Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest Believes the Words of Helen Keller

Our toastmaster club is not blind to the meaning of Christmas. Helen Keller expressed it beautifully,The only blind person at Christmas time is he who has not Christmas in his heart.”

Ken, our VP of Education, opened the meeting in place of Barb who couldn’t be with us. Cindy, Ana, Kyle, Jan, Abe, Yanhong, Kate, Jamie, Lynne, and Jean were present.

Ken expressed our heartfelt feelings for the children of Newtown, Connecticut. We all felt pain and sorrow for their families and especially this time of year. We bowed our heads in prayerful silence.

Ken is holding Christmas cards with $15 cards to Starbucks for those at the Seattle Times Building who open their facility for our meetings. To them we are grateful.


Jamie, our Toastmaster for the day, announced that “Christmas” was our theme. Jamie ran an exceptionally smooth meeting with an easy to follow agenda. 

Yanhong, our Grammarian, came up with Lagn iappe, (sounds like lan yap) which means small gift, something given. None of us had heard it before and many used it in their talks anyway. Thanks for expanding our vocabulary, Yanhong.


Cindy, our Time Keeper, kept all our speakers on time. She did some teasing by lifting up our light buttons to prove she could do a good job. Cindy's presence always increases the fun.


Our first speaker, Kate, gave her third talk entitled, Make Every Day a Good Day. We’ve often wondered why Kate is always smiling and is such a positive person. She advised us to do what she does. Kate writes 5 things she is grateful for at the end of each day. Her advice, “When you look for the good, you find the good.” Kate has been writing in her gratitude journal since 1997.

One more thing, she related a story in which she almost drowned and was ready to meet her Maker with a little humor. Kate lives gratitude!

Jamie evaluated Kate’s speech for her spiritual outlook, storytelling gifts, and genuine enthusiasm.

Our second speaker, Kyle, entitled his speech, Giving a Toast in English and Spanish.

In 10 days Kyle will be traveling to Columbia and will be speaking in front of 300 Spanish speaking and 12 English speaking guests. Kyle will be giving the wedding toast for his good friend, Rico.

Jean listened attentively and evaluated Kyle’s talk with the help of Abe and Ana, who speak fluent Spanish. Abe praised Kyle’s pronunciation and gave helpful suggestions. Ana encouraged Kyle to use his broad smile as he spoke. Other toastmasters added their good ideas too.

This was Kyle’s 4th or 5th talk and is a testament to how Toastmasters helps us with public speaking. We congratulate you, Kyle, for your courage and we are excited to hear the results.


Jan, our Table Topic Master, used the Christmas theme to ask her questions. She asked Abe for his best Christmas ever. With deep feelings he said the year 2000 because it was the first time as husband and father he was able to experience the joy of giving. You needed to be there to hear how deeply he meant it.


Ken was asked to pretend he was snowed in at an airport and couldn’t get home for Christmas. Ken used humor as he related a real life story and found the perfect gift for his wife at one of the many airport shops. I can’t relate the exact story because it is a little risque and very funny.


Yanhong said her favorite part of Christmas is waking her 9-year-old Jenny, brushing her hair, and watching her rush downstairs to see if Santa drank his milk and ate his cookies. She believes in Santa because, “Who else would eat the snacks for him?”

Ken, as General Evaluator, made good suggestions for improvement and encouraged each and every one of us with his generous remarks.

All in all, this special meeting was filled with warm feelings, awesome friendships, popcorn, and Christmas candy. Jan brought the treats.

The Blue Ribbon Winners Were:

Best Speaker: Kate
Best Evaluator: Jean
Best Table Topics: Abe

Today's photographer was Ana. Thank you Ana! 

Pictures of the Day! 
Good Listeners!

Jan Passing Her Treats!

News You Can Use:
1. Our Open House White Elephant Gift Exchange will be on January 15th. Members are asked to bring a wrapped gift worth $5 or less. Each member will explain, in table topic format, why the gift they chose is just what they wanted. Jerry will create a team for decorating the room and bringing tasty snacks.

2. The officers for the New Year are requested to attend a fun half-day of learning and training at the Carl Gipson Senior Center on January 5th in Everett. All members are invited. For more information, contact Barb or Jean.

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: Jean Tracy,, 425.745.0022.

Respectfully submitted,



  1. Today proved that Toastmasters is the place where friends help friends succeed.


  2. Real life can be risque from time to time...I hope it didn't offend anyone.

  3. Sorry I missed the risque stuff. Nevertheless, it's a lagn iappe to get to read about the meetings I've missed while out of town during the holidays. Best wishes to all until I see you "next year" and safe Colombian travels to Kyle. Hasta luego!

  4. This was a fun meeting to close out the year. Cindy and I are happy to be a part of this club. It has the right balance of professionalism and light-hearted fun. I can see the members growing also in their communication gifts. Kate hit the ball out of the park with her speech that included a near fatal river raft trip and Kyle attempted a very difficult task, giving a toast in Spanish and English and it came across extremely well.

  5. This meeting was a great way to end the year...wishing everyone a Wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!!