You can record meeting minutes on the website to make them part of the permanent records of your club. Minutes documents can only be viewed by a logged in member of your club. To create a new minutes document for a board meeting or any other purpose, click Add New on the menu in this section.
If your club creates detailed minutes for each meeting, including speeches given and members present or absent, you can use the Minutes from Meeting Records function to simplify that process. This works in tandem with the Update Roles & Attendance tool, which you use to make corrections and additions to the data gathered from the agenda.
The meeting listing can be viewed on the public website, and a link to the listing of all the minutes is at the top of the members dashboard. Optionally, you can add this link to the public menus of your website. However, website visitors who are not logged in or not members of the club will not see the contents of the minutes documents, only the headlines, followed by a login prompt.
A link to the section of the website where members can view the minutes documents has been added to the top of the members dashboard. Members of the general public who find their way to that section of the website will only see the headlines and a prompt to log in.
In addition to website editors being able to edit this content in the WordPress editor, any logged in member can access versions of the documents that can be printed or emails from the black menu bar at the top of the screen. These functions work similarly to the print and email functions for the agenda.
The WordPress for Toastmasters sharing tool for YouTube is designed to assist with the sharing of speech videos, either publicly or for club member’s eyes only.
Adding YouTube video to WordPress blogs is pretty easy to begin with, but this tool helps you organize videos associated with member speeches and archive them tagged with the member names.
Here is a video demo:
It works with several other features, including:
The Members-Only category for blog content. Also useful for publication of content such as meeting minutes intended for distribution within the club, this special category prevents blog content from being displayed except for logged in members.
The RSVP Mailer tool included with RSVPMaker, the events calendar plugin included in WordPress for Toastmasters. This tool allows you to create and format email content using the WordPress editor. You can use it to prepare emails with embedded video content for distribution to members.
The ability to tag blogs with the names of members. By doing this consistently, we can more easily look up old emails from our archive.
In clubs where members might like to learn from watching their speech videos, but don’t necessarily want to share them publicly, you can still upload them to YouTube as unlisted videos, then share them to a members-only email list and add them to your blog as members Members Only posts.
Before giving the how-to details, here’s an overview of what using this tool accomplishes.
Club Awesome Toastmasters, the home club of WordPress for Toastmasters developer David F. Carr, has several years worth of Members Only video blog posts in its archives, each tagged with the names of the speakers. They are searchable, allowing members to go back and see all their old speech videos.
Most of these are individual video clips, where each speech was recorded separately, and the blog post includes a roundup of all of them for a week’s meeting.
More recently, the tool has been updated to work better with the posting longer videos that include several speeches, such as the replay of a meeting conducted online using Zoom. These posts can still include tagging of members who spoke, with titles and speech project details pulled from the agenda.
After each week’s meeting, members also receive an email containing the same content shared to the blog.
When blog posts are tagged Members Only, website visitors who are not logged in see a prompt saying a password is required.
If a website visitor is not logged in, Members Only posts aren’t displayed at all in the main blog listing. We do list them on a sidebar, where public posts aimed at marketing the club show under Club News, separately from Members Only Content.
Some online clubs, including Online Presenters, routinely post replays of their meetings publicly — Online Presenters is an advanced club with very experienced members — but can still use this tool to catalog member speeches.
How to Use the YouTube Speech Video Sharing Tool
Now that you know what you can create, here’s how to to do it. Look for the YouTube Toastmasters option under Media. Or use the New option on the black menu bar at the top of the screen and select the YouTube option. This utility allows you to create a blog post, an email message to members, or both.
The top of the form lists speech signup information drawn from the agendas of the most recent meetings. If the speech assignments and titles are accurate, you can just check them off to have them included in the blog post and/or email message you are creating.
If someone else not on the agenda gave a speech, you can also add their name from the dropdown list and fill in the details.
If you’ve posted separate video clips for individual speakers to YouTube, you can add the video links next to the speaker names. Or if you are sharing a video that includes multiple speeches (and perhaps other elements such as Table Topics or a workshop), put the link in the Wrapup YouTube Link field.
When you get to the bottom of the form, you will see the subject line and the message that the tool has constructed for you, based on your selections. You can make a few edits if you like, for example to add a note up top or insert the name of a guest speaker in the relevant section. Or you can make your edits later, in the WordPress editor.
Choose whether you want to create a blog post (either a draft or a post that will be published immediately) and whether the blog post should be public or visible to members only. For “Create email message” the choices are Yes or No.
There is also a section for spelling out your policy for sharing and publishing videos. For example, Club Awesome has a policy of only sharing videos with members and not making them public without the speaker’s permission. Online Presenters, in contrast, makes speech videos public by default. In both cases, it’s important to spell out the policy clearly so members know what to expect.
