100% Online clubs these days use - almost all - Zoom. Every member is connecting through their own computer or tablet or smart phone. A meeting, looks a bit like this.
Here it was the beginning of a meeting, fast we become more attending from the globe. Carole, from Australia, me from London, Brian from West Canada, Mary from Oregon, Michelle was in Philippines that day, and Graham, in another part of Australia. We all interacted as if we were sitting near the same table. Seeing and answering to each other.
We did know, that while it was middle of night for me, for the others it was morning or middle of the day, summer in Australia and winter in Canada, but we did feel together.
We could add, Zoom permits easy, different backgrounds behind us: I demonstrated a few. In Zoom, we can look to all together or have the speaker on a bigger square under others picture or only the speaker at each time.
Remote access, or Hybrid, or onsite plus online, means a club meets in a Toastmasters District, in one location, a room. At least half of those meeting are together, in a pub, a hotel, a place they meet at least once a month or every week. Through an internet connection, web or hotspot, others can access also from remote places from their computers or devices. A meeting can look like this.
That is my view of the room under the pub where Yaquina Toastmasters Oregon meet every week at 7 am for a common breakfast and meeting. That morning, my eyes hurt, so I put on my sunglasses. There is a TV or Screen on the other end that those in the room can see us. Those in the room are in the same place and time, those who come remote, arrive from where they just are now. If well arranged, the interaction is great.
Hillary created a new club, in a Zoom room, with great screens for on-commers, and a few video cameras so those from other locations can see the speaker nearer, the audience also and varying the views so they seem immersed, as if there.
Zaldy in his club, uses a special directional microphone, to filter out other noises, and told us he just discovered also how all other mics can be muted through zoom software of one computer or ipad.
Brian, uses in his club a small camera that he carries around, to show those in place, and to go farther or nearer the speaker. Others, use just an IPhone, I have yet to visit them.
A bus can get us late, a web can crash, a computer can use sound for other things, problems can happen, but usually Zoom takes us back where we were. GoToMeeting, less, and some other softwares used, do not let to hear well each other. But with time, we learn how to do it better. I have yet to experience how it feels to be inside the room, as for the moment I arrive to each meeting from my living room.
I am member of three 100% Online clubs, and visit many others, some very often even. Member, for the moment of three Remote access clubs (all already in Pathways), and one ground "brick and mortar" club near where I live. Too many! I know. It happened, one by one. In April, I will have to make difficult decisions. It will not be easy.
Yaquina Toastmasters VP PR, Lauralee, conquered us through her blog first. Then, going to their meeting, by their laughter and joy attracted many of us to their club. And when they realized, the sound did not work well at some time, decided to change location they meet. Wanted to be able to welcome us the best possible way.
TMI calls the hybrid clubs "Virtual" even when in we meet in real time and interactive. Both kind of Toastmaster clubs, permit me, who can not walk easy and do not go out often, to feel connected, to meet a lot of wonderful and different people!
Become a club coach to a club near Vancouver, sponsor a global trainers club that chartered now, mentor someone teaching in Mexico and someone other from New Zealand. Show my Base Camp to Pathways Guides in Australia in November and those from Norway and Germany in January. All from home!
In London, at the club I joined in January 2009, I am Secretary, so I will be one of the Base Camp managers from March on and be able to help when needed. I have been also Ambassador for Pathways (REP they called it first) from the beginning, more then two years, and now as our District in near the launch, my calendar is filling with visits to many clubs, one by one. Exciting, challenging, and of course not easy. I'll have to walk more. Not only in my imagination to far away places, but in real.
Find a way to approach each club members as they need, leave some positive impression. I found some stories that I could tell, stories linger, I believe strongly in personal stories. More about the stories I remembered I could tell this night, in next posts.