Meeting Recap: Dec. 18, 2014 (APS Year In Review)

posted Dec 20, 2014, 7:39 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

Dear APS Members and Guests,

What was your favorite APS highlight from 2014? Was it Laurent Nicourt’s “The Blazing Giant, the Gorilla and the Hummingbird?” Being“Winterbound” amidst the polar vortex in February or perhaps it was “A Midsummer Toastmaster’s background-color: transparentDream” in July. Was it “Roasting Gouri”or the “Perfect Elevator Pitch” workshop conducted by Michael Platania? Was it the District 46 Spring Conference, where Neerja Purang was elected District Governor and Brian Robinson became District Speech Evaluation Champion? Maybe it was the Fall Conference, where APS had three members in the District Table Topics Contest with Marcia Berry’s memorable performance taking first place. Perhaps it was the recent special meeting with Cathey Armillas and World Champion Darren LaCroix, or the APS humorous debate based on Brian Robinson’s book “How to Meet Women on the Subway.” Toastmaster of the Day Todd McKinney offered this compendious list to remind everyone what a spectacular year our club has had – and that the best may be yet to come. “Compendious” was the Word of the Day, and special guestPhyllis Steinberg served as Timer. 

Wendy Reynoso did a project from the Entertaining Speaker manual with the recurring theme of “Perceptions.” Each person can see the same thing in different ways, but why doesn’t everyone like coriander? Kadisha Currie enjoyed the attention grabbing opening and Wendy’s purposeful gestures, but wanted to hear more detail about the speech characters.

“Conversation with a Toastmaster” with Pam Burke as the host, was a project from the Communicating on Video manual. Pam conducted an interview with Todd McKinney covering some of the unexpected directions in his Toastmasters career. Georgia Jones liked Pam’s pre-meeting preparation and audience appropriate topic, but suggested keeping a tight rein on time and minimizing distracting hand gestures.

Table Topics Master Georgia Jones offered provocative questions about lessons learned in 2014. After facing challenges this year, Brian Robinson said he has learned to take the necessary risk and “just go for it.” Phyllis Steinberg believes there is no greater joy than love, especially love of family. Kadisha Currie is now finding inspiration for speeches everywhere, and revealed she was recently elected President of Hunter Toastmasters. Pam Burke said she is still a competitive, driven person but needs to silence her inner critic. Wendy Reynoso is happy with where she is right now and with her journey so far.

Brian Robinson then led an innovative general evaluation segment that contained a presentation from the Successful Club Series “Evaluate to Motivate” imbedded within. Brian not only evaluated the evaluators, he conducted an interactive evaluation workshop suitable for an advanced club like APS.

Brian’s main suggestions for advanced evaluations:

  1. Don’t waste precious evaluation time with fluff. After a brief acknowledgement, describe the speech manual objectives but get right to the substance of two (or three) positive attributes the speaker already has. Speak to the entire room and not just to the speaker.

  2. Offer two (or three) ideas for improvement, and give examples how to accomplish them. One suggestion is too little, and more than three is way too many. Be encouraging.

  3. Try to accomplish all of this with a clear, concise structure containing no confusing tangents. Signal your closing with a brief summary of main evaluation points. This of course, requires practice and experience.

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Todd McKinney
VP Education, Advanced Public Speakers