Meeting Recap: July 10, 2014 (Road to Malaysia)

posted Oct 15, 2014, 8:27 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 11:29 AM ]

Dear APS Members and Guests,

The Road to Malaysia is paved with hard work and perseverance, as illustrated by our special guest speaker District 46 Speech Champion Marc Williams. By accomplishing the difficult task of delivering two demanding contest speeches at the same meeting, Marc proved that he has what it takes to be a Toastmasters International Champion.

Newest APS President Georgia Jones bookended the meeting by welcoming guests, then outlining ambitious, team building club goals for the year ahead. Toastmaster of the Day was freshly minted DTM Marcia Berry, who shared her recent research into Malaysian customs and climate. Malaysia sounds like a wonderful place if you love the indigenous hot, humid weather. Fellow travelers on the road were Rosemary Gibbons, Sarah Brooke, Len Lubarsky and Jinquan Liang who served as Timer. Repeat guest Kevin Bob became the newest APS member, and “Indigenous” was the Word of the Day given by Grammarian Sheryl Berger.

Marc Williams gave a hard driving, energetic version of his winning District speech “Short on Confidence,” the story of overcoming his fear of ridicule to finally achieving the ultimate victory. To illustrate his initial insecurity, Marc strips down to his running shorts to reveal his dreaded “chicken legs.” The appreciative Round Robin evaluation that followed offered suggestions like editing the content to allow more pauses and more variety of pacing, crystallizing the characters and the message, and a more adroit use of humor. Apparently, saying that you don’t have a joke does not enhance the message as well as actually having one.

“Life has its Challenges” was a poignant, yet humorous interlude offered by Jacqueline McIntyre. After separating from her long time position at Standard & Poor’s, she recently had time for a fun filled trip to New Orleans. Harry Aneziris gave a positive, well-structured evaluation, but suggested that Jackie’s use of notes needed to be much more discreet.

Marc Williams returned with “Just be You,” a story about the realization of one’s own self-worth. This will be Marc’s speech when he makes it to the final round of competition. The Round Robin evaluators dug in, suggesting that more humor and clarity of message were needed. Stories and examples with a more universal appeal would also help Marc win the hearts and minds of the audience - and the judges - at that final round.

Steve Brady had Table Topic questions geared to the “Road to Malaysia” theme. Eloise Johnny, Harry and Jacqueline each took a turn, and District Table Topics Champ Brian Robinson got everyone laughing by saying that he thought Marc Williams “chicken legs” were sexy, and nothing to be ashamed of.

Acting as General Evaluator, I thanked former Sergeant at Arms Harry Aneziris for helping with the room set-up, and mentioned the need to keep the Round Robin evaluations more focused and on time.

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Todd McKinney
VP Education, Advanced Public Speakers