Note: Due to COVID-19 safety and government restrictions, Toastmasters International is allowing all clubs to conduct meetings online. Visit our COVID-19 Updates page for more details. 

An online meeting can run more or less like a regular club meeting. It is an opportunity to learn skills that will be valuable in a remote work context, which many of our members are experiencing right now. Online club meetings also help us learn skills for hosting webinars and professional online meetings. Check out the resources below and give it a try. Let us know how it goes and help us continue to add to our best practices.

Is your club meeting online? Complete our Online Meeting Survey to share best practices and challenges.

Video Conferencing Software

Check if any of your club members have access to video conferencing software that your club can use. Below are some examples being used by Toastmasters clubs throughout the world.

Best Practices for Online Meetings

Each club is different and will need to figure out the guidelines that work for them. Below are some suggestions to consider.

  • Audio – Unmute only when speaking to reduce background noise.
  • Video – Depending on the size of your meeting or your internet bandwidth, you may need to turn off some or all webcams, except for the speaker and the timer. If using Zoom, check out Virtual Backgrounds.
  • Table Topic – The Topicsmaster can call out the member to respond, at which point the member can unmute, share their webcam, and speak.
  • Speaking Area – When thinking of the speaking area and hand gestures, it’s best to go side-to-side or up-and-down. Moving forward (towards the camera) and back is visually jarring and distracting.
  • Timing Signals - Use large paper that’s green, yellow, red. Speakers can pin the video of the timer. The timer can also change the virtual background color of their video feed.

Speakathon Speaking Opportunities Now through June 30, 2020

  • Clubs may partner with other clubs to host optional speakathons
  • Speaking opportunities must be provided to all participating clubs
  • Speeches must be Traditional or Pathways projects
  • Evaluations may be provided in-person or online

Resources