Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest Promotes Friendships

Our toastmaster theme, friendship, agrees with the words of Albert Camus ~

“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

Barb, our president, opened the meeting with John, Jan Z., Jan S., Yanhong, Barbara, Cindy, Jamie, Juliet, Cary, Ana, Ken, Emery, Kate, Mihaela, Prema, Lynne, and Jean in attendance.

As the toastmaster of the day, Barb announced that “Friendship” would be our theme. She proceeded to share beautiful stories of unlikely friendships in the animal kingdom, like the story of the leopard and the cow.

Barb praised both Cary and Kate for participating in the Area Toastmaster Contest. Both improved significantly. Kate won the Table Topics Contest. Congratulations, Kate!

Jamie, our first speaker, entitled his talk Quarters from Heaven. To the surprise of his wife, Cindy, his presentation was about how she approaches life with playfulness. “While Cindy enjoyed a double shot skinny latte,” said Jamie, “she overheard a bored little 8-year-old with his dad and a friend.” His dad said “No!” to the boys demand for a quarter.

The boy said, “Okay, I’m gonna ask somebody here in the mall for a quarter.” His dad warned,

“You don’t want people to think you are some beggar do you?”

This is when Cindy began rolling quarters on the ground toward the boy while she pretended to be on her cell phone. The boy didn’t suspect Cindy as he exclaimed, “Dad, this place is magic! It’s raining quarters here!”

Jamie encouraged us to approach our days with playfulness. We just might make someone’s difficult day magical.

Thanks Jamie, even though you just had surgery and you were hopping around on crutches, you thoroughly entertained us. What a great example you are!

Cary evaluated Jamie with praise. He told Jamie that he and his wife are very much like his own mother and father. No wonder Cary is such a great guy!

Juliet, our second speaker, entitled her talk, Just Say No! She reminded us of first lady, Nancy Reagan's slogan for the War on Drugs. Juliet said she had a problem to solve. Just saying no was difficult for her. 

As a nurse in a county hospital she’d just finish her shift only to be asked to fill in for another nurse. Double shifts and exhaustion became her life.

Juliet knew she had to say no or she’d burn out. She knew Nancy Reagan would be disappointed in her. Juliet started reading a book called, Boundaries. She learned that she felt responsible for others and that she needed only to be responsible to others by being kind and fulfilling her commitments to them.

She advised us to be alert if we fail to say “No!” because of our:
  • Fear of hurting other’s feelings
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Fear of being selfish or feeling guilty
Juliet ended by having specific members of the audience ask her to do things. Just like the advice in her talk, she just said, “No!”

Thanks Juliet. This was such a helpful talk for all of us.

Jamie evaluated Juliet’s talk by telling her the many things he liked about her presentation. He commended her for involving the audience in her speech.


Ana, our table topic master, presented a colorful bag filled with curious objects. She instructed us to pick out 2 objects at a time and show how they’re connected.


Cary chose a frog and a walnut. He talked about catching "nutty" bull frogs with his friend Cameron.


Lynne pick out a Hawaiian dancer and a hamburger.  The girl was hungry and just had to have a burger and milk shake.

Cindy selected a tiny bottle of seashells and a little pig. Seashells represented vacations in Cancun, while pigs show us how to get down and dirty and have fun.

Emery, our general evaluator, praised the good points about our meeting and gave us a few areas to improve. General evaluators are notorious for advancing our skills. Thank you, Emery.

The Blue Ribbon Winners Are:

Best Speaker: Juliet
Best Evaluator: Jamie
Best Table Topics: Cindy

Congratulations to all!

*****Today's photographer was Lynne. Thank you Lynne!

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, September 19, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest Prepares for the Area Contest!

Public Speaking Northwest agrees with Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall."  

Our speakers today, Cary and Kate, practiced for the upcoming  Area Contest this Friday. Their words were carved and clear. Stay tuned.

Our President, Barb, welcomed Jan S. Juliet, Prema, Kate, Lynne, Kyle, Casey, Emery, Jan Z., Jean, and, our special guest...

Our Area Governor, Tammy!

Our first speaker, Kate, delivered her Ice Breaker. This was her very first talk in our toastmaster club. Her speech, "My Career in Volunteerism," was dedicated to her late mother, who ran the speech program at her elementary school. Due to her mother's influence Kate wants to become a proficient speaker.

Kate revealed that her volunteer roots began at age 14 when she delivered gifts and flowers at the local hospital. Kate has volunteered at 15 different agencies and believes that when you give you get back tenfold.

Kate shared how she had helped students from Belarus who had suffered from the Chernobyl disaster.

She taught them English, got prescription glasses for one, and an apartment for the other and her grandmother. (The latter girl and her grandmother had lived in a barn.)

Kate also shared how she learned leadership skills by heading an auction for her children's school. She said it was either be the chairman or pay higher tuition. The auction prospered and so did the school. The tuition remained the same for the students too.

Someday Kate hopes to become a hospice volunteer because the dying can profit by those who care.

We felt we got to know better Kate better and feel enriched by Kate's presence in our club. Thanks, Kate, you spoke well as you shared yourself with us. We look forward to knowing you even more.

Jean evaluated Kate's speech with praise for repeatedly using the set of 3 from her mother's advice. They included:

1. Smile
2. Use eye contact with the audience
3. Use effective gestures

Jean also complimented Kate for using stories which immediately caught our attention and drew us in.

Cary won our Humorous Speech Contest at our Club level last week and received his trophy today.

Cary also shared a new version of his contest speech. He used pauses to set up his humor, and told 3 fun stories about his cousin. Right now his presentation is a secret because he'll be giving it at the Area Contest for our District this Friday.
We gave Cary a round robin evaluation with praise and suggestions for improvement. It was clear that our members are enthused about his talk. We wish him the best.

Lynne was our club's Table Topic winner last week and received her engraved trophy today. Lynne won't be in town for the contest on Friday. Kate, as our first runner-up will replace her.

Lynne was also the table topic master today and had members pick an autumn poem and comment on it. Of course, she picked Kate to respond so that Kate would have more practice for the Area Contest.

Kate picked, "Unless a tree has borne blossoms in spring, you will vainly look for fruit on it in the autumn." ~ Charles Hare. 

Kate did a fine job by talking about the need to prepare for our goals if we want to harvest good results. 

Kyle picked, "Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits." ~ Samuel Butler

He said, "Winter needs the seeds we plant we in the ease of spring and summer to reap the fruits of autumn."

Our Blue Ribbon Winners!

Best Speaker ~ Kate

Best Table Topics ~ Kate

Best Evaluator ~ Jean

News You Can Use!

Our Area Contest will be held this Friday at 5:30 PM. It will include Humorous and Table Topic contestants from our neighboring toastmaster clubs. The contest will be held here at our own Seattle Times Building. Everyone is invited.

*****Today's photographer was Kyle. Thank you Kyle!

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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest Promotes Contestants

“I don't care whether people like me or dislike me. I'm not on earth to win a popularity contest. I'm here to be the best human being I possibly can be.” ~ Tab Hunter

Our toastmaster club uses contests to help our members reach the next level in speaking and leading.  In this way, they become the best they can be. 


Toastmaster Pierce ran the contest with confidence and ease. He began with pithy quotes, introduced contestants, and awarded the winners.

Jean, as chief judge, gave a quick lesson on how to fill out the official contest ballots. 

Ken, as timer, manned the lights. He made sure each contestant kept within the time limits. Otherwise, they'd be disqualified. Fortunately, everyone qualified.

Emery, our first speaker in the Humorous Contest, entitled his speech, “Do the Right Thing.”  He encouraged us to register and then vote with conviction. He disapproved of all the political backbiting. He hoped candidates would come together with civility and discuss the issues.

Emery encouraged us by saying, “Do the right thing, vote in this election.” He ended with, “Mr. Toastmaster, I approve of this message.”
Cary, our second speaker in our Humorous Contest, entitled his talk, “The Adventures of James.”  He shared stories about his special needs cousin.  Cary won our Humorous Contest.

We can’t share his contest speech publicly because he will use this speech to go to the next level, our toastmaster area contest. We wish Cary well and thank him for being willing to represent our club.

Jan headed the refreshment committee and brought in chips, cucumbers snacks, salads, and had members bring their special dishes for the contests. We refilled our plates and settled down for the Table Topics Contest.

Our Table Topics contestants were Lynne, Kate, Kyle, and Prema. (Their pictures are in the order of their names.)
 They had to leave the room until it was their turn to answer the Table Topic Question:

“You’ve just applied for your dream job. What is it and why should you be the one to get it?”

Lynne wanted to be an advocate for elderly.
Kate has her dream job ~ being a mom for her teenage daughters.
Kyle wants to be the pilot for a flying city.
Prema felt that any job she chose would be her dream job.

