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Meeting Recap: July 14, 2016 (Stand Your Ground)

posted Jul 19, 2016, 3:02 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 22, 2016, 1:54 PM ]

Dear APS Members, 

When you are an advanced speaker, you sometimes need to “Stand Your Ground.” Whether there are external challenges like an inhospitable speaking area or an indifferent audience, or internal issues like nervousness, or lack of self-confidence, a successful speaker always needs to face the challenge. Toastmaster of the Day Lisa Qu was suitably resolute. Guests at this meeting were Toastmasters World Champion Finalist Mario Lewis, Regina Bain, Lingshuang Zhang, Peter Bossio and Crystal Han along with her co-workers from iBeehub; Zi Wang, Fusha Tu, Yujia Liao, Xinyue Lu and Jia Wei. “Resolute” was the Word of the Day presented by Grammarian Marcia Berry.

“When I Grow Up” was the Icebreaker by newest APS member Ivan Farkas. After escaping communist Hungary, Ivan knew he wanted to be a renaissance man like his hero Leonardo Da Vinci. A true “left brainer,” Ivan is still a work in progress, but he has become a Toastmasters Icon. Speech evaluator Mario Lewis liked Ivan’s masterful pace, passion and energy. Mario then recommended physical positioning and placement in lieu of hand gestures, and using a shorter, pithier quote.  

After giving two workshop presentations at Toastmasters conferences Marcia Berry has become an expert.  In “Rock Your Talk - Great Workshops” Marcia offered these tips; 1) Accounting for latecomers and Q&A, one hour ends up being just 25 minutes so use “four little speeches.” 2) Use S.P.A; stories to illustrate the point and application.  3) Include, but don’t end with Q&A. - finish with a recap of your powerful message. Evaluator Kelvin Davis thought Marcia was the Bruce Lee of speakers, someone with devastating substance but who never shows off.

What was your first romantic moment? For Manuel Saldana, soccer was his “Love as Not Seen on TV.” After being injured in a “twist and turn” play, Manuel developed a crush on his nurse but at that time he simply could not speak to girls. Peter Bossio liked the twist and the humorous misdirection, but suggested a stronger, more personal conclusion.

“Getting out of My Comfort Zone” has been the goal for Derek Chen since he joined Toastmasters in 2009. Public speaking has been a monkey on Derek’s back, but it forces him to confront his defects, including difficulty with the English language. Jinquan Liang praised Derek’s openness and honesty in his Icebreaker, but asked for more specific stories to illustrate.

Table Topics Master Todd McKinney wanted to know who has stood their ground. After competing in the World Championship, Mario Lewis has learned that not every speech needs to be perfect, and “it’s OK to just be OK.” Kelvin Davis deals mostly with internal opposition because he is an introvert, but Regina Bain’s main fear is that she won’t be her best. Forgetting lines was the most challenging situation for Jin Liang, while Lingshuang Zhang’s solution for that problem was to repeat what she already said. Peter Bossio once upset his audience with humor that they took seriously. If you need to persuade, Crystal Han believes that smiling a lot and dressing the part will make the sale.

General Evaluator Len Lubarsky recently joined APS after having been an informal member since the very beginning. Len praised the meeting, but does prefer a format where evaluations come directly after the speeches. 

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers

Meeting Recap: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 (The End is Near!)

posted Jul 10, 2016, 2:36 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

Dear APS Members,

“To make an end is to make a beginning” wrote T.S. Eliot, and Toastmaster of the Day Manuel Saldana wanted us to know that “The End is Near!” The Toastmasters year is coming to a successful end, but will the New Year bring an apocalypse? Forward looking guests were Laura Sterling, Incoming Area Director Marilyn Sampson, current Area Director Deborah Leung and guest speaker Preeti Adhikary. “Apocalypse” was the Word of the Day given by Grammarian Eloise Johnny.

In case the world doesn’t end tomorrow Manuel Saldana thought “Networking” might be a good skill to know. There are three key elements; 1) meet and mingle to create new connections 2) build a two way road and 3) stay in touch to nurture the connections. Evaluator Deb Leung liked the stories that Manuel chose, but thought they lacked the humor needed for a humorous project. Deb then suggested delivering each key element from a different point on the stage.

