Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 17, 2013 Theme: Winter

Lynne was our Toastmaster today. She chose "Winter" as the theme. She encouraged us to share our favorite aspects of Winter. Lynne also shared many quotes about winter. Some were profound and others were humorous. My favorite quote was: "To shorten Winter, borrow money due in Spring."

Kate was our first speaker today.
She completed project 9 in the CC manual. The title of her presentation was: Recycle A Way to Life. Kate encouraged us to donate blood, bone marrow and our organs. She explained how to do it and the benefits of blood, tissue and organ donation. Kate noted that when we recycle paper we save a tree. When we recycle ourselves we save lives.

Linda was our second speaker. She completed project 2 in the CC manual. The title of her talk was: Shen Yun Performing Arts. Linda explained the costumes, dance and music of Shen Yun. She also discussed the technical skill, form and bearing involved. Linda’s passion for Shen Yun was very evident in her beautiful presentation.

Our meeting was made extra special today because Karen’s daughter Judy joined us. Guests are always welcome and encouraged to attend. We hope you will join us. Please note that our next meeting will be January 7th. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013 Theme: Unusual Recipes and Remedies

 Robert was our Toastmaster today.  He chose bazaar recipes and remedies as the theme. We learned the recipes for Unboiled (but not raw) Chicken, Drunken Cornish Game Hens and Gracie Allen’s Classic Roast Beef.  Robert also shared remedies for Yogurt Hair care and Odor Be Gone pet urine remover. Since we are in the middle of holiday season, we often find ourselves immersed in materialism.  These humorous albeit simple recipes remind us of the basics that matter.  Bigger is not necessarily better and we will do better if we don’t take things so seriously.

Sophia was our first speaker today.  She completed her second presentation from the CC manual.  The title of her talk was Memory Photography.  Sophia shared with us ways to improve our personal photo taking skills. She discussed basic equipment needed, techniques and post image processing.  Sophia made her presentation easy to follow by organizing it well and putting her outline on the white board for us to follow.

Linda was our second speaker today.  She gave her icebreaker titled: Birthday Wish.  Linda is having a big week this week by earning her Associates Art degree and turning 18 years old.  We learned many wonderful things about Linda from her sharing of wishes about her past, present and future.  We are so grateful we are a part of Linda’s “present”.  She is a talented young lady, capable of making all her wishes come true.

Though we had no guests today our meeting was enriched by everyone who attended. Whether we had a leadership role or just listened attentively we all contributed to our mutual goal of becoming competent and confident leaders.  Come join us in our endeavors. Guests are always welcome.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013 Theme: Consumerism

Kathy was our Toastmaster today. She gave us a little history of consumerism which was our theme.  Consumerism started in 1800s with mass production. Mass production promoted mass consumption which was the start of consumerism.

Sophia was our first speaker today.  She gave her icebreaker titled: Mother Daughter Relationship.  Sophia spoke of her early childhood being raised by her grandparents. Then when she started grade school she lived with her parents.  Though she worked hard and earned good grades she was not able to please her mother. Hence she didn't feel close to her mother. When Sophia married and had children of her own she looked forward to being close to them. She noticed her son did not have her same work ethic. She realized she became her mother when her son asked her why she was so negative. She then understood that her mother had loved her all along, but simply wanted the best for her. Just as importantly she learned that neither she nor her children had to be perfect to be accepted.

Karen was our second speaker. She completed presentation seven from the CL manual. The title of her talk was A New Light on Chronic Pain. Karen tied this presentation into her last talk on living well with chronic pain. Karen dug deeper into new developments in chronic pain and how they can help millions of people reclaim their lives. Karen's partner Maureen gave an enthusiastic introduction to Karen's speech. Research shows that chronic pain is connected with the central nervous system. Basically pain is a tool that tells you your body needs healing. Once it is healed pain goes away. However with chronic pain the the central nervous system needs to be retrained so it stops when the healing is done. Support groups, workshops and workbooks teach tools for retraining the central nervous system so people can live well with chronic pain.

