Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dec. 16th Theme: Book/ CD exchange party

Today we had our end of year open house event- a book/ CD exchange party. Members brought in yummy food and special decorations to celebrate this delightful holiday season. Jim was our toastmaster.

 Lynne was our speaker today. She completed the 7th project from the Competent Communication Manual. Her topic was "Songs of The Season". During her speech, Lynne presented five well known Christmas songs and their interesting origins that many people are unfamiliar with. For example, the song "Jingle Bells" was originally created for Thanksgiving and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" was an advertising venture.

We had a round robin of table topics today. Jerry was our table topic master. Members brought pre-owned CD’s and books for other to choose. Each person had a great time picking one and telling everyone why he or she chose it.

We had three guests today, Justin A., Terry Schuler, and Hee Kim. They enjoyed our meeting very much and said they’d like to come back and join our regular meetings in the future. We welcome them and we hope everyone will have a great Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dec. 9th Theme: Christmas Tidbits

Lynne was our toastmaster today and she picked "Christmas Tidbits" as the theme. Throughout the meeting she introduced the history of Christmas in the United States and some critical events, such as the recognition of Christmas as a national holiday was not until 1870. Christmas was first celebrated by Louisiana in 1838. 

Jim was our first speaker. He spoke from the Competent Communication Manual, speech #6. His topic was "Getting to Know Yourself Better.” Jim, in his previous speeches, touched upon knowledge about brain activity and psychology. This time, he taught us the benefits we will get and the tools we can use through self-examination. He also demonstrated a "metric exercise" to help us get a baseline on our emotions. With that information we can work on becoming more positive in our lives.

Alice was our second speaker. She gave a talk from the Competent Communication Manual, speech # 5. Her speech was entitled, “Choice of Life.” She told us the story about a single mom she met at a company's Christmas party. Alice was touched and surprised by the lady's upbeat attitude. The woman served others coffee as she told Alice about her autistic child.  Alice concluded, "We are what we give back to life.”. We were moved by Alice's powerful speech about love. 

We had two guests today, Anisha and Amritha Imandi. They enjoyed our meeting and Amritha decided to join after the meeting. Welcome Amritha! We're very glad to have her. Anisha signed up to give a speech in January!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dec. 2nd Theme: Interesting Animals

Alice was our toastmaster today and she chose "Interesting Animals" as the theme. Throughout the meeting, Alice shared interesting facts about many lovely animals. For instance, the skin of the flamingo is pink due to its diet of shrimp. And the gobble sound made by male turkeys is to attract female mates. 

Pauline was our first speaker today. She completed her second project from the Competent Communication Manual. Her topic was "Volksmarching for Fun, Friends, and Fitness". Volksmarching is a non-competitive walking event that developed in Europe. In her speech, Pauline dressed up in her volksmarching outfit and demonstrated different types of volksmarching. Along with telling the history of Volksmarching in Europe and U.S., Pauline shared her experiences volksmarching in Finland, Russia, and Hawaii. She encouraged us to explore this interesting sport.

Barb was the second speaker. She gave a talk titled "Swimming is Much More Fun When You Start in the Shallow End of the Pool". Barb talked about her journey toward getting her Advanced Leader Si.ver Award at our toastmasters club. She also told us the three important lessons she learned from hosting the Area's Humorous and Table Topics contest in September. It was through this event Barb earned her High Performance Leadership Award.

We were very happy to have Emery visit our club again. As a long time member and having served as our club president, Emery was very glad to see the growth of the club and would like to donate to our club for the District’s Presidents’ Breakfast. We appreciate his contribution and help in the club!

In January, we’ll have a new slate of club officers. May our brand new year as toastmasters be even more successful than this year!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Nov. 25th Theme: Thanksgiving

Pauline was our toastmaster today. She picked "Thanksgiving" as the theme. She shared traditions of Thanksgiving in America and also other similar traditions celebrated in other countries around the world such as Mid-Autumn Day in China and Chuseok in Korea.

The special word for the meeting was "cornucopia" which means abundance and nourishment and our members had much fun integrating it with their talk about Thanksgiving. 

