Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Apr. 7th, 2015 Theme: Easter Bunny

An Easter Bonnet can tame even the wildest hare ~~ Unknown

Welcome to the first April meeting blog. Today, we had 3 guests attending our meeting.  

Naser was our toastmaster and conducted a full and enjoyable meeting.  He talked about the Easter tradition of celebrating new life at this season. The Anglo-Saxon Goddess Oestre (or Ostara) was the Goddess of Spring, Dawn, Fertility, Rabbits, Eggs and the East. Her primary qualities were bringing birth, rebirth and renewal to a winter-weary world.
The GAT(e)  team was: Linda as Grammarian (Triumphant), Chizuko as the Ah Counter and Jessica as the Timer.

Pamela was our first speaker of the afternoon. She completed her 1st speech from the Competent Communicators Manual (The Ice Breaker) in 5:30 minutes. Her speech title was "Getting To Know Pam".

Pamela summarized the first part of her life as: born in Enumclaw, moved to Buckley, married her childhood sweetheart, raised 2 sons. She preferred kitchen dish toys to books and when her sister introduced her to a Tea Room in Burlingame, CA, that became an abiding theme in her life. She moved to Redmond, then Arizona, then Bothell. She acquired training, catering instruction, learned tea etiquette, but could not absorb marketing. She now offers locally, a tea catering at your home business.

Pamela won the best Speaker award today (tied with Amritha).

Jean was her evaluator. Jean liked her excellent gestures, audible voice, eye contact encompassing the entire room's occupants. She also appreciated the various steps from a little girl with toy tea cups and saucers to commercial tea cups and saucers and how that journey was tied together in her speech. Jean encouraged her in a future speech to step out in front of the lectern and speak directly to us.

Our second speaker, Amritha, completed her 3rd project (Get To The Point) from the Competent Communicators Manual , which was called: HABITS – Cornerstones Of Success In Life in 10:40 minutes.

She talked about how her life changed after she joined our club on 12/16/2014. Her habit of procrastination would be put to the test. She based her ability to deal with forming more helpful habits with a book called: Mini-Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise.

She described what parts of our mind are involved with habit formation. The conscious mind manages and thinks and makes decisions; The subconscious mind recognizes patterns and does repetition.
She identified four steps to mini-habit formation: (1) Identify a desired goal [Finish a book]  (2) Identify a required habit [Read every day] (3) Define a Mini-Habit [Read at least 3 pages/day] and (4) Track the progress toward meeting your goal. [Book done yet?]

She gave all of us an exercise to use these steps for our own individual goals.

Amritha won the best Speaker award today (tied with Pamela).

Dave A. was her evaluator. Dave liked that Amritha satisfied the goals of her speech project. She kept her composure, varied the rhythm of her speaking (talk, stop, focus while pausing, carry on speaking). He was delighted with her passion as evidenced by her movements covering the entire inner U shaped space throughout her talk. He suggested that her audience focus be expanded to both sides as well as in front of her.

Our third speaker, Preston, completed his 1st speech from the Competent Communicators Manual (The Ice Breaker) in 5:24 minutes. Preston talked about his work experience marketing Aerospace Engineering to Colleges where he collaborated with a colleague. Preston wrote and his colleague spoke on Conference Calls.  In a later job, he got to do both the writing and speaking, but this time in a Webinar setting where the audience was 5-10 times greater and nationwide. (e.g. 30 attendees from Minnesota alone). This gave him an unexpected dose of stage-fright. Preston has joined our club to reduce his tendency toward stage-fright and to receive positive and gentle guidance for improvement in his public speaking.

Barb was his evaluator. Barb was very impressed with Preston’s ability to speak without notes, stand up in front of us and offer a well-organized description of his path to Toastmasters. She enjoyed him describing the synchronicity of the increasing number of Minnesota Webinar connections with his mounting fear. She praised his timing, comfortable speaking style, and vivid descriptions of his situations.

Barb was voted best Evaluator.

Jim was the Table Topics Master for this meeting. He provided separate questions to two volunteers, who were to answer and talk for at least 45 seconds and no more than 2.5 minutes.

Alice answered the question: Would you rather be invisible or fly? She chose invisibility and listed various benefits that deliciously go to the dark side to gain an advantage.

Alice won the award for best Table Topics Speaker.
Dave P. answered the question: How different are you from all others? His response was that he had a unique ability to be and remain positive in all situations.

Our humorist was Robert. He first offered an Easter Bunny Formula:

Easter Bunny = Santa Claus – (Breaking And Entering)

He then told a story about a motivational speaker who used an attention-getting verbal device successfully in a seminar and of an executive in the audience, who decided to try it out at a dinner party held that weekend to disastrous effect.

In the photo below, Grace has captured the shared chocolate addiction of two of our members: Barb and Alice (l-r). As best in their respective categories, each received the edible Easter Bunny. (Amritha was also a recipient of this award.)

Attendees were:  Linda,  Jean, Jim, Robert, Barb, Dave P., Dave A., Preston, Pamela, Pauline, Diana, Jessica, Naser, Grace, Alice, Amritha, Chizuko, Sue along with guests: Emily G., James C. and Tobias B. Our membership total remains at 27.

~~~~~ Respectfully Submitted by Robert, the Secretary [State your views or comment] ~~~~~


  1. If I hadn't attended, I'd still know exactly what happened. You are so descriptive, Robert. You should write a book. I loved the great picture of Barb and Alice together.

  2. I couldn't attend the meeting, but with Robert's skill in telling what happened I have a great picture of what the meeting was all about. I was sorry to miss Pamela's and Preston's Ice Breakers; Amritha's topic sounded very interesting!!

  3. Robert, I'm impressed. You make me sound so techie -- "synchronicity of the increasing number of Minnesota Webinar connections with his mounting fear." Grace, thanks for the great picture, the best one of me in a long time!

  4. I think this comment deserves an award
    "Would you rather be invisible or fly?" She chose invisibility and listed various benefits that deliciously go to the dark side to gain an advantage