Once you have made your edits and selections, click Save Changes. The confirmation message will include links to where you can view or edit the blog post and email message that has been created. If you’re ready to send out the email version, click Preview/send email.
you have created.
Sending the Email
Posts created with the RSVP Email tool are displayed in a special email preview template, rather than a regular website template. When viewed by a logged in user with the right to send messages, it includes options at the top of the page for sending messages to various audiences — including all website members, the option that is checked by default. It’s also possible to send a test message to yourself.
If you see errors, click Edit at the top of the screen to revise the content. When you are ready to send, make sure the Website members checkbox is checked and click Send Now.
Modifying Categories and Tags
Video blog posts created with this tool are automatically tagged with the names of members whose speeches are automatically tagged with the category Video and, optionally, Members Only.
In WordPress, categories are a more formal taxonomy of posts, while tags are more ad hoc. Both are displayed on posts so you can click on a category to see all the other posts in a category, or click on a tag to see all the similarly tagged posts.
You can manually add or correct these tags using the Documents tab of the sidebar in the WordPress editor.
Archive Tagged by Member Name
After you have been tagging videos in this manner for months or years, you may find it useful to create an index of them by adding this code to one of the pages of your site.
For example, after several years of consistently tagging member speeches this way, Club Awesome now has a page on its website where members can go back to look up recordings of their old speeches.
The most common use of RSVPMaker in WordPress fot Toastmasters is to create and manage events linked to a meeting template. The setup of those events is described in the Agenda Administration section of the knowledge base. However, that is not all RSVPMaker can be used for.
You can use it to:
Register guests for your regular meetings
Promote a club open house
Promote a TLI, conference, or other event and register people for that event.
Collect money online via integration with PayPal and Stripe.
Send broadcast email messages based on events or blog posts, using integration with MailChimp.
The RSVP / registration features can also be used in combination with Toastmasters agenda management. For example, Online Presenters Toastmasters uses RSVPMaker to register guests who wish to attend its online meetings. The online meeting sign in link is included with the confirmation message visitors get when they register.
When you click the Add New option under RSVP Events, you get a blank event post loaded into the editor with a popup dialog that asks you to enter a few essential details like the event date and time before proceeding. Tabs within this dialog box also allow you to set confirmation and reminder messages, customize the registration form, and set pricing.
The dialog box with these options appears automatically when you open an unsaved draft. To access it for an existing event, click the RSVP / Event Options button in the editor sidebar, in the RSVP Event tab of the sidebar.
Once you have set the event date and time, you can proceed to filling in the event title and body content, adding images and other blocks the same as you would with a page or blog post.
A few basic options including event date and time and RSVPs on / off can be set from the editor sidebar when the document properties (as opposed to the properties for a specific block) are displayed. An RSVP / Event Options sidebar button allows you to display the dialog box again so that you can fill in or change details.
In most cases, there are defaults you can set for these options from the Settings -> RSVPMaker screen. For example, you might or might not want the timezone to always be displayed depending on whether you hold a lot of online events where attendees will be spread across different timezones.
Here are the options you can set, by the name of the tab within the dialog box.
Event starting date and time
Whether or not an end time should be displayed
The end date and time
The timezone, if it’s not the default for your website (from Settings -> General)
RSVP On- toggle on or off whether the registration button and form should be displayed
Show Add to Calendar buttons
Show Timezone conversions
Show the RSVP Count (number of people registered)
Display attendee names / not field (useful for some community-oriented websites, let people see who is attending the potluck dinner and what they’re planning to bring)
Under Notifications / Reminders
The email address notifications should be sent to
Send confirmation only after payment (toggle on / off)
Include event content with confirmation (toggle on / off)
Login required to RSVP (toggle on/off)
Display Captcha (toggle on/off)
Show Yes/No buttons on form (toggle on/off)
Show Date and Time on Form (toggle on/off)
Set a maximum number of participants (enter a number to set a limit)
Form instructions (enter text, if any)
Registration start date / time (optional, if you don’t want the form to be active before a given time)
Registration deadline (optional)
Choose form (dropdown, select one of the predefined forms)
Show form preview (toggle on for a preview of the current form)
Below these options, there is a section that allows you to customize the currently selected form. You can move the existing options up and down the list or delete them (exception: the email field can be moved but not deleted).
You can also add fields including text entry, radio button, and select components (dropdown lists), as well as an Add me to your email list checkbox, and the guest name entry widget.
For example, if you are hosting a dinner with multiple meal choices, you might include radio buttons where the choices are Steak, Chicken, Vegetarian (with additional details on the menu in the body of the event post).
