Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jan. 27th 2015 Theme: Inspirations – Who? What?

You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~~Unknown

Welcome to this 2015 Blog. Today, we were again visited by a returning guest. Jim was our toastmaster. He described how we get inspired by other people or by objects (e.g. National Flag).

The GAT(e) team was: Alice as Grammarian (guidance), Dave as "Ah" Counter, Amritha as Timer.        
Barb was our first speaker today. She completed the 3rd project (a “modified” monodrama by Walter Ben Hare) from the advanced Interpretive Reading Manual in 7 minutes. Her speech title was "A Leap Year Leap". In her speech, Barb assumed the identity and the determination of the unnamed heroine to take the initiative and propose to the man she wished to marry, since he appeared shy and reluctant. Her several practice tries, which explored physical and emotional aspects led to an ultimate happy ending.

Barb was voted best speaker.

Lynne was her evaluator. Despite the speech being based on an interpretive reading monologue, she felt like the marriage proposal by Barb was very real. Barb’s emotions, frustrations and gesticulations stood out. The blending of the world of the reading and modern day was smoothly woven together. Lynne and the audience were rather delighted with the iPhone call via Siri to Robert’s iPhone.

Our second speaker, Jean, completed her tenth project,  from the Competent Communication Manual in 11 minutes. The name of her speech was "A Spider, A Speech and a Contest Talk". Jean broached the topic of the fears of spiders and other objects and/or experiences and demonstrated with the audience a way to reduce such fears using a 1-10 linear fear scale along with deep breaths and guided imagery. The consequence of the fear reduction is to promote freedom and growth. The call to action, after members felt a fear reduction, was to ask for volunteers to participate in next month’s International and Evaluation speech contests upcoming on February 17, 2015. She received several volunteers.

Naser was Jean’s evaluator. He verbalized the underlying desire of Jean’s speech to inspire and motivate audience members to volunteer for the Speech contests.  Naser reminded us that Jean’s warm smile began with an observation that the perceived size of a spider was directly proportional to the amount of fear (fear factor) held about spiders. He suggested a future improvement in transitions between topics (e.g. The fear reduction formula used with a friend transitioning to the same fear reduction exercise with the audience.) He commented on the effectiveness of the exercise and verified that all eyes were closed as requested. He also invited Jean to consider a more emphatic closing statement to underscore her call to action. 

Naser won
best evaluator for this oral review.

In keeping with today’s theme, Linda, the Table Topics Master, was inspired to conduct a brainstorming session with the audience regarding the U.S. Asia Education Winter Summit to be held on February 9, 2015 at the Nexus Hotel in Seattle, WA (Northgate).

It was brought out that:

• There would be a translator (Linda herself) from English into Chinese.

• Table topics should be the 20 minute structure used to demonstrate a Toastmaster meeting activity.

• Verbal humor would be a difficult matter to succeed with.

• Linda would be a good person to describe her reasons for joining Toastmasters.

• One or more toastmasters might learn and speak a Chinese phrase.

• Grace might exemplify and demonstrate a shy speaker.

• It is difficult being in a country where you cannot understand nor speak its language

• As two table topic exercises,

   - Use gesture and body language (non-verbal) to demonstrate a topic situation.

   - Use restricted vocabulary (e.g. yes or no only) to have a conversation for 2 people.
• the 20 minute session could include (1) Jean’s fear removal exercise, (2) A Table Topics demonstration and (3) An Invitation for attendees to come the next day to the February 10, 2015 Toastmaster meeting at the Seattle Times Building to experience a 1 hour meeting.

Linda indicated the next step would be talk during the officer’s meeting on February 3 and create a plan with the people who will be attending this Summit meeting.

Our humorist for today was Robert. He told two stories: one about a Rabbi and a very short boy and the other about a most unusual jigsaw puzzle and a senior citizen. They had unexpected punch lines and were amusing.

Attendees were: Linda, Lynne, Jean, Jim, Robert, Barb, Alice, Kim, Jung, Grace, Amritha, Kathy, Dave, Naser along with our returning guest Yen Z who is from the U.S. Asia Education organization. Our membership total remains at 20.

~~~~~ Respectfully Submitted by Robert, the Secretary [comments welcomed.] ~~~~~


  1. Barb entertained us with her humorous interpretive reading and Jean showed us a way to make our fears grow smaller...

    Robert, wonderful job on summarizing the meeting. You are so detailed that you filled in the blanks on somethings that I missed.

  2. What a great summary of the meeting! Thanks much, Robert.