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YouTube Speech Video Sharing Tool
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.