Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Feb. 3rd, 2015 Theme: Transitions

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome. ~~ Isaac Asimov

Welcome to February and this Blog. Today, we had the pleasure of receiving 3 guests. Kathy was our toastmaster. She described how we are all affected by changes due to transitions..
The GATE team was: Linda as Grammarian (consequential), Grace as "Ah" Counter, Amritha as Timer and Jean as the General Evaluator.

Naser was our first speaker today. He completed the 5th project (Your Body Speaks) from the Competent Communication Manual in 10 minutes. His speech title was "Procrastination – The Ideal Behaviour". In his speech, Naser examined the irrational delay of behavior which is called procrastination. In his questioning of the audience, he discovered that the entire audience admitted to procrastination but only one person (me) thought it was a good thing.

The virtues of procrastination were enumerated: prioritizing more pleasurable activities over less pleasurable ones; in the time of Cicero, sitting around and thinking and deciding only when absolutely necessary was considered virtuous. Procrastinators are thrill-seekers, optimistic, perfectionistic and excellent excuse makers. These characteristics lead to a life of adventure.
Naser was voted best speaker.

Jim was his evaluator. Jim liked the humor, the rhetorical Q & A with the audience, and the gestures made by Naser. He suggested that his body movements could be further exaggerated by loosening up to accent the humor of the situation when talking about his wife’s reaction to his weekend relaxation. 

best evaluator for the insightful review rife with body language of his own.

Our second speaker, Dave, completed his second project (Organize Your Speech), from the Competent Communication Manual in 7 minutes. The name of his speech was "Don’t Stand Too Close To The Financial Ledge". Dave introduced the Financial Ledge as a metaphor for minimal (less than 3 months worth) or no savings, minimal account reserves just prior to receiving the next paycheck, and described 3 remedies for this plight.
• Having a personal budget (balancing how much money comes in and goes out)
• Having an emergency fund (providing up to a 3 month income cushion)
• Paying off debts. (Reducing the Debt Snowball) Paying off those debts with the highest interest rate first to minimize the amount of interest added on or paying off smallest debts first for a sense of accomplishment in having fewer debts.

Lynne was Dave’s evaluator. She acknowledged that the ultimate audience for this speech is to be college students (next week). She agreed that Dave did produce a well-organized speech, backed by a clear power point presentation and that he offered 3 ways to step away from the financial ledge. She liked how he distinguished between needs and wants when deciding whether to buy anything. She suggested that the entire audience be included and asking questions of them to increase their involvement with the speaker.

In conformance with today’s theme, Pauline, the Table Topics Master, provided a handout identifying a variety of transitions and strategies for responding to change, particularly when unprepared for it. A number of impromptu speakers variously talked about somewhat painful changes involving civilian to military life, long distance moves, becoming a mother, strengthening a marriage, and becoming pregnant.

 Jean was our best table topics speaker.

Jean was our also our General Evaluator. She noted positively the warm welcome given to our trio of guests, and for their benefit, explained what Toastmasters is about. She complimented Kathy about providing a clear agenda and smoothly updating the roles for today, and explaining the transition theme. While Pauline the table topics master offered an excellent handout, the format of one question for all participants offered too much time for speakers after the first one, making it successively easier for subsequent speakers. The physical room arrangement could be improved by moving the audience’s U-shaped tables further away from the projector/computer table so the speaker could see the entire audience and be seen by them. She also suggested that applause occur with every transition of a new speaker to the lectern area.

Attendees were: Linda, Lynne, Jean, Jim, Robert, Pauline, Alice,  Jung, Grace, Amritha, Kathy, Dave, Naser along with guests Cathy Z., Jessica K. and Morgana T. Two of the three guests discovered us via and the other via Toastmasters International. Our membership total remains at 20.

~~~~~ Respectfully Submitted by Robert, the Secretary [say what you will – in a comment] ~~~~~


  1. Following up on Naser's wonderful procrastination speech, I found this cogent two-part blog posting by Tim Urban called "Why Procrastinators Procrastinate?" and "How to Beat Procrastination". Look at: -- Robert

  2. Robert you do a wonderful job capturing each meeting. Maybe too good. No one will want to follow you as secretary. Anyway, you write and detail each meeting with SUPER VISION. Thank you so much.

  3. I was really sorry to miss this meeting, and after reading about the meeting I feel even worse! It sounds like a wonderful meeting. I hope to hear those speeches again sometime. Barb

  4. Thank you Robert. Nice job once again.