HubSpot Toastmasters Blog


What is the Toastmasters Leadership Program - Plus Tips On Getting Certified Fast

Posted by Ellie Mirman

Oct 17, 2013, 9:38 AM

CL-pinWhen we think of Toastmasters, we think of public speaking. After all, this is a group where we can practice and improve our speaking skills, right? (Well, to employ the classic improv technique,) Yes, and this is a group where we can also practice and improve our leadership skills. Whether you do this while also working towards your Competent Communicator certification or you've chosen this as your main focus for your participation in the group, this is a valuable effort for your long term career as well as your immediate day job.

Great Leaders Are Great Speakers

It turns out that most great leaders are also great speakers. After all, there's so much speaking when it comes to leading - organizing and delegating, motivating people, mentoring and building teams. And there are quite a few leaders in history that were Toastmasters! Such as:

  • Nancy Brinker, Founder of Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Former US Ambassador to Hungary
  • Peter Coors, Chairman of Coors Brewing Company
  • KC Jones, Former Coach of the Boston Celtics
  • James Lovell, US Astronaut on missions including Apollo 13
  • Linda Lingle, Former Governor of Hawaii

At this point, Toastmasters is grooming hundreds of thousands of speakers and leaders across the world - there are more than 14,000 Toastmasters clubs in more than 120 countries, totalling close to 300,000 members.

What is the Toastmasters Leadership Program?

The Competent Leader Certification is the first in the leadership track of Toastmasters and it includes 10 projects focused on different skills necessary for being a successful leader. Skills include listening, critical thinking, giving feedback, delegating, motivating, and mentoring. For each skill, there are a number of roles or projects you can take on to practice that skill. For example, to practice your listening skills, you can take any 3 of 4 roles during a typical meeting: Ah/Um Counter, Speech Evaluator, Grammarian, or Table Topics Speaker.

How to Get Your Competent Leader Certification in Record Time

I ended up getting my CL in no time, almost by accident, becoming the first in our club to do so. Here are two tips for all those future CLs who would like to get this certification under their belt.

Tip #1: Take every opportunity to participate.

Participate in every meeting you attend. Without even realizing it, this is how I got my CL so quickly - I participated in almost every meeting. Taking on roles every chance you get helps you finish your CL projects as fast as possible. (Plus, in doing so, you lead the rest of the group in participating more in meetings.)

Tip #2: Pick the roles most frequently tied to CL projects.

If you want to be strategic, check the roles you need to fill to complete your next project in the CL manual.  If you want to be sneaky or lazy (like me) and don't want to sift through what you should do next, here's my cheat sheet. Below are the number of mentions of each role or project in the CL manual.

  • General Evaluator - 5
  • Speech Evaluator - 4
  • Toastmaster - 4
  • Grammarian - 4
  • Organize a speech contest, club event, membership campaign, marketing campaign, or manage the website - 3
  • Speaker - 2
  • Table Topics Master - 2
  • Ah/Um Counter - 1
  • Table Topics Speaker - 1
  • Timer - 1
  • Mentor another member - 1

With these tips, I expect we'll be seeing new certified CLs popping up left and right. To get started, don't forget to sign up for a role in an upcoming meeting! And hey, if you get your CL in record time, there's an Advanced Leader Program waiting for you afterward. After all, the learning never stops!

Sign up for a role in the next meeting

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5 Talks Every Toastmasters Member Should See

Posted by Magdalena Georgieva

Oct 7, 2013, 11:46 AM

So you are new to Toastmasters or have been doing public speaking for a bit. What are some speeches that can get you to the next level?

Start by watching a few presentations that do a great job of highlighting the techniques you are about to master as a member of your club. We have collected a list of some fantastic talks below that will undoubtedly inspire you. Enjoy!

1. Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter

This is one of the most enjoyable talks I have seen lately for a couple of reasons. First, it's told by the young and charismatic Sarah Kay, a performing poet and poetry teacher. Second, the talk has such rhythm and passion that I can only admire Kay's deep self-expression techniques. I would recommend seeing this video as you prepare for Toastmasters Speech 10: Inspire Your Audience.

2. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

This is probably the most practical talk from a Toastmasters perspective. Cuddy shares some tips on body language and how that impacts one's performance in stressful situations like public speaking. She encourages viewers to expand their posture and smile, thus radiating confidence and victory for a few minutes. Such daily preparation, Cuddy scientifically proved, should help keep the stress away and inspire confidence.

3. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Sinek defines the Golden Circle - What, How and Why - and explains the way such structure makes a great leader. Impactful brands like Apple, Sinek argues, come from inside of the circle - from the Why. The Why offers a great technique for persuasive speech that you might do in the future. Watch this talk as you prepare for Toastmasters Speech 9: Persuade With Power.

4. Conan O'Brien: 2011 Dartmouth College Commencement Address

Conan O'Brien's commencement speech is a great example of how to instill humor in your speech and use pauses for greater effect. Utilize techniques from this video for your Toastmasters Speech 6: Vocal Variety.

5. Andrew Dlugan - Face the Wind

This is a Toastmasters speech delivered by Andrew Dlugan. It shows a great usage of humor and the speaker also inspires with vocal variety and gestures, which makes this video a fantastic lesson for Toastmasters Speech 5: Your Body Speaks.

Are there any other speeches you would like to add here? Share your comments below!


4 Public Speaking Tips I Learned from Music

Posted by Steve Haase

Sep 24, 2013, 10:00 AM

Steve Haase Trumpet

Photo by Tara Jones Photography

I started playing piano at age 5 and first picked up the trumpet at age 10. I fell in love with the instrument, pursued it, and eventually played professionally for about a decade

Being a musician has informed my public speaking in many ways. The four most powerful public speaking lessons I learned from making music are:

  • Have something to say
  • Use space to your advantage
  • Develop and leverage your technique
  • Practice. Practice. Practice.

Let's unpack them:

1. Have something to say

Public speaking and music both happen in the moment, live, between you and audience. Even when it's recorded, a performance or a speech is being experienced by the listener in real time.

Therefore, your job as a speaker, just like being a musician, is to move the audience. Make them laugh, make them think, get them riled up! Whatever you're doing, you must connect with your listener and have an impact. 

Think of your favorite performer and how they own the stage. Whether it's an outrageous rock and roller or a poised classical musician, a great performer exudes confidence and charisma. And guess what, that might not be how they feel inside! Stage fright and nerves happen to everyone. However, if you have something to say that you are passionate about, that will carry you through any patches of dread you may experience.

And there's nothing more compelling and attractive than seeing someone put their whole selves into what they're doing. You will take the audience on a journey if you're simply speaking about what you care about.

2. Use space to your advantage

One of my favorite musicians is Miles Davis, who was a master of space—listening to one of his solos is a study in exactly why "less is more." Music happens between the notes, and speaking happens between the words. If you don't pause to breathe, you will overwhelm your audience and eventually lose them. 

You will also miss out on one of your most powerful tools for making a point go deeper: the pause.

Try it sometime and you'll see, pausing at the right moment transmits confidence and presence. Besides, the stage is yours while you are on it, so you might as well experiment with strategic silence. 

3. Develop and leverage your technique

The more technical prowess you possess, the more impact your message will have (provided you follow steps 1 and 2 above). The three techniques that apply equally to speaking and music are repetition, dynamics, and metaphor. 

Repetition – Repeating something makes it stand out in your listener's mind. Repeating something lets people know that what you just said is important. Repeating something also gives you a place to start if you're not totally sure what to say next, and often results in a brilliant and possibly unexpected flourish. 

Dynamics – Just like speaking without pausing is hard on the ears, speaking or playing at only one volume makes for a dull listening experience. Let your intended emotional impact lead your choice of dynamics. If you want to convey anger or surprise, raise your voice. When letting people in on a secret, make them lean in for it and listen closely. 