Jean was our speaker. Her "Turkey Talk" involved all the members to improvise and come up with interesting ideas, which we enjoyed a lot. During the speech Jean created three Thanksgiving scenarios, and she called on our imagination to use special items- cards, table cloth and books with open pages- to create interesting holiday memories. 

We also had cornucopia of table topics throughout the meeting, which was hosted by our guest Dave. We had a great time and Dave decided to join our club. Welcome to be part of our group, Dave!  

Nov. 18th Theme: Presidential Firsts

Barb was our toastmaster today. She picked "Presidential Firsts" as the topic. Throughout the meeting Barb shared many facts about presidents establishing traditions, such President Lincoln proclaiming Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863. 

Jim was our first speaker today. He gave a talk from the 5th project of the Competent Communication Manual-- "Your Body Speaks". His topic was "What Fires Together, Wires Together". He raised three questions about the physical wiring and activities happening in our brain. He explained the negative emotions such as fear and anger that helped humans survive, and positive emotions that can be enhanced through practice such as mindfulness and meditation. 

Robert was our second speaker. His speech was from the Interpretive Reading Manual. His title was "Address to the Plenary session, Earth Summit, Delivered by Severn Cullis-Suzuki at Rio Centro, Brazil 1992." Severn is an activist and writer who has been speaking out about social justice and environmental issues since she was 12 years old. Robert picked her speech at the Earth Summit in Brazil in 1992 and was able to share environmental issues with us through the power of his voice. 

We had two guests today, Dave Almond and Emery Jordan. Emery is a past member and president of the club. He was happy to visit and see an expanded group since he left. Dave has visited us twice and he liked our organization and a variety of roles that help person improve skills in different ways.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nov. 11th Theme: Singles' Day

Our toastmaster today was Linda. She picked Singles' Day as the theme. This holiday was originated from Chinese university students who believed the visual connotations of "11.11" look like "bare sticks", Chinese slang for being single. Nov. 11th has become a popular celebration day among Chinese young people and a shopping event cross the country.

Jean was our speaker for today. She gave a talk from the 9th project of the Competent Communication Manual. Her goals were to encourage and persuade the audience to use quotes in a speech. She opened with a quote from Julius Caesar. She followed the quote by telling us she would present 3 stories about people who conquered their fears. This was a demonstration for creating an effective speech opening. Then Jean divided us into two groups and asked each group to craft and present an introduction using a quote. She said, “The results were amazing!”
We did table topics and a round robin evaluation for the rest of the meeting. Members all actively participated. Many commented that this meeting was a great practice for developing their skills. 

Congratulations on Lynne getting her 5th Speech Nickel Award. Linda also got her Competent Leader Award and 10th Speech Competent Communication Award. We're very happy to see the progress made by our members!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nov. 4th Theme: Election Day

Jim, our toastmaster today, picked the theme "Election Day". Jim shared some interesting facts about elections in the United States and other Countries.

Lynne, our first speaker, finished her 6th talk from the Competent Communication Manual. Her title was “From Pianissimo to Fortissimo, Living Out Loud.” Lynne talked about postponing her speech projects at our toastmasters club. Her “passive procrastination” had delayed her from achieving her goals. In finding a cure for this issue, she was inspired by two opposite modes in music, pianissimo and fortissimo. Lynne described her “pianissimo” style as passive, procrastination, and paralyzed. In music pianissimo is a soft mode. “Fortissimo” means strong and loud. Lynne is choosing to live “fortissimo” and “out loud” by being fruitful, forthright and free in reaching her speaking goals.

Kathy, our second speaker, completed her 4th project from the Competent Communication Manual. Her humorous topic was the “Hot Yoga Experience.” We laughed throughout as Kathy shared exaggerated stories about what she’s learned in 150 degree temperatures.

Linda, our third speaker, accomplished her final project from the Competent Communication Manual, Inspire the Audience. Linda talked about her eight years of learning classical Chinese dancing, watching a MIT physics lecture video, and joining our toastmaster club. She shared how her teachers and mentors, who showed they cared, inspired and challenged her to succeed. Although she struggled in the very beginning, she eventually gained confidence in learning their subjects. She inspired us to not only appreciate the teachers who offer encouraging help, but to pass on this spirit of helpful caring to friends, family, and mentees.

