Thursday, February 26, 2015

Feb. 24, 2015 Theme: Greek Gods And Goddesses

According to Greek Mythology, humans were originally created with 4 arms, 4 legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves. ~~ unknown

Welcome to our last February meeting blog. On this day, we had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with 2 guests.  Our winning contestants, Naser and Linda from our club contest last week received their personally engraved trophies.

Alice was our toastmaster who conducted a very full meeting. She briefly talked about why the Greeks invented their multiple Gods and Goddesses as a way of explaining the realities of the world like thunderstorms and the 4 seasons. Both Mythology via stories and Philosophy helped amplify the world as it was known then, prior to Science getting a firm grip much later on.
The GAT(e)  team was: Kimberley as Grammarian (Kudos), Jessica as the Ah Counter, and Jung as Timer.           

Lynne was our first speaker of the afternoon. She completed the 8th project (Get Comfortable With Visual Aids) of the Competent Communicator Manual in 7:40 minutes. Her speech title was "Beyond Fortissimo: Discovering Mission" Her visual aid was a powerpoint presentation via her computer and the club’s projector.

In her speech, Lynne first told about a U.S. marine, who served in Iraq in 2004, who was very clear about his military mission. She referred to a book by Donovan Campbell, called The Leader’s Code, which concerns itself with a Leader’s mission, character, service and getting the job done.

She referred back to her previous speech #6, entitled: “From Pianissimo to Fortissimo, Living Out Loud.” given back on November 4, 2014, in which she reversed procrastination. Here, she is accepting the challenge of focusing outward to offer service as the Chairperson of her Yacht Club for 2015 that involves planning and organizing for Opening Day on May 2, 2015. (Her husband will be 1st mate in this new activity.)

Jim was her evaluator. Jim was impressed with her audio-visual skills with the power-point slides and admired the flow of her talk. He recommended that she use more vocal variety, even to the point of yelling to provide greater contrast and power that underlines her determination to go beyond self-protection into leadership.

Our second speaker, Naser, completed his 10th project (Inspire Your Audience), from the Competent Communicators Manual in 8:29 minutes. The name of his speech was "What Does Great Mean?Naser introduced his talk by managing  to not impress his son with the concept of greatness. This led him to entertain the title question, “Am I great?” And “If so, why?”  He determined that he was not extraordinary nor a hero. His own heroes were his Grandmother, who looked after him as a teenager and his best friend in College, who stood with him and told him the truth. Both of these people touched his life emotionally and repeatedly.

Naser has chosen this speech to be streamlined and given at the Area 54 International Speech contest on March 25, 2015 (at the Seattle Times Building at 6PM).

Jean was his evaluator. She noticed that he had excellent eye contact with individual audience members which has a contagious effect. His voice was strong, although there was a tendency to reduce volume at the end of a sentence or paragraph, making it hard to understand what was said. By improving pronunciation of his words, this can be overcome. (me: also deeper breathing?). She also encouraged him to reduce his speech by 2 minutes to insure he doesn’t exceed the 5-7 minute contest speech duration.

Jean was voted Best Evaluator.

Our third speaker, Amritha, completed her 2nd project (Organize Your Speech), from the Competent Communicators Manual in 7:10 minutes. The name of her speech was "Believe That All Things Are Possible".  Amritha introduced her talk by relating a personal story of healing. She was assisted by 2 women that helped her navigate through a difficult time in her life. One was a friend of her husband who was a long term cancer survivor. She demonstrated that a positive attitude affected health, lifestyle, food choices.
The other was a naturopath who was a huge contrast to her previous physician, who could only prescribe tests and supplements. The Naturopath met with her for 90 minutes to understand Amritha as a whole, not only her symptoms. After an expensive blood test, recommended that she change her diet severely: i.e. Brown Rice, Quinoa, Apple Cider Vinegar in Water before meals, Fruits and Vegetables. At the end of two months she was healed; At the end of 5 months, she became pregnant!

Both Amritha and Naser were voted Best Speaker in a tie.

Linda was her Evaluator. Linda expressed how inspired she felt after Amritha’s speech. She said the enumerated suggestions were valuable, helpful and timely when she needed them. Linda recommended taking more space in the U shaped area of the conference room. In fact, walking deep into the audience area for a closer connection, using more vocal variety as well as pauses in her story and refining her speech to enable more time for the conclusion, which was impactful.

Due to time constraints, Table Topics/ Humorist with Robert was skipped and will occur "elsewhen".

Attendees were:  Linda, Lynne, Jean, Jim, Robert, Barb, Pauline, Alice, Jung, Grace, Amritha, Kimberley, Jessica, Naser, Dave, Diane, Kathy along with guests: David P. and Pam R. Both of our guests, Dave P. and Pam R. joined our club today.  Our membership total is now at 25.

~~~~~ Respectfully Submitted by Robert, the Secretary [Write or comment] ~~~~~


  1. Both of our guests decided to join our club. You are so welcome! Alice did an excellent job as a Toastmaster. She was very well prepared, and she kept the meeting on time.

  2. Nice summary as usual Robert

  3. What a pleasure to read, Robert! I don't know how you remember so much so well.

  4. Robert, your attention to detail is amazing!!