Both speakers were so informative. We were so glad Maureen was a guest today. We hope you will join us next week.  Pictures will be posted at a later date.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

11/19/2013 Theme: Thanksgiving

Lynne was our Toastmaster today. She chose Thanksgiving as our theme. The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621.  The first settlers added their Christian beliefs to the Native American celebration.  In 1939  President Roosevelt was pressured into making the 3rd Thursday of November Thanksgiving so people could start their Christmas shopping earlier. However in 1941 Congress declared Thanksgiving a national holiday and set it as the 4th Thursday in November.
Karen was our 1st speaker today.  She completed project six from the Competent Communication manual.  The title of her talk was Learn to Live with It.  Karen spoke of how she has lived with chronic pain since she was twelve years old.  Chronic pain is considered the silent epidemic.  Seventy-six million Americans live with chronic pain. Thirty million of those have lived with chronic pain for a year or longer. Karen, being the remarkable individual that she is, has learned to live well with her pain. Karen now leads workshops to help others live well with their chronic pain. Thank you Karen.  You are an inspiration!
Kate was our 2nd speaker today.  The title of her talk was Gifts with Taste.  This was Kate's eight presentation from the CC manual.  Kate shared three simple tasty gifts that you can make for holiday giving. Kate emphasized that all homemade gifts should pass the KISS test.  Keep It Simple and Stress Free. Everyone enjoyed the samples of tasty treats that Kate shared.
Jim Nosh was our only guest today.  We always welcome guests to our meetings.  We hope you will be joining us soon.
No Meeting Next Week.  Our next meeting will be December 3rd.  Happy Hanukkah and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013 Theme:Black Friday

Today was extra special because several of our new members accomplished their "firsts".  It was Sravanthi's first time as Toastmaster.  Linda's first as Grammarian. Maria gave her Icebreaker; her 1st presentation from the CL manual. Lastly, but still her first, Sophia was our Humorist.

As TM Sravanthi chose Black Friday as our theme. This is the biggest shopping day of the year. This year Sravanrhi will not only be shopping for herself and her husband, but also for their baby due to arrive in Spring.  Sravanthi used humor and trivia to make this theme fun for all of us.

Kimberly was our first speaker today.  She gave her third presentation from the CC manual.  The title of her talk was Mindfulness.  Kimberly gave us a brief history of the practice, its benefits to our health and well being and suggestions on how we can use it in our daily lives.

Our second speaker Maria completed her Icebreaker titled The King's Descendants.  Through this talk Maria traced her ancestry back to King Reygodos of Spain. Maria gave a royal presentation without using notes!

Though it was a meeting full of firsts for many, everyone learned something new.  The beauty of our meetings is that we learn and grow together.  Come grow with us next week.

Special Note:  There will be no meeting November 26th.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

11/5/2013 Theme: Voting

Kathy was our Toastmaster today. Since it was Election Day,   "Voting" was our theme.  Kathy explained that the first Tuesday of November was chosen as Election Day for several reasons.  November was selected because harvest work was done.  Tuesday was picked because many people had to travel a day to reach the polls.  Since many people would not travel on Sunday because of religious beliefs, Monday was not an option. 

We just had one speaker today. Ash gave her third presentation from the CL manual. The title of her talk was " The Journey of 4000 miles".  Ash spoke her journey to Washington so she and her fiance could legally marry and raise a family.  Growing up gay in the south was not easy.  Yet Ash had lived in the same area for 13 years so she had to leave behind friends and family, professional and volunteer work that she loved.  Her fiance moved here in April to start working for the Seattle Police Department.  However Ash had a job contract to fulfill so she could not move until June.  Ash drove the 4000 miles by herself.  She stopped to see a few sights along the way, but she took the journey by herself.  It wasn't easy, but it led to her new life of freedom with her fiance.  We also so glad that Ash's journey led her to our club! 

