Meeting Recap: April 11, 2013 (Practice-a-thon)

posted Apr 16, 2013, 7:27 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 1:45 PM ]
Dear APS Members and Guests,

Practice makes perfect, and since 6 APS members are scheduled to compete at their Division Contests – an unprecedented occurrence in Toastmasters- a “Practice-a-thon” meeting was in order. Toastmaster of the DayMarcia Berry had no trouble keeping the crowded meeting running smoothly and on time as is her wont, but she brought her “Whip” just in case! “Wont” was the Word of the Day from Word Master Jason Hish

Welcome guests were Area 45 Governor Jonathan Yu, Mimi Hou, Tom Panas, Jennifer Nelson, Xavier Williams, Jason Hish, Sheryl Berger, Tadi Prasanna and 2012 District 46 Champion and Toastmasters International Speech Finalist Mario Lewis.

Sandro Fusco did “ESA,” the personal story project from the Storytelling Manual. Sandro is moving to Los Angeles to accept his dream job and of course his two beloved dogs will be going with him. To facilitate the process – including finding a suitable apartment – Sandro had his dogs legally declared “emotional support animals” (ESA.) This special status gives Sandro and company the right to go anywhere, unencumbered by the usual pet restrictions. Perhaps his dogs will join him in the airplane cabin on the way to LA! Speech evaluatorGeorgia Jones was practicing for the upcoming Division D Evaluation Contest. While praising Sandro’s humorous story, Georgia was also paying special attention to her evaluation structure – the opening, the number of suggestions (should it be two or three?) and the summation.

Next came the International Speech Contestants:
Pam Burke performed her Division F entry “When the Knocking Stops.” Evaluator Rafay Khalid gave a textbook quality evaluation, and suggested using pauses to enhance Pam’s already dramatic content.

Guest speaker Jennifer Nelson will be competing in Division C. “Wake Up and Listen to Your Body’s Sleep Cycle” is Jennifer’s advice for better sleep and a more pleasant wake up routine. Guest Evaluator Xavier Williamswill also be competing in Division C. Xavier praised Jennifer’s confident speaking style and her clever use of wake up alarm sounds to illustrate her main points.

Brian Robinson will represent APS at the Division D Contest with his autobiographical speech “Long Pants.”Guest Evaluator Tom Panas -  a District evaluation finalist – praised Brian’s thoughtful content and suggested using more expansive gestures within specifically targeted speaking areas.

“Make Someone Happy” is my own entry for Division B. Speech Evaluator Neerja Purang liked my sincerity but suggested strengthening the structure by tying the ending back to the beginning and clarifying the message.

General Evaluator Gouri Seetharam ran the evaluation segment. She also planned the entire meeting along with Toastmaster of the Day Marcia Berry. Gouri called for team reports as is her wont. Grammarian Eloise Johnnywas able to point out a few grammatical errors among the otherwise splendid use of language. Timer Jonathan Yu indicated that several contestants tested or even exceeded their stated time.

Some members stayed after the meeting for further practice and a productive feedback session with Mario Lewis. May the best speeches win!

The next APS meeting will be Wednesday, April 24.
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Todd McKinney
President, Advanced Public Speakers