Monday, May 4, 2015

Apr. 28th, 2015 Theme: 5 Steps To Mastering Those Nervous Ums And Ahs

“It’s never too late to enjoy childhood.” ~~ Tom Robbins

Welcome to the 4th April meeting blog. Today, we had 5 guests: 3 young and 2 younger yet with us.  
Jim was awarded and accepted his Competent Communicator Certificate on completing his 10th speech last week and in so doing, completing the Competent Communicator Manual.  

Linda was our toastmaster and offered a practical number of ideas for reducing crutch, filler and “It’s still my turn to speak” placeholder sounds like um and ah, among others. Of particular merit was her suggestion to sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with randomly interspersed ahs and ums in the lyrics and then speak the lyrics of Hey Jude without using ums and ahs. This brings the needed contrast so that you can hear the jarring, interspersed sounds.
The GATE  team was: Grace  as Grammarian (Flourish), Sue as the Ah Counter, and Chizuko as the Timer. Kathy was our General Evaluator for today’s meeting.  
Robert was our first speaker today. He completed his 4th speech (A Dramatic Talk) from the advanced Entertaining Speaker Manual. The speech was entitled “All Under Heaven” and was delivered in 10:40 minutes. The talk was adapted from an original film script written and directed by Tommy Tang. Robert excerpted responses in two interviews, one given in 1988 and the other in 1992. 

Robert portrayed the fictional character named Don Knudson, a well established engineer and architect, who capped his career in 1988 with a commission by NASA to design the first space sculpture dedicated to visually uniting all nations in world peace. By 1992, it was clear that this monument would not be realized.
Naser was his evaluator. Naser noticed that the audience was listening carefully and was enjoying every minute of the speech. He appreciated in the dialog segments, the good use of hand gestures in the restaurant back room and facial expressions in the phone conversation. The verbal descriptions of the design elements of the sculpture were very clear and could be easily mentally pictured. The climax to the speech was effective and ironic.

Naser were voted best evaluator.

Our second speaker was a guest speaker, Ron R, who has been a toastmaster member since 1992.  He filled in for David P., who was involved, unfortunately, in a minor automobile accident. His speech was called: Ted Talk Excerpt: On Leadership and was completed in 7:37 minutes.

Ron R., when he first joined Toastmasters, slowly began to realize that he was acquiring leadership skills. After all, leadership can be thought of as influencing others through speaking and actions. He noticed that people shied away from that label, even though they demonstrated leadership as parents, as a director of subordinates, as an officer or as a business owner. Leadership was considered unattractive, since it implied the possibility of hard work.  He offered 3 myths about leadership:
• It requires perfection (you are not allowed to fail),
• You have to be already a leader to lead,

• Someone has to proclaim that you are a leader.

Jean was his evaluator. Jean liked that Ron R. started his talk by saying “I blame you!” in his path to becoming a leader, which extracted instant attention from the audience. She underscored the techniques used in the speech involving groups of three to emphasize points in the audience’s mind. She also enjoyed the anecdote involving the salad, onion and mustard dressing that showed his humanity and humorous imperfection. Jean suggested that he speak a bit slower and do less pacing and rocking, and actually turn his body towards others for fuller focus.
Kathy was the general evaluator for today’s meeting. She complimented Linda about her flexibility in the meeting agenda and in effortlessly filling a suddenly vacant speaking role. The other members of the GATE team also described and performed their monitoring roles very effectively.

Attendees were:  Linda, Jean, Jim, Robert, Barb,  Lynne, Naser, Alice, Amritha,  Sue,  Pauline, Kathy, Grace, Chizuko, Jung as well as 5 guests: Ron R. Danny C., and Emily G. and returning younger guests: Yosh I., Shreya I.. Our membership total remains at 27.

~~~~~ Respectfully Submitted by Robert, the Secretary [Express yourself and comment] ~~~~~


  1. Well done, Robert. You continue to pick up the main points in your minutes/blog and serve them to us with your well-crafted words. You are a highly-skilled writer.

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