Meeting Recap: May 14, 2015 (My Favorite Mistake!)‏

posted Jun 1, 2015, 9:44 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Jun 1, 2015, 11:36 AM ]

Dear APS Members and Guests,

Have you ever made a mistake? Which one was your favorite? Toastmaster of the Day Steve Brady wanted to explore the topic, and mentioned a few solecisms of his own. Telling his Mother to shut up and committing some indiscretions at catholic school were mistakes that now provide the basis for some of Steve’s favorite stories. No one ever made a mistake by attending APS however, where welcome guests were Urusla Pietrzykowska and Noam Gamady. “Solecism” was the Word of the Day chosen by Grammarian Todd McKinney

Marcia Berry talked about “How to See Your Destiny.” Just look at the food you eat! Since our cells and bodies are in a continuous state of being reborn, the food you eat today will become your future (go for the kale!) Speech Evaluator Neerja Purang enjoyed Marcia’s presentation skills but suggested adding a personal story and perhaps some visual aids to illustrate how dietary consciousness (or lack thereof) has helped her or harmed others.

According to Derek Chen “Life is an Adventure,” like when he visited sacred Mount Emei ("峨眉山") in Sichuan Province China. After climbing all day, Derek had to outsmart some aggressive, tourist spoiled monkeys when he could not offer them the free snacks they demanded.Noam Gamady loved Derek’s entertaining story, but wanted more structural clarity – definite beginning, middle and end - and a stronger call to action.

Losing can be a blessing in disguise, and experience in numerous speech contests have made Brian Robinson realize “When Losing is Winning.” Some important lessons for a winning speech; 1) Keep it simple 2) Have one flagship story 3) Have one central theme 4) Have lots of humor so everyone has fun 5) Be emotionally prepared. Marcia Berry used the “S.P.A. Technique” to evaluate Brian. Marcia thought the speech was strong in stories and point, but wanted more application – an explanation of how it all applies to the audience.

“I Now Know Who I Am” is an Icebreaker speech by Pam Burke, who then challenged us “do you know who you are?” Pam is a product of her family background - Father, Mother, Sister, Auntie – along with significant career ups and downs. Today’s Pam is stronger, slimmer, a website blogger and motivational speaker. In a written evaluation Todd McKinney praised Pam’s audience engagement – enhanced by confident directness, eye contact and hand gestures that seemed perfect. Only adding a little humor and verbally sharing her dream could have made the speech better.

Table Topics Master Urusla Pietrzykowska wanted to know “what is a mistake?” Noam Gamady said his mistakes have led him to the path he is now on, while Neerja Purang believes the fear of being vulnerable has made her into the determined person she is today. Risk taking would become a way of life for Todd McKinney if he knew he could not make a mistake. Brian Robinson said any job that keeps him from his dream of being a keynote speaker might be a mistake, but Manuel Saldana’s mistake may have been not having a ring at the ready when his wife responded “when” to his wedding proposal.

General Evaluator Manuel Saldana had praise for the meeting overall but did suggest that the Toastmaster of the Day could incorporate content from previous speeches in his own inter-speech comments. Manuel also mentioned the benefit to speakers when the speech evaluators provide examples of how to accomplish their suggestions.

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Todd McKinney
VP Education, Advanced Public Speakers