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Reflection on using technology during Toastmasters Meetings

As a Digital Programme Director for an events management company, the online format of Sussex Online Speakers is very important to me.

Part of my profession involves training event speakers on how to make the best of the technology available to them. And for one special night at SOS - our Technology Themed Night - this is exactly what we did for our members.

Our Toastmasters club is a safe space to try new things before trying them in the “real” business world. There is an overwhelming amount of technology out there to use for online events; it can be hard to pick a starting point. We combined our safe space attitude with many experimental technological features to allow our members to pick up new skills for their personal development and career.

Not only was this session educational, it was a barrel of laughs. Members demonstrated a wide range of tools and understanding. With all technological abilities welcomed and commended. A tool kit was prepared by the committee to inspire and equip participants in advance if there needed a place to start.

Not everything ran smoothly, there were one or two technical glitches, which is bound to happen in this experimental environment. But what is important is that we as a club learned from them, overcame them, and the show went on.

And we had fun doing it!

A particular highlight for me was seeing two members use the tool “menti meter” in completely different, and ingenious ways. Which proves it is not just the tool but how you use it, and the speaker's creativity.

One thing we all agreed on, was that it is important that both the audience and the speaker are adept and understand the technology being used. All our speakers did an excellent job of explaining and preparing the audience with links in advance, test questions, and demonstrations. Seeing things from both the audience's and the speakers perspective when using these tools, gave our group more empathy and gave us a more holistic understanding.

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