Using Visual Aids

Video: How To Use Visual Aids

by Toastmasters International

Video- visual aids

Using visual aids can be a great way to get your message across, but don’t rely on them as a cheat sheet. Your audience wants to hear your insights, stories and expertise. Not read it on the screen.

Learn how to effectively use visual aids and make sure your next presentation is a success! Here is a link to a great video directed by Toastmasters International. Take a look and learn how to use visual aids… better.

Click the Image above or this link to watch the video:

Fun Meeting Ideas – Comical Courtroom Caper

FUN Meeting Ideas

By Keith Maderer, DTM – Club Growth Director

One of the most important ways to build a great club is by having fun, inclusive and engaging meetings. While every club’s personality is different, the most successful clubs have a nice balance between structure and laughter. Every month we will try to share a different idea on how you can add some FUN to your meetings.


Comical Courtroom Caper

Try to allow 1-3 weeks preparation for this meeting to assign roles and give details of the topic and proceedings.

Choose a member to be the defendant, real or imagined, and assign a crime to them. One of the members portrays the character on trial. The meeting can be fun if the charges are something funny. For example, they could be charged with stealing the cookies from the cookie jar, Santa Claus damaging a roof, or Popeye selling steroid enriched spinach.

You can also search google for: “Worlds Dumbest Criminals”, or click the following link for other great ideas from Reader’s Digest.

Assign members to be the bailiff, judge, lawyers, news reporters, and conduct a mock trial. Vote for or against acquittal. The charges against the accused and the description of the scenario are handed out a week or two before the meeting. The two prepared speeches are the opening arguments by the prosecutor and defense attorney. Table topics is the testimony of the witnesses. News reporters will offer feedback on the opening remarks and testimony.

The judge is the general evaluator who oversees the entire trial meeting. Give each evaluator 2-3 minutes to comment on the speakers opening remarks and witness testimonies.

Typical 1 Hour Meeting Agenda and Roles:

  • Toastmaster: The Bailiff – Introduces all roles and keeps meeting moving
  • General Evaluator: The Judge – Oversees the meeting and adds final FUNNY verdict
  • Timer: Times all roles
  • Wordmaster: Same as always – Try to have a legal or trial theme.
  • Grammarian: Same as Always – Try to have a legal or trial bias.
  • Ah Counter: Same as Always
  • Speaker 1: Prosecuting Attorney – Opening Arguments (5-7 Minutes)
  • Speaker 2: Defense Attorney – Opening Arguments (5-7 minutes)
  • Table Topics Master: Randomly selects 3 – 4 witnesses for testimony – for or against
  • (1-2 minutes each)
  • Evaluator 1: News Reporter – Offers feedback on Speaker 1 (2-3 minutes)
  • Evaluator 2: News Reporter – Offers feedback on Speaker 2 (2-3 minutes)
  • General Evaluator: Delivers final role reports and verdict

Have fun with the roles. Take liberties to exaggerate and enhance testimony. Encourage members to add insight and humor throughout.

Most importantly, engage all members, use CC or advanced manual speeches to fill the speaking roles if possible… and have FUN.

If you have a FUN Meeting Idea that you would like to share, please send your ideas to Keith Maderer at If your idea is selected, it will be printed in the newsletter, and shared on the District 65 Blog.

PATHWAYS Ice Breaker – Training Module

Test Drive The New PATHWAYS Ice Breaker Training Module

Pathways - Ice Breaker Training Module

by Keith Maderer, DTM – Club Growth Director, District 65

Now we can all experience what the New Toastmasters PATHWAYS learning experience will look like.

Club Officers and mentors can now use this great tool to help prepare new members for their Ice Breaker speech project. It is very well laid out with some great worksheets, video content and a progress evaluation.

Even if you are already a DTM, take it for a test drive. I know I learned something new each time I reviewed it. I bet you will too.

Click Here to Access: (no login required)

Pathways Training Module – Ice Breaker

or copy this link into your browser: