Monday, June 27, 2016

June 21st 2016 Theme – Do It Anyway

“I hear and forget; I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” ~~ Chinese Proverb

Welcome to our third meeting in June!

Amritha was the toastmaster of the day. Her GAT(e) team was comprised of the Grammarian - Jan (Proficient); Ah-Counter - Jessica; and Timer - Warren.

Nancy was the first speaker of the day, speaking from the Competent Communicator manual – Organize Your Speech. Title of her talk was “Core Values – Roadmaps to Creating Your Best Life!” which she completed within 7 minutes.

Nancy gripped us with an exciting introduction about sky diving, which led lead us into a discussion about how this definitely did not align with her core values! Her talk was very organized, going through multiple examples of how you can achieve happiness and success in life by sticking to your core values, and recognizing other people’s core values as well. She also provided the audience with helpful handouts and a brilliant PowerPoint presentation. By the end, we were all enlightened what core values are and how we can use them to create our best life. 

Nancy was voted the best speaker.

Evaluating Nancy’s speech was Barb.  She admittedly had a difficult time picking out critiques of Nancy’s speech because it was already so good! The two suggestions she managed to find, were to tie the introduction into the conclusion, as well as making the speech a bit more conversational. Overall, Barb was impressed with Nancy’s use of stories and props to get her point across. 

Randy was the second speaker of the day, performing his first speech from the Competent Communicator manual – Ice Breaker. Title of his talk was “What Will Be Left Behind?” which he completed in less than 6 minutes. You could hardly tell this was an Ice Breaker from the way Randy shared.

He started off with a gripping introduction and then asked us to reflect on what legacies our parents left us. In turn, the speech centered around what we will leave behind to our children. He took us through their childhoods and how he had sacrificed connection for responsibility. Ultimately he left us with a very important message: the value of being present.

Tobias evaluated Randy’s speech. He commented on how the content of the speech was important, but his delivery was what impacted everyone in the audience. Tobias could hardly find anything to critique about Randy’s speech, as he is already in the league of very great speakers. However, he did suggest more body movement, such as dancing, to add some excitement. For his emotional and humorous evaluation, Tobias was awarded the best evaluator!

Hadaya was the third speaker of the day, performing his speech #4 from the Competent Communicator manual – How to Say It. Title of his talk was “The Art of Communication” which he completed in 7 minutes.

By reflecting back onto his own experiences, Hadaya shared with us the setbacks he suffered as an immigrant in US due to lack of proper communication skills. He further gave us examples explaining how crucial communication is in relationships as well. He emphasized the fact that it’s not just the words that matter, the tone and pitch of our voice have a great impact in any conversation.

Lynne evaluated Hadaya’s speech. She admired his use of personal stories which added humor and brought the message across to audience. Having learnt about his cultural practices, Lynne gave kudos to his effort at overcoming the barrier of maintaining eye contact with audience. As suggestions, Lynne offered Hadaya to work on overcoming his filler words and possibly conclude the speech with a stronger conclusion.

In the Table Topics section led by Jean, she inspired us to think about our motivation behind our successes as a club and as individuals. In doing so, she gave us a very important example of what it means to be a leader and to share that experience so that others can learn. Participants included – Amritha, Barb, Warren, Jessica, Julie and Hadaya.

Jessica was awarded the best table topics speaker. 

Finally, Randy closed out the meeting with two humorous jokes!

There were 14 members in attendance, including Amritha, Barb, Hadaya, Jan, Jean, Jessica, Jim, Julie, Lynne, Nancy, Randy, Robert, Tobias, and Warren.

Respectfully Submitted by,
Amritha Imandi, Current Secretary and 
Jessica DiPietro, Incoming Secretary
Public Speaking Northwest #9406

Monday, June 20, 2016

June 14th 2016 Theme – Orlando

“Orlando – A moment of silence, please”.

Welcome to the second meeting in June.

Barb was the toastmaster of the day. Her GAT(e) team comprised of : Grammarian -  Julie (benevolent), Ah-Counter – Kathy and Timer – Chizuko.

