Meeting Recap: Dec. 19, 2012 (Auld Lang Syne)

posted Jan 2, 2013, 7:01 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 2:04 PM ]

Dear APS Members and Guests,

APS paid a fond and sentimental farewell to 2012 at our final meeting of the year. “Auld Lang Syne” was the meeting theme, and Toastmaster of the Day Neerja Purang toasted everyone as she “drank a cup of kindness” and quoted from the perennially famous poem by Robert Burns. Perennial was the Word of the Day supplied by Grammarian Mitch Abramson. 2012 was a milestone year for Advanced Public Speakers. Our club became Select Distinguished in its very first year of existence, maintained the highest standards for speeches and evaluations, and laid the groundwork for even greater member success in the year ahead. Neerja also celebrated several milestones this year, professional, familial, and in Toastmasters she achieved the highest award possible – Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM.)  
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Welcome guests were Area Governor Jonathan YuRoman Posyavin, veteran Toastmaster Len Lubarsky and Bryan Corbitt who also served as Timer.

Georgia Jones gave us “Leo,” the Touching Story project from the Storytelling Manual. Georgia recounted the emotional circumstances of how she came to know Leo C. O’Neill, former President of Standard & Poor’s. Leo became Georgia’s professional mentor until his unexpected death from cancer in 2004. Speech Evaluator Len Lubarsky praised Georgia’s heartfelt delivery and her message – the impact one person can have on the life of another. Len also suggested slowing the pace to suit the serious content, using pauses to enhance the most dramatic moments and including more defined, specific hand gestures.

Guest speaker Roman Posyavin did a Dramatic Talk from the Entertaining Speaker Manual. In “Tulipmania: Madness of Crowds,” Roman explained the history of financial bubbles, including the one in 1630’s Netherlands, when tulip bulbs became the object of a speculative investment frenzy. One bulb sold as high as 5,000 Dutch Guilders before the market finally collapsed. Manuel Saldana gave a quintessential APS evaluation – diplomatic, concise and full of actionable feedback. He called attention to Roman’s clever use of language and his attention commanding gestures. Manuel found weakness in the speech structure however, suggesting that a stronger, well defined opening and conclusion, combined with effective transitions would greatly improve Roman’s entertaining speech.

“Bellydance Bloopers” was a resourceful project from the Entertaining Speaker Manual by Marcia Berry. Marcia struck the poses of an experienced belly dancer with alacrity, briefly employing the traditional finger cymbals known as “Zills.” The deeper message was that whether in dancing, public speaking, or other aspects of our lives, one needs to be prepared for the inevitable foul-ups. Leila Singh complemented Marcia’s multifaceted content and her ever present smile. Leila also suggested that the rhythmic clapping in the audience participation segment could have gone on a little longer, in order to fully engage everyone.

I conducted the Table Topics segment “Gangnam Style,” with questions reflecting “Livin’ Large” in 2012. Brian Robinson eloquently said that if addressing the United Nations, he would choose to speak about injustice and world peace. Bryan Corbitt declared that if he had his life to live over again, there just might be a few things he would change. Georgia Jones displayed true awareness of “Gangnam Style,” not only describing the most downloaded video of the year (and all time,) but she even demonstrated the dance move.

General Evaluator Jonathan Yu complemented Toastmaster of the Day Neerja and the high quality speakers, but also gave us some ideas to think about for future meetings.

The next APS meeting will be Thursday, January 10 and the theme will be “New Beginnings.”

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Todd McKinney
President, Advanced Public Speakers
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