Meeting Recap: Dec. 13, 2012 (Reward Yourself)

posted Jan 2, 2013, 6:59 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 2:04 PM ]
Dear Toastmasters,

APS members rewarded themselves this week with fanciful stories of the supernatural, anchored with real world life lessons. “Reward Yourself” was the meeting theme, provided by Toastmaster of the Day Pam Burke. As Pam explained, taking the time to reward yourself for your hard fought efforts and successes will lead to even greater éclat. “Éclat” was the Word of the Day supplied by Grammarian Gouri Seetharam.

Welcome guests were Myrna Caceres and Penny Laitin. Guest Toastmasters were Kuei-Ming Fan, Mukhles Rahman, Bryan Corbitt and Yasin Abbak.

Sandro Fusco gave the Folk Tale project from the Storytelling Manual. In “Lionbruno”, Sandro told the Italian fairy tale of magical powers and betrayed secret love. Using a cloak of invisible darkness and his magic boots, our hero Lionbruno overcomes his travails to once again achieve true happiness and regain his immortal beloved. As speech evaluator I complemented Sandro for choosing an ideal story to fulfill the project. I also suggested editing the content, and that more vocal variety and evocative language would bring the story to life.

A dose reality was injected by Georgia Jones with another Storytelling project. The moral of the story was “Pace Yourself,” and Georgia had both feet planted firmly on the ground as she demonstrated that even with the best of ambitious intentions, juggling too many tasks at once was no prescription for success. Speech Evaluator Bryan Corbitt praised Georgia’s speaking ability and the important life lesson, but suggested that perhaps recasting the story in the third person would allow her to more fully meet the project requirements, and even allow for a surprise twist at the end.

Newest APS member Michael Platania took us back to his South Jersey roots with “The Jersey Devil.” This mythical denizen of the New Jersey Pine Barren region was the thirteenth child of Mother Leeds, and has been the subject of superstitious legends and sightings for over 300 years. Michael gave a devilish twist at the end when he revealed that the name Leeds is in his family tree, and that he may in fact be a descendant of the Jersey Devil itself! Neerja Purang evaluated Michael’s speech by calling attention to his colorful, descriptive language and entertaining content, but she suggested that the conclusion of the speech could return to the opening material to create a circular structure.

Table Topics Master Manuel Saldana brought out the best in the respondents with thought provoking questions related to the theme of rewarding yourself. Myrna Caceres confessed that her excellent answer was the first time she had ever spoken in public. Marcia Berry spoke with imagination, and Yasin Abbak displayed his versatility with a multi dimensional response.

General Evaluator Kuei-Ming Fan conducted the segment with the utmost diplomacy even while offering substantial suggestions. Mukhles Rahmangave a precise Timer Report, while Grammarian Gouri Seetharam offered specific verbal feedback along with surprise gifts and chocolate rewards for all who used the Word of the Day.

The next APS meeting will be this Wednesday, December 19.

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Todd McKinney
President, Advanced Public Speakers

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The Post-Meeting Reward

After the meeting, a group of us head over to Breeze, at 661 9th Avenue, New York, NY, and continued celebrating our achievements as Toastmasters in 2012!