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.


  1. It felt good to remember our awesome meeting last week. You gave us the perfect minutes/blog to do just that, Amritha. Many thanks.

  2. A fun meeting with great speeches and table topics. Thanks for the detailed recap, Amritha.

  3. Another great summary--well written and covered all the areas.

  4. The above message signifies that we have received our first spam comment from Lai Yijun. Apparently, we are read internationally as well as locally. -- Robert

  5. Spam comment, That is very interesting. Is there any way we can avoid it?