We had a little extra time today so Jean our President shared notes from the Area Governor's visit.  Most comments were quite favorable.  However it was suggested that the Toastmaster doesn't speak while members are writing notes and to put a little more constructive critiques in our evaluations.

We didn't have any guests today, but hopefully next week  you will  join us. Guests are always welcome.  We look forward to seeing you.

Please Note:  There will be no meeting on November 26th due to the unavailability of our meeting space.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10/29/2013 Halloween Celebration

Today we vered away slightly from our standard meeting format to have a little Halloween party. Our meeting space was decorated and treats  were shared.  Kate was our Toastmaster and she shared some Halloween trivia.  Celtics used Halloween as a time to celebrate harvest. Around 1000 A.D. the church designated November 1st as All Souls day.  In England the poor would visit the wealthy and recieve pastries called soul cakes in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of dead relatives.

Ash was our only speaker today.  She presented her second talk from the CC manual.  The title of her speech was "Growing Up Isn't Easy".  Ash spoke of how the movie The Worst Witch impacted her life at ages 9, 19, and 29.  Ash learned that any obstacle could be overcome when you are able to trust family, friends and yourself.

After Ash's talk, the rest of the meeting focused on Table Topics.  Kathy was our Topic Master.  Kathy started a little story about how she visited the house where her mother was raised as a child.  Kathy then had the rest of complete the story.  Each of us had 45 seconds to add to the story before it was passed to the next person

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10/22/2013 Theme; Harvest

Excuse the brevity of the minutes.  The secretary is fighting a headache.

Great meeting today. Barb was our Toastmaster. Our theme was Harvest.   Farmers work all year tending their crops and then reaping their harvest. Toastmasters work diligently developing their leadership skills and share their bounty/harvest with the club and beyond.

Juliet was our 1st speaker.  She spoke about authenticity. Don't puff up to make to make yourself known or shrink to hide. Just stand your sacred ground to be your authentic self.

Karen was our 2nd speaker. She gave an impromptu humorous talk about grocery shopping with her siblings and mother when she was a child. We all look forward to more of Karen's stories.

Jean, our president, gave us a brief lesson on how to add humor to our presentations. Simply start with a funny antidote, make it connect to your message and refer to it in your conclusion. Humor will enrich your presentation by connecting with your audience.

Linda and Sophia were our guests today. We hope you will be joining us next week.  Guests are always welcome because they add bounty to our harvest.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15, 2013 Theme: Autumn Leaves

We had another beneficial meeting today. Jean was our Toastmaster and shared many famous quotes about Autumn. Jean also gave us a mini refresher course on how to be an effective evaluator.  A simple method for giving useful evaluations include saying something positive followed by a suggestion for improvement and concluding with something positive.  It is important  "to own" your suggestions by starting the statements with: " I suggest", " I think ", or " In my opinion ".  All of put our evaluation skills to use because we gave group evaluations to our second and third speakers.

Our first speaker was Kate. The tittle of her talk was " Survive and Thrive".  Kate shared three skills that will help everyone survive thrive from any crisis.  They are: trust your instincts, know your surroundings and live in the moment.

Our second speaker was Sravanthi.  The tittle of her talk was " Count 0 to 10 Everyday".  Sravanthi spoke of the importance of drinking 8 - 10 glasses of water everyday.  She listed the many benefits of water consumption and gave us suggestions for incorporating the habit into our daily routine.

Jerry was our third speaker.  The tittle of his talk was " One Two Three Foot It Out."  Jerry spoke of the need for cultural diversity.  The 1,2,3 foot it out was a technique his kindergarten teacher used to make sure everyone got a fair chance. Jerry pointed out that cultural diversity at its best ensures everyone getting a fair chance.

