Okanagan Panorama

How does my Toastmasters portfolio improve my university application?

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As originally answered on Quora.com ...

I would suggest rephrasing the question to “How can my Toastmasters portfolio improve my university application?”

When it comes to applying for a job or an educational pursuit I believe that nowadays it is more important to illustrate what you can do, rather than what you have done.

My understanding is that many institutes of higher learning are looking for candidates that give back to their community as a way of life, rather than a way to manipulate a system for personal gain. I have seen this with colleagues who have applied for entrance to medical and pharmaceutical university. There are a lot of qualified, brilliant applicants out there. You need to position yourself so you stand out from the rest.

Your Toastmasters profile, more precisely the skills you have learned while a member and your increased self-confidence is marketable. I’m a firm believer in the power of self-promotion. It has taken me a long time to get to this point though. After all, if you don’t blow your own horn, who will?

I would suggest crafting a self-promotional piece that illustrates projects that you have undertaken in Toastmasters and that leads to showing your reader what you are interested and capable of doing in the future. Whatever you create will have to fit into the amount of room that you are allotted on the application form.

As an example of self-promotion, here is my promo from my Linkedin profile. Bear in mind that I’m not looking for employment and am not afraid to utilize a tongue-in cheek approach. It can be very challenging in creating self-promotional material.

Toastmaster Extraordinaire

Rae has been very active in the Toastmasters International organization for over 20 years. He has taken on progressively more challenging leadership roles and opportunities while honing his communication skills at the same time.

He has recently retired from serving as the District 21 Toastmasters Webmaster for the past eight years and has rebuilt the district website a couple times to keep up with ever-changing technology. As an experienced leader he serves as Toastmentor and mentors fellow Toastmasters at all levels of the district.

Attitude Equals Altitude was Rae’s theme in 2007-2008 as the District 21 Governor where he oversaw and directed the daily operations of a volunteer leadership team of 90 members located throughout the province of B.C. While serving in that role he developed and monitored the District’s annual operational budget (approximately $150,000.00).

Additional responsibilities included overseeing & directing the organization and delivery of two District conferences (budget $40,000.00 per event);  overseeing and directing the organization’s communication processes i.e. mass e-mail communication, conference calling and the District’s website (co-webmaster responsible for content and trouble-shooting). As District Governor he was a member of an International leadership team of peers located throughout the north western USA, collectively striving for success of their districts.

In May of 2014 Rae served as Conference Co-Coordinator, organizing a Toastmasters conference for some 200+ Toastmasters in Kelowna at the Capri. That role involved leading a team of volunteers. Over the past decade, Rae has actively participated in some 16 conferences in role or another. The latest one, in serving as the Registration Chair for the D21 Fall Conference 2015 held in Richmond B.C.

For more information on Toastmasters and Rae visit Toastmaster Extraordinaire.

Rae is currently the President of Kelowna Flying Solo Toastmasters Club #723. 


In conclusion, I strongly suggest leveraging your Toastmasters experience on your university application. I would also suggest that you are prepared to speak about your experience when you get to an interview. Your interviewer may not know anything about Toastmasters, or they may very well be interested.

Good luck with your application and your educational pursuits! Thanks for the question.

Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 27+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the personal/professional self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic.

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.


Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books, paperbacks and on-line courses:


Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro

52 Power Networking Tips: How to Network Like a Pro

PROtect Yourself Now!PROtect Yourself Now! Violence Prevention for Healthcare Workers

The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth

You're Hired! Job Search Strategies That Work: Available as an easily downloadable e-book or as an on-line e-course.

You're Hired! Resume Tactics: Job Search Strategies That Work

Job Interview Preparation: Job Search Strategies That Work

Leveraging Your Network: Job Search Strategies That Work

You're Hired! Power Tactics: Job Search Strategies That Work

You're Hired! Job Searching Success Tips List

Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations

Blow Your Own Horn! Personal Branding for Business Professionals

Make it Safe! A Family Caregiver's Home Safety Assessment Guide for Supporting Elders@Home


Phone Rae 250-451-6564 or info@raestonehouse.com

Rae’s social … are you?

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RaeStonehousehttp://twitter.com/RaeStonehouse

Linkedin? Rae is http://www.linkedin.com/in/raestonehousehttp://www.linkedin.com/in/raestonehouse

Copyright 2018- 2021 Rae A. Stonehouse.

The above document may be freely copied and distributed as long as the author’s name and contact info remain attached.


To learn more about Rae A. Stonehouse, visit the Wonderful World of Rae Stonehouse at https://raestonehouse.com.