Meeting Recap: March 14, 2013 (Nature)

posted Mar 25, 2013, 2:09 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 1:48 PM ]
Dear APS Members and Guests,

May the force be with you! The force of nature that is. That was the message from the most recent conclave of APS, which proved to be productive and inspirational. “Nature” was the theme selected by Toastmaster of the Day Christine Navigante, and Christine opened the meeting with a discourse on the beauty and the terrifying power of nature. She displayed photos of Nature and its bounty – from its most beautiful to its most destructive. “Bounty” was the Word of the Day. 

Our welcome guest speaker was Florin Petre.

Area 32 Champion Michael Platania gave the most recent version of his contest speech “Three Little Words,” his own story of self realization. The speech gets better each time, but the Round Robin evaluators proved to be a bountiful source of additional ideas. Relating the message back to the listeners, pausing at key moments, more expansive gestures and use of the speaking area were just some of the suggestions offered. These elements should help Michael achieve the added drama and panache he will need at his Division Contest in April.

“What is Lucid Dreaming” was the speech offered by our guest Florin Petre. Lucid dreaming is when the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming, even taking a conscious role in their own dream. Florin did not put anyone to sleep with this entertaining speech, which employed humorous stories and some vivid imagery of nightmares with slithering snakes. Speech evaluatorPam Burke called attention to all of that, as well as Florin’s diverse use of body language. She also suggested that he slow down the pace a bit, find opportunities to vary his voice and adjust the ending so that it included a call to action and was not quite so abrupt.

Conquering the Cold Call was my objective, fulfilling a project from the Persuasive Speaking Manual. “Insuring Your Financial Security,” was my pitch, and Marcia Berry volunteered to assist with the role play by taking my call. Getting a call from a telemarketer is no one’s idea of a pleasant interlude, especially when the seller is pushing a complex insurance product, but therein lies the challenge to persuade. Marcia also acted as my evaluator. She praised my persistence and ability to counter her objections, but mentioned that my failure to ask questions about her particular situation would have probably killed the sale.

Table Topics Master Leila Singh offered up a series of challenging questions inspired by the meeting theme, as well as her recent studies of comparative literature. Which natural creature does not conform to nature itself? Pam Burke offered that it could possibly be her three year old nephew, but Leila revealed that the correct answer is in fact Mankind! Asked to complete the fragmentary story of a princess, Eloise Johnny postulated that “the princess fell asleep on the green, and decided to have a lucid dream!” Leila also mentioned that of all of Aesop's Fables, the (slow but steady) tortoise and the hare is perhaps the most widely known. 

General Evaluator Marcia Berry praised the high spirits of the meeting and also the universality of the meeting theme “Nature.” She also complemented the APS practice of tying in the Word of the Day and Table Topics with the meeting theme, suggesting that it adds a continuity of uniqueness for each meeting. Marcia also moderated the Round Robin evaluation, and called on her expert evaluation team including Timer Eloise Johnny who gave a detailed report.

The next APS meeting will be Wednesday, March 27.
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Todd McKinney
President, Advanced Public Speakers