Our meeting today was also enriched by our guests; Jordan, Dallas and Sophia. Jordan and Dallas were invited by members and Sophia found us via our web page.  Now we extend an invitation to you.  Please join us.  Guests are always welcome.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8, 2013 President's Distinguied Club Celebration

Today we parted from our standard meeting format to have a party.  We celebrated being a President's Distinguished Club.  This is a high honor that only a few clubs earn and yet we have earned it two years in a row! We earned this high honor by setting and achieving goals individually and as a club.  Our celebration included beautiful decorations, delicious food and a fun time focusing on Table Topics.

We had three categories for Table Topics today.  The categories were: Gestures, Creative and Vocal Variety.  Everyone was given a number 1 -3 when they entered the party.  Those who had #1 participated in gestures.  Those with #2 participated in creative and those with #3 did vocal variety.

Gestures turned into Charades.  No words were spoken, they just acted out the scenarios given and tried to get others to figure out what they were doing.  Barb earned the top spot in this category.

Those participating in the creative Table Topic were given the scenario of having to explain the human race to aliens.  Lynne received top honors in this category.  Having just 90 seconds to do this brought out humor and quizzical looks on many participants.

Those in the vocal variety were given the scenario of having to explain to their neighbor that unbeknownst to them, they didn't like their cat, they had just run over it.  Humor and compassion were what the participants focused on in this category.  Maria, one of our newest members received top accolades in this round.

Next week we will be back to our standard meeting format.  However I am sure you will find that all our meetings are entertaining and educational.  Please join us.



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

10/1/2013 Theme: Autumn

Barb was our Toastmaster today.  She chose Autumn as the theme. Barb talked about how Autumn is celebrated around the world. For many it's a time to celebrate the harvest, the transition time from Summer to Winter. However in places like Russia, it is a challenging time, a time to mourn. Barb gave us new insights to this time of year.

Ash was our first speaker today.  She gave her " Ice Breaker" speech #1 in the CC Manual. Her tittle was Free Fall. Ash told us how she celebrated her 30th birthday by "Free Falling" from an aeroplane. She had three jumps to complete. The first 2 jumps were tandem where she jumped with her instructor who took control of everything.  She enjoyed the beauty and serenity. The 3rd jump was frightening because she went alone and had to trust herself.  Through this incredible experience, Ash learned some valuable lessons. Ash learned to trust herself, trust the Universe and trust God. Ash learned that she could accomplish anything if she took things one step at a time. Today Ash took a great first step to becoming a " Competent Communicator."

Our second speaker was Kimberly. She completed project #2 in the CC Manual. The tittle of her talk was Stress Management. Kimberly is a professional stress management coach. A little stress is useful, it keeps us focused and competitive. However too much stress causes life threatening illnesses. There are five different types of stress: 1 Physical 2. Emotional 3. Chemical 4. Environmental at work
5. Environmental at home. Kimberly taught us how to recognize and manage the different stresses in our lives. Kimberly's expertise is bound to be a stress reliever for many of us.

A fun way to relieve stress is to have a party. Join us next week to relieve a little stress as we celebrate our Distinguished Club honor. It will be a festive occasion for all.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

9/24/2013 Go Hawks!

The theme for today's meeting was "Go Hawks".  Jerry our Toastmaster shared many interesting facts about the Seahawks.  We learned that several of us are proud to be on the "12th Man" team. Jerry challenged us with many questions about our beloved Hawks. Lynne, our Sargent At Arms knew 99% of the answers. We had several absentees and a few last minute cancellations, but Jerry ran the meeting with skill and grace.

Our first speaker cancelled at the last minute due to illness, so Jerry asked Robert to fill in.  Robert shared with us the humorous presentation he will make at tonight's Area Contest. Robert did a fantastic job! The presentation highlighted Robert's wonderful sense of humor and his love for his daughters. We did a "round robin" for Robert's evaluation.  Seeing the improvement Robert. has made with this presentation, makes us confident he will do well tonight.  Good luck Robert!

