Meeting Recap: July 24, 2013 (The Unexpected)

posted Aug 2, 2013, 12:24 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 1:35 PM ]
Dear APS Members and Guests,

If the unexpected happens so often, then why is it unexpected? Toastmaster of the Day Neerja Purang explored the contradiction with a story from her recent trip out west. 

While visiting the vast Arizona desert, she was unexpectedly subjected to one of the largest rain and hail storms recently recorded in that state. Should Neerja have expected the unexpected, and brought her umbrella? No! Because we never know what form the unexpected will take, we can only hope that it will be serendipitous. “Serendipity” was the Word of the Day. 

Not unexpected guests were Anita Ogbara, Zak Niazi,  Jose Garcia, Rachel Hong, and District 46 International Speech Champion Mark Goldberg.

Toasting the Bride and Groom is an important part of every wedding, and it requires practice. Preparing for her Sister’s upcoming reception, Anita Ogbara did “At Last...,” the Toast project from the Special Occasion Speeches manual. As Speech Evaluator I complemented Anita’s sincerity, but also mentioned the need to practice holding a champagne glass and a microphone. Including a personal anecdote or a famous quote are also time tested toast techniques.

ColOmbia por favor” by Gouri Seetharam is the story of her recent adventures in that country, with the added entreaty to spell the country name correctly. There is no “u” in Colombia! Brian Robinson liked the stories but suggested that there was too much information, and that a more effective ending would have focused on the unique people of Colombia and not the spelling of the country name.

The message from Mark Goldberg is to “Look Harder,” that there is always more to a person than appears on the surface. Mark will give this speech in the final round of the Toastmasters International World Championship Contest. The Round Robin evaluators had favorable reviews but also offered many suggestions. Editing the content, adding more drama, more emotion and a more powerful call to action would help bring the speech to full realization.

Table Topics Master Georgia Jones used questions submitted by the attendees that were based on unexpected occurrences. What would you do if you bought five items but the scanner only charged you for one? Nina Fattahi had no doubt, she would return and pay the correct amount. Zak Niazi, Mary Cropsey and Rachel Hong also got their chance to react to the unexpected, while Jose Garcia reacted with his own brand of unexpected exuberance.

Andrea King conducted the General Evaluation segment with her usual diplomacy. After leading the Round Robin evaluation, she called for reports from Grammarian Nina Fattahi and Timer Mary Cropsey. Andrea praised the Round Robin segment as something most clubs don’t do, but which she found to be serendipitous. 

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Todd McKinney
VP Education, Advanced Public Speakers