Toastmasters Webinar series

The “Communicating Across Cultures” Series

On the back of their cover story in the July 2020 issue of Toastmaster Magazine, the Toastmasters International organization hosted a series of panel discussions around the topic of efficient cross-cultural communication. The webinar series was a tremendous success which attracted a combined international audience of more than 5,200 attendees (with an additional 9,300 people registered to get access to the recordings), thus making it the most successful webinar series to date for Toastmasters.

Since TCM founder Christian Höferle had had the opportunity to share some insights around the topic for the Toastmaster cover feature, he also had the privilege to serve as one of the panelists for the online program. He was in excellent company: Other speakers of the three-day program were Pellegrino Riccardi, Dr. Rashmi Kapse, Sandra Coles-Bell, Lyla Kohistany, Dylia Sheehan, Dr. Kristen Hamling, and moderator Dilip Abayasekara.

All of the titles and topics for the three webinars centered around improving global human interaction via communication. You can watch them via the links in the list below, or via our YouTube Channel:

  • Session 1: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE – Discover how a person’s cultural background affects how they express humor, gratitude, and professionalism. Get listening and critiquing tips that will help you be a more culturally sensitive and savvy communicator. Find out if there is such a thing as “universally friendly” feedback, and more! 
  • Session 2: HUMOR AND BODY LANGUAGE – Have fun discovering cultural differences in humor and non-verbal communication. Learn if it is acceptable to start a speech with a joke when addressing non-American audiences. Can you be “culturally neutral” in body language? Get insight into all this and more! 
  • Session 3: CULTURAL AWARENESS IN BUSINESS – Find out how culture affects the business environment in subtle and surprising ways. Learn some cultural dos and don’ts, as well as how to develop increased awareness when traveling or working with customers and employees from diverse cultures. Discover how a mindset of curiosity and humility goes a long way in overcoming miscommunication. 
A Dozen Tips for Efficient Communication Across Cultures

The huge response and feedback to the cover story triggered the release of Christian’s latest eBook, titled “A Dozen Tips for Efficient Communication Across Cultures” – grab your copy here.

With clubs in 143 countries, Toastmasters regularly interact with members from other cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds in their clubs as well as in their places of employment. As a result, Toastmasters often give speech evaluations to members from other cultures who may have learned vastly different ways to deliver or interpret performance feedback. Developing a foundational knowledge of cultural differences, and striving to suspend judgment as you encounter feedback styles that may be far more direct—or indirect—than you’re accustomed to, can make the difference between evaluations that are helpful or hurtful. Read the entire cover story and explore the July 2020 issue of Toastmaster by clicking on the cover image above.


If you are interested in learning more about cultural competence and foreign language skills, we invite you to sign up for our newsletter, The Culture Reflections. As a token of our appreciation you will receive a series of complimentary materials on cultural competence from us!
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