A Virtually Seamless Collaboration


On Monday, September 19, 2011, we had possibly a world-first in the history of Toastmasters — for sure, a first for all clubs involved. A joint meeting of three Toastmasters clubs using a video conferencing systems facility with members located in Irving, Texas (Connection Communicators Toastmasters), Atlanta, Georgia (Nokia Siemens Networks
SpeechMasters ), and Redmond, Washington (Create WOW! Toastmasters). We all joined up in specifically-designed sound and video studios that provide real-time, eye-to-eye conferencing with outstanding audio and no perceived delay. Halo studios are connected by a dedicated network that enables any Halo studio to connect to any other Halo studio — anywhere in the world, even to other companies.
Plenty of planning went into making a common agenda. The Toastmasters in Atlanta kicked the meeting off and each club contributed with a speech. Each speaker was evaluated by a member in a different city. We also held a short round of table topics, with each club asking one question and in turn answering a question from another club.  All other meeting roles were also distributed over the locations and the meeting ran seamlessly in a well-organized Toastmasters fashion.
The technology does allow you to forget about the location and get immersed in the speeches. It was an enriching experience to collaborate and get to know the personalities of a diversity of people. Our plans are to continue to have our virtual meeting between the clubs every three months.
Larry Harmon
Connection Communicators
By Jodie Sanders