Saturday, August 22, 2015

Aug 18th 2015 Theme: Competitions Around the World

"You are not in competition with anybody except yourself; plan to outdo your past not other people." 

Welcome to the second meeting in August blog.

     Kathy was our toastmaster of the day.

The GAT(e) team was: Grammarian – Dan Dan, Ah Counter – Jessica. J, Jung as the Timer and Amritha as the evaluator

Sepideh was our first speaker for today. She completed her Speech #2 from the Competent Communicator Manual – Organize Your Speech. The duration of her speech was 5-7 mins.

Through her speech, Sep introduced us to Iranian Tea Culture. She told us the story of how a man named Sultanan – called the grandfather of tea in Iran - tricked the Indian tea traders and bought tea from them to his home country. This eventually enabled the Iranians to cultivate plenty of tea plantations.

Tea being the staple drink of Persians – a drink for all occasions, is consumed many times from morning till night accompanied by either sugar cubes or sweet treats. It comes in many flavors, the most popular ones being Cardamom, Rose and Jasmine.

She demonstrated how tea is made and served in a Persian household using the traditional tea brewing apparatus. Usually served in clear glass containers, tea is the first drink offered to guests. She passed around delicious homemade sweets made by her grandma which are traditionally eaten with tea.

Jim was her evaluator. He congratulated Sep on her well done speech which was easy to follow, had a strong opening and was very informative. While he appreciated her on the demonstration, he suggested Sep to move further back on stage while demonstrating to allow members on either side to get a proper view. He also suggested Sep to have a stronger summary or tying the ending with the opening.

Our second speaker was Naser. He completed his Speech #5 from the Story Telling Manual. The title of his speech was Gandhi – Experiments with Truth. The duration of his speech was 7-9 mins.

Having born in a patriotic family, Naser’s mom wanted him to learn life principles from Gandhi’s life – but in no way did Gandhi’s principles interest him at the young age of 13. Soon during college years, Naser realized the virtues of Gandhi when he had to lead groups of students and coordinate events as a student leader.

By reading the autobiography of Gandhi, Naser learnt the most important virtue that made Gandhi exceptional – he was always truthful. His search further led him to the hero who inspired Gandhi – Raja Harishchandra – a king who was always truthful and never went back on his promises.

Naser shared the story of how the Raja lost his kingdom and his fortune, led life as a common man and eventually became the caretaker of a graveyard. Through the various hardships of life, the king remained truthful and honest at all times. Gandhi was inspired by the truthfulness of the king and followed his principle. The king thus became Gandhi’s hero.

Naser was voted the best speaker.

Jean was his evaluator. She congratulated Naser on the well-structured story within a story with a strong message – being truthful and not going back on one’s word. She appreciated and recognized the effort that Naser put into improving his English accent.

Jean was voted the best evaluator.

Robert was our Table Topics Master. He had a list of questions. The speaker had to complain about the situation in the question.
Jim answered the question “My boss gave me a new project”. He spoke about how difficult the new project was- making a path using footmarks to a water cooler in his office, he complained about gluing process to make the path and eventually how he ended up gluing them upside down, resulting in the footmarks glued to the employees shoes.
Sep complained about the situation: “You find a $20 bill in a grocery store.” She expressed concern over how people throw their money around and that she could buy 20 one dollar pizzas with it. Eventually she and her mom treat themselves to a hearty meal with that $20 bill.

Dan Dan answered: “Someone cuts you off while driving.” She started off with a panicky face expressing concern over how another driver cut her while driving. She being a new driver, got startled and said, “Why don’t they put the turn lights on so that other drivers are well informed? It would never hurt to do that.”
Jim was voted the best table topics speaker.

Robert was our humorist today. One day a fairy Godmother decides to grant one wish to an elderly couple married for 25 years leading an exemplary life together. The wife wished to see new places in the world, the fairy Godmother gave her tickets for a cruise trip all around the world. The husband wished to have a female companion 30 years younger to him. Instantly he was turned 30 years older.
Our members attending numbered 16 and were: Amritha, Barb, Chizuko, Dan, Dan Dan, Jean, Jessica K., Jessica S., Jim, Jung, Kathy, Naser, Pauline, Robert, Sep, and Yasmin. 

Our active membership total currently is at 36.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amritha Imandi, Secretary
Public Speaking Northwest #9406


  1. Great blog/minutes, Amritha. You have a special way with words.

    Sep did such a fine job with her tea talk. Her props were beautiful. Unfortunately, she is leaving us for graduate school in New York. I know she'll be a positive influence wherever she goes. She has a special sparkle that's hard to beat.

    Thanks for your super blog, Amritha.

    1. I 100% agree with you Jean. Sep has an extraordinary charm. Wishing her success and a wonderful journey ahead.

  2. Thanks for such a detailed description of our meeting. You are a great officer in our club, Amritha!