Word of the day – Harmony

Word of the day – Harmony

– Kathy Bullock

Is Harmony a Girl?

Harmony is what musicians, families, peace advocates, and speakers all wish for. For what is
harmony? It is the “pleasing arrangement of parts,” as Merriam-Websters puts it.

The flute, oboe, trumpet, and violin, their different mechanics of making sounds, blending
together to carry us along a smooth journey of sound – unless it’s a heavy metal concert, with
discordant sounds, meant to shake us up.

The parents pleasantly, but firmly guiding their kids; their children happily doing what their told,
attending classes, and doing their homework on time. Let’s not mention the heavy metal version
of dissonance of family life.

Countries trading with each other fairly, respecting borders, and giving their citizens equal
access to societies resources. War, police brutality, elite wealth, what are those?

And what about us? The toastmasters? A speech with a catchy opening, clearly defined
introduction, three good points with statistics and evidence when needed, humour, anecdotes,
wrapping it up with a punchy conclusion and clear recommendations. Deftly delivered by a
resonant, harmonious voice. I’ll let you fill in the non-harmonious version of the speech. We’ve
all experienced that, no?

Harmony was a gangly girl with feet too big for her legs, elephant ears and hair that wouldn’t lay
flat. She was warm, helpful, and people felt inspired after spending time with her. How
harmonious was Harmony then?

Word of the day – Harmony

Public Speaking Tip #1

– Kathy Bullock

The meeting Chair introduces your name and speech title, you unmute, anxiousness rising on
your sweaty palms in anticipation. You have practiced, you will be fine, your inner voice
soothes. You open with a catchy quote, and then stumble over the last few words, your tongue
and lips as heavy as treacle. “Huh?” your inner voice, caught unaware, exclaims.

One of the things we often forget to do just before speaking is warm up. Would a sprinter
change into her running clothes, walk out of the locker room into the stadium, and dash down
the track? Would a swimmer change into his bathing clothes, walk out of the locker room, dive
into the pool, and barrel down to the other end? They would not. They warm up before the
real event, stretch, breathe, light movements, and the like.

Think about all the muscles used in speaking – the tongue, lips, cheeks, jaws, vocal cords, neck,
shoulders – all these need to be warm, loose, pliable and flexible, ready to enunciate those
vowel-consonant combinations that are words. So, for a speaker, the need to warm up the
muscles is the same as an athlete.

Youtube is full of speech warm up exercises. Anna, from Verba Vocals, has one of my favourite
quick warmups [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb1Cv7aDXmk]: Mouth and face
stretches; lip rolls; tongue routines; chest relaxers; vocal cord warmups; and diaphragm
breathing. The finale – tongue twisters: Peter Piper picked a pick of pickled peppers.
If you want your tongue and lips to dance lightly over your words next time you speak, so that
the audience is not caught up in deciphering, instead of understanding, the words’ meaning, try
warming up before you begin.

Word of the day – Deliberate

Word of the day – Deliberate

– Kathy Bullock

Was Glen Abbey Toastmasters rash in holding a regular meeting on Wednesday night?  Not at all!  It was a deliberate decision made after deliberation.  Can you guess what the word of the day was at our meeting?   Deliberate carefully before you answer, don’t rush.

If you had to underline different versions of the word of the day, and you underlined “deliberate” and “deliberation,” you would be right!  Our grammarian introduced several variations of the word “deliberate,” in its verb, adjectival and adverb forms.  Dictionary.com defines the verb “deliberate” in slightly different ways, depending if it is to be used with or without an object.  

  • A. to weigh in the mind; consider (with an object): 
    • to deliberate a question 
  • B. to think carefully or attentively; reflect (used without object):
    • She deliberated for a long time before giving her decision.
  • to consult or confer formally: 
    • The jury deliberated for three hours.

As an adjective dictionary.com offers three nuances:

  • A. carefully weighed or considered; studied; intentional: 
    • a deliberate lie.
  • B. characterized by deliberation or cautious consideration; careful or slow in deciding:
    • Moving away from the city and all its advantages required a deliberate decision.
  • C. leisurely and steady in movement or action; slow and even; unhurried:
    • moving with a deliberate step.

As an adverb, “deliberately” is connected to the central idea here, which revolves around the idea of doing something slowly, carefully, and on purpose:

  • A. on purpose; with clear intent: 
    • Is this just bad journalism, or an attempt to deliberately mislead the public?
  • B. with careful thought or consideration: 
    • The board is committed to moving deliberately on this important initiative.
  • C. in a calm and unhurried way: 
    • He was careful to move slowly and deliberately so as not to scare them off.

We can see in all these subtle distinctions the connections between being “unhurried” and “intentional.”  But unless you knew the meaning of the word in advance, you might be confused by these various uses:  What can we see connecting: “She moved the Queen to check the King after deliberating for 15 minutes” to “She walked deliberately into the cold river”?

Unfortunately, there is no method to the madness of English, but if we deliberately memorise the meanings of words, we may deliberate well in our word choices for our speeches.

Halloween Haunt

Halloween Haunt

It’s Halloween! Join us for some spooky speeches!

Chairperson Zehra Raza hosted a costume party titled: Halloween Haunt, on Wednesday, Oct 27, which was a load of fun!

It’s Fall Again & It’s Raining Gold

It’s Fall Again & It’s Raining Gold

It’s Fall again. What a beautiful season – especially the warm weather and beautiful colors.

We had a great meeting titled: It’s Fall Again & It’s Raining Gold

Chairperson Bahareh Tehrani asked us all to speak about the special activities, recipes or traditions that we love in Fall.

It was a great meeting sharing wonderful Fall memories. And we voted in another great new member – Zina!

How To Leave Your Comfort Zone

How To Leave Your Comfort Zone

Did you ever challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone?

We had a great meeting on Sep 29th, 2021, sharing our experience and thoughts about leaving the comfort zone with our Area Director, Ian Horne. Table Topic Master, Nisarg, challenged the audience with thoughtful questions below:

  1. What is your definition of Comfort Zone?
  2. How can someone leave their comfort zone?
  3. Why should someone leave their comfort zone?
  4. Can you give us an example when you had to leave your comfort zone?
  5. Can you give us an example when you decided to not leave your comfort zone?
  6. How do you encourage yourself to take risk(s)?

If you would like to challenge yourself for public speaking, please join our weekly meeting as a guest to hear more.

New Beginnings 2021

New Beginnings 2021

As Toastmasters International starts a new chapter for the year 2021-2022, in our club meeting on July 14th, 2021, Glen Abbey Toastmasters shared their plans in their Toastmasters’ journey.

We are all looking forward to this new year with a commitment to doing something new and interesting.

Happy New Toastmasters Year to you all!

Music Meeting 2021

Music Meeting 2021

What a great meeting on June 23, 2021. In honor of World Music Day on June 21, Chairperson Joan Teri encouraged us to share all our stories about music and what it does to our souls, ears, and more.  

Many Glen Abbey Toastmasters shared what music means to them and especially how during COVID – music brought joy and happiness.

Table Topics included a playlist of songs with famous dances, and a number of Toastmasters showed off their dance moves. The list:

  • The Time Warp
  • Jerusalema
  • Macarena
  • YMCA
  • Bad Romance
  • Gangnam Style
  • Jai Ho
  • Wavin’ Flag

Do you know the dances to these songs?

Adventures in Food Meeting 2021

Adventures in Food Meeting 2021

What a delectable (word of the day) night we had! Our meeting Chair Gordon Vuong sent this email to all of us five days before the meeting:

What is an Adventure in Food?

They say “variety is the spice of life”. 

I say the BEST way to get variety in life is through the literal spices, textures, flavours of yummy food! You can learn a lot about a country, its people, traditions, and culture through its food. Since we cannot really travel now, we can still go on a CULINARY ADVENTURE! 

I encourage you to support your local restaurants and order take out from a new place. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, experiment and cook a new recipe you’ve never made before. Not so adventurous? That’s okay, tell us all about your favorite comfort food that gives you warm fuzzy memories when you eat it.

Please come ready to share stories of your own adventures in food!   

Bon Appétit!
Your food obsessed Chair 

Of course the whole club jumped in to participate – because of course we all love to eat!

Great meeting theme Mr. Chair!

Earth Day Meeting 2021

Earth Day Meeting 2021

GATM celebrated Earth Day 2021 with a special Earth Day themed meeting.

The Toast to Planet Earth set the stage for our appreciation of the planet.

GATM Toastmasters spoke of how Earth Day impacts them and the many things they do to help the planet. During Table Topics, many spoke of the actions they take in their daily lives – from:

  • eating more plant based diets
  • how they are reducing, reusing, and recycling
  • how they have helped in reforestation
  • what they do for climate change, and
  • how they reduce waste when out

Also there were two great speeches on Different Abilities and Communication Styles!

Want to take actions for Earth Day this year? Check out the Earth Day Take Action page

District 86 Toastmasters 2020-2021 Conference

District 86 Toastmasters 2020-2021 Conference

District 86 is hosting it’s Spring Conference from April 10 to April 16, 2021. Over the course of the week, there will be 15 workshops, contests, the business meeting, and lots of fun events.