A press conference by the Hudson Brewing Company had Preeti Adhikary addressing a crisis. Twelve people had gotten sick from their India Pale Ale, but Preeti assured everyone that they would pay the medical bills even though it was not the company’s fault. Todd McKinney liked the well prepared exposition of the scenario and Preeti’s professional demeanor, but thought reiterating that the company would do whatever it takes to make people whole would defuse any objections by a skeptical press. 

“Be the Light” was an Icebreaker project by Lisa Qu. Lisa has older sisters, but after a one child policy was imposed in China, she felt the disappointment of her parents who had hoped for a boy. Yet Lisa doesn’t accept that she is less, and her passions include Toastmasters, fashion and Classical Ballet. Preeti Adhikary used a W.O.W evaluation technique – Wonderful, Outstanding, but the speech was a Work in Progress because it needed a more powerful, definitive ending.

Incoming Area Director Marilyn Sampson is also President of Unity East Toastmasters. A true diplomat, Marilyn said she is looking forward to working with APS after hearing so many complimentary things about our club. She then conducted an Officer Installation for 2016-2017 officers that were present.

Table Topics Master Manuel Saldana had some end of year questions. Deb Leung thinks endings are better than beginnings because you can reflect on what you did, then enjoy a new beginning. Preeti Adhikary, who will soon be moving back to Singapore and becoming an Area Director there, doesn’t actually like to drink beer, but her husband is a fanatic. Eloise Johnny believes the best networking tips are to be genuinely interested in a person, and to always keep your promises. Todd McKinney does not believe APS will ever have an apocalypse unless low attendance causes the club to self-destruct.

General Evaluator Deb Leung liked that all of the guests were warmly welcomed and that people were willing to step into vacant roles. Todd ended the meeting by presenting Deb with a certificate of appreciation for the outstanding work she has done for APS and her other Area clubs this year, earning her our nomination for Area Director of the Year.

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers 

Meeting Recap: Thursday, June 9, 2016 (New Leaders)

posted Jul 10, 2016, 2:28 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Jul 10, 2016, 2:29 PM ]

Dear APS Members,

Out with the old, and in with the new! “New Leaders” was the theme as APS elected a new slate of officers for the 2016-2017 Toastmasters year. Toastmaster of the Day and outgoing President Marcia Berry ran the meeting and the election. “Quorum” was the Word of the Day introduced by Marcia, who also served as Grammarian.

After a discussion of relevant issues by members present, the 2016-2017 officer team was elected:

President - Harry Aneziris

VP Education - Lisa Qu

VP Membership - Neerja Purang

VP Public Relations - Jinquan Liang

Secretary - Todd McKinney

Treasurer - Derek Chen


Have you ever won the lottery? Harry Aneziris believes that “Hey, You Never Know.” Harry made light of the fact that Todd McKinney had once asked the same question in a District contest speech, not expecting any affirmative answers. Yet there was a lottery winner present, a Toastmaster named Donna, who as Harry later discovered was already rich in familial love. The ultimate lessons were that values matter more than money, and that if you are to be a successful speaker, you need to know your audience. Speech Evaluator Neerja Purang admired the well crafted message and the tie in to Todd’s lottery speech, but asked that Harry tone down his sometimes overbearingly loud vocal modulations.

New York is a crowded city! Have you ever been pushed? “Don’t Push Me” says Derek Chen, but he is grateful to his Mother, who pushed him to being accepted at one of China’s top universities. Now Derek pushes himself, like on a mountain climbing trip in China where he overcame altitude sickness by visualizing the ultimate goal, just as he hopes to do in Toastmasters. Marcia Berry noted that Derek has become a masterful speaker by learning from his previous evaluations. Great message, stories and delivery leave only accent reduction as the unexplored path to the mountain top.