Metaphor – When it comes to effective speaking tools and techniques, metaphor is your 800-pound gorilla. Analyzing the greatest speeches in history you will find metaphor used throughout. In music, an equivalent to metaphor is the quote, when you use something your audience already knows (a familiar melody, beat pattern, harmonic progression, etc) to connect what you're saying to the pre-existing meaning from the quote. The effect of this kind of cross-polination is similar in music and speaking: you bypass people's defenses by appealing to something they already know, making it more likely that you will move them.

4. Practice. Practice. Practice. 

One of my musical heroes was Adolph "Bud" Herseth, principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony for over 50 years. I was fortunate enough to have had several lessons with him when I was in high school, and after the first one I asked him to autograph my part to Mahler's 5th symphony (it has a very prominent role for the trumpet, and his recordings of this piece were the gold standard). He graciously obliged and added the advice I offer you here, "Practice practice practice." If you want to be great, you must try, and fail, and learn, and refine, and grow, and do it some more. Being a great musician or a great public speaker both require time, dedication, imagination, and creativity. And the results are worth every bit of effort you put in.

Sign up for the next meeting 


4 Core Areas to focus when preparing for your speech

Posted by Anand Rajaram

Sep 16, 2013, 4:00 PM

As you progress on your 10-speech journey towards becoming a Competent Communicator, Each speech focuses on a key concept. However, there are certain elements applicable to all speeches. None of these are surprising. In fact they are pretty obvious and kind of boring, Yet, not always followed (sort of like eating your veggies and exercising every day). They tend to make the difference between an average speech and an exceptional.

1. Know thy audience

As illustrated in Six Minutes blog, the best speeches are at the intersection of what you know, what you love and what your audience cares about. This is the most important takeaway (very obvious, yet most commonly ignored). If your audience cannot relate to the topic or doesnt care for it, nothing else matters.

2. Start with an outline

What really helps me is to have a clearly defined outline. Structuring the speech in three key parts (the opening, middle and the end) is a proven approach that gives a clear structure to your speech. I also like to memorize the opening, the end and the key transition phrases between the three parts. I typically spend 40 - 50% of my total preparation time on the outline. A strong outline is key to an engaging speech. Another practical tip, especially if you are a bit nerdy like me: When preparing your outline, opt for a whiteboard or paper. That way you can focus on it (no distracting emails) and you can easily try different approaches without feeling too committed to a single approach early on. 

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

The difference between a good speech and a great speech is practice. Yeah, this is even more obvious than "Know thy Audience" and even less followed. I'd practice in front of a mirror (or a camera) a couple of times before I practice with my mentor (If you havent already signed up for a ToastSpot mentor, you should). I have got great actionable feedback before every one of my speeches and presentations. (Special thanks to Maggie and Sarah who have helped me out on this). Practicing is the best way to weed out crutch words in your speech. If there are specific areas that you are working on, be sure to let your mentor know during the practice. For example, I always feel I dont pause enough, and ask my mentors to specifically look for that in my practice speeches. 

4. Right before the speech

Body language expert Amy says that practicing power poses before your speech could give you a sense of confidence and a "go get 'em" attitude. If you have any pre-speech rituals, go right ahead and follow them. (I tend to take a long walk to the kitchen, fill up some water and take three deliberate sips. No judging!) Make a mental note of how / where you can use the Word of the day in your speech. Look around in the audience and make a mental note of where the familiar faces are sitting. Familiar faces are a great starting point to make eye contact during your speech. 

And here is a bonus point: 

5. After the speech

Congratulations. You just took another strong step towards becoming a great public speaker. Hopefully your speech was very well received by the audience. Be easy on yourself. I often find myself in a position where I focus only on all the things that I forgot to mention or a specific transition that did not come out as I had intended. It is all right. Enjoy the rest of the evening. Be sure to take note of specific areas to work on for the next speech and make the most of the evaluators' feedback. Afterall, Toastmasters is supposed to be (and is) fun. 

What has helped you when preparing for your speech? Practice any rituals? Know any secrets ? Did I miss anything obvious? Let me know in these comments.


How to Get Started With HubSpot’s Toastmasters in 4 Easy Steps

Posted by Adam Gerard

Sep 9, 2013, 11:49 AM

Adam Gerard discussing scrapple at Toastspot during his 4th speech.We’ve all been there: You want to improve your speaking skills, whether it’s public speaking or just sounding better on the phone. You know HubSpot has a Toasmasters group (named “Toastspot,” naturally) and it sounds like a great idea, but everything after that is a little hazy.

Let’s clear up some of that haze. Here’s how to get started with Toastspot in 4 easy steps.

1) Fill Out a Landing Page
This is HubSpot afterall so why shouldn’t step 1 involve a Landing Page:

Yes I'm Interested in Becoming a Toastspot Member!

What does filling out this Landing Page mean? Well, it tells us you’re interested in learning more about Toastspot, and thinking about attending your first meeting. The Toastspot officers will get an email that you’ve signed up and that day you’ll get a message from one of them (email, HipChat, or someone might even walk over to your desk and shake your hand to welcome you to Toastmasters).

We will also put you into a friendly nurturing campaign giving you some additional information about how Toastspot works.

2) Come to a Meeting!
Seriously, just come to a meeting. Toastmasters meets every other Thursday downstairs in Benioff (with a Speech Marathon one Friday every month during lunch). Check out the Toastspot signup sheet to see which next Thursday evening is right for you.

If you’re nervous, don’t worry about speaking at all. When you’re ready, there will be plenty of opportunities, but when you actually step up in front of the group is all up to you. In fact, if the mood strikes you while at your first meeting, raise your hand during the Table Topics section and you can volunteer to speak impromptu for 1-2 minutes.

3) Sign Up for a Role (when you’re ready)
The main focus of Toastmasters is having the opportunity to get up in front of a group of people to speak, but that speaking opportunity doesn’t have to be a prepared speech. Sure, you can sign up for one and begin your path to becoming a Competent Communicator. Though maybe you’re not quite ready for that. It’s OK.

Every Toastspot meeting involves lots of smaller but vital speaking roles. This is not a complete list, but just a taste to help you get an understanding of how meetings work (and maybe give you inspiration to sign up for one):

  • Humorist/Thought of the Day: This speaking role gets the meeting started with an inspirational thought or a funny joke or story. This is a quick speaking opportunity; 1-3 minutes. A very low pressure opportunity to step up in front of the group for the first time, perhaps?

  • Word of the Day: Before our speeches start, this person stands up and chooses a word for speakers to attempt to use. As part of this role, you pick the word, provide a definition and use it in an example sentence. All-in-all, this should take 1-2 minutes. Another quick, low pressure role. It is fun when speakers find a way to fit the Word of the Day into their talks; always get a cheer from the audience.

  • Speeches: Every Toastspot meeting involves the main speeches portion. Usually there will be 3 members ready to give one of ten speeches on the track to becoming a “Competent Communicator.” Each speaker is assigned an evaluator to provide friendly feedback. Once you’re an official member, we will get you a Toastmasters booklet so you can learn more about the goals for each speech and get started with your first.

  • Table Topics: Table Topics is about developing your ability to organize your thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic. The Topicmaster will get up and give a theme for this meeting’s Table Topics and explain the instructions. Maybe speakers will pull a piece of paper from a hat, or pull a random object from a bag, or some other creative device. Then we take volunteers to get up and speak for 1-2 minutes on whatever topic you’re randomly assigned. There’s no pressure here; no evaluations. Just a great opportunity to overcome your nerves and speak off the cuff briefly.

  • Timer: Part of public speaking is staying within your allotted time. The timer will keep track of everyone’s speaking length and provide color warnings to the speaker as time approaches. You will also have an opportunity to stand up and let each speaker know how on time they were.

