Friday, February 22, 2013

Public Speaking Northwest honors the words of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln

With a Presidents Day theme, February's two favorite Presidents were the men of the hour at today's meeting. Lynne, our Toastmaster, shared several of their memorable and inspiring quotes.

"It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company." George Washington

George need not have worried about bad company if he had been a member of Toastmasters. He would have known the pleasure of being part of a diverse group of interesting individuals, who yet share the common goals of enhancing their public speaking and leadership skills.

"Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm." Abraham Lincoln

Another of Mr. Lincoln's timelessly pertinent remarks. All 20 of today's attendees knew their feet were firmly placed in the correct location. Three speakers stood firm, one for the first time, and shared their speeches . . . and a bit of themselves.

President Jean
Our own President, Jean, opened the meeting with Lynne, Ken, Kyle, Deepanjali, Jan, Pashmeena, Joanne, Pat, Casey, Juliet, Elaine, Barb, Abe, Tracy, Cindy, Jamie, Pierce, and two guests: Eric & Yulia in attendance. She reminded everyone of the Internet address of this blog and appealed to us to read and comment.

Before introducing today's Toastmaster, Jean gave the Treasurer, Joanne, a moment to announce that we've entered the dues collection period for the upcoming Toastmasters half-year. District 2 has some attractive dues incentive prize drawings for which we look forward to qualifying.

Toastmaster Lynne
The day's Toastmaster, Lynne, advanced her presidential theme and then  introduced her GAT(no E) team.

Grammarian ~ Pashmeena/Word of the Day: CHIME
Ah Counter ~ Deepanjali
Timer ~ Jean

With three speakers followed by three speech evaluators, the general Evaluator position went on hiatus today.

Pashmeena chimed!


Ah . . . Deepanjali

Work that timer, Jean!


Jamie spoke first with an interesting piece about jealousy and how we choose only certain aspect(s) of a person on which to focus our envy without coveting everything about that person. Such feelings of envy, and the negative actions they can inspire, reach back to the earliest biblical stories. Well said, Jamie!


Jamie's 6th speech fulfilled the Vocal Variety project in our Competent Communication manual; Barb's evaluation applauded the manner in which his volume and pitch, as well as breathing and pauses, enhanced our interest and enjoyment in his talk.

Umpire Abe
Second speaker, Abe, presenting his 5th speech, the CC manual project focusing on body language, wore his softball umpire uniform and demonstrated how the non-verbal gestures that an ump uses to support his play calls add emphasis and show the audience the result of the play even without having heard the verbal call. Also, Abe always wears his umpire's cap in the correct manner which non-verbally bestows credibility.


Kyle, in his very first evaluation, praised Abe's speech for the entertaining manner in which he presented the body language project. He thanked Abe for making it easy for him to give his first evaluation. Indeed, Kyle appeared as comfortable as a seasoned evaluator.

Elaine melted the ice.

Elaine, as third speaker, gave her first speech, The Ice Breaker. She opened with her brief social media bio and transitioned into an expansion of those details which allowed the audience a deeper understanding of who she is. In only about six minutes, Elaine's Ice Breaker really spread the warmth.


Jan evaluated Elaine's speech with praise for her enthusiasm and ability to present details of her multi-faceted life in a way that inspired the listeners to feel as if they really know her.


Best Speaker ~ Elaine

Best Evaluator ~ Kyle



Thanks to Juliet for volunteering for this task. She then deserves extra credit for grace under pressure. The camera given to her acted up today and the memory card reached its maximum. In spite of near equipment failure, she coaxed many fine photos out of that wayward camera. Kudos, Juliet!


Our club inspirational and evaluation contests will be held next Tuesday, February 26.

Dues collection is under way for the upcoming membership period: April 1 - September 30, and we want to qualify for the District 2 incentive prize drawings. Please see your Treasurer, Joanne, with either cash or checks payable to Public Speaking Northwest. Many thanks!

Please help all outstanding loaner CC and CL manuals find their way home. Bring them with you next week, or contact Joanne for alternate arrangements. Much gratitude!

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,

Joanne, Secretary/Treasurer

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Public Speaking Northwest believes the words of Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." Abraham Lincoln

Honest Abe knew of which he spoke. Nearly two centuries later, members are motivated to join Toastmasters by their own resolutions to succeed.

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." Albert Einstein

Today's meeting, on President Lincoln's birthday, had a love and romance theme in honor of Valentine's Day.

Jean, our President, opened the meeting with Lynne, Elaine, Mihaela, Cindy, John, Barb, Ken, Eugene, Joanne, Jan, Pierce, Jamie, Kyle, Pashmeena, Depanjali, and three guests: Ryan, Pat, and Karen present.

After Jean turned the meeting over to Jamie, the day's Toastmaster, he read The Valentine's Day Ten Commandments to launch his selected theme of love and romance.

The first commandment reads . . .

I am thy Main Squeeze; thou shalt have no other squeeze before me.

The remaining nine were equally funny and a delightful opening act before Jamie introduced his GATE team:

Jean has good timing.

Elaine: Toughest Ah-counter ever!

Grammarian . . . . . . . . .Joanne/Word: MELLIFLUOUS 
Ah Counter . . . . . . . . . .Elaine                   
Timer . . .  . . . . . . . . . . .Jean
Evaluator (General) . . . Ken
GATE Team members use listening skills to keep us on task, alert us to correct grammar usage, help us reduce dependence on fillers (ah & um), track our speech times, and provide complete meeting feedback.
Ken: 5-star Evaluator General
Joanne's word stumped a few.

Mihaela with tablet

Mihaela, as first speaker, gave a timely talk on how technology is changing not only our communications, but the way we walk, as well. She also shared with us a few of the less easily recognized texting acronyms.

Jan evaluated Mihaela's speech with praise for her organized coverage of such a current topic, her use of mobile devices as visual aids, and her request for audience participation in guessing the meanings of those more obscure texting acronyms.


Kyle with skillet

Kyle gave today's second speech; his topic, coffee, was a crowd pleaser. Kyle shared with us coffee culture, history, and even enlightened us on the roasting process, complete with sound effects. He also showed his own at-home roasting gear and demonstrated his technique.


Barb evaluated Kyle's coffee talk, with kudos for his confidence in his topic, his visual aids, his ability to imitate roasting sounds, and the way he demystified the roasting process. Indeed, Kyle's comparison of coffee beans to popcorn, along with his white-board illustration, gave us all an upgrade to our coffee knowledge.

For Table Topics, Jamie distributed candy Valentine hearts with messages. Volunteers spoke on whatever their heart inspired in them. Abe, Pierce, and Karen participated. Karen, a guest at her first ever Toastmasters meeting, was especially courageous in taking the plunge. Way to go, Karen!

Another of our guests, Pat, joined us at the end of the meeting; we'll be seeing (and hearing from) Pat a lot in the future. What a guy! Welcome, Pat!

Several of us remained after the traditional one-hour meeting time in order to see and hear the talks of two recent members, Deepanjali and Pashmeena. They are work colleagues making a professional presentation later this week. Jean facilitated a round-robin style, in which we critiqued their practice presentations on designing the user experience. Great job, ladies and cheers for the big day!


Pashmeena & Deepanjali


Our Blue Ribbon Winners:

Best Speaker ~ Kyle

Best Evaluator ~ Barb

Best Table Topics ~ Pierce

Photographer of the Day: Joanne



News You Can Use:

Our club inspirational and evaluation contests will be held on February 26.

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,

Joanne, Secretary/Treasurer