“Harnessing the Power of Speech” is the way to truly benefit your listeners. Kelvin Davis says that caring for the audience is better than considering, and after reading The Great Gatsby seven times Kelvin has learned that advanced speakers should read a lot, listen to great speeches and collaborate with peers. Lisa Qu liked the unique content and the advice that Kelvin offered, but suggested adding additional details to deepen the emotion. Speaking with more power and authority and would also enhance the persuasion.

Table Topics Master Todd McKinney asked the new APS Top 3 if they had any thoughts about their new roles. President elect Harry Aneziris said DCP is not the only goal, but the club needs good attendance and productive meetings. When Lisa Qu served as VP Education for American Express, now known as World Financial, membership grew to large numbers but she advised against splitting the club. Neerja Purang would like to see APS adopt a social media presence and continue the tradition of special event meetings to generate excitement.

General Evaluator Todd McKinney was glad there was time for a brief discussion before the election took place. He also praised the evaluation by Lisa Qu for being direct, concise and substantial.

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers

Meeting Recap: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 (Toastmaster Heroes)

posted Jun 11, 2016, 12:16 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

 Dear APS Members,

Who are your Toastmaster Heroes? Is it a World Champion of Public Speaking like LaShunda Rundles, or a member giving their very first speech? Is it the President of Toastmasters International or an unsung club officer? Toastmaster of the Day Todd McKinney wanted to know, especially since APS will be electing a new team of officers at the June 9 meeting. Intrepid Toastmaster guests were Marna Murray and Jason Moore. “Intrepid” was the Word of the Day announced by Grammarian Marcelo Braga. 

A hero for Harry Aneziris was his Mother Elaine, nicknamed “The Little Mouse.” Small in physical stature, she was a giant in moral strength and she inspired Harry to be his best. Evaluator Payal Mehta noticed Harry’s strong stage presence, humor and storytelling ability. Payal suggested longer individual eye contact and relaxing mentally beforehand so that that he could appear more relaxed on stage.

 "Loose and Limber: Preventing Arthritis.” Marcia Berry’s prescription is to lose it, lose it and use it! Lose the NSAID pain relievers that deplete cartilage; lose the excess weight and use it by getting plenty of exercise. Harry Aneziris conceded that Marcia is both a health and a speech expert, and he liked the useful information. Ever the scientist, Harry pointed out that Marcia’s stated facts and measurements were not perfectly aligned.

According to Manuel Saldana, Resolving Conflict is something that every leader needs to master. The Toastmasters Leadership Excellence presentation makes clear that conflict presents both challenges and opportunities. Evaluator Marna Murray thought Manuel was well prepared but suggested holding the handout until the very end. The heat and passion of an illustrative story may have been a better way to engage the audience.

Table Topics Master Todd McKinney wanted to know about heroes. Jason Moore believes in heroes and for him it was his Father, who introduced him to Toastmasters. Marcelo Braga believes that the leaders in Toastmasters are the heroes, and Marcia Berry agrees that District Governors and unsung club officers get her respect. Marna Murray has many heroes in Toastmasters, while Manuel Saldana is going for Triple Crown champion just to see if it’s possible. Taking acting classes led Payal Mehta back in the direction of Toastmasters, while Harry Aneziris thinks there are many stars in the universe, but the heroic “avaitor” speech by David Henderson is the best he has heard from a World Champion.

General Evaluator Marcelo Braga liked the table topic questions but suggested not calling on a guest first. Marcelo praised the powers of observation of evaluators Payal Mehta and Harry Aneziris, then asked that evaluators state whether speakers met their project goal. 

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers

Meeting Recap: Thursday, May 12, 2016 (Spring Conference Preview)

posted Jun 11, 2016, 12:06 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

Dear APS Members,

With the District 46 Conference just a few days away APS was having a “Spring Conference Preview.” Toastmaster of the Day Neerja Purang led the meeting according to protocol, and guest Toastmasters were Nicole Devlin and Marna Murray. “Protocol” was the Word of the Day announced by Marcia Berry.

M.T.A. spokesman Manuel Saldana explained and took questions on the Canarsie Tunnel crisis in “Canarsie Had Fallen.” It turns out that repairs to salt water damage incurred during Hurricane Sandy will impede L Train traffic for the next three years. Speech evaluator Lisa Qu praised Manuel’s sincerity but asked that he speak with more authority, be clearer with details and tell us what his company really stands for.

