Meeting Recap: June 26, 2013 (Lessons Learned: A Year in Review)

posted Jun 28, 2013, 1:46 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 1:39 PM ]
Dear APS Members and Guests,

The final APS meeting of the Toastmasters year was a chance to reflect on “Lessons Learned: A Year in Review.” Toastmaster of the Day Brian Robinson – whose yearly highlights included getting married and taking second place in the District 46 International Speech Contest - presided over an inspirational and fun meeting. Brian also offered some sage thoughts on his experiences. “Sage” was the Word of the Day. 

Welcome guests were Gillian WongTatyana Gorbatyuk and Zak Niazi.

Pam Burke told us that “Losing Has its Benefits,”  while doing the first project from the Speaking to Inform manual. Pam recounted some lessons learned from the speech competition process this year. Discovering for instance that over rehearsing could lead to an inability to react spontaneously with the audience, and how to deal with the treacherous emotional downside after months of hard work and preparation are rejected by the judges. Evaluator Derek Chen liked Pam’s strong, smooth delivery and her use of questions to engage the listeners. Derek also proposed using a visual aid, “acting out” to illustrate the emotions described and including a powerful punch line to memorably sum up the speech message.

Guest speaker Gillian Wong did “Thanks For Nothing,” the inspirational speech from the Competent Communication manual. Using emotional family stories to illustrate her points, Gillian convinced us of the need to make “thank you” a regular part of our everyday speech. Acting as speech evaluator I praised the power of Gillian’s stories, her preparation and her excellent speaking voice. I then suggested she focus on some fundamentals like using brief eye contact to establish a connection with each listener, and a more targeted use of hand gestures.

Table Topics Master Marcia Berry offered substantial and challenging questions that allowed us to reflect on lessons learned and have fun at the same time. Tatyana Gorbatyuk let on that she has many dreams, but one that remains uncompleted is reaching the peak of a mountain at Yosemite. Michael Platania also expounded on his contest experiences, but suggested he was able to purge the emotional disappointment after attending a retreat.  Zak Niazi said he greatly enjoyed the meeting and expressed a desire to become a member of APS as soon as he joins Toastmasters and completes 10 speeches. Marcia asked me about my “home” club and my choices for best clubs in the District. In my rambling answer I forgot to mention our host club Thomson Reuters – certainly one of the best. I also forgot to state the most important point of all - that APS is my home club and the best club I’ve ever known. No other club offers the consistent level of inspiration and insightful evaluation feedback.

Guest General Evaluator Tatyana Gorbatyuk ran her segment with the utmost diplomacy. After calling for the usual reports from Timer Michael Platania and Yours Truly as Grammarian, Tatyana noted that even though we started late, the meeting had high spirits and was smoothly run.

The first APS meeting of the new year will be Thursday, July 11 at 55 Water Street. Please sign up for available roles using the link provided below.

Happy New Year Everyone!
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Todd McKinney
President, Advanced Public Speakers