Connect with Discord

The motion to incorporate online attendance into our meeting format in response to recent public health concerns was approved by membership on March 12, 2020. Having evaluated a number of tools to facilitate meeting remotely, the leadership committee is proposing the use of Discord, a "proprietary freeware VoIP application and digital distribution platform." Although originally conceptualized as a resource for online gaming, Discord makes available a number of tools and features that should allow its use for an online version of our weekly meeting.

Installing the Discord Client

Downloads of an installer for the Discord application for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux are all available here. It is possible to use Discord through your browser, although sound and video quality will tend to be lower. For this reason, we recommend the installation and use of the "fat client" instead.

Connecting to Our Discord Server

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The Discord Client User Interface

Here is the basic anatomy of the Discord client:

Join the #General channel by double-clicking on it to begin chatting with other users.

Push-to-Talk (Required)

To use voice chat, you will want to first set up a push to talk key. To do so:

  1. Click the small gear icon near the left side of the bottom of the screen. This will open the Settings screen.
  2. In the left pane, click on Voice & Video under App Settings.
  3. Under Input Mode, ensure the option for Push to Talk is checked.
  4. Click on the textbox labeled Shortcut to enter a mode where you can press the key you wish to use for Push to Talk. Press the key you wish to use then use your mouse to click Stop Recording.
  5. Press Escape to close the Settings menu. Now when you have joined a voice channel and you press the key you selected in step 4, Discord should make an audible tone to indicate that your mic is open.

Changing Your Nickname and Avatar

If you wish to change how your name is displayed, right click on your account where it is listed in the right pane (Member List) and choose Change Nickname. Enter the nickname you want to use and click Save.

If you want to add an image to make yourself more recognizable, you can edit your profile:

  1. Click the small gear icon near the left side of the bottom of the screen. This will open the Settings screen.
  2. In the left pane, click on My Account under User Settings.
  3. Hover over the default blue and white Discord icon and click when where it says Change Avatar.
  4. Browse to and select the picture you want to use.
  5. Click the green Save button to save your changes and click Escape to close the Settings menu.

Online Meeting Protocol

Outside of the usual professional etiquette, there are few rules governing the use of our Discord server. However, the voice channel labeled SSM Meeting Room is only used for conducting weekly Toastmasters meetings. To ensure these meetings are run smoothly, special rules govern the use of this room:

  • Meeting Facilitation: All portions of the weekly meetings are run by the Toastmaster, including requesting reports at the end of the meeting. (This differs from a standard meeting wherein the Toastmaster turns over control to the General Evaluator for the evaluation portion.) Initially, the Toastmaster will be chosen from those with the most experience with the Discord application.
  • Quiet on the Set: To ensure orderliness, all members should keep themselves muted, except when called upon by the Toastmaster. You can mute and unmute yourself by clicking on the icon at the bottom left of the screen. The Toastmaster reserves the right to mute users as needed.
  • Giving Speeches:
    • It is acceptable to deliver a table topic speech while seated. Similarly, speeches may also be given while seated, especially for any demonstration or presentation-style speeches.
    • Note: While we generally require users to enable Push-to-Talk, it may be useful to disable this feature when presenting.
  • Use of Text Chat: A "Chat Master" will be appointed to monitor chat for anyone with issues during the meeting. Please note that text-based chat should be limited to the Toastmasters topic at hand. Please do not use chat to discuss topics outside of the meeting's subject.
  • Timing and Voting: The leadership committee is currently evaluating methods for Timer and voting for Best Speaker, Best Evaluator, and Best Table Topic Speaker.

Sharing Your Screen

One benefit of our current need to host online meetings is how easy it is to share your screen through Discord:

  1. When part of any Voice-enabled channel, click the small screen icon with the arrow with the tooltip that reads Go Live.
  2. You will be presented with a list of applications you currently have open or the option to present an entire screen (the contents of one of your monitors). If you will also be using a web cam (see below), you will want to choose to present a Screen rather than an application.
  3. Once you have opted to present a screen, your name will appear with a red Live label to let others know you are currently streaming. Others can choose to view what you are sharing by left-clicking your name and clicking on Join Stream.
  4. To stop sharing your screen, click the icon with the .

Sharing Your Web Cam

While Discord does not inherently support direct streaming of web cam in "public" voice channels, we have created a workaround:

  1. While using the Google Chrome web browser, visit our webcam page.
  2. When prompted, grant permission for the page to access your camera (you should only have to do this once). It should subsequently turn on your camera.
  3. Right click on the camera stream and select Picture in Picture. This will create a smaller version of your camera stream in the bottom right corner of your screen. You can click and drag this video to wherever is most convenient, drag the edge(s) to resize it, or click the in the upper right corner to close it.

Note: Be sure to close the webcam page to end your session and turn off your camera when you are finished. Displaying your webcam in this way will cause it to appear on screen when you share your screen through Discord.

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