Davis Health Products President Kelvin Davis said that it was not his company’s fault that their power protein supplement had been spiked with the stimulant ephedra. He assured the press conference that he has a plan of action to resolve this “Energy Crisis.” Marcia Berry liked Kelvin’s businesslike appearance and that he kept cool under fire, but she wanted him to be more specific about the action plan and to focus more on helping affected consumers and not just position to avoid lawsuits.

International speech contestant Brian Robinson wanted everyone to know that “It’s Too Soon.” Helping some disadvantaged people find jobs taught Brian that it’s always too soon to quit, especially when life changing success might come on that one last try. Todd McKinney praised Brian’s speaking style, his relatable characters and powerful story. An ending that captured the emotion, message and theme was all that was needed.

After the official meeting ended Neerja Purang practiced “Lead to Succeed,” a longer presentation for a spring conference in a neighboring state. Neerja had a mix of inspirational content including examples like Walt Disney and some of her own personal stories to help listeners prepare their own blueprint for success. A Round Robin evaluation praised Neerja’s content, stories and sincerity, but then offered suggestions like engaging listeners from the very beginning, asking audience questions throughout, increasing entertainment value by adding a little humor and selecting some additional, human images for the visual slide show.

Table Topics Master Todd McKinney had questions to find out what members are currently thinking. Pam Burke has a blog site and book about weight loss and has recently spoken to young people at the Eagle Academy. Nicole Devlin is hoping to take her speaking to the next level with an advanced club, even though she recently hired a speech coach. Lisa Qu is hoping to become a great presenter to compliment her career as a designer. When asked to evaluate Brian Robinson’s speech Derek Chen is a big fan, but thought it would need more impact to win. Marna Murray is a Toastmaster since 2001 and is in New York on a photography research project. APS has many great qualities including contestants, but Eloise Johnny would still like to see more members.

General Evaluator Harry Aneziris praised the prepared speeches but agreed that the crisis management speakers needed to speak with more authority. Harry cautioned contestant Brian Robinson to make his ending less abrupt, then proposed that the free bananas he brought to the meeting become a club incentive.

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers

Meeting Recap: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 (Go Beyond Yourself)

posted Jun 10, 2016, 11:57 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

Dear APS Members,

 "As you think, so shall you become." The words of Bruce Lee show he was able to visualize his world changing success. At APS the meeting theme was “Go Beyond Yourself.” Toastmaster of the Day Marcia Berry led the expedition, and guest travelers were Esther Jung and Kinja Dixon. “Visualize” was the Word of the Day presented by Grammarian Todd McKinney.  

 Marcia Berry explained how to “Sleep Like a Baby.” Eating relaxing foods full of magnesium and potassium really helps, but avoid eating three hours before bedtime. If you eat sugar do it earlier in the day. Speech evaluator Lisa Qu liked the useful information and Marcia’s content coordinated body language, but thought a story illustrating consequences from lack of sleep could create a dramatic moment.

The Toastmasters journey of Manuel Saldana has led to his DTM, but he feels that “The Best is Yet to Come.” Revisiting fundamentals like the Toastmasters Promise and the DCP program reveal how teamwork and a support system made it possible, because as Manuel says “I did not do it all myself.” Marcelo Braga liked the handouts and Manuel’s body positioning to illustrate past and future, but suggested making use of the entire expanded speaking area and having an emotional moment at the end.

Have you ever quit too soon?” Brian Robinson has based his contest speech “It’s Too Soon” on lessons learned when he was working to help some disadvantaged people find jobs. A Round Robin evaluation session offered many suggestions like rethinking the deceptive opening, modifying the speech title and adding the story of Brian’s own recent fatherhood. Additional thoughts were that an often used message needs uncommonly good stories and execution, and that in a color blind world there is no need to mention the ethnicity of any character.

