Thursday, July 26, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest Promotes Storytelling Presentations!

Public Speaking Northwest honors the words of Joan Didion, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”   

Emery, our Public Relations VP, shared his fabulous storytelling skills today!

Our President, Barb, welcomed Lynne, Emery, Jerry, Jan, Pierce, Jamie, Prema, John, Ana, Ken, Barb, Kyle, Yanhong,  Mahaela, Jean, and Jamie’s guest, David.

Ken, our Toastmaster for the Day, shared his theme “Pretty in Pink.” Of course, he wore a pink shirt. He posted the word of the day, “Bravado.” Most members used it when they spoke and are expected to use it during the week as part of our vocabulary building program.
 Emery, our first speaker, exposed his storytelling talent with, “Guess Who’s Coming to Lunch?”  He based it on the story of Little Red Riding Hood. We were mesmerized by his gestures, body language, and facial expressions as he flawlessly slipped into each character with his vocal variety, German accent, and mischievous smile.

We learned that Red (Little Red Riding Hood is just her moniker) brought Grandma-ma a tasty lunch of cranberry compote and peanut butter cucumber sandwiches with peasant bread. We also found out the Big Bad Wolf wore yellow Nikes.

Emery ended with the woodsman chopping off the wolf’s head while Red and Grandma-ma ate lunch instead of being lunch. This was Emery’s first speech from our  storytelling manual. We can hardly wait for his next 4 stories.

Jan, our first evaluator, praised Emery to the sky for his confidence, voice variation, and his vivid picture of throwing Grandma-ma into the closet. She ended by saying, “You’re a real good storyteller.”

Jean, our second speaker, gave a power point presentation entitled, “Friends Helping Friends Succeed.” Members were told that Public Speaking Northwest offers a second set of eyes for their presentations because everyone has a mentor. Mentees were encouraged to send their presentations to their mentors for suggestions before giving their talks. This service is available to all. Most organizations and editors charge but in Toastmasters it is perfectly FREE.
Everyone participated during the presentation as if they were mentors. With 8 outrageous headlines like Kids Make Nutritious Snacks and Miners Refuse to Work after Death, members were asked to rewrite the titles. Laughter filled the room as members thought about what the writers said and what they really meant. Our members offered excellent solutions too.

Prema, our second evaluator, liked how Jean used her talk to promote our mentoring program. She felt the outrageous titles provided great participation and fun.


Ana, our Table Topics Master, had Kate and Mahaela tell us one of their secrets by pulling a topic from her special container.

Kate, who joined our club last week, bravely rose to tell us about her love for Lily. Whenever she came home for a visit, Kate yearned to see Lily. Lily belonged to Kate’s dad. Lily was his dog.

Mahaela, had to speak about a disastrous boyfriend. It didn’t take her long to remember an insensitive boyfriend who wanted to take her on a boring train ride that would have lasted for many hours. She knew he wasn’t for her.

David, our guest, enjoyed the meeting and said he’d return next week. We look forward to seeing David again.

The Blue Ribbon Winners

Best Speaker – Emery
Best Evaluator – Prema
Best Table Topics – Kate

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest Presents with Passion!

Public Speaking Northwest Supports the words of Cicero, “A good orator is pointed and impassioned.” Today we had two outstanding speakers who demonstrated the words of Cicero!

Ken, our VP of Education, led the meeting in place of our President, Barb, who wasn’t feeling well. Ken welcomed our Area Governor, Tammy Preuss, along with Mihaela, Cary, , Prema, Jerry, Lynne, Pierce, Casey, Kyle, Jamie, Emery, Jean, Yanhong, her daughter, Jenny, and our special guest who became a member today, Kate.

Cary, for the first time, acted as toastmaster, presented the meeting agenda, and chose “Ego” as his theme. 

Cary’s wisdom shown when he stated that we need ego but it must be balanced. People with too much ego tend to brag and turn people off.

Casey, our grammarian, chose “Fructuous” as our word of the day. He gave its meaning, which is to be fruitful. Good job, Casey!

Ken, our first speaker, chose his title well, “Seattle 62.” Ken began with a prophetic quote from The Tale of Two Cities, “It was the worst of times. It was the best of times.”  Ken spoke with passion, as he reminded us that in 1962 Seattle held the World’s Fair. It was a time of celebration - the best of times. It was also the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis when President Kennedy had his finger on the nuclear button in case the Soviets didn’t remove the missiles from Cuba. It was also a time when federal troops went to Mississippi to ensure school integration.

Ken shared the “Duck and Cover” slogan when school children, at that time, practiced ducking under their desks in case of a nuclear attack. He didn’t think “Duck and Cover” would have helped them much.

Ken was 11-years-old when the Seattle Space Needle was built. He told us the foundation was deep because it took 467 cement trucks hauling 5,700 tons of cement to fill it. It was built to withstand 200 mile winds.

The Seattle Center had a computer that didn’t work very well but it prophesied that someday we would communicate face to face via the computer. It was the first time for touch tone phones and the Seattle monorail. 

Jean gave the evaluation for Ken’s speech. She noted how effectively Ken began with a quote. Ken’s voice kept the audience interested as it went from loud to soft and fast to slow. Ken moved about the room with confidence and ease. His gestures were natural and spontaneous. Jean praised Ken’s memory for numbers in describing the building of the Space Needle. Such a fine presentation!

Kyle gave his first speech and it was terrific! Kyle grew up in the Seattle area and returned from South Dakota last year. When he was asked where he was from while in South Dakota, he’d answer, “Microsoft, Washington.”

Things have changed in the Northwest since Kyle was a boy. There was no 520 bridge crossing Lake Washington, and not as many large shopping areas, or golf courses. As a kid he watched new areas being bulldozed, enjoyed riding his bike in the ruts they left behind, and Kyle built go-carts too.

At 11-years-old he delivered the Seattle Times. That was when Operation Desert Storm began. He enjoyed trading baseball cards. He also learned how to muck horse stalls. Kyle noted that as a child he was bullied, moved from school to school, and was home schooled too.

Kyle worked for TCI, AT&T and Comcast as a salesman. He was good at it and doubled his salaries. He also worked for Merit Financial as a telemarketer. He knew how to keep customers engaged. He had one rule for himself, “I wanted to be able to look myself in the mirror.”

After working at a Turkey Processing Plant in South Dakota, Kyle and his wife returned to Washington. We are fortunate and happy that they did. Great speech, Kyle!

Emery gave the evaluation for Kyle’s presentation. Emery mentioned Kyle’s considerable skills as a speaker. He noted Kyle’s vocal variety, his ability to look around the room, straight posture, occasional smile, and his speech organization. Emery encouraged Kyle to increase his storytelling abilities too.

Pierce presented the topics for impromptu speaking. Prema spoke about sunglasses. Jamie spoke about his swimming trophy as a 6-year-old. Yanhong talked about Starbucks, and Jerry talked about cell phones today.

The Blue Ribbon Winners

Best Speaker – Ken
Best Evaluator – Tie between Emery and Jean
Best Table Topics – Jerry

Congratulations to all!
Special Event
Our Area Governor, Tammy Preuss, inducted Lynne as our Sergeant-at-Arms.

New Member
Katherine Grosvenor (Kate) joined our club today. Welcome Kate!

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

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest Motivates Members to Stand Up and Speak!

Public Speaking Northwest conquers George Jessel’s words, “The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.”

Because of the terrific program from Toastmasters International, our club helps each member find his voice, speak his mind, and learn memory strategies.  

Beginning toastmasters learn they are important to us. They feel our culture of caring, growth, and teamwork. This motivates them to stand up and speak.

Due to our supportive culture for developing our members, we are now a Distinguished Club. Our members achieved so many educational awards this year that we earned the number 3 position in our huge district, District 2. Our President, Barb, calls us “HOT!” She’s right. We sizzle!

Barb opened the meeting with Jan, Yanhong, Mihaela, Prema, Juliet, Cary, John, Pierce, Jean, and our two newest members, Casey and Kyle in attendance.

Emery, our toastmaster for the meeting, prepared an agenda with fireworks. His theme, Great Balls of Fire, anticipated tomorrow, July 4th.

Jan, our featured speaker, is the queen of facts and statistics. Her presentation, entitled “Environment and Population Growth," encompassed her concerns for the future of our planet. 

We learned:

1. In the 1970’s the issue of the day was zero population growth.
2. In recent years, we’ve become concerned with climate change, recycling, reducing water and air pollution, electronic hybrid cars, eating organic, and buying local.
3. We are the only species that pollutes our own drinking water.
4. World population reached 7 billion in October of 2011.
5. World population is increasing 220,000 persons per day.
6. Half the world population is under age 25.

Jan didn’t just mention problems but also some solutions:

1. Contraceptives could reduce unwanted pregnancies. 215 million women worldwide who want them are deprived of them.
2. Literacy among women predicts lower fertility rates, healthier families, and increased economic opportunities.
3. Comprehensive sex education can be an important step toward limiting teen pregnancy.
4. Gender equality for women in many cultures would give them the right to vote, essential human rights, education, control over their own fertility, and more independence.
5. Jan also included voluntary sterilization in her list of helpful ideas for fighting climate change with family planning. Why? When a baby is born, the mother increases her carbon dioxide legacy 6-fold.

We all felt Jan’s passion and concern for the healthy future of our planet. Thanks, Jan, for your awesome research.

Barb evaluated Jan’s speech. Barb noted that Jan’s manual speech encouraged her to persuade with facts. Jan could have chosen any topic. Jan’s deep research brought to light many issues we care about.

Barb mentioned two toastmaster suggestions for all of us:

1. Keep clapping until the speaker reaches the lectern or podium.
2. The speaker should remain at the lectern or podium until the toastmaster shakes his/her hand.

***The simple rule is: Avoid leaving the lectern or podium vacant.

Barb praised Jan for her eye contact with the audience and her literary phrases which enriched her presentation.

Prema, our Table Topics Master, asked questions regarding the theme, “Great Balls of Fire.”

Pierce spoke of buying fireworks at Boom City and lighting them off the dock at Lake Goodman. One fellow hurt himself when his bazooka firework backfired.

Cary, as a kid, lit fireworks in his Everett neighborhood. He and his friends laughed when the neighbors threatened to call the fire marshal. The fuse of one firework got caught under one of Cary's fingernails and burned him.

Jan recalled a special 4th of July celebration at a summer mansion owned by the US Embassy in Moscow. It included games, food, and music.

John shared a horrible 4th of July picnic where he and his fiancĂ© played games all night and ate watermelon. The good news – it enkindled even more romantic sparks in  their relationship.

Our new member, Kyle, pictured Frances Scott Key, sitting on a boat during the War of 1812, wondering if our flag would still be flying in the morning. This experience led him to write the Star-Spangled Banner. (President Wilson named it our national anthem in 1916.)

The Blue Ribbon Winners:

Best Evaluator ~ Barb
Best Table Topics ~ Kyle, our new member.

Congratulations to both!

Next week we will have a special Grab Bag Meeting. Barb will train us in the use of our Competent Leadership Manual. Mihaela will also present.
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