Meeting Recap: January 14, 2016 (The Force Awakens!)

posted Jan 29, 2016, 10:28 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Jan 29, 2016, 10:44 AM ]

Dear APS Members,


Happy 2016, and may the force be with you! Toastmaster of the Day Todd McKinney believes that as “The Force Awakens” – whether you define it as God, Love or what the Chinese call “Chi”, things go better when you let it shine. Special guests were Area 45 Director Deborah Leung, Division E Director Lisa Qu, Toastmaster friends Payal Mehta, Wilson Ferreira and Sylburn Scott. “Chi” was the Word of the Day tracked by Grammarian David Hamilton.


Inspired by an incident involving her automobile, Marcia Berry was wondering whether it might be time for some of us to “Lighten Up.” Is there anything superfluous that is holding you back or slowing you down? Evaluator Selina Fung enjoyed that Marcia’s serious message was delivered with humor and expressive gestures, but suggested that she include a personal example of something that she may have left behind.


Long before America had Steven King, Edgar Allan Poe was our master of macabre stories. With the sound effect of a beating heart provided by her cell phone app, Deborah Leung read “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the story of a dismembered corpse’s heartbeat heard only by the murderer’s guilty conscience.  Jacqueline McIntyre liked Deb’s body language and vocal expression but suggested placing her printed pages on the table and out of sight, using a large font if necessary.


Derek Chen suggests that everyone follow his example and “Keep On Going.” Despite numerous - and some humorous - setbacks on his public speaking journey, Derek has persevered over his English language imperfections and is once again practicing for the International Speech Contest. A Round Robin evaluation offered suggestions like the need for a central story rather than brief anecdotes, a more relaxed demeanor, greater continuity of speech flow, and using more questions to engage the audience – possibly of a call and response type throughout. For example, Derek says “What would you do?” Audience responds “Keep On Going!”


Barbara Stallworth led a challenging Table Topics session with a Star Wars tilt. Payal Mehta agrees that Love is the unifying force in the universe, while Wilson Ferreira revealed his knowledge of quantum mechanics saying that reality can be determined by your perspective. Star Wars fan Sylburn Scott would choose to be a Jedi Knight, but David Hamilton agrees with Yoda to “do or do not. There is no try.” If allowed only one of the five perceptive senses, Selina Fung would choose taste, allowing her to enjoy the nourishment needed to sustain life and Chi.


General Evaluator Marcia Berry called on her team of David Hamilton and Timer Manuel Saldana, who noted that the Round Robin went overtime. Marcia thought that some of the Table Topic questions may have been too tough for those without a science degree, but she praised Selina’s evaluation for including an example of the type of story Selina herself had recommended.

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers