Meeting Recap: August 26, 2015 (2015 International Convention)

posted Sep 11, 2015, 12:52 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Sep 11, 2015, 1:02 PM ]
Dear APS Members and Guests,

Repercussions from the 2015 Toastmasters International Convention are still being felt. Three APS members were able to attend and engage in the protocol of the event – Neerja Purang, Harry Aneziris and Marcelo Braga.  Also at the convention was District 82 Director Sastharam Ravendran who became a special guest at APS along with his friends Prathibha Mohan and Nitin Sridharan. Other guest Toastmasters at this meeting were Jamie Tyrrell, Jesse David Sussman, Brandon Walker and Kelvin S. Davis who became the newest APS member. “Protocol” was the Word of the Day delivered by Grammarian Manuel Saldana.

Toastmaster of the Day Marcia Berry was also the first speaker with “Make Sense of Yourself.” How many senses do you have? Most people think of five, but Marcia believes there could be as many as seventeen when you include all the aspects of exteroception, interoception, proprioception and of course the vestibular senses. These include things like sense of balance, time, body positioning and movement. Understanding these may give you a more sense-ational life!  Eloise Johnny liked Marcia’s humor, organization and strong opening question, but the false start due to adjusting her video camera detracted from the opening of the speech.


Marcelo Braga believes that when coaching an employee to improve you should stress that “There are no Problems, Only Solutions.” After describing the premise, Marcelo did a role play with Steve Brady to show that being supportive and non-confrontational with an employee will lead to the desired result. Marcelo then took audience questions. Wesley Webster thought the coaching segment was great, but wanted a more all-encompassing introduction so the listeners would understand the broader project goals.


District 82 Director Sastharam Ravendran is leading one of the fastest growing Districts in the world of Toastmasters. District 82 comprises the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu as well as the country of Sri Lanka. He is no stranger to New York however, having previously lived here for three years. “Sash” gave us a speech worthy of an International Contest, full of stories with inspirational themes like how Toastmasters taught him to grow from arrogance to humility and from a life of uncertainty to one of purpose. His ultimate message was “if I can do it, why not you?”


Table Topics Master Todd McKinney wanted to call on everyone not already speaking. Kelvin Davis believes he is a self-motivated person who doesn’t need to be pushed. Pam Burke credits APS for some of the recent progress she has made, while Eloise Johnny – soon to file her DTM – believes her Toastmasters journey is just beginning. Jamie Tyrrell is just back from a European honeymoon, including a Mediterranean cruise. Jesse Sussman is relatively new to Toastmasters but has visited several clubs, while Kadisha Currie sees more Toastmaster possibilities than ever before. Prathibha Mohan thinks she may join Toastmasters someday, and Nitin Sridharan does not need to see the next step before taking a leap of faith. Wesley Webster says there is a price to be paid for telling the truth but he is willing to pay it, while Jinquan Liang is willing to shed his former self and “shake it off” in order to become a new person. Brandon Walker believes he has become a better person and a better listener in Toastmasters, and Derek Chen - fresh from his humorous contest win at Jade Toastmasters - said he wants his humorous speech to have a sincere message. Sash Ravendran believes his biggest challenge as District 82 Director will be member retention, since so many have recently joined.


General Evaluator Steve Brady allowed the guests to share their thoughts on the meeting. Steve also praised the meeting but reminded us not to forget the one minute of silence between speeches to fill out evaluation slips. Steve reminded the Table Topics speakers to pause and collect their thoughts before answering, and to maintain a relaxed body posture. Manuel Saldana reported that many were able to use the Word of the Day, and then diplomatically thanked the special guests for attending the meeting.


Before closing the meeting Marcia made the unexpected announcement that APS has been awarded the Founders Award by Toastmasters International. Thanks to the efforts of APS co-founder and former President Gouri Seetharam, APS gets credit as the founding club for Larimar Toastmasters - the first club ever in the Dominican Republic. What a nice surprise and a great honor for APS. Thanks Gouri!


Check the upcoming District 46 newsletter for a special article about the featured club of the month – APS!

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Todd McKinney
Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers