Sunday, March 27, 2016

March 22nd 2016 Theme – Champion

Reminding all our readers about the upcoming speak-a-thon
       April 9th, Saturday 
          10 am -12 noon

         At our regular club meeting place
              North Creek Office Center
             19119 North Creek Parkway,
             Suite 105, Bothell, WA.


Email if you would like to play as a speaker or an evaluator for the speak-a-thon. 

Now onto our meeting minutes…

“A true champion is one who sweats from exhaustion when no one is watching.” ~~ Bas Rutten

Welcome to the fourth meeting in March.

                Jean was the toastmaster of the day.

The GAT(e) team: Grammarian – Jing (exceptional), Ah-Counter – Amritha and Timer – Diana.

Warren was the first speaker of the day. He completed Project #6 from the CC Manual – Vocal Variety. The title of his talk - “It’s Right Under Your Nose” which he completed within 7 minutes.

Through his speech, Warren shared with us a graphical representation of Stress vs Performance. Based on statistics, the two are directly proportional until an individual reaches his optimum performance level. Beyond that level, any increase in stress decreases the performance often resulting in fear, pain or even insomnia. 

He shared with us a technique that he has successfully used and still uses to deal with stressful situations. It is a form of relaxation breathing or mindful meditation. During his early high school years, the book Psycho -Cybernetics (by Maxwell Maltz) taught him to use the power of mind through visualization. Warren walked us through a simple breathing exercise and encouraged us to do it every day for 15-20 mins for at least 21 days to see positive results.

Warren was voted the best speaker.

Jim was his evaluator. He greatly appreciated the topic that Warren chose filled with great content and graphic representation. Jim pointed out Warren’s suggestion of visualizing speech is wonderful to reduce fear. As a suggestion, Jim offered Warren to record his speech and listen to enhance the vocal variety and expressiveness of his speech delivery.

Robert was the second speaker of the day. He completed
Project #2 from the Advanced manual - Special Occasion Speeches. The title of his talk “Presenting the First Annual Best Toastmaster Role Model Award” which he completed within 5 mins.

After mentioning the leadership roles that Robert’s nominee fulfilled, Robert presented this award to Mrs. Barbara Katz. Equipped with prior experience in sales and customer service, Barb joined Toastmasters. Her accomplishments include - as the Past President of our club, she helped our club grow significantly. As the past area governor, she embraced and helped the clubs in our area in very unique ways. As the current division governor,  she makes sure our division is functioning smoothly as a whole. We greatly appreciate you for all your efforts Barb J

Linda was his evaluator. Linda gave kudos to Robert’s speech which was clear, sincere and well organized. He gave the audience a snapshot of Barb’s different positions in Toastmasters. As a suggestion, Linda offered Robert to add more vocal variety and present the trophy with both hands.

Our third speaker was Grace. She completed Speech #4 from the CC Manual – How to Say it. The title of her talk “Love is a Process of Study” which she completed within 7 mins.

Grace took us back in time to June 1st, 2011 - the day she became a mother when her little boy Eric was born. For the first few days, everything was messy. Her little son would wake up frequently at night times and cry. Not knowing how exactly to deal with the situation, Grace found it hard to adjust. With no means to communicate, it took her over 3 days to understand her little one’s routine. She loved her son for all the little moments of happiness that he brought into her life.

Having stayed home with her boy for more than 18 months since his birth, Grace now started to get restless. She craved for a normal life with her friends and it was time for Eric to go to day-care. She enacted the emotions that were involved the first day of daycare. At the end of that day, while she went to pick her son up – she loved him more than ever, for he gave her the freedom that she desired. Today, Eric is 5 years old. By reading, learning and spending time with Eric, Grace expresses her limitless love for her son.

Lynne was her evaluator. With wonderful body gestures and humor, Grace gave a beautiful account of how it felt to be a new mother. Having met the objectives of her speech with personal stories, Grace had a wonderful message for the audience. As a suggestion, Lynne offered Grace to possibly keep notes in her hand to refer to when needed.

Lynne was voted the best evaluator.

Dan was our table topics master. He chose the question “What is your favorite spring activity?” for the audience.

Amritha’s favorite activity in spring is biking with her children. After a long winter in Seattle, her children get restless as they see the sun and always want to head out. So she loves to get her bike and ride along with her children.

Lynne’s favorite spring activity is boating. As a matter of fact, last weekend they already went on their first cruise of this season.

Wesley’s favorite spring time activity is gardening. About 4 years back, inspired by his neighbor, he learnt the basics of gardening. Since then, each year he welcomes spring along with his sister by planting fresh plants and blooms.

Wesley was voted the best table topics speaker.

We had 15 members and 4 guests (Ahmed H., Madhuri M., Risa N, and Wesley T).

Member attendees were: Amritha, Barb, Dan, Diana, Grace, Jean, Jim, Jing, Julie, Jung, Linda, Lynne, Robert, Sarah and Warren.

Respectfully Submitted,
Amritha Imandi, Secretary

Public Speaking Northwest #9406.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

March 15th 2016 Theme – Perspective

A special announcement - Details of the upcoming speak-a-thon below. 

Email if you would like to play as a speaker or evaluator. We could also use a toastmaster.

       April 9th, Saturday  
          10 am -12 noon

         At our regular club meeting place
              North Creek Office Center
             19119 North Creek Parkway,
             Suite 105, Bothell, WA.


Now onto our meeting minutes…

“Laughter can bring a new perspective.” ~~ Christopher Durang

Welcome to the third meeting in March.

 Barb was the toastmaster of the day.
The GAT(e) team comprised of: Grammarian – Robert (bumf), Ah-Counter – Jung and Timer – Jim.

Lynne was the first speaker. She completed Project #2 from the Story Telling Manual – Let’s get Personal. The title of her talk was “Lost Luggage” which she completed within 8 minutes.

Lynne and her husband are going on a dive trip to Cozumel. In her attempt to have as many choices as possible for herself during the travel, she stuffs up one of the 2 suitcases with lots and lots of clothes. A second suitcase held all other accessories needed for the trip.

Upon arriving at Cozumel airport, they walk towards the baggage claim area which is filled with tourists. After many minutes of waiting, it is clear that they lost the suitcase filled with clothes. They file a report with the airport authorities who promise that the lost luggage will be delivered to their hotel by evening. Having lost all her choices, Lynne is panicked with no peace of mind.

Shortly, they check into the hotel. After lunch, her mind worries what to wear for dinner. As she comes to accept the reality of her lost luggage, she experiences a sense of freedom – the freedom of having no choices. Just when she gets used to this new found freedom, the phone rings. It is the airport authorities informing that they found their luggage which they promise to delivered within an hour. A part of Lynne is happy whereas a part of her is disappointed for having lost the freedom of no choices!!!

Anisha was her evaluator. She gave kudos to Lynne’s narrative of her lost baggage. The story while delivering a key message, was filled with vivid descriptions and dialogues. Her body language also was appropriate. As a suggestion, Anisha offered Lynne to use more pauses and possibly display the emotions in a more pronounced manner.

Jean was the second speaker of the day. She completedProject #7 from the CC Manual – Research Your Topic which she completed within 10 mins. The title of her talk “How to Grow with the DCP.”

When Jean first joined Toastmasters, she was unaware of the bigger picture and felt like a blind mole moving from project to project. Through her talk, she sheds light on the path that each Toastmasters club takes each year in order to become a President’s Distinguished Club. She shares with us using a power point presentation where our club stands in this journey this year.

She explained to us in detail the criteria based on which points are allotted. The personal growth of club members which is tracked through the number of Communication and Leadership awards received, new members joining the club, club officers being trained, membership dues renewed on time – all these factors contribute to club points. It is clear from her talk that our club is doing exceptionally well and we are right on track to attain the highest Award that any Toastmaster’s club can attain – the President’s Distinguished. A huge thanks to all our club members who have made this possible!!!

Warren was her evaluator. He appreciated Jean’s educational talk which she spiced up with tremendous animation and audience involvement. She successfully delivered her well researched talk providing information to members. As a suggestion, he offered Jean to clarify the initials (such as ACB, ACG, ALB, ALS etc.) in a better manner.

Warren was voted the best evaluator.

Our third speaker was Amritha. She completed Project #1 from Story Telling Manual – The Folk Tale. She narrated a Native American Folk Tale “The Rainbow Crow” within 9 mins.

Amritha starts off by describing how perfect the world was thousands of years before man arrived on earth.  With dense forests, clean air and water, life thrives on the planet graced by the Spirit of Sun and the Spirit of Rain. Everything is perfect until one day when it starts snowing for the first time. Initially, the animals are super excited. But their joy is short-lived as they find it difficult to keep themselves warm. They decide one of them has to visit the Great Sky Spirit and ask him to stop the snow.

The Rainbow Crow – a small, colorful bird with sweet voice volunteers. It overcomes all difficulties and travels to the Great Sky Spirit’s home. Though the Sky Spirit is unable to stop the snow and cold, he gives rainbow crow the Gift of Fire. With strong determination, the rainbow crow travels back to his freezing animal friends and delivers the Gift of Fire. But on his journey back, his feathers catch fire turning black as tar. He loses his singing voice from the smoke that enters his throat.

While all animals celebrate the arrival of the Spirit of Fire on earth, rainbow crow is sad. The Great Sky Spirit appears and gives crow the gift of freedom forever for his service to other animals.

Amritha was voted the best speaker.

Dave her evaluator. He appreciated Amritha's descriptive narrative filled with vivid imagery, dialogues, and body gestures filled with various emotions. As a suggestion, he offered Amritha to pause in between the transitionary scenes.

Kathy was our general evaluator. She appreciated Barb for the well-organized meeting thanking Robert and Jim for stepping in at the last minute to fill roles. She acknowledged our President Julie’s energy and enthusiasm which gives a superior start to our meetings.

We had 15 members and 2 guests (Pratap B. and James Collins). Pratap announced his intention to join our club.

Member attendees were: Amritha, Anisha, Barb, Chizuko, Dave, Grace, Jean, Jim, Jing, Julie, Jung, Kathy, Lynne, Robert and Warren.

Respectfully Submitted,
Amritha Imandi, Secretary
Public Speaking Northwest #9406.

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 8th 2016 Theme – Springtime

“Music comes from an icicle as it melts, to live again as spring water” ~~ Henry Williamson

Welcome to the second meeting in March.

Kathy was the toastmaster of the day.

The GAT(e) team comprised of: Grammarian – Jean (springtime), Ah-Counter – Rance and Timer – Grace.

Julie was the first speaker of the day. She completed Project #8 from the CC Manual – Getting Comfortable with Visual Aids. The title of her talk was “Show Me, Don’t Just Tell Me” which she completed within 8 minutes.

Through her talk, Julie encouraged the audience to use multiple mediums (eg: power points, audio - video clips etc) during presentations. She mentioned how the use of power point enhances the learnability of audience. She backed her point by scientific data which proves that the retention factor of human brain after 24 hours of being exposed to new information is 75%. A book that she highly recommends in this area is Brain Rules by John Medina.

She gave us tips to keep in mind esp. while using computer based visuals. She highly recommends arriving way before time to allow time for set up and tackle any technical difficulties. While making sure the communication is effective, she encourages us to keep the presentation fun, lively and interactive with appropriate body language and gestures. Emphasizing this point, she walked us through a short video and then encouraged us to mimic the facial and hand gestures of a little child in that video. She concludes by saying, “Show me, Don’t Just tell me. Help me remember it, Integrate it and Benefit from it.”

Amritha was her evaluator. She appreciated Julie’s well-organized presentation which involved more than one form of visual aid. Her speech was well researched with effective usage of words backed by with scientific data. As a suggestion, Amritha offered Julie to perhaps reduce the number of slides.

Naser was the second speaker of the day. It was a practice session for him before moving on to the area contest to be held on March 31st. The title of his talk was “Weatherman”.

Through his speech, Naser shared with us how he earned the nickname “Weatherman”. In the year 2005, Naser’s decision to quit his job in India due to dissatisfaction led his superiors to offer him a job in US which he accepts with the consent of his wife.

Before his travel, he gets trained to be familiarized with US culture. In the training, he was informed never to have a conversation with Americans about family, religion, and politics – he was left wondering what was left to start a conversation. That is when he was told it is always ok to talk about the weather. Sure enough, all the conversations that he had with his colleagues and team members started with weather and thus began his journey towards earning the nickname "Weatherman". 

Ultimately, he went to his first toastmasters club in Bellevue. There he met toastmasters who spoke about family, relationships and much more. He fell in love with the energy, passion and enthusiasm of these men and women and decided to become a member. Since that day, he has actively participated in toastmasters. By continuously trying, failing and trying again, he has come far ahead on his journey towards becoming an effective communicator.

Warren was his evaluator. He gave kudos to Naser for his great start, pausing for a few seconds grabbing audience’s attention. Naser’s body language, vocal and tonal variety were very effective. While getting the audience involved through humor, Naser did a wonderful job narrating his story. As a suggestion, Warren offered Naser to work a little bit on smoothening his pace of delivery at certain places.

Warren was voted the best evaluator.

Our third speaker was Chizuko. She completed Project #7 from CC Manual – Research Your Topic. The title of her talk was “Japan’s population Problems and Solutions” which she completed within 7 minutes.

Through her talk, Chizuko shared with us the current population problems of Japan. With advances in the field of medicine and public health, though the average life expectancy of Japanese population (which is currently 80) is rising; the rising number of working women, lack of a social community and higher living and educational costs have resulted in lower birth rate. The country’s immigration policies are strict minimizing the chance of global immigrants to settle.

Based on its current population statistics, Japan is predicting shortage of labor and tax revenue to occur in the near future. Allowing more maternity / paternity leave, providing subsidies to families with 3 or more children and establishing more day care centers are some of the measures taken by the Japanese govt. in its effort to overcome this situation.

Chizuko was voted the best speaker of the day.

Robert was her evaluator. He complimented Chizuko on her appropriate body language and clear voice. Her speech was interesting and informational allowing the audience to learn more about Japan. As a suggestion Robert offered Chizuko to provide handouts about the statistical data that she shared.

Dave was our table topics master. He had a set of questions starting with “would you rather…”. The table topics speaker had to choose which one he/she chose to be and why.

Amritha chose to be a clown who distracts the bull rather than the rider since she would then be able to divert the bull’s attention. She could save people from getting hurt by the bull.

Jim preferred to know it all rather than have it all. Byknowing all, he could learn whatever he wants and thus have all.

DanDan would rather be blind than deaf since she would then be able to picturize by hearing the descriptions.

Anisha prefers to be the sand castle in the beach rather than the wave. She would be this magnificent sturdy castle towering up high standing the test of time.

Jim was voted the best table topics speaker.

We had 19 members and 1 guest Meng Y attend the meeting.

Members included: Amritha, Anisha, Chizuko, DanDan, Dave, Diana, Grace, Jean, Jim, Julie, Jung, Kathy, Lynne, Nancy, Naser, Pauline, Rance, Robert, and Warren.

Our membership total currently is 32.

Respectfully Submitted,
Amritha Imandi, Secretary
Public Speaking Northwest #9406.