Meeting Recap: Oct. 23, 2013 (Goal Setting)

posted Oct 27, 2013, 3:48 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 11:53 AM ]
Dear APS Members and Guests:


President Gouri Seetharam opened our October 23 meeting by introducing our guests:  Claire Lo, Rosalinda Jose and Lilach Nachum.  She  

announced that APS has now completed 5 of its 10 DCP goals, and we have embarked (word of the day) on the goal of achieving the Club Excellence Award.  She acknowledged that we are a club of overachievers—our membership includes 3 DTMs, many advanced educational award holders, district officers, and district-level contest winners. 


Toastmaster of the Day Pam Burke (who has just completed her second CC and given it to APS) advised the group, “The world was not formed in a day, and neither were we.  Set small goals and build upon them.” 


Grammarian Harry Aneziris punned on his word of the day, embark, by telling a story about how his neighbor’s dog kept him awake with its embarking.


The evening’s key speaker, Todd McKinney, delivered a 20-minute project from The Professional Speaker with the goal of motivating his audience to “Go The Distance,” a reference to the movie, Field of Dreams.  Todd exhorted his audience not to just go for the superficial Toastmasters’ titles, but to perfect the underlying skills that each educational award represents:  “It is the process, not the title, that makes you good.”  After revving up his audience by suggesting that if we “build something of value, people will come,” Todd distributed hand-back sheets for participants to complete and return, detailing our one-year and long-term Toastmasters goals along with requests for how APS can help us achieve our goals.  Several audience members shared their goals with the group, and it turns out that becoming a professional (or professional level) speaker is a common goal.


Evaluator Sheryl Berger congratulated Todd on creating vivid pictures, offering great analogies, and for his humor, audience participation and enthusiasm.  For next time, he might add more and bolder gestures.


Marcia Berry then took over with a CC #4 speech:  Success Guaranteed.  She offered 3 tips for reaching your goals: 

  • Focus on a single goal at a time.
  • Do one thing toward that goal every day, no matter how small.
  • Understand that progress is not a straight line, but a wave or spiral, and the trough is just a part of the overall movement—a necessary step on your journey toward change.

She highlighted the importance of conscientiousness and persistence, and ended by distributing a tip sheet for actions and attitudes that will make it easier for members to reach their goals.


Evaluator Wendy Reynoso noted Marcia’s high energy level and control of her subject.  She thought a Toastmaster example may have been more relevant to the audience than Marcia’s more scientific examples.  And although the final quote was inspiring, it came out of the blue, without a graceful transition.


Derek Chen then offered his speech, The Fall of Glory.  He advised that, “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” and related his personal journey toward becoming a photographer.  To demonstrate his progress as a photographer, he showed stark photos depicting the decline of Newark, New Jersey, a city once so glittering and cultured that when the Texas artist Robert Rauschenberg got off his New York City-bound bus prematurely, he spent a week in Newark before he realized he was not in The Big Apple. 


Evaluator Harry Aneziris applauded Derek’s great research, both with history and his own photographs, and his use of historical and personal stories.  To improve, he suggested shortening the speech to avoid an abrupt ending, and not referring to unused material, which leaves the audience unsatisfied.


Table Topics master Georgia Jones then provided a series of titillating questions.


Pam Burke responded that the photo of the goldfish leaping from the small bowl to the larger one reminded her that no progress is without risk.  Since one of her goals is to widen her comfort zone, she is now asking herself:  “What risk will I take today?” 


To Georgia’s question, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail,” Harry Anezeris responded that there are two types of failure—a failure that costs you nothing (such as running the marathon), and the type that can exact a high price or even get you killed. This latter type is not for him.   


In confronting failure, Table Topics respondent Wendy Alvarez stated that for her, it was not a question of failure, but of asking herself, “Now what?”  For example, her flat feet ruined her dreams of becoming a professional flamenco dancer, but her dancing experience has made her more graceful, with better posture and presence, and sent her in new directions. 


In responding to the quote:  “Success occurs when your dreams get bigger than your excuses,” President Gouri Seetharam revealed that her goal is to rise above her circumstances, and transform her environment with her own energy and personality, as do master Toastmasters Steve Chen and Mark LaVergne. 


Finally, guest Claire Lo talked about how determination and “the magic of thinking big” helped her get Scuba certified, even though she is afraid of water, can’t swim, and gets very seasick.


General Evaluator Gouri Seetharam advised using the monitor to display the club welcome sign and word of the day.  She congratulated all speakers on not using the phrase “without further ado,” which is so common at other venues it could serve as word of the day.  She also suggested that speech evaluators structure their remarks like a mini-speech, with an opening, body, and conclusion.


The next (and only) meeting in November will take place on Thursday, November 14.  Division D humorous speech contest winner Steven Brady will visit to deliver his contest speech.  Click here to sign up for meeting roles.


Thanks to Pam Burke for providing the following links to a website she likes on efficiency and reaching your goals:


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Marcia Berry
Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers