Two D29 Toastmasters Discuss Speaking with Confidence on Podcast

Written by Philip Wilkerson

Philip Wilkerson, VP of Public Relations for the GMU Toastmasters and the host of the Positive Philter Podcast, recently interviewed Lynne Strang, DTM, for a podcast episode about “Speaking with Confidence.” Lynne serves as Sergeant at Arms for Galloping Governors and Secretary for Sparkling Speakers. During the episode, which aired August 28, 2020, Philip and Lynne discussed a variety of benefits that come from joining Toastmasters, such as honing communications skills and learning how to manage unexpected speaking situations. 
Philip started the Positive Philter Podcast 3 years ago as a way to infuse positive thinking into everyday life. The podcast covers interpersonal relationships, goal setting, positive self-talk, spreading positivity, and other topics that encourage well-being. “I’ve learned so much from my guests,” says Philip. “In addition, the process of creating a podcast has helped me improve my own skills in time management, listening and interpersonal communications.”
The episode with Philip and Lynne can be found here:

If you are a fan of podcasts, Toastmasters International has its own licensed podcast with amazing guest speakers. Check it out here:

GMU Toastmasters Benefiting the University Community

Written by Ann Ludwick and Philip Wilkerson with contributions from GMU Toastmaster Members

GMU Toastmasters, chartered June 6th, 2008, is a unique club due to its location on a college campus. This location allows members to come from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and life experiences. George Mason University, located in Fairfax, VA, is Virginia’s most diverse four-year public institution with a student body of over 38,000 and staff/faculty population of over 5,100 representing a wide range of ethnicities and national origins. GMU Toastmasters currently has 24 members and holds a legacy of excellence. To that end, GMU Toastmasters was one of two clubs, out of a total of 130, from District 29 to obtain all 16 Distinguished Club Points in 2019-2020. There is a total of 18,337 clubs in Toastmasters worldwide. Using the statistics that were available on June 27, Jim Dooley was able to identify 42 clubs that had achieved all 12 of the DCP Educational Goals (C&L awards, Pathways awards). When Jim looked at the records for those 42 clubs, he saw that only 37 of them had achieved all 16 of the DCP goals (the 12 educational goals and the 4 others). Meaning only two-tenths-of-one-percent of clubs achieved what we can label what we call “Superstar Distinguished” status! For this blog post, we have gathered testimonials from one student, one staff member, one faculty member, and one Fairfax City resident to show how this Community Club has enhanced their lives and why joining Toastmasters is a great experience for professional development and personal growth.


Has joining Toastmasters helped you in your role of teaching?

Toastmasters has helped me become a better teacher. Being a Toastmaster not only helped me improve my teaching ability but also my attitude. I now look at any class as an audience, but not a captive audience. Each class my responsibility is to ask myself: how can I make this communication informative, useful, and interesting?

 Andrew Finn, Founding Member of GMU Toastmasters (2008)

Associate Professor

George Mason University Department of Communication


How has being a member of Toastmasters contributed to your professional development?

Every week in summer from about mid-June through all of July, you will find me in front of large groups welcoming new students and families to Mason! Giving these inspiring presentations is a favorite job task, but it wasn’t always easy. Like many people, I joined Toastmasters with the goal of improving my pubic speaking skills. The George Mason University Toastmasters club has helped me tremendously. My club provides supportive members, convenient meetings, and positive feedback – all of which contributes to my job. 

Ann Ludwick, SR1 (VP of Education)

Assistant Dean, Schar School of Policy and Government

GMUT member since 2012


Why should other students consider joining Toastmasters while in college?

Joining Toastmasters helped me gain confidence and leadership skills to achieve my personal and career goals. My tip for college students is if you can, join Toastmasters in your first year. The skills you will learn will make your college journey a lot easier and stress free.

Aisha Yusuf, LD1 (Area 21 Director)

PhD candidate in Economics

George Mason University

GMUT member since 2016

Community Member:

What brought you to GMUT and what keeps you here?

I decided to join GMU Toastmasters because of the school’s proximity to my residence, and the meeting time and date.  The GMU club is a family, and each member provides the support and encouragement one needs to achieve his/her personal goals and objectives.  As a result of GMU Toastmasters I have been able to get to know faculty, staff and many students who are Toastmaster members.

Regina Faulkerson, DTM (Immediate Past-President)

GMUT member since 2018

The GMU Toastmasters Club aims to develop leaders and speakers while promoting all the benefits Toastmasters has to offer to anyone in our communities at Mason and in the Northern Virginia area. COVID-19 has not slowed anything down and our weekly meetings have continued using Zoom. GMU Toastmasters welcomes guests and you can check out our meeting schedule here.

Additionally please check out all the social media channels: I would like your help in this effort.

You can also learn about Philip Wilkerson’s GMU Toastmaster Experience in this short podcast episode found below:

Awards Deadline – Days Away

If you have applications for awards in the traditional program, you must submit them to World Headquarters by June 30, 2020 to have the credit count toward the Distinguished Club Program in 2019-2020.

During the 2020-2021 Toastmasters year, members can continue work to complete the High Perfornance Leadership project, the Advanced Leader Silver, and Distinguished Toastmaster awards. You will have until June 30, 2021 to submit these awards. Only the Distinguished Toastmaster award will count toward the Distinguished Club Program credit in 2020-2021.

You can email with questions.

Article from the June 2020 TI Magazine

Online Meeting Resources

In light of COVID-19, Toastmasters clubs in every corner of the world have moved online to host high-quality club experiences in virtual settings.

To support these virtual victories, World Headquarters has created special webpages filled with tips, videos, how-to meeting instructions, meeting software comparisons, online speech contest information, and a variety of branded materials to boost the visual appeal of online meetings. You will also find exclusive online magazine articles, as well as FAQs and COVID-19 news updates from World Headquarters.

To view the collection, visit the Online Meetings page on the Toastmasters website. Just a few of the new items are highlighted below.

Image of flier inviting people to attend an online meeting
Image of flier invitation to online meetings with six people smiling

You are virtually invited! Open your club to members and prospects alike with these eye-catching invitations.

Image of Toastmasters webpage showing photos of people in Zoom meetings

Send us photos of your online club meetings and a brief comment on how you’re upholding our core values of integrity, respect, service, and excellence. Send to for a chance to be featured on this webpage or on social media.

16 Distinguished Club Points

Words cannot describe the awe I feel for the two clubs in District 29 that reached the goal of attaining 16 Distinguished Club Points. You have set an example for all of the clubs within District 29 and you are to be congratulated on your accomplishment!

Job well done to:

Club 00935498 PMIWDC #01 Toastmasters Club which was chartered 8/21/2006

Club 01188374 George Mason University Toastmasters which was chartered 6/6/2008

I commend the members of both of these clubs for their hard work and Commitment to Excellence.

“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson 

TLI Season

As many of you already know, our Toastmaster Leadership Institue (TLI) season has begun. We held our first TLI on June 20, 2020 and had 187 attendees. The schedule for the next two TLIs has changed. Due to popular demand the July TLI will be held on the 2nd Saturday, July 11, 2020, instead of the 3rd Saturday. The July 11th and the August 15th TLIs will both be online only and will be from 8:45 AM to 12:30 PM.

In July, besides Core Officer Training, the electives will be Pathways 101, Base Camp Manager, Social Media Presence for Clubs, Fundamentals of Public Speaking, and Myths & Misconceptions of Pathways. You may attend Core Officer Training only, electives only, or both. If you have already attended Core Officer Training think about attending the elective of your choice.

Registration will be held through Eventbritebrite. Both the July and August TLI are on the District calendar and articles will be posted for both on the District website.

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