You can specify whether these form elements should be included on the guest entry section (for example, you would also want to collect the meal choices of the guests).
Confirmation / Reminders
You can customize the default confirmation message to provide additional details such as directions to the event location or an online meeting link.
This message will be displayed on screen after a registration is submitted and also sent by email (assuming you have specified that confirmation messages should be sent).
If you don’t want to change the default confirmation message for all events, click the Customize button to create one for this specific event. Confirmation and Reminder messages are separate documents that can be opened for editing in the WordPress editor.
You can also set one or more Reminder messages that should be sent the specified number of hours prior to an event.
Reminder messages will include the content of the confirmation message as a starting point, but you can customize them as needed.
This is where you can specify the pricing of an event, typically used in combination with the PayPal or Stripe online payment feature (see Settings -> RSVPMaker). You could also add a price along with confirmation message instructions telling people to bring cash or check for payment “at the door.”
An event can have multiple prices, for example a regular price, a VIP price, and an Early Bird Registration price with a deadline.
There is also an option to set discounting that’s available with a coupon code.
The process of creating events and event templates is much the same as it would be with meeting event templates — except that instead of making the body of the post a series of Agenda Role and Agenda Note blocks, you include whatever text, images, and other content that will do the best job of marketing your events.
Events and Templates
When you create an event template, the RSVP, pricing, and other parameters are copied to the events generated based on that template.
If you turn on Collect RSVPs in your regular meeting template, then update your upcoming meetings to match that template, they will all have the RSVP registration option turned on.
Adding an Events Listing to Your Home Page
You can get a summary listing of all events for which you’re inviting RSVPs for your home page that looks like this —
— by adding the RSVPMaker Next Events block to your home page or any other page, as shown below.
A web-based timer is available from the Agenda menu of a Toastmasters meeting agenda and pulls in data from the agenda such as the names and speech timings of speakers or contestants. For online meetings, you can use this tool to show a timing lights effect as a background image. However, that does require the use of additional software such as OBS Studio to select a web page or portion of a web page as a source image, as explained below.
To use the timer, you choose the name of the speaker from the Speaker/Speech Type list or choose one of the other options, such as Table Topics, or Speech (8-10) for an 8 to 10-minute speech by a speaker who was not added to the agenda on the website.
Click Start to start the timer or Stop to stop it (or to reset everything). You can also click the Green, Yellow, and Red buttons to manually trigger a color change. The Correction drop-down list allows you to make an adjustment, for example if you started the timer a few seconds late (try not to do that).
Support for background images, in addition to colors, was added in Feb. 2021 update.
The green, yellow, and red background colors change automatically as the minimum, midpoint, and maximum times are reached. Instructions for sharing the timing colors in Zoom are included below.
This video tutorial covers the use of the Timer in the context of a contest (where the controls also include a form for submitting the timer’s report). The contestants are listed, according to the official speaking order, with the timing requirements for the type of contest pre-programmed into the tool.
Even if you don’t use this tool for the actual timing display, you can use the Timer’s report form on the page to submit the times (and any disqualifications) so they will be accounted for on the vote counting dashboard.
Streaming the Timer Video to Zoom
If you want to share screen colors in a Zoom meeting, you will need some sort of webcam or streaming software. I use OBS Studio, which is free, open source software that allows you to mix your webcam video with other video sources. The virtual camera function, which used to require a separate plugin but is built into the latest release of OBS, must be turned on. In Zoom, you will then select OBS Virtual Camera as your video source.
Here’s a good tutorial on green screen setup for OBS Studio.
The branded background images from Toastmasters International are available by default, and it’s also possible to add custom background images (like the Kermit example above, image courtesy of Pixabay).
Uploading Custom Background Images
A member who is allowed to upload images can upload additional colored images to be used with the timer. The list of images available for this purpose in the Timer tool is limited to those that have the color names (green, yellow, and red) in the file name or the title assigned in the media library.
If the color name is not in the file name of the image uploaded, you can edit the associated properties through the Media screen of the Toastmasters dashboard (assuming you have editing rights). Add the color name to the title, which by default is based on the filename.
Assigning File Upload Rights
By default, WordPress restricts the right to upload images to Administrators, Editors, and Authors (WordPress for Toastmasters adds the custom role Manager). As the site administrator, you can upgrade a trusted user to Author to allow them file upload rights.
It’s also possible to assign the file upload right to individual members (users) without granting other privileges. You can do that through the Security tab of the Toastmasters screen under Settings on the WordPress dashboard.
* This software is offered "for Toastmasters" but not is provided by or endorsed by Toastmasters International. The use of Toastmasters brand assets (with proper disclaimers) in website designs has been reviewed by the Toastmasters International brand compliance team.