Matt was our second speaker. His talk was tittled "The Conversation Stack Up." This was speech #2 from the Competent Communication's Manual. Matt immediately engaged the audience when he asked if we have ever been in a situation where we are trying to get to know someone and the conversation just stalls?  Matt gave us eight simple things to learn to keep a conversation flowing.  They include:
1. Learning the person's name and how to pronounce it correctly
2. Learning where they live
3. Learning about their family
4. Learning about their work
5. Learning about their travels and vacations
6. Learning about their hobbies and favorite forms of entertainment
7. Learning about their dreams and aspirations.
8. Conclude every new conversation with thanking the person for sharing with you.
Thank you Matt for this wonderful presentation.  We all learned ways to engage others in conversations.

Come join our conversation at next week's meeting. You'll be surprised by what you can learn! Guests are always welcome.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013

Today's theme was Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.  Kate was our Toastmaster today. Kate reminded us that the goal of Toastmasters was two-fold. To create competent public speakers which therefore creates leaders.  We are all called to be leaders. Some are out front such as Abraham and some are behind the scenes such as Mary Todd. Kate shared some uncommon quotes and antidotes about the Lincolns.

Today's first speaker was Karen. She gave talk #5 from the Competent Communications Manual. The tittle of her presentation was: Change your Questions, Change your Life.  Karen spoke on how to adapt a positve view when faced with challenges. There are two paths we can take. We can choose the "judger path" which is often a knee jerk negative reaction or we can choose a "learner path" which creates a win-win situation. Karen gave an example from last week's meeting. Pat was all set do his presentation using power point, but his computer failed. Pat could have chosen not to present because his equipment failed. However he rose to the challenge and made his presentation without his planned aids and it was very successful. Karen gave us a simple formula to remember:
Event + responsibility = outcome. Choosing the learner path over the judger path creates a positive outcome.

Kathy was our second speaker today. Her tittle was Evaluate to Motivate. Kathy spoke of the importance of evaluations. They are a learning tool, improve our speaking, boost our confidence and build self esteem. Kathy gave us several suggestions for being a good evaluator. They include taking good notes, giving personal antedotes on how the presetation affected you, choosing effective words and putting yourself in the speakers postion. Being a good evaluator benefits the speaker as well as the entire club. We are successful when we learn and grow together.

"I will prepare and some day my chance will come."  Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 10, 2013   Theme:  A Cup of Coffee

Toastmaster Elaine explained that our club meetings are like a cup of coffee: they give us a little boost! When our confidence is increased it's like a little shot, it can give us energy to do things we might not otherwise be able to do. Sometimes just the smell of coffee can be so enticing and motivating. Just participating in Toastmasters in little tasks gives a taste of what we are truly capable of achieving.


Kate was our first speaker today. She entertained us on our coffee break by sharing a story by Max Lucado tittled: You Are Special.  Kate used a few props and showed great skill in jittering around the cord that was plugged in the middle of the speaking area. 

Pat was our second speaker.  He didn't let the jitters get to him when at the last minute his visual aides failed to work. Pat gave us great flavor of his professional expertise as a financial planner. Pat encouraged us to seek a rate of return of 10%. He talked about the financial challenges of babyboomers and gave us strategy for dealing with them.

Several guests joined us today which enriched the aroma of our cup of coffee. Pat Sultan, our area governor joined us to promote the upcoming contest.
Guests Alex, Radhika, Nanda came to learn what our club is about. We hope they will return. We can't promise a cup of coffee, but we will give your day a boost.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Public Speakers Northwest September 3, 2013 Theme: Contest Party!

Today instead of our usual structured meeting we had contests for Best Humorous Speech and Best Table Topics.  It was a fantastic event!  Jean Tracy, our club founder and current president ran the program.

We have a very talented club so we decided to celebrate along with having the contests.  Barb did a wonderful job with decorations.  She even made sure everyone had a little trophy.  There was tasty food including pasta, sandwiches and yummy cookies.  What made the party extra special were our guests and returning members. Maria, Ash and Maureen were guests today.  After being away for awhile, members Juliette and Lynne returned.

Jerry and Robert were set to compete in the Humorous Contest, however at the last minute Jerry was called away on business.  Robert though was the true winner with his hilarious stories of raising and connecting with his 2 daughters. Robert truly was a laugh a minute with seven funny points in a seven minute talk!

Pierce, Barb and Kate participated in the Table Topics Contest.  Each responded to the question:
If you had to attend a costume party tonight who would you dress up as and why?
Kate said she would dress up as the Good Witch from the East because when she did this 21 years ago she met her husband. Pierce said he would dress up as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean,  However Pierce mentioned if he could get out of going to a costume party, he would do so at almost all cost. Barb said she would dress up as Queen Elisabeth the 1st, her favorite historical figure.  Barb admires Queen Elisabeth for her power and her love of those she ruled.  Barb became royalty herself as she won the Table Topics contest.

Both Barb and Robert will represent our club in the Area Contest September 24th 5:30 PM in our location, The Seattle Times Building  19200 120th Ave. NE. Bothell WA 98011.  Join us and cheer on our winners.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 27, 2013 Theme: Exercise

Elaine was our Toastmaster today.  Exercise is near and dear to heart, because professionally she puts on body building workshops.  Throughout the meeting she shared the benefits of exercise, the least of which is losing weight. Besides being Toastmaster, Elaine received 3 awards today.  She earned her Nickel award for completing her 5th speech last week. She received the Meetup Star award for consistently using Meetup to post about our club.

 Pierce was our first speaker today.  He gave his own introduction which focused on how he went from despair to renewed hope and faith. The body of his talk explained his conviction that he believes everyone can achieve greatness through service.  He had a very powerful conclusion in which stated: "Surrender yourself to service and greatness will surrender to you."

Karen was our second speaker today. She completed project 1 from the Specialty Speeches Manual which was an Impromptu Speech-Chosen by You.  Karen gave us a very inspirational talk about committing to walking 60 miles a month. This was no easy task, but she literally did it one step at a time.  Today was her one year anniversary of walking 60 miles a month. The benefits Karen gained from walking included: improved health, increased personal confidence and many new friends.

Today's meeting was special because we had several guests.  Members from Karen's walking group came to show support. Two guests accepted an invitation from our member Pat and one guest found us via our Meetup post. Guests are always welcome, so weather you are personally invited or just come across this blog, don't hesitate to join us.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8/20/2013 Public Speaking Northwest Toastmasters Club 9406



Todays' theme was Beginninings and Endings.  Toastmaser Barb spoke about the importance of beginnings and endings throughout life. Beginnings and endings represent change which is a natural occurence in life. Being able to embrace beginnings and endings enables us to gain the most from the changes.  Barb spoke from her Toastmasters experience where she has seen average presentations become winning presentations because of their strong beginning and strong ending. On the flip side,she has witnessed great talks not do as well because of their weak beginning and ending.

Our first speaker today was Robert.  He completed speech #3 from the Competent Communication Manual. The title of his talk was KenKen Puzzles.  Robert used his professional expertise as a math professor to teach us to do KenKen puzzles.  Robert  made the presentation very clear to everyone by demonstrating using a white board and giving everyone hand outs so we could easily  follow along.  The speech was special because he used his own gifts to enrich all of us.

Elaine earned her "Nickel Award" by giving her 5th speech titled Taking Action on a Serious Commitment.  Elaine spoke about how her profession as a fitness trainer did not represent a strong presence as a public speaker.  Elaine used humor as she described giving up gym clothes and foregoing her ponytail in favor of a new haircut to fully commit to giving her best in Toastmasters.  As with many changes Elaine dealt with her fears and then reaped the benefits of making a serious commitment.