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.