  • Ah/Uh Counter: Crutch words -- everyone has them. Ah, uh, like, so, ya know. This person is responsible for counting each speaker’s various crutch words and letting the speaker know the count during the evaluation section.

4) Keep coming to meetings!
Once you’ve come to your first meeting, don’t stop. Toastmasters is like going to the gym...wait, you’ve heard that one before? But it’s true! The more meetings you attend, the more opportunities you can take to stand up in front of people to practice your speaking, the better you will become.

We look forward to seeing you at our next Toastspot meeting!

Sign up for the next meeting


A Response to a Well Thought-Out Excuse

Posted by Loree McDonald

Sep 3, 2013, 9:00 AM

Here's the thing - I know you're busy.

I know that dedicating just one more hour a week to something sounds like it's one more hour a week of time you'd rather be sitting at home eating dinner. One more hour a week of time you could be talking to your best friend. One more hour a week at the gym.

I know - trust me.

However let's look at the facts here:

  • You're smart - wicked smaht in fact
  • You're already quite successful 
  • You know how to speak in front of people
  • You are always on point and never have a bad interaction

Wait - no that last one isn't quite right... I mean, sometimes you do have a bad interaction.
Or they just really seem to not be engaged when you're talking to them.
Or you will stutter over a fact and the person will totally call you on it.
Or when you make a point and everyone just looks at you and there's that super awkward pause.
Ugh don't you hate that? 

Yes. I do hate that. 

You know what helps? Being terrified.

Okay well maybe not terrified.

But when you put yourself out there to speak in front of a group of people, and sometimes have to come up with something in-the-moment, you get much better at talking to just one person... especially when you have to come up with something in-the-moment.

Public Speaking is a skill that you can take to a place like Inbound where you're talking in front of hundreds (if not thousands) of people. It's also a skill you can take to your team meetings - when you have an idea on how to fix the problem at hand and you really need to create buy-in. It's even a skill you take when speaking to just one person and you want to appear calm and confident.

Being a strong speaker makes you look smart, confident, and will grant you access into really awesome opportunities. You could be sent to speak at a HubSpot event in another city, you could be asked to speak at one of our conferences, you could be given extra leadership responsibilities within your team.

Alright, alright. So you're on board.



Now what?

Well this whole Toastmasters thing - that's actually the whole idea. This organization was created to help you get better at public speaking and become a better leader.

So quit making excuses, grab a beer, and meet with us this Thursday at 6:00pm in Benioff. It's an hour of time where you get to hear people speak, you get to laugh at Improv exercises, and you will even get to meet some new HubSpotters from all different departments (last one is optional - feel free to sit there awkwardly by yourself). 


We meet every other week - so check out the calendar here: Meeting Calendar  



Why has the "I Have a Dream" speech been so successful?

Posted by Sarah Bedrick

Aug 28, 2013, 12:53 PM

Today marks the date of an important anniversary in the history of our nation - it's the 50th anniversary of when Dr. 220px-Martin_Luther_King_-_March_on_WashingtonMartin Luther King Jr. delivered his influential "I have a dream" speech during the March on Washington

Even 50 years later, many will agree that when they hear this famous speech - it evokes emotion or maybe gives them chills. But why is that? Why does this speech - a half century later - still have such a profound impact when heard? 

Of course there is the obvious - and that is the transformative message of the speech.

However, King was a leader of civil rights and it was known that his oratories focused on freedom and rights for black people in America. 

So why does this speech stand out among the rest. What about this speech has left such a commanding imprint in history. 

This speech had such power and finesse that many storytelling experts have analyzed it in depth to determine why it may have been such a success.

What many people don't realize is that the most-famous "I have a dream" passage - MLK had in fact deviated from the previously prepared speech - and was completely extemporaneous.  Many speculate the digression may have been caused by a listener, Mahalia Jackson, who shouted behind him, "Tell them about the dream!" And while he had previously talked about his dream in a similar fashion earlier that year on June 23rd at Cobo Hall during the Great March on Detroit, this was completely unscripted and improvised. Maybe it was this departure from script allowed his true emotions and uncensored passion to shine through - making it a succes.

