Monday, January 18, 2016

Jan 12th 2016 Theme: “With Flying Colors”

"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all: This, too, shall pass [possibly with flying colors] ~~ Ann Landers”.

Welcome to the second meeting in January blog. 
Before starting off with the meeting minutes, I would like to thank Robert for having taken the role of acting secretary in my absence, Thank You Robert!!!

               Jessica was our toastmaster of the day.

The GAT(e) team comprised of: Grammarian – Jim [contagious], Ah Counter – Jing, Timer – Jung.

Chizuko was the first speaker. She completed her Project #5 from the CC Manual – Your Body Speaks. Title of her speech “Japanese New Year and Religion.” which she completed within 7 mins.

Through her speech, Chizuko spoke about how important New Year is for the Japanese. They celebrate it with great enthusiasm. Houses are cleaned to welcome Toshigami - God of the year, families get together and visit their holy shrine praying for well-being throughout the year. The New Year’s bell rings in Buddhist temples from New Year’s eve to New Year 108 times.

She spoke about the 3 major religions that exist in Japan today – Shintoism, Buddhism and Christianity. Shintoism is an ancient Japanese religion which teaches that all things in nature have God spirit in them, that God exists everywhere one should be respectful and thankful to any kind of existence. All 3 religions are practiced harmoniously in Japan.
Jim was her evaluator. He appreciated Chizuko on the great content and structure of her talk which she delivered with good gestures. As a suggestion, he offered Chizuko to carry cards/notes to help her during the talk if needed.

Jim was voted the best evaluator.

Our second speaker was Warren. He completed Project #3 from the CC Manual – Get to the Point. Title of his speech “Watch Out for Bird Poop from strange places.” He completed the speech within 7 mins.

Through his speech Warren shared with us 3 travel stories from his life that taught him to be extremely cautious while traveling esp. outside the US.
·       First among the 3 was his experience in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he and his wife were advised not to leave the hotel premises since the chances of getting robbed was very high, robbers would not hesitate to cut off fingers in their attempt to steal finger rings.
·       Secondly, he spoke about his experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina where while on a walk towards the barren city waterfront, some ladies plotted to rob him by squirting mustard sauce (making him believe at first that it was bird poop). The ladies while pretending to wipe Warren’s clothes were actually trying to steal his belongings. Thankfully, he was careful enough to not carry anything other than his hotel room card which got stolen.
·       His third story was his experience on an official trip to Bogota, Columbia which was famous for multiple kidnappings every day. The security was tight everywhere, bodyguards were assigned esp. since the place where he was speaking was attacked by rebels a few weeks earlier.

Based on these experiences, he gave us some tips that would allow safe international travels –
·       Make copies of passport and carry them with you.
·       Avoid/reduce wearing jewelry.
·       Exchange currency before you leave the country.
·      While traveling, don’t give explicit clues that you are from US – no wearing Seahawks cap etc.
·       Use a secret wallet.
·       Distribute currency in various pockets and
·       While leaving room, hide devices.

Warren was voted the best speaker.

Robert was his evaluator. He was impressed by Warren’s excellent preparation and organization. Robert acknowledged that the suggestions that Warren provided were definitely to be taken seriously. As a suggestion, Robert offered Warren to look at notes when necessary and then resume presenting to the audience.

Our third speaker was Anisha. She completed her Project #5 from the CC Manual – Your Body Speaks. Title of her speech “Natural healing.” which she completed within 7 mins.

Anisha started her speech by mentioning that various spiritual traditions teach us that we are by nature supposed to be healthy, happy and peaceful individuals. Our body, mind and spirit are inter -connected and even a slight imbalance could cause disease. She spoke about how by catering to these 3 aspects of herself, she was able to heal from a skin condition that would not heal otherwise.

The 3 important steps that she considered are as follows:
1.  You are what you eat – With the help of a naturopath, Anisha started herself on a low inflammation diet, filled with fresh greens and vegetables.
2.  Positive attitude – When even after 10 days of following the new lifestyle, no improvements showed up, she came to understand that our skin represents human feelings and sufferings. She had to believe in healing and have a positive attitude to heal herself.
3.  Having a spiritual connection with anything greater than one self – As for Anisha, connecting with nothingness and space did the magic.

Lynne was her evaluator. Lynne appreciated Anisha’s speech organization into 3 points, the inclusion of humor and natural gestures. As a suggestion, she offered her to consider standing a little farther back towards the back of the room.

Jim was our table topics master. Our table topics speakers were Nancy, Mike and Amritha.

Question to Nancy: Should kids be forced to eat?
In Nancy’s opinion, kids should not be forced to eat, they should be encouraged and invited to try new foods. Rather than pushing them, she suggests presenting food in a visually appealing way or try it ourselves first – comment and then introduce it to kids. Forcing creates resistance, if kids don’t like to eat something is better to revisit later.

Question to Amritha: Given an option, would you choose healthy eating or exercise?
If given a chance, Amritha would lean towards food, nutrition since she believes it plays a very crucial role in the making of our bodies. Being a mom, she makes sure that she is feeding her kids right - for them to be healthy and strong. And many times, she gets carried away by cooking activities that she does not find time to exercise.

Question to Mike: What would you like to be doing in 10 years?
Being in the years leading to retirement, Mike wants to be adequately prepared for the same. He wishes to start a business but has no idea how - since during his career as an engineer, he has always been an employee. He wishes to fine tune his skills and part of it would be coming to Toastmasters.

Nancy was voted the best table topics speaker.

Jessica D. received an award for the completion of 5 speeches. Also, she will no longer be a member of our club due to the new job that she has starting on Jan 18th. On behalf of our club, here is a picture of our President Julie wishing her the very best. We hope Jessica can visit us any day she has a Tuesday off J.

Members who attended the meeting numbered to 11 and were:  Amritha, Anisha, Chizuko, Jessica D., Jim, Jing Z., Julie, Jung, Lynne, Robert, Warren.  

We had 3 guests attend our meeting: Meenakshi V., Mike P., and Nancy L.

Our active membership total currently is at 30.
Respectfully Submitted,

Amritha Imandi, Secretary
Public Speaking Northwest #9406



  1. Since I couldn't make the last meeting, I enjoyed finding out what happened. Amritha, I could easily visualize everything. Thanks for doing such an important job.

  2. Another super summary of our meeting that caught the positive spirit in the room. Wonderful job, Amritha!