Amritha was the 1st speaker of the day. She spoke from The Successful Club Series – Evaluate to Motivate. Title of her talk “Let the Magic Begin!” which she completed within 15 mins.
Through her talk, she educated and informed the audience about the importance of evaluations and on how to prepare and present them in an effective manner. By weaving in personal stories and experiences she gained from our club, she shared the insights she gained as a guest, as a speaker and finally as an evaluator. She pointed out specifically what to do and what not to do while evaluating. The power point presentation added a touch of humor to her presentation.

Jessica was her evaluator. She commended Amritha on her use of personal story telling style which added interest to a rather dry topic. As a suggestion, she offered Amritha to possibly make it a bit more conversational.

Jessica was voted the best evaluator.

Lynne was the 2nd speaker of the day. She completed Project #4 from the Story Telling Manual. Title of her Story – “Power of Forgiveness” which she completed within 8 mins.
Through her touching narration, Lynne showed us the true power that lies in forgiveness. Forgiving our friends or anyone else who has wronged us might be relatively easy, but forgiving ourselves is often the hardest thing to do. Lynne’s story highlighted how a situation brought misunderstanding between 2 good friends and how it was resolved through forgiveness.

Lynne was voted the best speaker.

Robert was her evaluator. He gave kudos to Lynne on her delivery style, pitch, tome and the narration style – through which she delivered the emotions of her story really well.

In the creative Table Topics section led by Nancy, we had many members speak giving humor filled impromptu talks. Participants included – Grace, Barb, Robert, Chizuko and Linda.

Grace and Robert together took the best Table Topics speaker award.

There were 15 members in attendance and 1 guest (Yash).

Member attendees were: Amritha, Barb, Chizuko, Grace, Jean, Jessica, Jim, Julie, Kathy, Linda, Lynne, Nancy, Pauline, Randy and Robert.

Respectfully Submitted,
Amritha Imandi, Secretary

Public Speaking Northwest #9406.

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 7th 2016 Theme – You were meant for greatness

“The line between greatness and obscurity is very, very small.”~~ Peabo Bryson

Welcome to the first meeting in June.

Julie was the toastmaster of the day. Her GAT(e) team comprised of : Grammarian -  Chizuko (meticulous), Ah-Counter – Jessica and Timer – Nancy.

Warren was the 1st speaker of the day. He completed Project #10 from the CC Manual – Inspire your Audience. The title of his talk was “Are You Living to Work or Working to Live?” which he completed within 11 minutes.
Through his talk, Warren inspired us to create a work life balance by providing 3 principles to achieve the same. They are as follows –
1.  Understand your roles as a spouse, employee, friend etc. and act accordingly.
2.  Keep investing in your relationship bank account.
3.  Discriminate between important/ non-important, urgent/ non-urgent tasks. Take actions by prioritizing what’s important and urgent.  

He highly recommends the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which changed his life and habits for the better.

By finishing the 10th speech of his CC Manual, Warren has given our club the last point which makes us a President’s Distinguished Club - the highest award any club can get in Toastmasters. Thank You Warren!

Anisha was his evaluator. She commended Warren for meticulously crafted uplifting and motivating speech. With an engaging delivery style and the use of visual aids, Warren very well conveyed a solid message to the audience which could be used right away.

Tobias was the 2nd speaker of the day. He completed
Project #5 from the CC Manual – Your Body Speaks. Title of his talk - “Who is the real king of the dance floor – Michael Jackson or Prince?” which he completed within 5 minutes.

Through his talk, Tobias brought to our attention 2 iconic entertainers of the music industry. With the help of visual aids, he walked us through the styles of the 2 artists coming to the conclusion that each was wonderful in their own style, each made a lasting impact in the music industry.

Lynne was his evaluator. She appreciated the humorous beginning of Tobias’s talk which he tied in with the use of visual aids throughout his speech. His message that gestures will help the speakers connect with audience was well-received. As a suggestion, Lynne offered him to work a little bit on the organization aspect of the speech.

Both Lynne and Tobias were voted best in their categories.

Jan was our table topics master. She had few sheets filled with colorful pictures and quotes accompanying each picture. The table topics speaker was encouraged to pick one of those quotes and speak. Anisha, Jean and Jessica took part with Jean taking the best Table Topics award.

Robert shared a joke with us which ended the meeting on a funny note. 

We had 1 guest (one of our former members - Jessica D.) and 13 members in attendance.