Side note: Now there is a reason to participate in Toastmasters Tabletopics if I've ever seen one.

Storytelling expert Nancy Duarte states that a major factor of it's success is King's balance between stating "what is" and "what could be" which is said to be a great way to build an inspiring story.  See Nancy Duarte's full analysis of Dr. King's speech here

Another public speaking expert at Ginger Public Speaking cites the success of the speech was due to his confidence, cadence, the rhythm and repetition. Check out their analysis of the speech here

And maybe Malcolm Gladwell would propose that it was the perfect tipping point for his previous efforts finally coming to fruition - along with repetition.  Simon Sinek may possibly believe that MLK was able to identify the partners in the crowd that fed his energy allowing him to take his speech to the next level.

Or was it the symbolism of him speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

What do you think led to this transformative speech? Was it King's cadence, vocal intonations, the content, the juxtaposition of "what is" and "what could be," all of them - or something completely different? Please feel free to share your own thoughts below.

Oh and if you haven't seen the famous "I Have a Dream" Speech? Watch the YouTube video below:




Innovation and The Art of Laughter

Posted by Marc Gabriel Amigone

Aug 14, 2013, 8:30 AM

Sushil Bhatia with Marc Amigone and Steve Haase at Hubspot

Everyone loves to laugh.  There's nothing like it.  The sense of happiness, inspiration, light-heartedness, that feeling of nothing in the world getting you down.  It has a transformational effect on our outlook emotionally, mentally, physically, and spirtually.  Increasing the amount of laughter in our lives can have a major effect on our health.

Laughing is a serious matter.  That was the message Sushil Bhatia delivered to a group of Hubspot employees today as part of his Hubtalk (a series of talks given by industry thought leaders).  Sushil Bhatia is an Executive in Residence at Suffolk University's Sawyer Business School.  He has led corporate workshops at several companies like American Express, John Hancock centered around laughter, meditation and breathing.  

Bhatia led his audience at Hubspot through a series of exercises to demonstrate the effect of breathing, meditation and ultimately laughter on our bodies and minds.  "Everything we do is an example of innovation" according to Bhatia.  "One of the best ways to bring new value to a relationship is laughter."  If you want to convince someone in your life to come to your side of an argument, make them laugh.

Benefits of laughter include: 

  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Stress Reduction
  • Immune System Enhancement
  • Pain Reduction
  • Cardiac Exercise
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Respiration
  • Best of all: it's free and there are NO side-effects

While Bhatia made a very convincing argument that laughter is most certainly beneficial, he didn't stop there.  He made an equally compelling argument about the benefits of meditation.  "20 minutes of meditation is equally beneficial to 4 hours of sleep.  That doesn't mean you can meditate to go without sleep, but you will feel restored and rested like you got 4 hours of sound sleep from 20 minutes of meditation."

Oftentimes corporate executives who are tasked with innovation will tell Bhatia they don't have a spare 20 minutes in the course of a day.  That's a short-sighted way of thinking though.  If taking 20 minutes out of your 10-hour work day will allow you to be more creative, more productive, more present and capable during those 10 hours you're working, then you can't afford NOT to spend 20 minutes in meditation each day.  

Bhatia's talk was truly inspirational.  He left us with several action items:

  • Do Nothing - spend 5 minutes sitting in quiet reflection each day
  • Fitness - spirtual, physical, emotional
  • Meditate - 20 minutes each day
  • Laugh as much as possible
  • Collaborate and innovate - detach from results
  • Think Neutral - aim to balance yourself even instead of pushing yourself to be positive

Bhatia gave a version of the same talk at TEDX Amherst earlier this year:

How do you feel after you meditate and/or laugh?  Use the comments form below to let us know!

Your 2013 ToastSpot Officer Candidates & Winners!

