Meeting Recap: April 24, 2013 (Plant a Seed)

posted May 3, 2013, 6:52 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 1:44 PM ]
Dear APS Members and Guests,

Spring is in the air, so what better time to plant seeds for the future? “Plant a Seed” was the meeting theme provided by Toastmaster of the Day Derek Chen. Derek noted that Spring has been a bountiful time for APS, with many of the seeds planted in our first year now bearing fruit. With our members on track for individual goals, competitors populating contests at every level and the club recently becoming President’s Distinguished, the cornucopia at APS is already overflowing.
Derek has two seeds to plant: to compete again after his term as Area Governor is over, and the seed of peace - to propagate peace for America and the world. Derek then challenged us: “What seeds do you want to plant?” “Propagate” was the Word of the Day given by Grammarian Marcia Berry.

A special guest for the second meeting in a row was 2012 Toastmasters International Top Ten Finalist Mario Lewis.

Gouri Seetharam was the first of six speakers with “The Year of Endless Possibilities and No Regrets,” her Ice Breaker to complete an extra CC for APS. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. “ With that quote from Lao Tzu, Gouri explained how a transformational trip to South America last year led her to choose a severance package from Standard & Poor’s. She is looking forward to a year of new beginnings and volunteer work. Evaluator Marcia Berry liked Gouri’s vocal variety and use of language, but suggested including the details about the events that led to her change of outlook.

Christine Navigante did “Farewell, Gone But Not Forgotten” the Roast project from the Specialty Speeches manual. Target of the Roast was none other than Gouri Seetharam, former President of S&P Effective Communicators and a mentor for Christine, the current club President. Christine introduced humor by recalling some of the memorable speeches that Gouri has made, but as Speech Evaluator I suggested Christine needed to dig deeper into the more biting, satirical humor that is the hallmark of the Roast format.

“Pillow Talk” by Georgia Jones was the Make Them Laugh project from the Humorously Speaking manual. Georgia used a home made pillow as a visual aid, and talked about the humorous difficulties of creating one from scratch. Speech Evaluator Pam Burke praised Georgia’s appropriate use of humor and her effortless delivery, but suggested that strategic use of vocal variety could have taken the speech and the humor to an even higher level.

Next came three contestants practicing for the upcoming District 46 International Speech Contest.Michael PlataniaBrian Robinson and I each gave the latest version of our speech. General Evaluator Pam Burke then introduced Current District Champ and Toastmasters Top Ten FinalistMario Lewis, who dominated the segment by giving detailed and insightful feedback for each contestant. Positioning on the stage, gestures and especially clarity of message were topics where Mario’s great experience was brought to bear. Pam wrapped up the segment by calling on Grammarian Marcia Berry and Timer Georgia Jones for expertly detailed reports.

The next APS meeting will be on Thursday, May 9.
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Todd McKinney
President, Advanced Public Speakers
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