Member attendees were: Amritha, Anisha, Barb, Chizuko, Jan, Jean, Jim, Julie, Lynne, Nancy, Robert, Tobias and Warren.

Respectfully Submitted,
Amritha Imandi, Secretary

Public Speaking Northwest #9406.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

May 31st 2016 Theme – Come What May…?

“People who read on holidays always have a better time because it’s total escapism, both physically and mentally”~~ Jasmine Guiness

Welcome to the fifth and final meeting in May.

Lynne was the toastmaster of the day. She provided us with interesting celebrations and traditions practiced throughout the month of May.

Her GAT(e) team comprised of : Grammarian -  Robert (mendacity), Ah-Counter – Jim and Timer – Randy.

Chizuko was the 1st speaker of the day. She completed Project #9 from the CC Manual – Persuade with Power. The title of her talk was “Tidying-Up” which she completed within 7 minutes.

Through her talk, Chizuko persuaded us to think of tidying up and decluttering as a holistic process based on the book - The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up by Kondo Marie.

Chizuko encouraged us to embrace the following points with a positive open mindset so that one can truly enjoy the tidying up process -
1.  Before beginning the actual process of tidying up, it is very important and inspiring to imagine the ideal lifestyle one wishes to have.
2.  While tidying up, one should keep only those things that spark joy within. Discard all others with a sense of gratitude for having served you and make a promise to take care of all things that you keep.
At last, Chizuko encourages us to see tidying up as letting go of the past and restarting our ideal future.

Chizuko was voted the best speaker.

Jean was her evaluator. She commended Chizuko on her excellent choice of topic, which was very informative and persuasive. With good volume, hand gestures and pauses, Chizuko effectively delivered her talk. As a suggestion, Jean offered Chizuko to provide handouts including main point of her talk.
Jean was voted the best evaluator.

Anisha was the 2nd speaker of the day. She completed Project #9 from the CC Manual – Persuade with Power. Title of her talk - “What’s wrong with Thinking” which she completed within 7 minutes.

Through her talk, Anisha led us through common scenarios where we tend to get lost in our thoughts, become mindless and start running on an auto pilot mode. When she once caught herself exhibiting that behavior, she made a pledge. To be mindful and aware for 30 mins per day – practicing mindfulness. The rest of the story was about how she reacted to an unusual situation that she encountered at a local park during those 30 mins duration.

Having personally experienced the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, Anisha persuaded the audience to take 10 mins out of our busy schedule and start practicing quiet time. Not only is it the perfect way to turn our mind into an ally, it also energizes us and fills our heart with love and compassion.

Amritha was her evaluator. She gave kudos to Anisha’s delightful talk filled with stories and conversations. With excellent eye contact, body gestures and stage presence; her talk was delivered effortlessly. As a suggestion, Amritha offered Anisha to perhaps start the talk with a story to add more punch to the opening.

Julie was the 3rd speaker of the day. She completed Project #6 from the CC Manual – Vocal Variety. Title of her talk was “Creating more success with Vacation Carefree Energy” which she completed within 7 minutes.

With the use of slideshows and many interactive questions, Julie encouraged the audience to consider merging work with relaxation and money with carefree energy. As a realtor, she experienced tough financial situations during the recession of 2007. Though those years were hard, she learnt to master her emotions. She taught herself to feel good no matter what the circumstances were.

Julie led us through a visualization exercise which allowed us to experience different emotions and showed us how to use the exercise to the best of our advantage. She emphasized that by developing a relaxed carefree vacation energy, one’s creative potential is enhanced allowing for greater productivity and results.

Barb was her evaluator. She appreciated Julie’s well-structured talk filled with emotions and gestures. As a suggestion, she offered Julie to incorporate a little bit vocal variety to enhance the impact of her visualization exercise.

Warren, our general evaluator gave kudos to our Sergeant at Arms (Lynne) for making all arrangements prior to the meeting and starting on time. The 3 well-prepared speakers along with encouraging evaluations together made it a great meeting.
We had 1 guest (Craig) and 15 members in attendance.

Member attendees were: Amritha, Anisha, Barb, Chizuko, Hadaya, Jan, Jean, Jim, Julie, Kathy, Lynne, Nancy, Robert, Tobias and Warren.

Respectfully Submitted,
Amritha Imandi, Secretary

Public Speaking Northwest #9406.