Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest Shares the View of Henry Ford

Public Speaking Northwest lives the words of Henry Ford, “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” 

The members of our Toastmaster Club care about each other. They help each other through mentoring, evaluations, and encouragement.   

No one seems to want to leave when the meetings are over. Why? We bring out the best in each other.

Our President, Barb, welcomed Prema, Yanhong, Ana, Mihaela, Emery, Cary, Ken, Juliet, Lynne, Jan, John, and Jean

Jan’s clever inspirational story concerned dirty laundry, dirty windows, and the glasses we wear when we view life.

Prema, our toastmaster, kept us laughing throughout the meeting as she told us one joke after another.

Yanhong, our timer, kept the meeting running as scheduled.

Mihaela, our first speaker, entitled her ice breaker presentation, Everything Happens for a Reason.

We learned that Mihaela was born in Romania when her country was under the communist regime. Mihaela spoke of her fear, the lack of freedom, and how the communists controlled everything.

Mihaela is the oldest of three children. She learned to bake bread, sew clothes, paint, plant gardens, and even make wine. She grew up feeling the power within her because her family believed in her.

We learned that Mihaela is a practical person, is fearless in trying new things, and doesn’t worry about failing.

In 1989, when Mihaela neared the end of high school, the people revolted against the communist government. Step-by-step the Romanian people explored both democracy and technology. This motivated her to pursue a bachelor and master degree in mechanical engineering. As a student she took a proofreading job at an important newspaper. After graduation she worked as an engineer during the day and as an art director in the media at night.

Currently, Mihaela is going for a Masters at the University of Washington and will soon start an internship at University of WA Medicine as a User Experience Designer.
Mihaela joined us to improve her presentation skills.

Welcome, Mihaela!

Ken, Mihaela’s evaluator, noted that Mihaela is practical, unafraid, adventurous, and never gives up. He praised her for taking a solid position behind the lectern; used gestures well, rarely looked at her notes, paused well, and gave a very interesting presentation.

Our second speaker, Juliet, entitled her talk “Change.”

Juliet, born into a traveling military family, lived in 10 houses, 8 cities, and attended 7 different schools as a child. She’s lived in Europe, Hawaii, and Alaska. As a married adult, Juliet has lived in 19 houses and 15 cities.

Juliet shared some truths she’s learned from all these changes:

1. Home is not a house. Home is your family.
2. Material possessions are disposable. Due to all the moves in her life she looks at things and asks, “Do I really need this?” She picked up some scotch tape as an example saying, “Is it worth it to me to pack this trinket?” She reminded us that curtains in one house don’t fit in the next one. As a result, she avoids clutter
3. People are important in life. People are precious.
4. Change can be good.
5. Change helps her be more flexible.

At present, Juliet is dedicating herself to being closer to God, self-improvement, and over-coming fears. She ended saying, “Your life does not get better by chance but by change.”

Welcome, Juliet!

Emery, Juliet’s evaluator, spoke of her speaking skills, her stage presence, shared lessons from life’s changes. He appreciated her ending quote and looked forward to learning the “mystery of Juliet.”


Lynne, our Table Topics Master asked for pet stories.

Cary told about his 14-year-old dog, Rocky who’ll bark at a single rock and tear up the grass around it.

Mihaela told getting her dog a toy mouse. It inspired her dog to catch a mouse and bring it inside with its legs up. It took Mihaela some time to figure out it wasn’t the toy.

Jean talked about her son’s dog, Chum, from Alaska.

Ana spoke about how her husband loves “Ice Cube,” the neighbor’s cat. He even gets on the floor to play ‘peek-a-boo’ with it.

Prema offered a fish story about jumping like her fish when removing them from the fish tank to clean the tank.
Ana, our General Evaluator,  evaluated the meeting as a whole with heaps of praise.

John ended the meeting with a joke we’re not likely to forget.

The Blue Ribbon Winners were:

 Best Speaker: Tie between Mihaela and Juliet

Best Evaluator: Emery

Best Table Topics: Tie between Ana and Jean

Congratulations to all!

If you'd like to join us for polishing your presentations, developing leadership skills, and making friends, we welcome you.

We meet every Tuesday from noon to 1:00 PM. You'll find us at the Seattle Times Building in Bothell, Washington ~ 19200 120th Avenue NE. Feel free to bring your lunch.

To find out more contact: Emery Jordan at: (206) 235-1356


Respectfully Submitted,

Jean Tracy, DTM ~ Secretary


  1. Having Mihaela and Juliet give their Ice Breakers added excitement to our meeting.

    Jean Tracy, MSS

  2. Thanks, Jean for a nice summary of our meeting. Enjoyed reading about both the speeches by Mihaela and Juliet. Both shared their important Life learnings and I am inspired by their courage and determination.

  3. Jean, I appreciate the time you put in each week to give us a clear summary of our meeting. As Prema, I was also inspired by Mihaela's and Juliet's experiences. Great Ice Breakers!!

  4. After the meeting, several people commented on how well this meeting had gone. Prema did a wonderful job as Toastmaster.

  5. Congrats to our "Ice Breaking" speakers Mihaela and Juliet. You are more accomplished and skilled than you think! Well done!