
  • When screen sharing be aware that everything can be seen, including bottom taskbars and if you are using the internet, bookmarks as well as open tabs on a browser. Remind the co-presenter of this as well including right before starting a live broadcast.
  • Recommend having two computers if you are running and moderating the webinar, one to be the presenter/moderator, the other to be logged in as an attendee (make sure and mute the sound from this one) This helps for two reasons, one there is sometimes a small time lag and if you are speaking you want to make sure the slides you are speaking to are consistent to what the other attendees are seeing. If you haven’t run a lot of webinars speaking “to” the extra computer screen to the right or left of the main screen is sometimes easier to speak to if talking conversationally then addressing the computer right in front.
  • Don’t depend on the internet, so if displaying things on webpages, better to do screenshots and pull up the net “live” if time at the end.
  • Be prepared for interruptions, door bells ringing, dogs barking, kids etc.
  • Be prepared for things NOT to work, the presenter can’t get on, they don’t have audio or visual, etc.
Posted in Marketing, Observations, Toastmasters, Webinars | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Virtual Meetings and Toastmasters


Photo courtesy of DodgertonSkillhause

In August 2015, Toastmasters International approved clubs having a virtual meeting attendance, ( and with some stipulations about use, i.e. for clubs:

  • Vote to approve the allowance.
  • Update their Addendum of Standard Club Options to reflect the club’s decision.
  • Determine the platform to be used and purchase necessary equipment at the club’s expense.
  • Ensure that all members and prospective club members are aware of the option.

Toastmasters has not given much guidance as of yet in terms of what platforms are the best to use, leaving the heavy lifting for clubs to experiment with what works and what doesn’t, they did provide a handy FAQs page that does give some additional information at though.

Our Cromwell CT Toastmasters club has been discussing the option as well as experimenting with software and the hardware needed in order to let members virtually attend.

Some of the things in discussion to be put into our bylaws were limiting virtual attendees to members only during the first (trial) year and have members from other TM clubs be able to attend only after the trial was over. Guests were not able to attend as virtual visitors. We had to form a committee to see what would work and also decide who would be in charge of the equipment needed to take down, set up and store it. Discussion was had about how many speeches or functionary roles a member could give in a calendar year. Also that members would be bound to not record a meeting and that they must be in good standing to participate in virtual attendance. The by-laws have not yet been formalized for this and I’ll post an update when they are.

The first meeting we did a trial run prior to the meeting using Google+ Hangouts, because the connection at the town hall that we meet at was not the best, we had a severe time lag in term of the video feed and several disconnects. The problem was apparently solved by activating my smart phones hotspot, but we did not at this time get a chance to further experiment with it, as the meeting was called to order. Google+ Hangouts in my opinion is not the most user-friendly (and I have used personally multiple times before) as you need a Google+ account, it does disconnect and the sound and video do tend to glitch quite a bit, especially if someone has a slower connection. I decided to start with that one in lieu of not having a lot of time prior to research other good free options (which for clubs research platforms you need to set aside quite a bit of time to research this).

Since our last meeting, in search of some alternatives to try for the next upcoming meeting, I have tried several dozen other free conference/meeting alternatives, concentrating on the free ones as most TM clubs may not have the budgets for the paid ones, some of which can be quite pricey. The following ones I’ve now experimented with in several places with friends as guinea pigs in areas using slow, mid-range and faster connections.

Here’s my list with some comments baring actual in meeting trials (coming next week).

#1 GotoMeeting Free (easiest to use)

  • Up to three people on video
  • No application installation needed 
  • Has screen sharing capabilities
  • Works on Chrome books
  • You just share the link to login by email to the other users
  • No account sign up necessary
  • Phone app is only available for the paid version

Tie for second place #2 Anymeeting Free

  • You need to download the application for the host and for attendees
  • Up to 4 attendees
  • Phone app is not very good (tested)
  • You have to invite people by email
  • You can do screen sharing,
  • The video squares for attendees are smaller than Gotomeeting as is the screensharing box
  • Works on Chrome books.
  • You have to sign up for an account

Tie for second place #2 Skype

  • You need to download the application for the host and for attendees
  • You have to sign up for an account
  • Phone app is not very good (tested)
  • Group video up to 10 people, the more people on the video seems to it all slow down, we tested with 4 people several times and it was a snoozer
  • Video boxes are small
  • I had issues using it on my Chrome book (it disconnected more than a regular PC or Mac) as its a web based application instead of an installed application

Some of the other applications tested and discarded for reasons such as not being user-friendly, sign up process for attendees is cumbersome, video boxes are very very small, connection issues with anything below a superfast connection and potential privacy issues.