Table Topics Master Todd McKinney wanted to find out how members go beyond themselves. Eloise Johnny believes that APS has allowed her to go beyond with impromptu speaking and with evaluations that dig a little deeper than usual. Esther Jung likes her current job in education support because she has a passion for helping students, while Marcelo Braga is inspired to go beyond when he can visualize his son’s face. For Kinja Dixon there are no limits as he now has a book and an upcoming one man show on personal development. Toastmasters is the best place for Harry Aneziris to go beyond, especially in developing listening skills. Lisa Qu is working toward her DTM but it is not just for her, it’s really about helping others. For Brian Robinson it was Les Brown and Otis Williams who inspired him to be a speaker, and Marcia Berry believes that right now is the time to go beyond, and she has begun practicing Taoist meditation. Manuel Saldana will be leaving New York soon and may grab an opportunity to work for S&P in another city.

General Evaluator Harry Aneziris complimented the prepared speeches but noted that the Round Robin went overtime. Harry also suggested personalized meeting invitations to increase member involvement. 

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers

Meeting Recap: Thursday, April 14 2016 (Metamorphosis)

posted Apr 17, 2016, 2:01 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

Dear APS Members,

Did you go through a “Metamorphosis” after joining Toastmasters? Joining APS likely accelerated your transmutation even further. Toastmaster of the Day Georgia Jones is a perfect example, having broken through her chrysalis in recent years. Manuel Saldana is another, having just recently received his DTM recognition. For this meeting Georgia had the idea to transmute the APS meeting room so that a greatly enlarged speaking area was created on the long side of the conference table. Who needs American Idol, when this larger speaking area would allow the occupant to become an “APS Idol?” “Transmute” was the Word of the Day selected by Grammarian Todd McKinney.

“Pandora is the One” is a proposal by David Graubard that would allow the music streaming company to greatly improve their financial results. The business plan includes creating inspirational content, tracking users with complex algorithms and using “crowd sharing” to generate user engagement. Speech evaluator Georgia Jones liked David’s provocative title and the depth of his proposals. Georgia suggested that strong eye contact and vocal variety are vital for the success of a persuasive presentation, and to not apologize for any team member who may not be present. 

Manuel Saldana gave a briefing and took questions on “2016 Initiatives” for his Sole Mate Running Camp. Customer services include marked running trails in a mountain location and food provided according to member preference. Harry Aneziris thought Manuel handled the Q&A well and was on track with his initiatives. Additional speech techniques like humor, surprises and visual aids like maps and photos could also be employed.

Table Topics Master Todd McKinney got people thinking about change. Harry Aneziris enjoyed attending the Division D Contest the prior evening as an alternate for Wesley Webster and especially enjoyed the performance by Brian Robinson who took first place for APS in Speech Evaluation. Georgia Jones thinks evolution and revolution are both a part of change, like when the evolutionary step of moving from Jamaica to America caused a revolution in her way of life. Soft-spoken David Graubard expects that an advanced club like APS will help him rise to a higher peer standard, while offering more diverse feedback and not just being told that he needs to “speak louder.” APS has changed Manuel Saldana because it allowed him to reach that higher peer standard and he no longer fears being on stage with his mentors Harry and Georgia.

General Evaluator Georgia Jones praised the meeting quality and the new room setup, but noticed that the club needs to replenish our supply of proprietary meeting documents. Georgia wasn’t happy with the late start and reminded us to give adequate notice when using any electronic visual aids.

Todd McKinney closed the meeting by announcing that APS is once again a Perfect 10 President’s Distinguished Club, and thanks to the efforts of Neerja Purang our club has been strengthened with the additional memberships of veteran Toastmasters Lisa Qu and Leonard Lubarsky.

A brief ceremony ensued and Manuel Saldana was presented with his recognition ribbons for Advanced Communicator Gold, Advanced Leader Silver and Distinguished Toastmaster! Congratulations Manuel!

