Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mar. 3rd, 2015 Theme: Thank G-d For Toastmasters

As more of us turn life into story, we build a shared language that breaks through all sorts of silences and helps us increase our mutual compassion and understanding.
 ~~ Jerry Waxler, memoirist

Welcome to our special membership drive meeting blog. On this day, we had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with 3 guests.  
Barbara was our toastmaster who conducted a varied and full meeting. She explained the meaning of the Theme phrase and invited each of us to express why we are grateful for our respective decisions to be a member of Toastmasters. This was a most cleverly disguised table topic.

The GATE  team was: Kimberley as Grammarian (Master, initially defined as a verb), Dave A. as the Ah Counter, Grace as the Timer and Jean as the General Evaluator.  

Pauline and Lynne were the driving force behind the membership campaign for the last two months. For the presentations of two $25 Starbuck Gift Cards, we had two selection categories:  

Naser won as the lucky guest (and now member) and Linda won as a current member who brought at least one guest. Each winner was chosen by today’s guest, Preston K. 

Although there was food at the meeting to celebrate, contributed by the members, I won’t tease you with pictures of it (Pizza was involved).

Jim was our first speaker of the afternoon. He completed the 8th project (Get Comfortable With Visual Aids) of the Competent Communicator Manual within 7 minutes. His speech title was "Overlooked Side of Stress" His visual aid was a white board showing how stressors could be either positive (eustress) or negative (distress).

In his speech, Jim first told about Hans Selye, who wrote the book: Stress Without Distress. He was an Endocrinologist and studied the Hypothalamus as the gland in the base of the brain that determines the body’s response to stress (fight or flight or freeze). In response to questioning the audience about positive and negative stress memories, there were reports of increased heartbeat, increased breathing, stomach feelings (sinking) and other body reactions.

For reducing distress, Jim recommended taking a warm bath or shower that offers total focus on the body.

Lynne was his evaluator. Lynne liked the Question and Answer with the audience, especially the audience’s guess about the Hypothalamus’ location. She also liked the focus about different stressors brought about by the tree diagram on the white board. She recommended that the Hans Selye reference also be written on the white board, since it was an uncommon name and title. 

Both Jim and Lynne were voted best in their respective categories.
Our second speaker, Jessica, completed her 1st project (The Ice Breaker), from the Competent Communicators Manual within 6 minutes. The name of her speech was "My Life So Far". Jessica began her talk by describing the places she lived in during her life: San Francisco, CA, then Southeastern Idaho, and currently the Seattle Metropolitan Area. She also is in the habit of traveling to the Philippines one month a year to see her mother’s large extended family there. Her two major interests are Hot Yoga (26 postures at 104 degrees Fahrenheit) and Reading. She became a first time Aunt last September.

She joined Toastmasters to help herself to overcome shyness. She recalled her first ever speech in college where she held a poster up and hid her face and slowly over the course of her speech, lowered it in relaxation (and as her arms tired).

was her evaluator. He noticed that she was not nervous and spoke clearly. He suggested that she remember to breathe (even when outside of Hot Yoga classes). He reminded her that she is in a supportive environment here. He liked her re-enactment of her first speech miming the poster's slow downward movement. 

Attendees were:  Linda, Lynne, Jean, Jim, Robert, Barb, Pauline, Jung, Grace, Dave A., Dave P., Amritha, Kimberley, Jessica, Naser, Pamela, along with guests: Myrna R., Preston K. and Yash I. (Amritha’s son). One of our guests, Preston K. joined our club today.  Our membership total is now at 26.

~~~~~ Respectfully Submitted by Robert, the Secretary [Say a few words or comment] ~~~~~


  1. I enjoyed the meeting, and thoroughly enjoyed your "reort" of it. It helps me to read the blog, because you remind me of things that I overlooked in the meeting. It prompts me to listen better, an important leadership skill.

  2. Sounds like a great meeting