Posted by Ellie Mirman

Jun 20, 2013, 8:13 PM

Update: The votes are in! Winners have been noted below.

Happy election day! At tonight's meeting (6pm in the Training Room), we'll vote on your new leaders of HubSpot Toastmasters. Join us for this special meeting and have your voice heard!

Let's meet the candidates!

Without further ado, I present to you the candidates running for leadership positions for the Toastmasters 2013-2014 year: (Congratulations to the winners, who have been highlighted in orange.)

  • President: Sarah Bedrick
  • VP Education: Marc Amigone, Maggie Georgieva, Nick Salvatoriello
  • VP Membership: Amy Ullman
  • VP Marketing*: Marc Amigone
  • Treasurer: Ellie Mirman
  • Secretary: Adam Gerard, Anand Rajaram
  • Sergeant of Arms: Chris LoDolce, Loree McDonald
  • New Member Chair: Loree McDonald, Anand Rajaram, Anna Siradze, Lindsay Thibeault
  • Member Education Chair: Adam Gerard, Nick Salvatoriello, Anna Siradze
  • Speaker Program Chair: Steve Haase


Hey... there are some people running for more than one position!

Yes, candidates were allowed to run for up to two positions. In the event that they receive the most votes for both positions, they've selected their first choice and the other role will go to the next runner up.

And there are some positions with only one candidate...

Yes, you may be tempted to congratulate them already, but let's hold our applause till the end :)

There actually is one potential wildcard role (*) because that candidate is also running for another role. In the event that he wins for the other position, this one will be vacant and we'll run a very special wildcard election on the spot! Any available candidates will be allowed to throw their hat in the ring for this role for this last minute election.

Can't make it to the meeting but want your voice heard?

You can request an absentee ballot from Ellie Mirman today (email me or stop by my desk in the big Marketer room far corner nook). The only requirement is that you return your completed ballot by 5pm in order for us to count it with the in-meeting ballots.

On top of elections, we'll also have:

  • A special Electoral Edition of ToastPoints:  Mike Lemire will be emceeing, giving nominees the opportunity to strut their stuff and demonstrate exactly why they are best Toastmaster for the job.
  • Three awesome speeches:
    • Brand new Inbound Marketing Professor Lindsay Thibeault came to HubSpot less than two months ago, and wasted no time joining Toastmasters. She will be delivering her Ice Breaker Speech on her life changing experiences studying abroad. 
    • VAR Huntress extraordinaire, Anna Siradze wowed us with her first speech a few weeks ago, and we cannot wait to see what she brings for her sophomore effort.
    • Inbound Marketing Professor Sarah Bedrick will give her 10th speech, making her ToastSpot's second Competent Communicator. Come cheer her on and prepare to be inspired!
  • Beer and snacks (ok, the usual stuff from the kitchen) galore!


See you tonight!


It's Election Season! Announcing ToastSpot Elections 2013

Posted by Ellie Mirman

May 16, 2013, 9:30 AM

vote-vaguelyartisticIt's hard to believe that another year has passed for HubSpot Toastmasters. It's election season again, which means we're looking for our next crop of officers to lead our growing group.

Whether you're considering taking on an officer role or you simply want to be an informed voter, here's all the info you need.

Election Season Timeline

  • Thursday, May 16: Nominations Open - Nominate yourself or another ToastSpotter to be an officer here.
  • Thursday, June 6: Open House - All HubSpotters are welcome to come see what ToastSpot is all about. We'll also have all of our officers in attendance so anyone interested in taking a role can ask questions about any of the roles.
  • Friday, June 14: Nominations Due
  • Thursday, June 20: Elections - Cast your vote and join the live meeting to be first to hear the results of the elections! (Note: there will be a remote voting option for official members.)

Why be an officer?

There are three levels of participation in Toastmasters: (1) attend meetings and participate as you like, (2) become an official member (HubSpot is sponsoring the memberships!) to do prepared speeches and earn certification, (3) be an officer and help make the group awesome.