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers

Meeting Recap: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 (Fifth Anniversary!)

posted Apr 17, 2016, 1:53 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

Dear APS Members,

Everyone loves a birthday party and APS just celebrated its fifth! The first APS meeting took place on March 30, 2011. This fifth anniversary meeting had a special double sided meeting agenda that reproduced the 2011 agenda on the reverse. Of the 2011 members listed, all but one are still with the club today (he moved.) An icing inscribed birthday cake was courtesy of Toastmaster of the Day Neerja Purang and party hats and balloons were supplied by Marcia Berry. Special guests at the fete were Stela Mihneva-Chotalal, Hitomi Kobayashi, Barbara Stallworth, and Rocky Tang. “Fete” was the Word of the Day announced by Grammarian David Graubard who also became the newest APS member.

Charter APS member and 2011 club sponsor Neerja Purang gave a photo slide show to help us celebrate some of the people and events of APS past. Neerja spoke lovingly of many of the key early APS members and of some of the special format meetings that have forged the club character and inspired us on to achieve even higher highs. Neerja said “the sky is the limit for our members, and for APS!”

According to Chris Sassone “One Friend Can Make a Difference.” After some powerful fireworks went in the wrong direction, it was Chris’s childhood friend James who saved him from the clutches of Bart, the local bully.  Speech evaluator Marcia Berry enjoyed the entertainment created by Chris’s vivid language, but then suggested that he employ the literary technique of “foreshadowing,” to alert the listeners in advance that Bart was someone to watch out for.

Are you a fearless speaker? As a child in China, Jinquan Liang had to adapt to many changes when moving to the big city. Jin now believes that “The Fearless Speaker” is someone who can overcome past disappointments to ultimately become proud and take full ownership of who they are. Marcelo Braga liked Jin’s opening question and the personal stories that he used, but wanted him to focus on two main stories only - especially his own.

“Make My Day” is the contest speech by Todd McKinney, where random acts of kindness make the world a happier place. The Round Robin evaluators liked the message, but they suggested dropping the one serious story, using the speaking area, having more content specific body language and that a much stronger opening was required.

What do you expect from an advanced club? Table Topics Master Marcia Berry had questions relating to the “Moments of Truth” for a club that just became five years old. Stela Mihneva would like a club to have advanced members, high energy and be a great place to hear and steal ideas. Barbara Stallworth would like to see a Koala Bear be the APS mascot because they are so cute and lovable while still being vicious competitors. Rocky Tang would like to join Toastmasters for the networking opportunities. Hitomi Kobayashi has been checking out advanced clubs now that she recently earned her CC Award. Marcelo Braga thinks that in twenty years APS will be meeting on a fully booked cruise ship in New York Harbor. If APS were a person, David Graubard envisions a hot babe riding in an exciting hot rod, while Chris Sassone would like to see an APS theme meeting that was organized like a doubles tennis match. The favorite APS memory for Derek Chen is the solid speech feedback he has heard and received that has lifted him to a much higher level. Neerja Purang believes that Derek Chen is the most improved APS speaker now that he is winning contests and his humorous speech stole the show at the Hail & Farewell luncheon.

General Evaluator and charter APS member Harry Aneziris thanked Marcia and Neerja for their festive birthday meeting preparations. He wasn’t happy that the meeting started late and ran over, but liked that most everyone was still present at the end. Harry praised the speakers for their easily relatable topics and singled out the evaluation by Marcia Berry for suggesting the advanced speaking technique of “foreshadowing.” 

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers

Meeting Recap: Thursday, March 10, 2016 (March Forward)

posted Mar 19, 2016, 11:40 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

Dear APS Members and Guests,

Are you ready to boldly “March Forward” into your future - to ameliorate the deficiencies of the present? Toastmaster of the Day Manuel Saldana will soon be doing just that, but the seasonal theme also reminded him of springing forward into daylight savings time. Intrepid guest Toastmasters at this meeting were Ruimin Pan and Marcy Einhorn. “Ameliorate” was the Word of the Day tracked by Grammarian Kadisha Currie.

Marcia Berry got us wondering “Are You Hormonal?” Hormones are chemical messengers that control our body, but most of us don’t realize that we can control our hormones through the food we eat. The food we choose can empower us to a healthful life of our own creation. Speech evaluator Kadisha Currie liked the universal topic, the vivid descriptions and the way Marcia used questions throughout. Kadisha suggested including a handout with summary information so that listeners could more easily conduct further research.

