Zoom Etiquette

The mission of a Toastmasters Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth. We have moved our meetings to the zoom so we can continue to deliver our mission on line, until it is practical to meet in person again. In the world we are now find ourselves in online communication is part of our daily lives and we want to ensure our members train and develop themselves so they can thrive when using this medium. The skills that our members are learning in this new format are useful for on-line and face to face communications.

To ensure our on-line meetings work smoothly we operate within the following etiquette guidelines:

Be Zoom Ready

Check your equipment works in advance. Zoom allows you test your setting before a meeting which can be helpful especially when checking your sound/camera settings, just go to zoom.us/test.

Be on Time

A zoom meeting is the same as face to face Toastmasters meetings. It’s stressful turning up late so make sure you log into the meeting 5 minutes early so you are ready to go at 7.30pm


Part of the learning experience is to present to people so please keep your video on during the meeting. Please turn off your video if you need to use the bathroom or are interrupted during the meeting so it does not distract our speakers. We will have a short break during the session at which point you can choose to leave on/turn off the video function.

The Environment

Make sure you are aware of your surroundings when enabling your video as

people aren’t just seeing you, they’re also seeing whatever the camera is pointed at behind you. This is particularly important if you are speaking as you want people to be focusing on you and not what is happening behind you.

Video quality is improved with more lighting, just make sure the light is in front of you, not behind you – being backlit makes you harder to see.

You can experiment with presenting standing up as this keeps you dynamic and energetic. Top Tip- You can use and ironing board and position it at the right height for you if you want to present standing up.

The Camera.

If you’re presenting or speaking to the group, looking into the camera as this will give the appearance of eye contact, which is one of the elements of presenting well. It is also good

gauge reactions by looking at the screen, so alternating that with looking at the camera makes the audience feel like you’re really talking to them.


Background noise can be really distracting to speakers so if you are not speaking can you please remain on mute.

Screen share

Screen share is generally turned off for the meeting. If you need to share any documents as part of your talk please contact Ged Byrne


Make sure we can see your name (first name followed by last name).


There are a number of roles at each Toastmaster meeting, which we rotate amongst our members. Each role take-taker can be identified by a set of initials which appear before there name. If you have a role can you please rename yourself so people are aware of your role:

President – P

Toastmaster – TM

Timekeeper – TK

Ah-Counter – AC

Grammarian- G

Table-Topics Master – TTM

Evaluator – E

General Evaluator – GE

Speaker – S

Chat Function

We use the chat function during meetings for voting, providing feedback and asking questions. Although this tool is useful please your limit this so we can focus on our speakers.  

Club committee members will remain on the end of the meeting so can answers then or in between meetings too.

By Anita Muir – Vice President Membership

To new beginnings as well as endings

It was one of those evenings which you never want to end because you’re having so much fun. It was a smashing evening not only we had a we few guests visiting us from Eldergate toastmasters club in Milton Keynes they even took up roles and did a great job as timekeeper and General Evaluator. Its always interesting to get a different perspective and Jono gave us points that we could ponder about.

Ryan our President started the meeting with his commitment to inform the club of upcoming public speaking events and hopefully we as a team can gain a lot of knowledge through these events.

The table topics was headed by Paul who did dual jobs of being an evaluator as well a table topic master. The topics was all about Magic and we got lovely insights from accepting magic as an illusion to having the ability to fly like superman or go back in time. Or learning that magic is all about the choices we make even if we don’t have a clue who Houdini or Copperfield are. But at last the magic was conquered by Judy and she won the award for best table topic speaker. Ah! what a magical evening.

Prepared speeches was life itself as Mark started his toastmaster journey by giving a absolutely mind-blowing icebreaker which was so funny and made us all feel special by saying “The only certificate Warren Buffet has in his office is a toastmaster certificate” a very well earned Best speaker award and we are looking forward for Mark’s next speech.

It wasn’t just a new beginning but also a new ending as Aparna gave her last speech from the CC manual about the secrets of mindfulness and thus achieving the status of “Competent Communicator”.

Zsuzannah made the VPEs life a little simpler by giving an exemplary educational speech about the roles we have in a regular toastmasters meeting and how we can win in this public speaking poker.

Anthony our toastmaster for the evening was the king of spontaneity when we realised we didn’t have a table topic master and he led the session so interestingly. All the evaluators did a really great job and Chun took the cake for her evaluation of Mark.

The word of the day was Aphorism given by our grammarian Carmen and in spite of being a difficult word was used 4 times during the meeting.

And to prove West Herts is an ever evolving dynamic and growing club we had one new member who joined our family. WELCOME IAN

And more over our friend from Eldergate Kala introduced us to her book “The power of human energy” and we promised her we would check it out.

Phew! how much we can squeeze in to short two hours is magic itself and to repeat myself it was such a fun evening and I didn’t want it to to end.

Looking forward to our next meeting on 28th of August. See you there. CIAO

3 Pathway Speeches!

We are very proud our speakers get better and better each time! Today was a great meeting with three pathways speeches and great Table topic session! Ryan, who delivered a great speech on how Media exaggerates negative news, won the best speaker title!  Paul- who evaluated Ryan on his speech, gave a very informative feedback and took the best evaluator title! Anthony Boboe- was the best table topic speaker of the day! Welcome the winners!


Great meeting!

Our last meeting was a very good one! More than that- it was a great one! Not only did we have fun and good time spending, but we also had a very informative session. We have learned more about the importance of sleep, the reasons why people achieve success in life, the way telephone damages our lives and found out about Jack’s interesting profession. Our meetings are not just Toastmaster- we are a great team cheering up each other and creating a uniquely warm and welcoming atmosphere!

The winners of the meeting were: Diana- best speaker title, Aparna- best evaluator and Russel- best table topic speaker!


Toastmaster session+ football match

Those who managed to join Toastmaster session despite the temptation to watch the football match should have felt the special atmosphere we had – hearty speeches, lots of mutual feedbacks and laid-back ambience. Zsuzsanna started her journey as the club’s President and did her role great. Diana came up with a speech on relationship secret and the way she presented it- with such deep emotions and sincerity- made her performance special. Congrats to our winners Jed and Judy for the best evaluator title and speaker respectively. 

Best evaluator and speaker of the day

The first committee meeting of this Toastmaster Year

What a fantastic experience especially for those who became a member of the committee for the first time!  Congrats to our new committee team:  Zsuzsanna- President, Ajeet- VPE, Aparna-VPE, Ryan- VPM, Diana- VPPR.  We will do a great job together! Thank you as well to all our predecessors who did a proper handover and an extraordinary job last year: 19 new members and 9 points out of 10 for the club- this is a fantastic result- don’t you agree?

The coalition of Ex and New committee!


Our last meeting of this Toastmaster Year

This last meeting of Toastmaster year was a truly special one! It was an evening consecrated entirely to speeches and evaluations. Congratulations to Andrew Luis who finished his last 10th speech! Richard Beagle surprised us with his unusual format of speech entitled ,, What a year this was”  where he mentioned the most memorable speakers of the year- obviously with such a great speech he had no chances but to win the title of the best speaker of the evening! And of course, Diana’s speech about Moldova made the evening truly special given the distinctive wine and chocolates she brought for all!

The moment of concentration

Best Evaluator and Speaker Title+ Our Speakers in full action

Anthony’s last stand

The theme of the evening was ‘leaders’, which was fitting as it was the last evening we were to be led by our president Anthony Brennan, as we almost reach the end of the Toastmasters year.  Anthony’s been an excellent president over the past 12 months, but now passes the mantle to Zsuzsanna, following a unanimous vote on Wednesday night.

Zsuzsanna will officially take on the role in July and be joined by Ajeet and Aparna, who’ll share the Vice President (VP) Education role, Ryan in the role of VP Membership, Diana will take on VP Public Relations, Andrew the role of Treasurer, Chun as Sergeant at Arms and Emily as our Club Secretary.  Massive thanks to all of them for putting themselves forward for the roles, and also to those that have been carrying them out so well for the past year – Judy, Jack, Jill who are standing down as officers and Aparna, Ajeet and Andrew who are taking on the new roles.

Now onto the reason we all come to West Herts Speakers, the speaking element.  Our Table Topics session – the section of the evening in which we practice our impromptu speaking skills – was brilliantly led by Ged.  He had identified the various types of leader that exist and he asked members of the audience at random at talk about one of them.  Our winner was Diane, who joined us for the evening from Chiltern Toastmasters.  Well done Diane!

Diane wins best Table Topics

We had three prepared speeches of the evening.  Richard’s speech was delivered by video, as he pursues an advanced Toastmasters programme, Andrew delivered his 9th speech from the Competent Communicator (CC) manual enlightening us to where the term ‘thinking outside the box’ came from and Jill delivered her 10th speech from the CC manual encouraging us all to follow her simple tips to cut down on plastic consumption.  All excellent speeches, but it was Jill that won the Best Speaker award on this occasion.

Jill wins best speaker

As always, each prepared speaker & the table topics master is assigned an evaluator, who delivers their own speech critiquing the speaker.  Ajeet, Aparana, Aga and Ryan all delivered brilliant evaluations, but it was Ryan that celebrated his first victory in the Best Evaluator category.

Ryan wins best evaluator

Our next club meeting is Wednesday, 27th June. Expect some exciting twists at this next meeting, as we are having a Speechathon (six speeches, no table topics) to properly mark the end of the Toastmasters year and launch into the new with vigour.  The theme is Feast.  Richard is on course to receive his Advanced Communicator Bronze with his After Dinner speech.

Dress for dinner and join us for a night of fun and fantastic speaking!