Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest Excels in Impromptu Speeches

Public Speaking Northwest must disagree with Mark Twain. “It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” 

In our ‘Grab Bag’ meeting this week, Cary did it a few minutes! Look for it inside!

President Barb welcomed Emery, Cary, Prema, Jan, Ken, Casey, Kyle, John, Jean, and guest, Kate.

New Business: Barb urged officers to attend the officer training on July 31st in Redmond.

Toastmaster Jean organized a Grab Bag meeting. The only person on the agenda was our first speaker, Barb. As members entered the room they were to pull out their role for the meeting from a ‘grab bag’ (brown lunch bag).  Since the theme was ‘Team Culture’ Jean believed that our excellent club was up to performing their duties on the spot. Our members were spectacular!

First Speaker:

Barb’s talk entitled, Becoming Successful Leaders, informed us that every role we play at each meeting is rewarded. Our Competent Leadership Manual records each of our achievements like fulfilling the toastmaster, table topics master, speaker, and evaluation roles. When each of us completes this manual we will achieve the CL (Competent Leader) award. It’s recorded at Toastmasters International and adds to our points for becoming a Distinguished Club.

Barb taught us how our manual is organized and how to fill it out. She urged our members to look ahead in our manuals and prepare for our roles. At the meeting we mark which role we need to be evaluated for and pass it to a nearby member who will evaluate our performance. This gives us the credit we need to become competent leaders. Now we know why we must bring our Competent Leadership Manual to the meetings each week. Thanks Barb.

First Evaluator:

Prema noted that Barb started with a question and answered it in her speech. She liked Barb’s explanation that Toastmasters is about leadership and to be a leader we need to be good speakers. Prema appreciated the card Barb gave each member explaining the roles for each project in our Competent Leadership Manual. Her evaluation was positive and helpful.

Second Speaker:

Cary proved Mark Twain wrong today! At the beginning of the meeting he picked ‘Speaker’ from the Grab Bag. That meant he had to collect his thoughts and come up with an impromptu speech.

Cary entitled his speech, TV and How It Affected My Life. As a little boy television filled his mind with dreams of becoming a boxer like Rocky and Muhammad Ali. He and his brother even used nerf balls as gloves for their boxing matches.

Later he dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. He still has hopes of swimming with the great white sharks (protected by a cage). He’d like to reach out from the cage and actually touch a shark.

Cary noted the dark side of TV. He felt that too many programs glorify drugs, alcohol, and violence. He believes that if we constantly see these things, they’re going to rub off on us.
Cary ended his talk saying, “TV is good for relaxing, drifting off, and entering a fantasy world.”
This was Cary’s 4th talk. He stood up to the plate and hit a homer. Thanks for showing what a toastmaster can do!

Second Evaluator:

Ken evaluated Cary’s talk and expressed appreciation for the stories, contrasting pictures, and the personal insight Cary provided from his presentation. Ken used his creative drama to evaluate Cary’s talk.We were charmed.

Table Topics Master:

Jan grabbed the table topics role and came up with questions for our new member, Casey, and one for Prema.


Casey spoke of his love for games. He studies a game magazine and reads all the articles. He pays close attention to the reviews for new games and decides whether or not to buy them.

Prema had to give several uses for the bounce sheets we put in our dryers. To our amazement she came up with several fine ideas like adding them to our storage boxes, adding them to books and bookshelves, dusting furniture, and putting them in the freezer and then wrapping them around cokes to keep them cold.

Our Blue Ribbon Winners:

Best Speaker ~ Barb
Best Evaluator ~ Ken
Best Table Topics ~ Prema

Congratulations to all!

Next week Cary will be our toastmaster for the meeting. It will be his very first time. Let’s be there to cheer him on!

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


  1. Awesome! Wish i could have been there!

  2. Great meeting. Appreciate the speech by Barb talking about how to move ahead in Toastmasters. Really good meeting.

  3. I really enjoyed this meeting for several reasons. First, it takes courage and preparation to pull off a "grab bag" meeting, not knowing who will do what and even who will show up. The courage part comes from the Club's williness to grow and experience a challendge--we were up for it and it shows. Secondly, for our members and leadership in being prepared. Barb did a great job of sharing and teaching how to use the Competent Leadership manual. I for one did not know this information when I first started with Toastmasters in 2009. Finally, I think this meeting was an inspiration to our newest members on what to expect from the leadership and communications training that Toastmasters International is capable.

  4. I am still trying to comprehend why Cary would want to pet a white shark...the man has courage!!

  5. I appreciated Prema's evaluation of my speech very much. She gave me some great ideas on how to approach this type of topic next time. Every speech is evaluated at a Toastmasters meeting, providing positive feedback and suggestions for improvement. In this way, we all learn together.

  6. Wish I was there!

    1. I wish you were there too, Yanhong. Hopefully, you can come this Tuesday.

      Jean Tracy, MSS

  7. I wish I was there too!:(

  8. So sorry to miss a meeting and particularly icebreaker speeches from new members. Really a great job Jean with the minutes. Really makes me sorry I missed the meeting. Jan