“When it is so Hard to Find Mr. Right” is the humorous situation for Ruimin Pan. There are lots of fish in the pool but not everyone wants to be hooked, including Ruimin. Now that Ruimin’s Mother is also dating, that may lessen the maternal pressure just a little. Evaluator Pam Burke thought that Ruimin succeeded with humor and storytelling, and liked how the speech ending recalled the opening. Pam suggested increasing listener engagement with more focused individual eye contact and mimicking the voice of her Mother.

What was it that allowed Steve Jobs and Walt Disney to change the world? According to Neerja Purang it was Vision, and its enablers - hard work and persistence - that guided them on their “Road Map to Success.” Neerja used a slide show and examples from her own life to illustrate how each person can construct such a road map. Todd McKinney liked the motivational topic, the examples provided and Neerja’s dynamic hand gestures, but suggested better integration of the slide show, touching on a wider range of motivational emotions and ending with a clear, concise call to action.

Table Topics Master Pam Burke had questions based on motivational quotes that she offered. Georgia Jones thinks she needs to be brave enough to leave behind fear – especially fear of interviews where she has had nothing but success so far. Manuel Saldana is about to write a new chapter in his life but expects that it will include Toastmasters, one of the best things from his recent past. Marcy Einhorn does not want to stay in the same place, and is ready to roll with the changes life will bring. Thanks to a new client opportunity Todd McKinney will be adding book editing to his resume. Neerja Purang is looking forward to her challenges and expects to meet good people everywhere.

Grammarian Kadisha Currie noticed that everyone was able to follow her advice to ameliorate the use of filler words by substituting a pause, but noted that no one was able to use the Word of the Day. General Evaluator Georgia Jones ran a tight ship, praising Pam Burke’s outstanding Table Topic questions and her uplifting speech evaluation. Georgia challenged the Toastmaster of the Day to have better speech introductions and the speech evaluators to create more audience inclusive evaluations by referring to the speaker with pronouns other than “you.” A few logistical imperfections may have prevented guests from seeing APS shine in every detail, but Georgia summed up the meeting as another win for APS.

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers

Meeting Recap: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 (International and Evaluation Contests)

posted Mar 3, 2016, 11:26 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

Dear APS Members, Friends, and Contest Officials,

The thunder crashed, the lightening flashed, the building creaked in the wind, but the drama outdoors couldn’t compare to the excitement on stage at the APS International Speech and Evaluation Contest on Wednesday, February 24.

Todd McKinney emerged triumphant in the International Speech contest by inviting his audience to, “Make My Day.”  Derek Chen drew second with his speech, “Keep on Going.”  Given the long and vigorous applause following his speech, he proved he is no longer a small potato, but has emerged as one of APS’s “top dogs.”  David Hamilton came in third with his inspiring speech, “Your Issues…” in which he challenged his audience to triumph over adversity.  Also competing were Harry Aneziris, Brian Robinson, and Wesley Webster, all with top quality speeches.

In the Speech Evaluation Contest, Test Speaker Chris Francis delivered a contest-worthy speech that gave evaluators plenty of reason for praise.  Brian Robinson captured first place, David Hamilton took second, and Todd McKinney won third.  The other contestants included Harry Aneziris, Chris Sassone and Wesley Webster, all of whom delivered eloquent evaluations full of insightful recommendations.

Congratulations to all our winners.  And thank you to ALL our contestants for making this such a hard-fought and exciting event.

We extend special appreciation to our selfless contest officials, including our anonymous but hard-working Judges, our Ballot Counters Stuart Garmise and Jinquan Liang; Timers Henry Velazquez and Manuel Saldana; Sergeants-at-Arms Cathe McGowan and Jacqueline McIntyre; Back-Up Official Marcelo Braga, Contest Interviewer Neerja Purang, Contest Photographer Derek Chen, and especially to Chief Judge and Area 45 Director Deborah Leung, who went above and beyond her normal responsibilities to make sure the contest succeeded. 

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Marcia Berry, Contest Chair

President, Advanced Public Speakers 

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