We had one guest, Annath. He enjoyed our meeting very much and said he’d come back. We welcome his second visit!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Oct. 21st Theme: Inventions

Lynne was our toastmaster today. She chose “inventions” as the theme. Lynne brought us stories about inventions that we see and use in daily life. We learned the flexible straw was invented by a father who used a screw and dental floss to bend the paper tube. This made drinking milkshakes easier for his small daughter. Other inventions such as the pop can’s tab opener, the paper bag, and the potato chip not only brought us convenience but significantly improved our enjoyment. Many people with such ingenious ideas have made great fortunes in their businesses.

Alice was our first speaker. She gave her forth speech from the Competent Communication Manual. Her title was “The Adventurous Mom.” Inspired by her friend Yolanda, Alice decided to go skydiving. She chose a day when she could get away from her busy schedule, including work and kids. In the 30 second free fall, she opened her arms and felt the freedom to reveal her true self. Alice felt this adventure helped her release pressure. With renewed energy she was able to embrace her kids with a fresh new feeling when she went back home. 

Thanks to Jean we did a “round robin” evaluation for the speech, "I See Something." It was given by Toastmasters’ world champion, Dananjaya Hettiarachchi. From his speech we learned that techniques such as repetition, groups of three, props, and humor can effectively hold the audience's attention and build a powerful message.

Next week we will have a special Impromptu Halloween Party. Friends and guests are very welcome to join our celebration. Feel free to dress up. The person with the best costume will win a prize. We're looking forward to seeing everyone at our event!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oct. 14th Theme: Joy

Barb was our toastmaster today and she chose "Joy" as the theme. Throughout the meeting Barb shared quotes that defined joy into different meanings from different countries. River, kissing, and beauty have been compared to joy by many authors.

Robert was our first speaker. He finished his second speech from the Advanced Interpretive Manual. He read an excerpt from the Line, a New York City long-running play. Robert used his voice to interpret five different characters in this drama who were trying to lie and manipulate each other in order to be first in a line. Robert made us laugh and we enjoyed his role playing. 

Pauline was our second speaker. This was her very first Ice Breaker Speech from the Competent Communication Manual. Pauline told us about her dream to ride a horse when she was a little girl. This became true when she took a trip to a horse farm in the fourth grade. She earned money by delivering newspapers to lease her first horse and later to visit her grandmother who owned a 102 acre horse farm in England. 

We had one guest, Roger. He thought our club was very welcoming and well structured. He commented that watching the Ice Breaker speech and advanced speech helped him learn the speaking skill progression at toastmasters. We were very glad to have him and hope he will come back again! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oct. 7th Theme: Water

Linda was our toastmaster today. She chose "water" as the theme. From her research Linda shared the facts that water is an essential element of our body and a major constituent of the earth. Despite the fact that water is plentiful on our planet, clean drinkable water is remarkably scarce. Many people are suffering from clean water deficiency due to pollution and waste. 

Barb was our first speaker. She spoke about a new leadership project she is working on. Her title was "Sharing Your Vision". Barb compared leadership in toastmasters to helping a baby learn to walk. As our area governor, Barb used her role to successfully run our Area Contest last month. This month her goal is to find 14 volunteers to help out at the District Contest.

Jim was our second speaker. He completed his forth talk from the Competent Communication Manual. His title was "Take Back Your Mind.” Jim realized his friend, Bill, was suffering from frustrations in life. Jim knew from his own research in psychology and neuro-psychology that people are always thinking but are unaware of all the thinking that goes on in their heads. He told how Bill learned to focus on the present. Jim then showed us how to direct our attention to the present moment through breathing and observing, which he referred to as mindfulness. 

We had one guest, Jewel, She was looking for a place to practice her public speaking and to build up her confidence. She decided to join us after the meeting. We are very happy to have her and to help her achieve her goals!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sept. 30th Theme: Flower

Today Pauline was our toastmaster ­and she picked "Flower" as the theme. She told us the meaning of different flowers, for example, white roses stand for reverence and perfection and yellow roses mean friendship and welcome, etc. 

Jean was our first speaker. She completed her 7th talk from the Competent Communication Manual. As Vice President of Education, Jean created a group discussion describing the Toastmaster’s role.

Every meeting is led by a toastmaster who has specific duties for running an efficient and fun meeting. Jean also shared a famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt and encouraged us to overcome our hesitance and worry by stepping into the Toastmaster Role.

She also shared that there are currently 314,000 toastmasters around the world. This means many people are stepping out of their fears and thriving at as the toastmaster of their meetings. 

Alice was the second speaker. She accomplished the 3rd speech from the Competent Communication Manual. Her topic was "Dare to Dream". Alice shared stories about people who have created successful companies and earned great wealth. They are using their money to help the public. Some examples include giving millions of dollars for public education, driverless cars, and high-speed transportation systems.

We had one guest, Nestor Makora. She commented that we were a well-organized club where everyone took on roles with ease while developing important skills. We appreciate her attendance and hope to see her in the future!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sept 25th Theme: DCP Celebration

Today our club held a celebration for achieving the President’s Distinguished Club Award. We enjoyed a delicious pot luck lunch.

Kathy was our toastmaster. Jean was the Table Topics Master. She explained how we earned this honor and how our individual achievements contributed toward receiving this highest of club awards. This is our third year in a row.

Throughout the meeting, we had a serious of table topics and each member participated. Division governor, Pat Sultan, and Area Governor, Barbara Katz, also shared their experiences serving as leaders in our District. Pat commented that "Toastmasters is a safe place to succeed and to fail, like a pillow catching you when you fall.”  

At the end of the meeting we had a drawing to reward the members who have renewed their dues for the next 6 months. Let’s congratulate Robert on winning the $15 Starbucks Card! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sept 9th Theme: The World of Toastmasters

Barb was our toastmaster. She picked "The World of Toastmasters" as her theme. Barb prepared handouts with a map of Toastmasters Regions and Service Levels in Toastmasters International.

One of our members, Pat, who just came back from the Toastmasters International Convention in Kuala Lumpur, shared her excitement about the event. 

Linda was the first and the only speaker. This was her 9th speech from the Competent Communication Manual and her topic was "Food Labeling - Customers’ Right to Know Their Food". Linda did research about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and shared facts about GMOs having fewer nutrients and being more likely to cause disease in humans. She encouraged us to eat more organic food and be aware of what we eat, which sometimes is not what we expect. 

Kathy was our Table Topics Master today; she prepared a serious of questions about Toastmasters. She asked us to talk about “Of The Year Awards.” We spoke about the best club, best website, and new, creative, and fun awards.  Everyone at the meeting got a chance to practice their impromptu speaking. 

Next Wednesday we will have our Area's Humorist and Table Topics Speech Contest. Jim, who won our club Table Topics Contest, will represent us at the area competition. Let's wish him good luck! We welcome people to come and see what our toastmaster contests are like.

We know that wherever we go, Toastmasters will always offer us a supportive environment. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sept 2, 2014 Theme: Labor Day

Pauline took on Jean's challenge to be today’s toastmaster and she did a great job! The theme was "Labor Day.” Jean brought cupcakes with little American flags. Yummy! :)

Jim was our first speaker. He gave a speech from the third project of Competent Communication Manual. His title was "Elephants, Anxiety, and Public Speaking.” In his speech, Jim shared his favorite African proverb which uses an elephant as a metaphor to refer to obstacles in life. Anxiety can be like an elephant for many when it comes to public speaking. Jim showed us how to use our mental powers to deal with anxiety in a positive way. 

Barb was the second speaker.  She accomplished her second project in the Interpretive Reading Manual. She picked the poem The Highway Man by Alfred Noyes. Barb's great vocal variety and different character voices really kept our attention throughout the poem’s story. 

Today we were honored to have Jean's old friend, Ralph. He is the founder of Toastmaster's Advanced Club, Extraordinares. Ralph joined our meeting as a guest. He volunteered to be the evaluator for Barb. Ralph believes Toastmasters is a life changing event. We could see his spirit by his dedication to Toastmasters throughout his career. His example is a big encouragement for all of us. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 26, 2014 Theme: Judging

Barb was our toastmaster today and she picked the theme "Judging" because we were having our Table Topics contest. She shared that the most important thing about judging is fairness, which is using the same criteria and standards in scoring each of contestant's performance. 