The conference is online and FREE this year. It is a great opportunity to:

  • Learn new ideas, strategies, and techniques to help your clubs, areas, and divisions succeed.
  • Connect face to face and network with like-minded Toastmasters from across Ontario
  • Spur your personal growth, thinking, creativity, and planning from outstanding workshops
  • Be Inspired by Distinguished Toastmasters and District Award Winners who are recognized for achieving their goals 
  • Be Amazed by fabulous contest speakers, motivated presenters, and selfless volunteers
  • Renew Friendships by coming home for a TM Conference – an annual gathering of new & old friends
  • Re-Energize your passion and regain your focus for your own Toastmasters journey
Spring Is Just Around The Corner Meeting 2021

Spring Is Just Around The Corner Meeting 2021

GATM welcomed spring on March 17th 2021 with a session theme “Spring is just around the corner!” and springy backgrounds. 

Hello Spring from Glen Abbey Toastmasters!

Valentines Day Meeting 2021

Valentines Day Meeting 2021

Everything was coming up hearts at the February 11th Valentines Day themed meeting at Glen Abbey Toastmasters.

Chair Gordon Vuong led the theme by sharing: This week, there are three big holidays that celebrate love – Valentine’s Day, Family Day, and Chinese Lunar New Year. The meeting theme was The Love You Give.

And he challenged everyone to wear red or have red in their backgrounds. Of course Glen Abbey Toastmasters delivered. Great meeting!

Christmas Meeting 2020

Christmas Meeting 2020

Occasion and special events are always an opportunity for GATM members to be creative, have fun and celebrate our wonderful culture!

In our online 2020 Christmas party, we played “Would you rather …” questions and answers, danced, stretched together and talked about 2020 highlights in our lives and what we were looking forward to in 2021. 

Not only did we have fun before the Holidays, but also we learned more about each other.

This is how the GATM family celebrated Christmas and welcomed 2021!

Halloween Meeting 2020

Halloween Meeting 2020

We celebrated Halloween at GlenAbbey Toastmasters like never before!

Unlike other years that we had an in-person celebration for Halloween, we met online for this year. However, that did not stop us from wearing costumes and having fun.

We changed our names to scary ones and told terrifying stories! This was one of the most memorable halloween celebrations at GATM!

Halloween 2019

Halloween 2019

We had our Halloween improv meeting on October 30, 2019! Everyone looked great in their costumes, and we had a lot of fun with the Improv.

2017 – 25th Anniversary Charter Party

Glen Abbey Toastmasters is celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary – 1992-2017

Join us for a celebration dinner on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at Tavolo Restaurant in Oakville. 

Dinner will include:

Complimentary Cocktail
Antipasti – Mixed Greens Salad OR Caesar Salad OR Soup
Entrée – Chicken Supreme OR Tagliatelle Bolognese OR Margherita Pizza
Coffee OR Tea
Celebration Dessert

Tickets are available at all Glen Abbey Toastmasters meetings or by emailing info@glenabbeytoastmasters.org 

To current and past members – we’d love to have you join us to commemorate 25 years of learning, speaking, leadership, and great friendships.

GATM Workshop: The Art Of Effective Evaluation

The Art of Effective Evaluation is a workshop designed to help Toastmasters develop the knowledge, motivation, and skills you need to become more effective evaluators.

  • Don’t understand all the parts of an evaluation?  This workshop willl help.
  • Don’t understand how to evaluate to motivate?  This workshop will help.
  • Uncomfortable about giving an evaluation?  This workshop will help.

Over two hours, we will work through these objectives:

  • Recognize the purpose and value of effective speech evaluation
  • Discover ways we can improve our evaluations skills- individually, professionally and with Toastmasters
  • Understand how effective evaluations help everyone – the speaker, the evaluator, the audience, and the club


  • Reema Duggal, DTM

2015 Holiday Meeting – Whose Line Is It Anyway?

December2015 Toastmasters

Glen Abbey Toastmasters will be hosting their annual Holiday meeting again this year – Chaired by Toastmaster Tony Corrie.  This year, we’re going to be doing a spin on the popular tV series “Whose Line Is It Anyway” – the ultimate impromptu speaking event.  If you’re not familiar with the program – check out these videos on YouTube

Halloween 2015

HappyHalloween District86

We held out annual Halloween themed meeting – Monster’s Ball – on October 28, 2015.  Everyone got into the spirit wearing their orange, black, purple, and masks. As always, it was lots of fun with spooky tales, haunting music, candy – and of course great speeches from great Toastmasters!.