About Brinker Toastmasters

Brinker Toastmasters is a member of Toastmasters International, the world’s largest nonprofit educational organization dedicated to helping men and women become more effective listeners, leaders, and speakers. We have been active in Vienna, Virginia, since 1998. Please keep reading to learn about our schedule and to contact us.

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Keeping Grammar in Perspective

Peter Coy takes a stab at keeping grammar in perspective. Worth the read, but it’s probably behind a paywall. Here are a couple of highlights.

I bend grammar rules to avoid sounding stuffy. But I get that not everyone is on board with that; some of you said that those of us who speak or write professionally should set an example by employing proper grammar.

“I’s” is not a word, of course, but the way things are going, it soon will be. If you’re a stickler for grammar, how long do you stand on the ramparts before you surrender? Ellen from Connecticut wrote that she is close to conceding defeat. “Correct grammar is no longer an indication of education or wealth or class. Grammar is dead,” she wrote.

News from the Open Board Meeting

CEO’s Report

The CEO’s report was not cheerful. Dan Rex noted that membership and the number of clubs have reached a historic low. Read the report at the link.

CEO Report

Toastmasters has responded in part by changing the membership requirement in the Distinguished Club Plan for this program year and next. Effective immediately, the membership requirement is now having either 20 members or a net growth of at least three (3) new, dual, or reinstating members as of June 30.

Pathways

First Vice President Morag Mathieson reported the following on Pathways—

In response to member feedback regarding the Basecamp user experience in Pathways, the Board of Directors has tasked the world headquarters team with exploring solutions to provide the following enhancements to the Basecamp learning management system

  • To support user-friendly and intuitive experience
  • To incorporate intuitive and user friendly options for collaboration between members
  • To implement a streamlined one-step level completion and award submission process
  • To offer a more accessible experience for all out members
  • To offer accessibility via a fully branded mobile application
  • To strengthen control over our intellectual property

A feasibility report is expected by the first quarter of 2023, and then attention will turn to the possibility of updating content, probably in the fourth quarter next year

Dues

There was an announcement that there would be no dues increase this year, but dues will now be reviewed annually instead of every three years. I’d bet on a dues increase next year.

Yoodli

Toastmasters will provide access to Yoodli to members at no additional cost. It’s a tool that provides real-time analytics on verbal, visual and vocal delivery including feedback on pace and pitch. It’s meant to complement the club evaluation. It will also allow sharing video of presentations to provide feedback from outside club, instantaneous . Should be available no earlier than late 2022. Here’s where you can find out more.