Thursday, March 7, 2013

Public Speaking Northwest Enjoys the Words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Today's meeting met with some potential obstacles. Illnesses and emergencies left us with several roles unfilled at the last moment.

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Toastmasters are hearty folks, able to persevere and "hang on" in the face of adversity.


Our President, Jean, took on the duties of Sergeant-at-Arms and Toastmaster. She opened the meeting with Mihaela, Kyle, Jamie, Barb, Joanne, Eugene, John, Juliet, Cheryl, Pierce, Kathy, Elaine, and one guest, Matt in attendance.

Due to our increased membership, and in an effort to allow more speaking opportunities without losing Table Topics and General Evaluator, as well as holding the meetings to one hour for working members, Jean announced some time-saving measures we will try in hopes of accomplishing those goals.

Items we will delete from meetings:

~ Invocation
~ Thank G-d for Toastmasters *
~ Weekly Toastmasters will no longer need to determine a theme, thus saving them time before and during meetings in researching and sharing theme-related quotes and anecdotes.

Remaining in our meetings will be the Mission Statement and Pledge of Allegiance. If these measures save enough time for two Table Topics, we will be spared from having to extend meetings an extra 10 minutes.

* We members will still experience TGFT moments when our speech training gets us through a situation that would have knocked us flat prior to Toastmasters. We are encouraged to share them with Joanne for inclusion in this newsletter. For instance, Joanne shares the following quasi-TGFT incident (admittedly not the "textbook definition" of TGFT).


The Sunday, February 24 NWJobs section of Seattle Times printed a Career Center post from one of its bloggers entitled Why you must be able to speak in front of people. The author points out that most people at a funeral would prefer to be the deceased rather than the person giving the eulogy. She makes an excellent case for why we need to overcome this fear: interviews, meetings, daily work interactions; she closes with "The key is practice. Good luck." but never mentions where one might find opportunities for practice. Joanne visited the blog site and left a comment directing its readers to our club's web site and that of Toastmasters International.

Henceforth, this blog/newsletter looks forward to including your TGFT stories, either textbook or quasi. Keep 'em coming!

Today's GAT(E) Team

Grammarian: Juliet / Word of Day ~ AROUSE
Ah-Counter: Pierce
Timer: Mihaela filled in (Kyle took over during her Table Topics segment)


Our first speaker, Kyle, presented Project #7 from our CC manual, Research Your Topic. He has researched his company's entire technological manual in preparation for an upcoming training workshop which he will teach. Kyle asked for an audience member to call out a number; using that number, without prior planning, he presented Chapter 8 from his company manual as a practice workshop. Way to go, Kyle!

In Jamie's evaluation, he praised Kyle's comfort with and knowledge of his material, so obvious in that he could ask the audience to supply the chapter number. Jamie also appreciated the restaurant analogy Kyle used, which gave a relatable image for the non-techies in the audience. Jamie even had a couple of helpful suggestions for Kyle to integrate into his real workshop.

Speaking second, Elaine shared a talk entitled Spring Cleaning, appropriate for Project #2 Organize Your Speech, in the CC manual. She displayed house cleaning props, described the cleaning and organizing process, then seamlessly transitioned into de-cluttering our lives and making way for the accomplishment of our goals. Well done, Elaine!

Jean enjoyed the speech so much, she began her evaluation by asking Elaine to be her cleaning lady. In an appropriate use of the Word of the Day, Jean praised Elaine's ability to present a problem, arouse us to its importance, then provide a solution. Jean made special mention of Elaine's use of metaphor: house cleaning and life de-cluttering.


Mihaela held index cards on which were written less commonly used vocabulary words. First, John selected a card and had to convince us of his definition of the word centurion. The second volunteer, Elaine, defined the word sapience for us. Mihaela presented a fun and creative Table Topic while her participants piled on the enjoyment with their responses to the little-known words. Applause for all!


Best Speaker ~ Elaine
Best Evaluator ~ Jamie
Best Table Topics ~ Elaine

Before adjourning the meeting, Jean called on the Treasurer, Joanne, to update us on the status of renewal dues collection. Joanne thanked all who renewed so far, stating that we qualified for the first District 2 drawing. She attempted to arouse more members to renew as we focus on the second D2 drawing which requires at least 90% of base renewed before March 15.

Jean acknowledged our guest, Matt, and asked him for his impressions of our club. Matt has been auditing several local Toastmasters club meetings and commented on our ability to "take in stride" multiple absences at the last minute. We hope to see Matt again soon.

Although still a "new" member, he didn't hesitate to volunteer for camera duty today. This edition of the newsletter benefits from his splendid shots. Great job, Eugene.


Coming April 9, don't miss our highly anticipated Book Auction and Open House. This will include good eats so plan to bring guests with whom we can share the bounty. Every attendee, member or guest, should bring a new or gently used book for the auction. Using Table Topics format, we'll present our donated books and fan the flames of desire among the bidders. We're hoping one of our favorite speakers will act as auctioneer. Fingers crossed!

Dues collection continues 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



  1. Thank you, Joanne, for being so considerate and offering great details about our meeting! I am glad that everyone enjoyed our Table Topic Speakers... and not only. MIHAELA

  2. Great meeting. Even when the Toastmaster doesn't show Jean, our president was able to pick up the ball and run with it. And this is another benefit of Toastmasters, learning to be a flexible leader and communicator. Nobody apologized or made excuses, we just moved ahead with confidence! Well done all. Jamie

  3. What a fun meeting! Barb received her trophy engraved with her name for winning our Evaluator Contest last week.

    Beautiful job, Joanne. You have a way with words that are inviting and friendly.

    Jean Tracy, MSS

  4. I missed the meeting, but with your great descriptions, Joanne, I feel that in some ways I was there!! Except that I missed two great speeches and what sounds like a roaring fun Table Topics.

  5. Joanne, I also want to add my enthusiasm for your writing. Let's get a picture of our new member Cheryl next time!