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Nous sommes un club bilingue!
Le club St-Lawrence Toastmasters est un club bilingue à Montréal. Nos réunions hebdomadaires se déroulent en français et en anglais.

We are a bilingual club!
Located in downtown Montreal, St-Lawrence Toastmasters is a bilingual club. All meetings are held in both English and French.

One of the many skills that we get to develop at Toastmasters is the ability to prepare and deliver powerful speeches that can inspire an audience, and even persuade with power so that people will want to take action.

Here is Harrison Ford speaking at the
Global Climate Action Summit that took place in San Francisco recently.

(From: NowThis. Full speech can be found here or here.)

If we focus on the content of the speech, we notice that he inspires the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement. He does this, for example, by speaking with passion and by using logic and emotion to support his position. Here are some excerpts:

“You’re here, I’m here, because we care. Not just for today. But we care passionately for the future.”

“While you work to recognize the challenge of climate change, I beg you, do not forget nature. Because the destruction of nature today accounts for more global emissions than all of the cars in the world. We can put solar panels on each and every house. We can even turn every car into an electric vehicle. As long as Sumatra burns we’ll have failed.”

“Nature doesn’t need people; people need nature.”

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Would you like to know more about how Toastmasters can help you be a more effective speaker and a stronger leader? Feel free to come visit us.

Here is the programme for the St. Lawrence Toastmasters Montreal meeting of September 25, 2018.

One of the great things about every Toastmasters meeting is the “prepared speeches” session. This is where members have the opportunity to present a speech that they have prepared in advance, for which they have different goals. One goal may be speaking to entertain, while another goal may be to motivate and challenge listeners to adopt higher, nobler attitudes, feelings, values, hopes, desires, and behaviors.

To give you a better idea of the sort of speeches that one could expect to hear at Toastmasters, here is a story shared from a great resource called The Moth.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Connection

The-Moth-Michelle-Fecteau

Michelle Fecteau is working at The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Museum when she meets an enthusiastic history buff on a pilgrimage with no place to stay.

“Moth stories are true, as remembered by the storyteller and always told live.” You can always listen to other great stories at The Moth.  Download any of them. Listen to them on your way to the office. That inner feeling of satisfaction having listened to a story shared on The Moth is exactly the feeling that you might get when listening to members give speeches at Toastmasters.

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Would you like to come in person to hear interesting speeches shared by people who are passionate about public speaking in Montreal? Then visit St-Lawrence Toastmasters Club.

Here is the programme for the meeting of March 6, 2018.

Il peut nous arriver de penser que l’importance d’un discours repose sur la manière que la personne le présente, par exemple à travers le langage corporel, le contact visuel avec l’auditoire, et peut-être même du support visuel.

Si cela peut en effet être utile, il ne faut pas oublier que c’est le contenu d’un discours qui est toujours important, comme le démontre la vidéo suivante.  Puisque c’était pour une émission radio, les auditeurs n’avaient donc pas l’opportunité (ni le besoin) de voir l’oratrice s’exprimer en public, donc l’essentiel était vraiment dans le contenu du discours.

Rosalie Bonenfant : Est-ce que je te plais, s’il te plait?

(Pour le début du discours, vous pouvez défiler à 0m30sec.)

À notre avis, ce discours est une puissante réflexion bien songée, pertinente, d’une grande intelligence, et qui présente un angle susceptible de toucher les émotions de l’auditoire.  Il pourrait aisément répondre aux objectifs du Projet # 10 “Inspirer votre auditoire” du programme Toastmasters du Communicateur Compétent, qui sont de donner ”un discours inspirant qui permet de motiver un auditoire à s’améliorer sur le plan personnel, émotionnel, professionnel ou spirituel.  Le discours doit lancer un appel en faveur d’une grande cause et inciter l’auditoire à avoir des pensées plus nobles et à se dépasser dans ses actes.”

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Voici le programme de la réunion hebdomadaire du Club St-Lawrence Toastmasters Montréal (soirée du 9 mai 2017). 

The following video was shared by one of our members who came across it on Trendingly. As Emily Davis mentions quite fittingly:

This 93-Year-Old Grandpa Had The Crowd In Stitches At An Open-Mic Night With His Hilarious ‘Love Hurts’ Story.

Tom Sitter won The Moth in Madison StorySLAM at the High Noon Saloon February 13, 2017. Tom scored our first ever 10 with his winning story tonight. The memory of the girls he carefully selected to give his five valentines to in 1933 was strong enough that 84 years later he still knew their names.

As Toastmasters, not only do we enjoy seeing entertaining speeches, we also like to reflect on what elements allowed the speaker to give such a successful speech.  Among the things we observed:

  • He uses gestures very often, and in a very natural way.
  • He provides vivid descriptions that help the audience feel as if they were living the situation with him, for example by mentioning names of people and describing each setting.
  • He is very comfortable taking pauses.  These give the audience adequate time to digest and appreciate, and to laugh heartily.

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Here is the programme for the St-Lawrence Montreal Toastmasters Club meeting of May 2, 2017.

Please note that our regular weekly meetings will start again on Tuesday January 10, 2017.

Here is the programme for the upcoming Toastmasters meeting.

Wishing you a wonderful new year!

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Until then, here is a video you may find interesting.

Nancy Duarte: The Secret Structure of Great Talks

From the "I have a dream" speech to Steve Jobs’ iPhone launch, many great talks have a common structure that helps their message resonate with listeners. In this talk, presentation expert Nancy Duarte shares practical lessons on how to make a powerful call-to-action.

Since the theme of our next Toastmasters meeting will be “Teachers”, we felt it might be fun to post the following TED Talk. (We actually wrote a post about it a few years ago, but it continues to inspire us, just like many teachers do!) 

This is a wonderful talk given by Sir Ken Robinson at a TED annual conference (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design):

How schools kill creativity
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity“.

TED Talk Sir Ken Robinson

The duration of the presentation is about 20 minutes, which at first may seem long but is well worth it, especially for Toastmasters looking to be inspired by what an inspirational speech can do.  Sir Ken gives such a remarkable talk that after the first few seconds you can’t help but be absorbed by his speech.

This talk has so many points that can inspire a Toastmaster: a great beginning and end, humour, story-telling, excellent choice of words, clear organization, great persuasion.  All this communicated in a most effective manner.  Enjoy!

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Are you interested in knowing more about how Toastmasters can help you prepare your own inspiring speeches?  Come visit our club located in Montreal!

Here is the programme for the Toastmasters meeting of January 27, 2015.

Have you ever wished to connect more with your audience or to be more persuasive when you speak? 

In this TED Talk, Julian Treasure explains how to talk with more empathy and how you can use your voice to create emotion.

This is a perfect reminder to refer to when preparing your Toastmasters Project 6 “Vocal Variety”. 

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Here is the programme for the Toastmasters meeting of October 28.

Last week Emma Watson (well-known actress for her role in Harry Potter movies) delivered a powerful and moving speech at the United Nations, inviting men to join in the fight for gender equality. 

The Huffington Post mentions that in her role as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, she spoke about how impossible it is to achieve equality of the sexes if only one sex participates in the fight.  It quotes, “I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.

What can we as Toastmasters learn from Emma Watson’s speech?

Her speech actually meets several of the objectives that we Toastmasters give ourselves when preparing speeches based on the Competent Communication manual.  Here are just a few examples:

Some objectives from Project 10: Inspire Your Audience

  • To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.

Some objectives from Project 9: Persuade with Power

  • Persuade listeners to adopt your viewpoint or ideas or to take some action.
  • Appealing to the audience’s interests.
  • Use logic and emotion to support your position.?

Some objectives from Project 7: Research Your Topic

  • Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples, and illustrations gathered through research.

Some objectives from Project 6: Vocal Variety

  • Use pauses to enhance your message.

Some objectives from Project 2. Organize Your Speech

  • Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
  • Create a strong opening and conclusion

We particularly enjoyed hearing her own personal anecdotes, for example her experience when she was 8 years old, being told she was “bossy” because she wanted to direct the plays that they would put on for their parents. Personal stories such as these help to reach out more effectively to the audience.

Next time you come across an interesting speech, try to think of what it is that made the speech so effective. This can help you more effectively learn how to apply similar techniques that we learn at Toastmasters for your own speeches.

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Interested in knowing more about how Toastmasters in Montreal can help you communicate more effectively in public and become a more effective leader?  Feel free to come visit us.

Yes it’s rather strange to think about Christmas since we’re in spring right now.  However, Christian Turianskyj a member of our St. Lawrence Toastmasters club in Montreal recently shared a link with us, related to a speech that he had given at our club a few months ago.  This article appeared on the West Island Gazette, so we thought it might be nice to share with you as well.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-11-27-18

St-Lawrence Toastmasters member Christian Turianskyj remembers a very special Christmas
(Photo by John Mahoney / The Gazette)

Click to read the article, “HOLIDAY MEMORIES: Kindly landlady’s gift touched heart of lonely student in 1963”.