Guest Contributions · TMOD

A TMOD theme titled “Rise of Video Calling”

TM Nisha from Bangalore has the perfect theme to reflect the changes in world around us – “Rise of video calling.” While the theme may sound technical, TM Nisha has managed to keep it simple and relevant to the knowledge base of the general audience. Have a look.


The French poet Victor Hugo has rightly said “There is nothing more powerful than an idea who time has come.” The world has been using video calling for more than a decade now. Yet, it took just one event to accelerate the adoption at an unprecedented rate – the Coronavirus pandemic. When this pandemic took over, there was just one company at the forefront poised to reap the full benefits of the situation – Zoom. Does it seem unfair that companies like Skype who came first didn’t reach where Zoom did? Well, Bill Gates is no stranger to this. No wonder he said “Life isn’t fair. Get used to it.”

But what worked for Zoom? Well for starters, Zoom was launched in times when smart phones were in every hand and mobile internet rates across the world had reduced drastically. That created a customer base unlike ever before in the history. But more than that, it was the inherent simplicity of the portal, the ability to join any meeting at the click of just one button and its freemium model where anyone could host a meeting of up to 40 minutes at zero cost that led to vast adoption. Coupled with the fact that when Coronavirus struck us, everything from executive meets at a fortune 500 company to your 1 year old kid’s birthday wishing were happening online, that made it all the more easier for Zoom to zoom.

Well, we here at Toastmasters have nothing to complain about. Thanks to Zoom, our learning continued even during the pandemic. On that note, let me tell you how a Toastmasters meeting functions. Every Toastmasters meeting is divided into three parts. The first part is the Prepared Speech section where our members prepare a 5 to 7 minute speech in advance, get it mentored and deliver the same. The second part is the fun and exciting Table Topic Session where anyone can speak for 1 to 2 minutes on a topic given by our Table Topic Master. And the last part is the evaluation session where our General Evaluator will give a comprehensive report on the entire meeting. On that note, let me invite our General Evaluator for the day TM Name.

Once the GE is done explaining his role, invite the Prepared Speakers. After this session, continue with the theme as under.

Somewhere between Skype and Zoom, there was one another event that helped the world warm up to the idea of video calling. It was the video calling feature introduced by Apple devices and apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc. Either to avoid calling charges or just to see their loved ones faces as they talked, these apps really helped the people to understand the nuances and etiquettes of video calling. While the people at corporate circles were attending their meets online even before, this gave the general public a chance to take part in the phenomena too. No wonder, when Zoom came calling, it took off like a rocket.

It’s time now for the second session of the day – the Table Topic Session. Please help me welcome the Table Topic Master for the day TM Name.

Once the Table Topic Session is over, continue with the theme as under.

To give due credit, video calling was first experimented in AT&Ts Bell Labs where they developed a platform called Picturephone in the 1960s. But just like any new technology, it was first bulky and inconvenient. Several other solutions were developed by different people and company but it wasn’t until Skype came along that we had our first serious contender for a true video calling experience. Skype managed to catch the fancy of people’s imagination and raised curiosity among them. On the one hand, the corporate world was increasingly relying on remote working and on the other; people were relocating to distant countries in hopes of a better future. Amidst all of this, Skype went so viral that it led to Microsoft acquiring it in 2011 at $8.5 Billion. Soon, Microsoft integrated Skype with its devices and Windows software. However, it couldn’t achieve the popularity and success that Zoom has. Perhaps that brings home the difference between a giant and a startup – it’s the ability to not only be agile but also bring about fresh thinking that lets the David beat the Goliath.

I would now like to invite the General Evaluator for the day to present his report.

Once the General Evaluator is done presenting his report, conclude the theme as under.

Irrespective of the apps and the corporations behind them, video calling has been a boon for us, especially during times of pandemic like Coronavirus. We are living in times when the world is battling not only scarce resources but also negative effects of using these resources like pollution and deforestation. In times like this, a technology like Video calling can go a long way in helping the world function well without compromises. To conclude, we may all be nostalgic about “old times” but the advent of technologies like video calling has helped us pave the way ahead.

It’s time now for the awards.


Thank you TM Nisha for this wonderful submission.

If you have a script for any role in Toastmasters, let us know here. For more ideas on theme and script for a TMOD session, look here.


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