These were some other possibilities tested but not overly happy with them:

  • Google Hangouts (if you have a super fast connection this may work for you) no installation needed but does require a Google+ account.
  • Oovoo (if you use be careful of installing the “add ons”), requires an application installation and email sign-up.
  •, requires an application installation and email sign-up. Video circles for attendees were very small.

These were some additional ones I tried and didn’t make it in the running at all as suggestions/options: (these were actually recommendations from several business meeting oriented sites interestingly enough).

  • Hipchat
  • TinyChat
  • Meeting Burner
  • Yugma
  • Zoho

There are also dozens of other video sharing sites and applications out there, I checked out and researched a bunch more, all of which were discarded from even doing a trial run with because some installed adware or in a couple of cases malware (for ones that required installation) or others let users login to and view someone else’s meeting without the main attendees knowing.

There are plenty of Paid applications that would work for a virtual meeting but unless we find that we don’t find a free application that will do the job we probably will not pursue that route. More next week!

Posted in Observations, Toastmasters, Virtual Meetings | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Using Slideshare to Help Promote Your Toastmasters Club

For those not familiar with Slideshare, it’s a free online venue for uploading Powerpoints. You can also integrate Slideshare with your personal Linkedin account.

Some of the presentations that members give for manuals focuses on Powerpoints. Technical Presentations is one of the advanced manuals that focuses on the use, as well as project #8, Get Comfortable with Visual Aids from the CC Manual, encourages the use of Powerpoint. Members may also be using their speeches (and Powerpoints) to practice for presentations that they may need to give at their businesses or to potential clients.

Because Slideshare lets you upload multiple Powerpoints under one account and put a substantial amount of information including links back to both a Toastmasters club website and their social media links, uploading your club’s Powerpoints to a Slideshare account can help your Search Engine Optimization and help your club get found online by a considerable amount.

Slideshare accounts are cool because you then have the ability to embed them in blog posts and in your website. Get creative, have a page on your club site or a blog post with a write-up of a member’s speech and embed their Powerpoint (via Slideshare) into it.

Slideshare also gives member statistics of how many views, like and comments you might get on a presentation.

I would caution members who have done Powerpoint presentations that they want to share online, be cognizant of the fact that if it’s business information you are sharing, it must not be confidential information, and while using copyrighted images in Powerpoints (especially for teaching purposes) is very much a gray area legally, I would make sure you know the providence of any photos or images your using. Just because the image came from a free photo site, you don’t know where it came from originally. Buy your images legally from an inexpensive stock photo source like or take them yourself.

Posted in Marketing, Toastmasters | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Leveraging Past Issues of Toastmasters Magazine to help market your Toastmasters Club


Did you know you can use all those past issues of TM magazine that you keep and can’t bear to throw out, but may probably never reread, to help advertise your club?

Ask all of your members to donate any past issues to the club cause that they can spare, you will end up with quite a stack. Visit Staples or any other office supply store and find those large stick on printable labels. Avery Labels, 6 to a sheet work quite well. Print the labels out including club name, website, when and where it meets and if room, a quote about Toastmasters. Aiming it towards business professionals is always helpful, i.e. “Come to Toastmasters, learning to be a better evaluator can help you become a better manager and leader”. You may want to stay away from putting contact information (except for the website) unless you have a group gmail account, as officers change yearly.

Think of all the places locally that are always happy to get new (and free) good quality reading materials that will help you reach your target audience (potential new members). Go out and distribute.

  • Car Dealerships and Auto Repair Shops, don’t forget to include the quick oil change places
  • Dentist, Optometrists and Doctors Offices
  • Libraries
  • Banks
  • Tire Sales and Installation
  • Laundromats
  • Hairdressers and Beauty Salons
  • Tax Preparation Agencies
  • Employment Agencies and Social Services
  • Insurance Agencies
  • Independent Coffee Shops
  • Retirement and Independent Living Facilities (they always have waiting rooms for friends and family)


Posted in Marketing, Observations, Toastmasters | Tagged , | Leave a comment

District 53 Toastmasters Leadership Institute VPPR Training 2014





*note correction (10.24 minutes) any clubs that were previously chartered prior to the switch over to FTH2 from FTH1 have a FTH2 website, new clubs chartered after that period, may have a site created already, but some may not, and may have to request one from (scroll down the main page for the site request form.)
For the question that was asking regarding converting a Facebook personal profile over to a Facebook Club page (30.56 minutes) please see for help to transition over.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Facebook Personal Pages or Business Pages for Toastmasters Clubs?

I’ve been seeing this quite a bit, a personal Facebook profile set up for a Toastmasters club. For new clubs that are thinking about doing this, be aware that technically using a personal profile to promote something is against their terms of service and having a “club” page promoting the club, even if you’re not selling a product or service, falls into that category.

Even if using a personal profile wasn’t against Facebook’s T.O.S. it’s not helping your club at all promote itself to the general public.

Image one is what a club page should look like, notice it says “Likes” in the image banner. This page is always viewable, ALL of it, including posts and pictures to anyone not logged in to Facebook, and is also viewable to people who don’t have Facebook accounts.

Image two is what a page looks like set up as a personal profile.

Image three is what that personal profile looks like to someone not logged into Facebook, i.e the general public. Note the lack of information and not being able to view the posts from the page?

Image 4 is what many personal accounts look like when not logged in to Facebook. Which is pretty much nothing.




TM fb1


tm fb2


tm fb4  Image #3 has some privacy settings set to public, but that’s all the settings will allow.

So in order for clubs to maximize Facebook use, make sure your Club page is set up as a Business account. You do need the personal account to maintain the business/fan/club page but you can also assign multiple people to administrate the page.

If your club has set the account up using a personal profile, you can transition it to being a “page”. Just be aware that not everything is transferred. You can migrate the personal profile to a public business/club page here:

Please read this first in advance of doing the profile to page migration.

From Facebook: Will all of the content on my Timeline be transferred when I convert my personal account to a Page?

  • When you convert your personal account to a Page, we’ll automatically transfer certain info to your Page:
  • All of your friends and followers will be converted to people who like your new Page
  • Your current profile picture will become your Page’s profile picture
  • Your username will become your Page’s username
  • You’ll keep your role on any Pages that you help manage
  • Other content (ex: personal info, posts, photos) won’t be transferred to your Page. You can download your Facebook info before you begin this process. Also, you’ll lose your admin status for any groups or apps you manage from your personal account, so be sure to add new admins before converting.

Information about downloading your information can be found here:

Posted in facebook, Observations, Social Media, Toastmasters | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Starting a Toastmasters Facebook Club Page

Go to to start a Club page.

Banner Image size 851 W X 315 H Pixels (That translates to 11.819 inches X 4.375 inches)

Free photo editors – lets you edit all your photos online, from one easy place. If you don’t have a desktop photo editor these are great.

If you would like to feed your Facebook posts to Twitter:

How to email/text to Facebook: Facebook Fan Page: go to your Fan page, at the top right go to “edit page”, then on the left to “mobile”, near the top it will say “With Mobile Email” to the right of that click “learn more” At the screen that pops up ” Send the upload email for my page to me now.” Click on “Okay” this will email you an email address that you can post updates to Facebook by mobile text or directly by email.

If you have set up Club page up as a personal account, converting it to Club/Business page.

IMPORTANT: before converting your profile, read ALL the background documentation on it first!

If you need some ideas to get started with for posts, please check out:

Posted in facebook, Social Media, Toastmasters | Tagged , , | Leave a comment