Woking Speakers Open House Event, 23rd March 2023

By Seema Viswanath, VPM


Woking Speakers Club held our Open House event on the evening of 23rd March 2023.  We had 18 guests who attended this year making it one of the most successful Open House events for the club. Milica Bennett VP-Public Relations and Seema Viswanath VP-Membership led the organisation of the event; they were ably supported by Bob Nisbet, Sergeant-at-Arms.


Leading up to the event, we designed and published the below poster at the local library and supermarkets in the local area. We advertised the event on Eventbrite, Facebook (including on the local community pages) and LinkedIn. We invited the club alumni and previous guests who have attended our public speaking meetings. We also shared the details of the event through club members, all of whom helped promote the event in their own networks.

We received the required materials (badges, name tags, leaflets) from the Toastmasters International District 91 support team on time which were distributed to the members and guests before the meeting began.


Each guest was greeted personally on arrival by a Club Member to ensure they felt welcomed. After declaring the event open, James Sanderson – Club President introduced Toastmasters to the guests. Chris Arning – VP Public Relations, D91 attended the event and addressed the audience. All the members and guests then got a chance to speak at the warm up. The prepared speeches were carefully chosen so we had a mix of beginners and experienced members. The speakers and evaluators were all confident communicators. They shared the benefits of being part of Toastmasters such as access to online resources, mentors and above all being a fun and safe environment for public speaking with the guests.

It was a pretty packed schedule as you can see from (just the front page of!) the Agenda below:

After a 15 min networking break with tea, coffee and biscuits, the second part of the meeting was focused on our guests.

Every guest was asked to fill in an interesting, unique or adventurous aspect of their life that they were proud of at the beginning of the meeting. We used this information for the table topics asking guests to come to the front and speak on their specific aspect. Due to time restrictions, not everyone got a chance to speak, but 10 guests got the opportunity to speak in front of us.  Following the evaluations and awards, we handed out certificates of participation to the guests.

The event closed in our usual manner, with a trip to our local pub.

District PR Manager, Chris Arning was in attendance with his friend Nick (who lives in Woking and whom he had been trying to get to come to Toastmasters for ages).

For a flavour of the some Guests reactions to their first Toastmasters experience and Milica, Seema and James Sanderson’s reflections on the event, see the below video.

We thank all the members and guests who participated in making this event a success. If you want to find out more about our club, please visit us at www.wokingspeakers.org.uk.  We look forward to welcoming you as a guest. And you may find these resources from Toastmasters International helpful too: https://www.toastmasters.org/resources/resource-library?t=open%20house

Seema Viswanath, VPM, Woking Speakers, 2022-2023

Welcoming the World to Toastmasters

By Tina Plamadeala

City of London, Open House, 17th January 2023

The City of London Toastmasters held a successful Open House event on the 17th of January, which drew over 150 attendees who were interested in improving their public speaking and leadership skills. The event was organized by a dedicated team of Toastmasters members and the committee, who worked tirelessly to ensure its success. The speakers at the event demonstrated a clear commitment to their personal development, each bringing their unique style and perspective to the event, making for an engaging and diverse line-up. For a flavour of the venue and the great atmosphere and vibrancy of the event we have made a take away video which you can view here:

What Made the Open House a Success?


The success of the Open House can be attributed to the collaboration and teamwork between club members and the committee. By working together, the team was able to ensure that the event ran smoothly and effectively achieved its goals of attracting new members and promoting the club.

The team was composed of members with diverse skill sets, such as marketing and promotion, event planning, organisation, and public speaking. Having a positive and supportive team dynamic, where members encouraged and supported each other, shared ideas and skills, and worked together to overcome challenges, helped build a strong and cohesive team.

Effective Communication

Communication was key to the success of the Open House. Effective communication within the team helped ensure everyone was on the same page and that tasks were completed efficiently. Clear and concise communication in promoting the event on social media (including this eye catching graphic) helped attract more guests. Effective communication also created a welcoming atmosphere, providing attendees with information and guiding them as needed.


The execution of the Open House was critical to its success. From setting up the venue to welcoming guests and promoting the club, careful planning and attention to detail were necessary for a successful execution.

Free Pizza!

Providing refreshments and creating a comfortable and engaging environment also contributed to a positive experience for attendees.

Converting Guests to join us…

What we try to impress on Guest attendees is that a Toastmasters club in your local area has so many benefits, a few of which include:

  1. Improved Public Speaking Skills: Joining Toastmasters community provides the opportunity to improve public speaking skills in a supportive and encouraging environment. Members can practice speaking in front of a group, receive constructive feedback, and build confidence in their speaking abilities.
  2. Personal and Professional Growth: Toastmasters not only helps improve public speaking skills, but also provides opportunities for personal and professional growth. Members can develop their leadership abilities, enhance their communication skills, and improve their listening and feedback skills, leading to increased confidence and opportunities for growth and advancement.
  3. Sense of Community: Being a part of a Toastmasters community provides a sense of belonging and a supportive network of individuals who share a common goal of improving communication and leadership skills. Members are encouraged to support and encourage one another, fostering a positive and uplifting atmosphere.

At City of London Toastmasters we strive to create a safe and supportive place for personal and professional growth. The Open House gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that and to invite Guests to come back and eventually to join us and be part of a community dedicated to improving communication and leadership skills. We hope that the success of our Open House inspires other Clubs to organise similar events to welcome potential Members in their area.

If you’re already a Toastmaster but in London want to join us here’s our Club website : https://cityoflondontoastmasters.org/faq/

Tina Plamadeala, VPPR, City of London Toastmasters

If you want to find out more about how Tina promotes her Club then you can check out this interview with D91 PR Manager, Chris Arning.