Friday, January 8, 2016

Jan 5th 2016 Theme: Choose Themes Not Resolutions

Make New Years Goals [i.e. Themes]. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It's an affirmation that you're fully interested in living life in the year to come.  ~~ Melody Beattie

Welcome to the first meeting in January of 2016 blog posting.

Jan was our toastmaster of the day. She talked about reframing resolutions as themes. She talked about mindfulness to minimize distractions and stress, physical activity with another (human or dog) to promote movement and enjoyment and creativity and Nourishment to add zest to your daily existence.

The GATE team comprised of: Grammarian – Jing Z. [supportive] Ah Counter – Warren, and Timer – Chizuko and General Evaluator – Jean.

There were two speakers and two corresponding evaluators.

The first speaker was Jessica D., who completed project #4 from the Competent Communicator's manual.  She spoke for less than 7 minutes in a speech entitled: "2016? No!"

Jessica D. indicated her willingness to learn something new each year. These included locating all the countries in the world on a map, perfecting her whistle and speaking (Mandarin) Chinese. For this year, she decided to learn how to say no to those requesting her time and energy.

Previously, she had a firm grip on the "fear of missing out" (FOMO) and followed her childhood imperative of "don't hurt the feelings of others!". Both of these predispositions led her, before this year, to say yes, even though it was occasionally detrimental to herself.

This year, starting on 1/3/2016, she has begun to say no to extracurricular activities and thus say yes to herself and honor her own path.

Jessica D. was voted the best speaker.

Jessica D. was evaluated by Julie. Julie loved Jessica's seamlessly woven humor and vulnerability in disclosing her psychological issues. She also liked her body language and gestures. She recommended that Jessica use better notes placement, refrain from pushing up her glasses on her face and rearranging the bangs on her forehead.

The second speaker was Dave, who completed project #5 from the Competent Communicator manual.  He spoke for less than 7 minutes in a speech entitled: "The Ripple Effect".

Dave described a tragic incident that took place in August of 1888 near Sullivan's Island, not far from Charleston, South Carolina. Ned Schachte was swimming and was pulled out to sea by turbulent waters. Surfman James L. Coste swam out and saved Ned's life but unwittingly sacrificed his own. During the rescue, he was forgotten, since he was considered a very strong swimmer. Other lifeboat rescuers subsequently failed to find Coste in the water until much later. Coste had been married only a month before his accidental death.

To mark his memory, Ned visited Coste's Gravesite annually until he died. His son and grandson continued the tradition and by 2013, 40 descendents including Joe Riley, Mayor of Charleston, who was Ned's Grandson, remembered Coste in this way. On April 2013, the Silver Life Saving medal for heroism was posthumously awarded to James L. Coste and received by Hal Coste, who had also successfully rescued a swimmer in 1991.

Thus a single heroic action rippled in time to produce the mayor of Charleston, S.C. and his own ripples for that populace.

He was evaluated by Lynne. Lynne noted that Dave told a fresh, new story and interweaved it with irony and humor. He offered a clear description of the event and his voice and language suggested the desperation and confusion that occurred that day. She liked his gestures that amplified the water waves. She suggested that he could also, with voice and gestures, suggest the rescue swimming movement and the pulling of the boat's oars. She thought
Dave's authority and sincerity were inspirational.

Lynne was voted the best evaluator.

We also had a General Evaluation offered by Jean. She congratulated Jan about taking on her 1st time solo toastmaster role. She liked that Jan remained silent while people wrote comments about the various speaking roles. She liked the Agenda and Quote that Jan produced on that page.

Julie, as president, was enthusiastic, gave time for announcements and introduction of our guest. Julie, as an evaluator, used the sandwich method and offered her personal opinions, rather than "shoulds".

Lynne looked directly at Dave. While during Dave's speech, he paced back and forth; Lynne instead paced side to side. She liked Lynne's gestures and thought her evaluation was stupendous.

Our Humorist was Grace. She told a story about a little girl eating ice cream outside her house during a cold winter day. She was told by a passerby that what she was doing was unhealthy. The little girl said that her Grandmother was 94 and was not officious. 

Grace also showed a picture of three lounging people on a dock by the water. She asked us what this was. It turned out that HR wanted a blue background. (The lounging was extra).

We were honored with 1 Guest, Erika H. 16 Members attended this meeting: Andrew, Anisha, Barb, Chizuko, Dave, Grace, Jan, Jean, Jessica D., Jing Z., Julie,  Lynne, Naser, Rance, Robert and Warren

Our active membership total remains at 31.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Katz for Amritha Imandi, Secretary
Public Speaking Northwest #9406


  1. You are so awesome for keeping us updated Robert. Super appreciative of you!

  2. I left this meeting feeling so upbeat and happy. Robert, you recaptured the meeting so well that I felt that joy again. Thank you.

  3. Nice job, Robert. I know that it takes a lot of thought and work to report in such detail, and I appreciate it!