Friday, April 3, 2015

Mar. 31th, 2015 Theme: Let’s Welcome Spring

Spring, when the Earth tilts closer to the Sun, runs a strict timetable of flowers ~~ Alice Oswald

Welcome to the fifth March meeting blog. On this day, we had 3 guests coming to our meeting.  

Amritha was our toastmaster and conducted a lively and entertaining meeting.  Like the new life shown by flocks of birds, curious, joyful, she urged us to let go of the past and embrace Spring.
The GATE  team was: Pamela as Grammarian (Contestants), Jessica as the Ah Counter, Preston as the Timer and Naser as the General Evaluator.         

Robert was our first speaker of the afternoon. He completed the 2nd project (Resources For Entertainment) of the Entertaining Speaker Manual within 9:30 minutes. His speech title was "Motivations".

Robert adapted his speech from the chapter called The Motivation Game from the book Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh . He depicts the unfortunate coping mechanisms like maximum fear and shame that he developed to motivate himself to do things to avoid ruining his life. His talk included role play between two parts of himself, the parental figure and the rebellious child personality constructs.

Kathy was his evaluator. Kathy liked the role play interspersed between his talk segments, although for timing purposes, it could have been shortened. She enjoyed the Body Gestures and Vocal Variety present in the speech. She felt that he could have spoken louder due to the larger audience and noise in the room.'

Our second speaker, Barb, completed her 3rd project from the advanced Persuasive Speaking Manual, which was called: Do Unto Others within 7 minutes.

She talked about life now versus life before joining Toastmasters and whether there is any difference.  She also asked us to think about how each of us could make a difference in other people’s lives. She asked the audience to write down one thing they gained from being a member of Toastmasters.

Finally, Barb appealed to us to offer testimonials, based on the writing exercise that we could publish on our Web Site. These testimonials function like reviews of products that people purchase and then write about. These offer a message to newcomers, that perpetuates what you positively experienced as a Toastmaster.

Barb won the best Speaker award today.

Jean was her evaluator. Jean liked that Barb offered humor and audience participation exercises. She felt that Barb could have provided a forecast of what she was going to do and ask of the audience. The direction of her talk was difficult to detect until halfway into her speech.

Our third speaker, Diana, completed her 1st speech from the Competent Communicators Manual (The Ice Breaker) within 6 minutes. Diana started out describing her upbringing in China, with limited food and a predisposition to having asthma attacks. Her mother cared for her as well as did Baby Care. As a result, Diana learned to care for and about others. She also learned from the caregivers. Her teacher was such a person, so she modelled herself after her teacher. In her marriage, she learned how to take care of her spouse and family. She learned through religion and language to show respect for all people.

Jim was her evaluator. Jim was very impressed with Diana’s Life Journey, split between her life in China and her life here now. Her daughter was born in China whereas her son was born in the United States. He thought she might organize her points to show progress from activities in China to those in the United States. He liked that she spoke slowly and paced herself and showed sincerity.

Jim was voted best Evaluator.

Naser was the General Evaluator for this meeting. He was pleased with the flexibility of the Toastmaster to update roles for Grammarian on the spot when an absence presented itself and was ready to have an alternate plan involving table topics if a scheduled speaker did not arrive. He felt that recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance (not performed at all clubs) gets everyone focused on the meeting. He thought all three speeches were particularly effective. 

Our humorist was Linda. She told a story about why a well-dressed woman requested short term $5000 bank loan using her Rolls-Royce as collateral.

Attendees were:  Linda, Lynne, Jean, Jim, Robert, Barb, Dave P., Preston, Pamela, Pauline,  Diana, Jessica, Naser, Kathy, Amritha, Chizuko, Sue along with guests: Surya J, Shreya I. and Yosh I.  Yosh is pictured below. Our membership total remains at 27.

~~~~~ Respectfully Submitted by Robert, the Secretary [Lip Sync, Turn up the volume, or comment] ~~~~~


  1. Thanks, Robert. This was so informative. I do have one suggestion. Perhaps you could have another person take pictures. That way the photographer might have more time to get them focused.
    Again, your writing and content is super!

  2. I thought Amritha was a superb toastmaster! And I thoroughly enjoyed the guests, particularly the kids. Another guest, Suriya, said that he plans to come back and join our club. I thank everyone for their testimonials. Pauline & Amritha will find a wonderful place for them.