Benefits to being an officer:

  1. Take a leadership role at HubSpot - Get recognized as a leader at HubSpot and prepare yourself for other leadership roles that become available.
  2. Get experience running a program - Toastmasters is a self-supported group of HubSpotters, and the leaders of the group make it happen. You have the opportunity to make it into something awesome and get the experience of building something.
  3. Boost your resume - In addition to the resume-building benefits of participating and getting certified at Toastmasters, being an officer (and showing what you've accomplished in that role) can pump up your resume.

What are the positions?

All positions are open for elections!

  1. President:
    • Serves as the club's CEO, responsible for general operation of the club. Directs the club in a way that meets the educational growth and leadership needs of members.
    • Questions about this role? Ask the current President: Ellie Mirman
  2. VP Education:
    • Promotes the educational benefits of Toastmasters participation and orients new members to the club. Each member gets a mentor (another member) that works with them and pushes them in their leadership and communication goals. Supports the evaluators to make sure they know how to provide great evaluations to speakers. Administers speech contests and other activities to promote the growth and participation of members.
    • Questions about this role? Ask the current VP Education: Maggie Georgieva
  3. VP Membership:
    • Plans, organizes, and implements a continuous marketing efforts, ensuring the club maintains or exceeds 20 members. Works with groups inside and outside Toastmasters to promote club membership and membership retention. Prepares and maintains membership lists, dues payments, and attendance reports for Toastmasters International.
    • Questions about this role? Ask the current VP Membership: Sarah Bedrick
  4. VP Marketing:
    • Develops, implements, and executes on marketing activities for the club (both inside and outside HubSpot). Responsible for any marketing of the club and representing the club in any media.
    • Quesitons about this role? Ask the current co-VPs Marketing: Nick Salvatoriello and Steve Haase
  5. Treasurer:
    • Manage all the finances of the group, including managing the dues payments (sponsored by HubSpot) and any other expenses and budget the group may have.
    • Questions about this role? Ask the current Treasurer: Amy Ullman
  6. Secretary:
    • Responsible for all club records and correspondence. Keeps all official club documents and submits updated membership and officer records to Toastmasters International. Records minutes at officer meetings and orders any Toastmasters supplies.
    • Questions about this role? Ask the current Secretary: Anand Rajaram
  7. Sergeant of Arms:
    • Serves as the master host, preparing any physical space requirements (booking rooms, having chairs, etc.) for club meetings and supports any social events planned by the club.
    • Questions about this role? Ask the current Sergeant of Arms: Brittany Leaning
  8. New Member Chair:
    • Works with the VP Membership to bring on new members - welcoming guests to meetings and encouraging interested prospects to become new members, set their goals, and get connected with a mentor.
    • This is a new role! Since this person will work with the VP Membership, direct your questions to our current officer: Sarah Bedrick
  9. Member Education Chair:
    • Works with the VP Education to ensure that members are reaching their personal and professional goals. Supports the mentorship program, club meeting attendance, and overall health of the member base.
    • This is a new role! Since this person will work the VP Education, direct your questions to our current officer: Maggie Georgieva
  10. Speaker Program Chair:
    • Acts as the liaison with the Speaker Program Manager on the marketing team and helps interested ToastSpotters qualify for external speaking opportunities and get those opportunities.
    • This is a new role! Direct your questions to our interim speaker program manager: Ellie Mirman

All officers meet periodically to plan and execute on club operations and growth.

Submit Your Nomination!

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About the ToastSpot Blog

Welcome to the ToastSpot blog!

Here you can find articles on:

  • How to get the most out of Toastmasters
  • Examples of awesome speeches
  • Announcements about upcoming events
  • How to come up with ideas for your next speech
  • Highlights from recent meetings, including some of the entertaining and inspiring speeches from our members

Have requests? Reach out to us - we'd love to know what YOU want to read about. We also welcome guest bloggers - feel free to come to us with suggestions for your next article.

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