Before the contest started, Anna was our first speaker. She gave a toast as the maid of honor at her best friend’s, her sister’s, wedding. She pretended we were the wedding party with the bride and groom. Anna did a fine job expressing her happiness as she gave her blessings to the newlyweds.

We had 3 contestants for the Table Topics competition, Robert, Linda and Jim. Each of them got the same topic and gave a speech on ‘what natural phenomenon they would like to see if they could witness it in a safe place.’ They all did a good job. Robert won the second place award and our winner, Jim, will represent our club and move on to the Area Table Topic Contest that that will be hosted on Sept 17th.

We had two guests, Sherry and Adriana. We were very glad to have them and hope they can come back in the future. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 19th, 2014 Theme: Health Tips

Linda was our toastmaster today. She picked the theme "Health Tips.” Linda had observed her friends' different life styles as they returned to school from their different countries. This made her look into some helpful ways for improving people's health with both food and lifestyle tips. 

Barb was our first speaker. She did the 1st Project from the Advanced Manual "Interpretive Reading" and her title was "The Cat That Walked by Himself". The story was from the book The Just So Stories written by Rudyard Kipling. Barb used great vocal variety to closely draw our attention to the wild cat who walked by himself.

Jean was our second speaker. She finished the 4th Project from the Competent Communication Manual by sharing how to use the Competent Leadership Manual. Jean showed us how our duty roster, our gold star chart, and our Competent Leadership Manual work together. Her goal was to help us get leadership credits for each of our weekly roles.

Jerry was our third speaker. He finished his 9th speech from the Competent Communication Manual. Through his power point demonstration, Jerry showed us different categories of fire and what type of extinguishers we need to put them out. He noted that the fire extinguisher outside our room at the Seattle Times Building is a universal extinguisher and can put out any type of fire.

We had one guest, Grace, who was invited by Alice. She enjoyed our meeting very much and decided to join our club. So let’s welcome Grace for being part of our toastmaster family! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 12th, 2014 Theme: Anniversary

Jim was our toastmaster today and he picked "Anniversary" as the theme for the meeting. He spoke of some special anniversaries such as everyone's birthday, and to him particularly today is the wedding anniversary with Jean, congratulations! Also Jim did research on anniversaries that have a positive significance such as Columbus finding the new land in 1492 and a negative anniversary such as 9/11 in 2001.

Alice was our only speaker. She talked about her favorite restaurant "Tao Ban Woo" in Taiwan and what she observed after many visits that made this restaurant successful. She believed that this restaurant not only has yummy food, prompt customer service, and clean environment, but also simple pricing on the menu and unique company constitution that set it apart from its competitors. 

We had a good time sharing our experience and comments on different anniversaries during the Table Topics time. We're glad to see Jerry again and have him share his 25 years of service anniversary as a fireman in Bothell. 

We had one guest Damian join us; we would like to see him return in the future. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 5th, 2014 Theme: Summer Strolls- The HooDoos

Jean was our toastmaster today. She picked "Summer Strolls along the HooDoos" as her theme. She told us the formation of Bryce Canyon, according to scientists, is based on centuries of erosion.  According to an Indian legend, the god, Coyote, froze the selfish people into the tall circular rocks known as the "HooDoos."

Kathy was our first speaker. She finished her #4 speech in the Technical Advanced Manual. Her topic was about chemostat production of ALD403, which is very technical to her field of study. She pretended the audience was her coworkers and did a fine job reporting her result on chemostat research. 

Linda was our second speaker; she also brought her cousin Jinhao as our guest. Last week they went to Wild Waves Amusement Park and rode on the roller coaster. This gave her the idea for her speech describing how different the roller coaster is in China where Linda came from. She also spoke about the roller coaster as a metaphor for life with its ups and downs.

Like the word of the day, we hope everyone has a good time enjoying the green and freshness of these summer days.