Lynne won this contest. She won’t be in town for the Area Contest, so Kate, as runner up, will represent our club.

We applauded all our contestants for their courage in participating in the Humorous and Table Topics Contests.

The winners, Cary and Lynne, received their winning certificates.

The contest was adjourned. Members and guests crowded around the food table to eat, chat, and enjoy each other’s company.

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

Monday, September 3, 2012

Public Speaking Northwest 8/28/2012

Finally, last weeks meeting review is here. Jean Tracy is away and the writer-Emery is amazed at the work involved to produce great minutes of our meetings and for them to be timely.We are in the "dog days of summer" and many of our members are enjoying the summer elsewhere and I celebrate you. Mind you that I am writing from memory because I had a speaking role and frankly was out of focus to be alert and take notes. So it here goes.

Generally, we had a great meeting with some excitement and some unexpected events. First, we operated without a written agenda. Usually, this is a real shot in the foot and cause to grind ones teeth, however, in true Toastmaster form Ken Knuckey stepped forward and carried the ball across the goal line--Thanks Ken. You see the "Google Doc" document is kind of an agenda listing all of the roles, but not in the correct order
 Cindy Bohnett as Invocator and Grammarian provided a quote from her daily calendar and subsequently gave the word "Reprimand" found in the quote (meaning to give a sever rebuke of ones actions). Great thinking on your feet Cindy. The club treasury was added to on this interesting but tough word to work into ones speaking.

Barbara Bengtssom, did the Timing role for the first time and what a job she performed. Faced with the issue of a speaker going overtime Barbara learned you just stop the timer when the speaker is done. It is a respectful matter to attempt to stay within the established time frame for the sake of the meeting schedule.

The speaking segment featured Emery Jordan performing his Project #2, from the Advance Speaking Series-"Let's make it Personal", from the Story Telling manual. Emery's speech was titled "The Fishing Story". His story is based on a real life account of his relationship with two Uncles, Luke and Jesse. Emery developed his characters, plot with an added emotional conflict with Uncle Luke and redemption resolution. He ended the fishing story with a flury of exciting moments on a memorable fishing event with his two uncles. Many members thanked Emery for this personal reveal of his life and family. Emery showed digital pictures of Uncles Luke and Jesse and a map of the Buffalo, N.Y. area and Canadian border where he lived and went fishing.

 Jamie Bohnett evaluated Emery's speech which he felt was well done and surely achieved the objectives of making it personal. Jamie liked Emery's relaxed style and his vocal variety in delivering colorful and detailed dialog. Jamie suggested that Emery's storytelling of the "Fishing Story" may have been better stated at the beginning of the speech and restated at the end for completeness and continuity. Overall this was one of Emery's better executed speeches. Thanks.

Pierce Loftin presented his first speech from the Advance Speaking Series-"Presenting a Technical Speech"-entitled "How to build a website using WordPress software." Pierce is noted for giving will executed and  constructed speeches and this one was no exception. I can not begin to tell the complexity of the subject matter. However, Pierce made the material meaningful and well thought out. Pierce used his computer and the whiteboard to demonstration the various steps in the process of website development. Realizing he would go over his time frame, Pierce completed the speech with many references to the audience for future adventures in website development using WordPress.

Barb Katz evaluated pierce's speech with many adjectives. She liked his construction, execution, and much preparation to deploy such a complex subject. Barb said, I learned a lot about a subject that is mostly difficult for the average person.

Due to the overtime of Pierce's speech there was no presentation of Best Speech  and Jamie was awarded the Best Evaluator.

The meeting was concluded with the following announcements:

1. There will be an Executive Meeting on Monday at 11:00AM, based on agenda emailed to officers. All member are invited to attend. This meeting is the leadership of our club in action, also great for future officers.
2. Our Club Humorous and Table Topics Contest is scheduled for September 11, Tuesday 12:00 NOON.
invite a guess and bring a friend. This is also an Open House when we will have a some food to celebrate and attract new members.

4. Emery Jordan presented our Club with a new ribbon for our banner for the "Home Club of Area 32 Governor". Emery was appointed Area 32 Governor for the current fiscal year, 7/1/2012 to 6/30/2013.

5. Many thanks to Jim and Jean Tracy for hosting again this years Summer social picnic. Fun was had by all.

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,

Emery Jordan