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Our Blog  (Firebirds Collective)     
Getting Started at Firebirds Collective
Fellow Toastmasters and Guests,

Firebirds Collective is the first global online advanced club and we would be delighted to have you join in on one of our club meetings.  Guests are welcome to join our club meetings and get an idea of how things work and to determine if what we offer meets your needs.  This article will help provide you with some steps for getting started, regardless of your initial starting point.  

Global Online Advanced What???

Allow me to take a moment to explain . . . 

Global - our members are not just international, but, at the time of this writing, our members join the club meetings from 17 countries across the world.  In order to accommodate our global membership we vary our meetings across time zones - 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays focus on the Western hemisphere with meetings starting at 18:30 London time, 2nd and 4th Sundays focus on the Eastern hemisphere with meetings starting at 08:30 London time.

Online - we conduct our club meetings using the Zoom.us online meeting platform, members join from their computers, tablets or phones

Advanced - we are an advanced Toastmasters club, membership at Firebirds Collective requires completion of at least Competent Communicator educational award

Toastmasters Club - our club meetings are conducted to support our members in building their self confidence as they practice and hone their communication and leadership skills in an encouraging and fun environment

First - I almost forgot!  We are the first online advanced Toastmasters club, having formally chartered on 29 March 2016 and our members have contributed to the founding of many other online Toastmasters clubs.  

Finding a Meeting Time that Works for You

To manage our club meeting we use a number of tools, the first of which is Easy Speak, if you do not already have an account, you can register online, then go to our club site: http://firebirds.easy-Speak.org/  and check out the club meetings that are planned using the Future Meetings panel on the right or select from the options under the Meetings menu.

With online Toastmasters clubs it is not so much about where we meet (in cyberspace), but when we meet.  As a global online club, we alternate our meeting times to accommodate multiple timezones.  Select one of the two options below to determine the time in your location:

As the time of our club meetings are anchored with the time in London, sometimes your local time will change due to Daylight Savings Time shifts which could be different depending on the standards observed in your location.  It is best to use the option to determine the time of the meeting at the top of the meeting page on Easy Speak for that particular meeting.  

Find one that works for you and click on the green thumbs up icon to confirm that you will be visiting our club at the meeting that works for you.  More information on using Easy Speak can be found in the resources section at the end of this article.

Meeting Online using Zoom

The other tool that we use is Zoom this is the online location at which we all gather to have the club meeting.  You can register for a free Zoom account online at http://zoom.us/ and I strongly recommend that you do so as you’ll be able to configure your online presence at club meetings.  With your own account you can also host online meetings with others if you want to practice speeches or get familiar with the features available.  At the time of this writing, the free account allows unlimited time for two participants and 40 minute sessions with 2-100 participants. More information on using Zoom, including system requirements, can be found in the resources section at the end of this article.  

The only thing left to do is to show up!  

Joining Firebirds Collective

Well, almost!!  You might, after all, like to become a member.

After you have visited the club twice, if you have already achieved at least Competent Communicator, you can apply to join the club and you’ll be sent details for how to join after the club has voted to admit you as a member.

If you are not already a Competent Communicator, you can consider joining another online club or find a club local to you.  Feel free to continue visiting us, even as a guest you’ll learn from the speeches and evaluations that are conducted during club meetings.  More information on how to find a club can be found in the resources section at the end of this article.

At your service,

Samir Malak, DTM
President, Firebirds Collective 2017-18 

20 Aug 2017 / revised 02 Sept 2017

PS:  John Maxwell stated it best, “Teamwork makes the dream work” and we have a fabulous team that makes the Firebirds Collective dream work.  You’ll find our leadership team listed in our Club Directory online, on Easy Speak. 

Resources:
easy-Speak.org - club meeting management and educational progress tracking
Help Resources 
these are also available under the Help Options menu on the easy-Speak site
    easy-Speak Videos
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Knowledge Map
Facebook Group - easy-Speak Toastmasters Community
Zoom.us - club meeting platform
Zooming into Online Club Meetings, an article by one of our members, Coach Carole, on using Zoom for Toastmasters meetings
Zoom Help Center - many topics to choose from to learn more about Zoom, in particular
Zoom Video Tutorials - a video library, this is a comprehensive library that gives short visual demonstrations of how to use different features of Zoom.  Each video includes a text transcript that outlines the details of the demonstration.  I’ve found that I often do not even need to watch the videos, the transcript alone gives me exactly what I need to take advantage of the feature.
Toastmasters International and Online Clubs
Introduction to Toastmasters International
Video Library - videos about many different aspects of Toastmasters
Online Connection - Toastmasters Magazine article about Online Clubs
Finding A Club
LABELS:  ONLINE,&sid=7895591aa3859db1781a195cde650173  FIREBIRDS COLLECTIVE,&sid=7895591aa3859db1781a195cde650173  ZOOM,&sid=7895591aa3859db1781a195cde650173
Posted: Firebirds Collective, 02 Sep 17, 17:55 by Samir Malak    Comments: 0


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