Meeting Recap: Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 (Festivus)

posted Dec 19, 2015, 10:49 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Jan 1, 2016, 3:03 PM ]

Dear APS Members,


The “Festivus” season is now upon us, and at the APS meeting we were celebrating this humorous and secular holiday first made famous on the Seinfeld TV show. We did not have all the Festivus trappings – we were missing the bare aluminum pole – but our speakers had a chance to engage in some “feats of strength” and “airing of grievances.” Visiting festivians were guest speaker Selina Fung, Sarah Song, and Chris Sassone who served as Timer and became the newest APS member. Another Festivus miracle! To reinforce the insignificance of this holiday, “Festivus” was also the Word of the Day.


Manuel Saldana’s parents told him that “Laziness Has its Consequences.” Like the time a younger, well-dressed Manuel was running an errand but then decided to take a shortcut. He was accosted by a robber and held at knifepoint. Manuel emerged unharmed, even though the robber took extra time to engage in conversation. Evaluator Chris Sassone thought Manuel succeeded in creating vivid images and drama, but suggested that altering his voice when portraying the other characters would create more vocal variety.

“Swoosh” was a research speech project on Basketball by Selina Fung. Selina covered the entire court with facts and figures about the rules, famous players and even how to properly shoot the ball. Basketball expert Wesley Webster liked Selina’s speaking style and that she chose to challenge herself with a topic she did not already know about. Wesley then suggested that Selina quote some of her sources because he took issue with her stated opinions regarding who the best players actually were.


Marcia Berry was communicating on video, and breaking new ground at APS when she asked us “Are You Addicted to Sugar?” Marcia recorded, and then played back her speech that detailed the negative effects of excess sugar in our diet. Evaluator Todd McKinney was to evaluate the video presentation only, and not the actual speech. Turns out that both Marcia and her message come across strongly on video, but her glancing downward at prepared notes was very noticeable on camera. For a video presentation, notes would need to be at eye level and behind the camera which is why video professionals use a teleprompter device.


Table Topics Master Todd McKinney wanted to give everyone a chance to air their grievances, although there were none. Wesley Webster enjoyed attending the District 46 Fall Conference for the first time, made all the better since he was one of the top eight Table Topics contestants in the entire District, and was representing our own Division D. Chris Sassone announced that he is joining APS to get solid speech feedback and eventually his DTM, an outcome made more likely since APS has such a large number of that stratum of Toastmaster. Selina Fung confessed that she was distracted from her speech by the unexpected finger snapping after she used the Word of the Day (as is now our custom,) but it worked out for the best since the members loved her honesty and sense of humor. Sarah Song proved herself to be a talented potential Toastmaster, a dedicated student from China who recently earned her Master’s in business at Fordham. Harry Aneziris attended Toastmasters while in Beijing and was amazed at how good the clubs were. Harry said you even need to give a campaign speech just to convince them to elect you as a member!


General Evaluator Harry Aneziris praised the meeting and our fabulous guests, but wondered where the members were. It’s nice to be a perennially Perfect 10 Club, but no club can truly thrive, and the members reach their full potential unless they are at the meetings.


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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers