And the Winners Are . . .

On March 29, 2017, at Harmony Hall, Morningstars Toastmasters held the club level International Speech and Evaluation Contest. The annual spring event was chaired by Michael Worsfold and the Chief Judge was Patricia Hetherington.

Without further adieu, the winners are . . . .

International Speech Contest:
1st place: Weegee Sachtjen
2nd place: Ben Rusuisiak
3rd place: PJ Reece

Evaluation Contest:
1st place: Kylie Hutchinson
2nd place: Weegee Sachtjen

The top two winners from each contest will compete in the Area 73 contest on Tuesday, April 25 at 6:30pm in Sechelt. Here’s a look at the complete Area 73 contest schedule:

Sunshine Toastmasters
Tuesday, April 11 at 6:15pm
Hummingbird Centre on Mermaid Street (Sechelt)

Beachcombers Advanced
Friday, April 21 at 6pm at Sita’s Spag & Suds

Area 73 Contest
Tuesday, April 25at 6:15pm
Hummingbird Centre on Mermaid Street (Sechelt)


It takes a lot of people to pull off a successful contest.

A round of applause to due to the Contest Chair, Michael Worsfold, and the Chief Judge, Patricia Hetherington. Their roles may look easy, but take significant preparation in the days and weeks leading up to the contest.

From behind the scenes, Katherine Scott deserves mad props for dispensing her invaluable knowledge of how all things work.(Also, thank you for your role as ballot counter!)

Thank you to our test speaker for the Evaluations contest . . ..  the lovely Johanna Rzepa.

A special thank you to our two timers: John Gaudaur and Leonie Croy.

Love and appreciation to our Sargeant at Arms, Guy Foster for his brilliant execution!

And, last but not least, to the talented judges for their keen observations and expertise!


Take Your Passion to the World Stage

International Speech Contest - March 29I believe that inside each of us is a unique message, point or story we want to share with the world.

No. Need to share.

Why did you join Toastmasters? Take a moment and think about it. Think about why you were compelled to learn more about public speaking and communication. What was it that motivates you to further your personal development?

In short, what message did you want to share with the world?

Here is your chance. On March 29, Morningstars Toastmasters will be holding the club level International Speech Contest, where members present a five- to seven- minute speech on any subject they choose.  That’s right — ANY SUBJECT.

The International Speech Contest is the only contest that goes beyond the District level. Winners of the District Conference round will advance to the Toastmasters International Conference held in August in Vancouver, BC this year.

In order to enter the contest, the participants must have completed at least 6 formal speeches from the Competent Communications manual and be a member in good standing (paid your dues).  Click here to download the full 2016-2017 rulebook.

The International Speech can be about anything but should include the basics you know so well: personal stories. The idea is to let people into your world so that they have a better understanding of theirs. Make it personal. Make it memorable.

Interested in participating?  Sign up as a Speaker on March 29 in Turbobase to compete. It’s that simple!

What do you have to tell the world?


International Speech and Evaluation Contest (Club Level)

Speech contests are a Toastmasters tradition. Each year thousands of Toastmasters around the world compete in two annual competitions.

On March 29, Morningstars Toastmasters will hold their club level competition for International Speech and Evaluation Contest. This special event will be held during our regular meeting time (7am – 8:30am) at Harmony Hall and chaired by our VP of Membership, Michael Worsfold.

Winners from the club contests will continue to compete through the area, division and district levels. The International competition has two additional levels — semifinal and the World Championship of Public Speaking.

Evaluation Contest
Contestants observe a five-to seven-minute test speech and then present a two-to three-minute evaluation of the test speech. Any member in good standing (membership paid up) is eligible. Please refer to the 2016-2017 Contest Rule Book for complete details.

International Speech Contest
Contestants present a five- to seven- minute speech on any subject they choose. All districts must conduct this contest. The contest is open to members in good standing who have completed at least 6 speeches from the Competent Communicator manual. Please refer to the 2016-2017 Contest Rule Book for complete details.

Interested in participating?  Sign up as a Speaker or an evaluator in Turbobase to compete. It’s that simple! If you are interested in helping as a judge, timer or ballot counter — please contact Michael Worsfold.

We need your help to make this event a success!


Boot Camp Rallies Toastmasters & Two Members Honoured

Toastmasters Bootcamp - march 4Contributed by Neil Booth:

One of the key learning tools in Toastmasters is challenging ourselves. This means stepping outside of our comfort zone in our speeches — but stepping up to participate in weekend workshops.

This past Saturday, members from all three Sunshine Coast Toastmasters showed up and participated in a four-hour workshop at Garden Hotel in Gibsons. Hosted by Area Director Sheila Cameron, District 96 District Program Quality Director Lydia Burchell and District 96 Kerry Deschamps, the workshop offered intensive training on how to judge a contest, evaluations and changes coming to District 96 and the Toastmasters organization.

The hidden benefit in the workshop was spending an afternoon with fellow Toastmasters where we aren’t rushing about, focused on our roles or upcoming speeches. We were just faces in an audience who mixed and mingled during the interactive workshop during breaks and lunch.

One of the highlights for me was when two of our own were recognized for there outstanding achievements and service to Toastmasters.

Kerry Deschamps District 96 Director was on hand to officially present our own Katherine Scott with the Distinguished Toastmaster Award. Kerry explained that this is the highest award given by Toastmasters and made sure that we understood the level of achievement, and commitment to Toastmasters that it takes to achieve this distinction, serving in leadership roles, mentoring and other roles. Kerry then turned over the job of pinning on the medal to fellow DTM, District Program Quality Director Lydia Burchell — a very dear friend of Katherine’s.

Congratulations, Katherine Scott . . . Distinguished Toastmaster!

Area Director Sheila Cameron presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Weegee Sachtjen, in recognition of outstanding support of Toastmaster’s International’s communication and leadership programs. We all know that Weegee does a lot but here is a list of some of the things Sheila mentioned:

– VPPR: two clubs
– visits and helps third club with promotion
– participates in all club meetings
– greets guests, welcomes them with a name tag and assures them their part will be easy and comfortable.
– continually furthering personal growth on both communication and leadership tracks
– bakes and shares cookies
– amazing social media and poster promotion for Fall in Love With Toastmasters Open House month
– continued newsletter, website, social media promotion for two clubs
– knows and respects her own limits
– sets a beautiful example for others to follow (modelling leadership)
– hosts executive meetings at her home
– offers monthly tech support for learning new TV visual aid

Sheila’s message was clearly heartfelt and she wrapped up by saying “You have truly gone above and beyond in your participation for the benefit of our Area Toastmasters this year.”

Congratulations and a great big thank you Weegee!

Toastmasters Boot Camp on March 4

sunshine Coast Toastmasters Bootcamp March 4“A leader takes people where they would never go on their own.” — Hans Finzel

Our Area Director, Sheila Cameron, has worked to bring a four-hour Toastmasters Boot Camp workshop with the District 96 trio to Gibsons on March 4 at the Gibsons Garden Hotel (963 Gibsons Way) from 10am – 2pm.

The top three District 96 leaders, also known as the Trio, are Kerry Deschamps (DTM, District Director), Lydia Burchell (DTM, Program Quality Director) and George Harjani (Club Growth Director).

The upcoming Toastmasters Boot Camp offers an experience-based workshop where lecture and hands-on interaction for Sunshine Coast members to further enhance their public speaking and communication skills.

It is intensive training that goes above and beyond what can be accomplished in our weekly meetings.

The trio are currently scheduled to talk about the following areas*:

  • How to Judge a Contest
  • How to Evaluate a Speaker
  • Mentoring
  • Leadership & Pathways

*The above topics may change as we get closer to the date.

Mark your calendars for personal growth! See you on March 4 at 10am!

February = Toastmasters Month!

Toastmasters Month February 2017On January 24, 2017, the Town of Gibsons proclaimed February as Toastmasters month in honour of the two Gibsons clubs that meet regularly to help members of the community to further their public speaking goals—Morningstars Toastmasters and Beachcombers Advanced Toastmasters clubs.

Sheila Cameron, our fellow member and Area 73 director, stepped up to the mic to accept the Proclamation. She delivered a two to three minute speech on the benefits of Toastmasters and what our organizations offer the community.

In a surprise round of Table Topics, Mrs. Cameron fielded questions on the meeting times and the hidden benefit of Toastmasters – teaching speakers to organize their thoughts and be concise.

Februrary 2017 is our month to shine as Toastmasters and MorningSTARS. To celebrate, all three Toastmasters clubs invite the community to Fall in Love with Toastmasters at open houses in February. Everyone is welcome to visit the clubs to see firsthand how the Toastmasters program works, listen to inspiring speeches made by fellow residents and chat with members about their unique journey.

On March 4, 2017 at 2:30pm at the Gibsons Garden Hotel, Toastmasters will host a special meeting to determine if there is potential for an afternoon or evening club in Gibsons. This meeting will offer demonstrations, testimonials and a Q&A session for attendees to learn more about the program. “Many people are intrigued about the self-development that Toastmasters offers, but they find it difficult to meet at 7am,” says Sheila Cameron, the current Area Director for the Sunshine Coast clubs. “We’d like to increase access so that more of our community members can benefit.”

All four events are free and open to the public.  Here is a complete list of the events:

Fall in Love with Toastmasters Open House Breakfast

Fall In Love with Toastmasters Breakfast Open House Feb. 15 2017


February 2017 has been proclaimed Toastmasters Month by the Town of Gibsons. To celebrate, we invite you and a friend to our “Fall in Love with Toastmasters” Breakfast Open House event on Feb. 15.

Come to the 7am meeting at Harmony Hall (686 Harmony Lane) and listen to inspiring speeches, have breakfast and see what there is to love about Toastmasters.

Be our guest. Bring a friend. Have breakfast!

Date: February 15, 2017
Time: 7am
Location: 686 Harmony Lane (Harmony Hall) in Gibsons

Guest Speaker Reginald Boaler on Jan. 18

Guest Speaker Reginald Bowler Morningstars ToastmastersHave you ever wondered what it would be like to speak on the World Stage in front of 3500 Toastmasters from 142 countries? Have you ever wondered how you can take your story to a bigger audience?

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, Morningstars Toastmaster Club will host guest speaker Reginald Boaler. He will deliver a 15-minute presentation on his experience at the Toastmasters International Convention in August 2015 where he competed on the World Stage in the semi-finals.

Hope to see you there!

Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Time: 7am
Location: 686 Harmony Lane (Harmony Hall) in Lower Gibsons


2016 Christmas at MorningSTARS

Written by Johanna Rzepa

What I love about Christmas time is the range of possibilities to be experienced: the colourful indoor to outdoor light displays, thoughtful family to friends gift-giving, and the spirit of community outreach to greater inclusion of all living beings. I accept that there is sadness at this time, too. Loved-ones who have moved or passed on. Expectations unfulfilled. Concerns about the health of ourselves and others.


It was magical that at our last MorningSTARS Toastmasters meeting for 2016, the depth and breadth of possibilities were embraced and realized. All who were able to attend did so in festive outfits. We were immediately welcomed by outdoor decorations and indoor Christmas tree lights, which Guy had orchestrated in full glory. The banquet table was set ready for the food to arrive. Carol sheets were placed around the meeting table, thanks to Sheila. All the trimmings!

Table Topics and Gift Giving

Gifts were piled on a table as members walked in. Katherine, our event organizer, had engaged us with the idea of “re-gifting” and combining the opening of presents with a Table Topic explanation of “why this particular gift found us and/or how it will be used in the New Year”. Gifts from our homes to the club members came in all shapes and sizes. We heard creative and constructive applications for each gift from individual members.

Our special events are an opportunity to invite guests to our club, even our pets if that means they will be on their own in cold temperatures. The snow this year did evoke traditional stories of bringing warmth and cheer to others. Lowry sang an original piece about our Sunshine Coast “green and wet” Christmases during the meeting and supported us singing, too, accompanied by guitar. With Weegee’s prior communication through our newsletter and meeting announcements, new members participated with ease in the meeting’s tidings of joy.

New Traditions

This year my Christmas experience so far has been reinforced with positive feelings which I attribute to my connection with Toastmasters here on the Coast. While yearning for the old ways at times, I am encouraged by how co-creating traditions in new ways keeps bringing deeper levels of insight and inspiration into my life… to meditate upon or to potentially prepare a speech about, for example.

Our meeting last week was certainly one to write home about. Thank you everyone for making it so special.

Toastmasters Open House Week on the Coast Starts Oct. 18

Sunshine Coast Toastmasters Clubs open House fallToastmasters clubs on the Sunshine Coast will be hosting open house events the third full week of October!

At Toastmasters Open Houses, guests are invited to come and see how the self-improvement program works, listen to inspiring speeches and have the opportunity to chat with members about their experience. Guests and friends can even try their hand at impromptu speaking!

The three open house meetings are open-to-the-public and free. Pick one or visit all three events:

Tuesday October 18 at 6:30pm
Sunshine Toastmasters Club
Hummingbird Clinic
Mermaid Street, Sechelt

Wednesday, October 19 at 7am
Morningstars Toastmasters Club
Harmony Hall
686 Harmony Lane, Gibsons

Friday, October 21 at 6pm
Beachcombers Advanced Club
Sitas Spag and Suds

We hope to see you there!