Meeting Recap: Oct. 10, 2013 (Traveling)

posted Oct 15, 2013, 5:12 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 11:55 AM ]

Dear APS Members,

On Thursday, October 10, raiders from Global Expressions invaded the APS meeting to capture the traveling gavel. The peripatetic (word of the day) raiding party included:

District Governor and Global Expressions member Kazuo Noguchi 

Global Expressions President Mekki Elbadri

Global Expressions VPE Carmen Munoz-Vicedo

Global Expressions Treasurer Dalma Rivero

Global Expressions Member Lauren Nicourt

Other guests included Tatyana Gorbatyuk from S&P Effective Communicators and Justin Thomas from Pacers.

Toastmaster of the day Neerja Purang presided over 4 prepared speeches, including a heartwarming, personal narrative by District Governor Kazuo Noguchi, Moment to Feel. He described his bohemian graduate student days in Canada, when he first met his wife. Evaluator Gouri Seetharam praised Kazuo’s use of voice, gestures, and emotion and encouraged him to add even more of these qualities to future speeches.

Pam Burke informed her audience How to Start a Blog, and passed along three lessons from her own experience: find a platform, get your own domain, and decide on a theme. Although her material was technical, she enlivened it with plenty of vocal variety, body language, and enthusiasm. Laurent Nicourt gave an incisive evaluation entirely free of notes, in which he complimented Pam’s speaking style, excellent research and audience interaction. To improve the talk, he suggested making it more a “how to” lesson and less particular to her own situation.

Marcia Berry read two excerpts from Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, and shared her enthusiasm for the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s dialogue, action and poetic language. Evaluator Mekki Elbadri applauded Marcia’s eye contact with the audience and expressive voice, but suggested she spend less time setting up the story with unnecessary detail and get straight to the point.

Finally, Neerja Purang delivered her HPL Vision Statement in which she described her mission as LGET: Quality over Quantity. How to fulfill that mission? Reach 10% more DCPs, train 5% more district officers vs. last year, and revitalize the Club Excellence Award.

Manuel Saldana then took members and guests on a journey with his traveling Table Topics, inviting respondents to select their type of travel: regular travel, space travel, time travel, or gavel travel. Tatyana Gorbatyuk responded that if she were ever deported, she would choose the mountains of Peru as her destination. Mekki Elbadri had to choose where to start the traveling gavel other than his home club. Justin Thomas predicted that humans would never learn how to time travel, because if they could, we would have already met someone from the past or future! Sheryl Berger decided that if she had to go somewhere with her worst enemy, she would chose Israel but find a way to ditch the enemy. Carmen Munoz-Vicedo described how the best part of piloting a space ship would be returning to our beautiful Earth. Dalma Rivero decided she would travel back to 9/11 in order to prevent the catastrophe that occurred that day.

General Evaluator Todd McKinney gave the Global Expressions guests high marks for finding the positive aspects in their speech evaluations, but cautioned them not to hold back in offering suggestions for improvement. He complimented Evaluator Gouri Seetharam for stating Kazuo’s speech objectives, but cautioned her not to repeat material in the speech itself. He commended speaker Neerja Purang for her use of bullet points and praised Topics Master Manuel Saldana for his creative questions. He chided the entire group for their timidity in volunteering for Table Topics and encouraged everyone to get their hands up in future Table Topics sessions. And he offered special thanks to Manuel and Sheryl for setting up the room and providing the agenda and other paperwork.

The meeting concluded with a brief ceremony in which APS passed the traveling gavel to its new caretakers from Global Expressions.

The next APS meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 23. It will be an interactive workshop in which facilitator Todd McKinney will help members set their goals. So if you want to advance your speaking skills, your career, or any other aspect of your life, be sure to. We still need volunteers for meeting roles, so please sign up here.

Best wishes, and see you on October 23.


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Marcia Berry
Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers