Meeting Recap: Thursday, October 8, 2015 (New Horizons)

posted Oct 18, 2015, 1:29 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 18, 2015, 1:34 PM ]

Dear APS Members and Guests,

What are the “New Horizons” in your life? Some APS members are breaking new ground in the areas of career, contests, leadership and family. Guests at this genial meeting were Toastmaster of the Day Steven Kirschner, Cecil Joseph and Jamie Tyrrell who served as Timer and became the newest APS member. “Genial” was the Word of the Day selected by Grammarian Wesley Webster. A special unannounced surprise was an appearance by former APS President Gouri Seetharam visiting from the Dominican Republic.

In “My Life Outside Toastmasters,” Harry Aneziris offered an Ice Breaker that describes his lifelong interest in math and physics, his happy existence at S&P, and how he was fortunate enough to meet his wife. Speech evaluator Manuel Saldana finds Harry’s speaking talent and great experience to be inspirational, but suggested that slowing down the pace would enhance Harry’s already strong delivery.

Georgia Jones says she wants to be a “Wow Speaker.” That’s the kind of speaker that makes people think “wow!” She first noticed that quality in fellow club members like Harry Aneziris and Jennifer Jiang, and later from motivational speaker Les Brown. Gouri Seetharam believes that Georgia has already become a “wow speaker,” exhibiting plenty of confidence, energy and stage presence. Gouri said Georgia needs to slow down at key moments, and more preparation would allow her to achieve an even better speech structure.

“My Special Someone” is the Division F Humorous Contest speech by Derek Chen. It is Derek’s tribute to Neerja Purang, who can remain a smiling inspiration even after getting lost and stopped by police in New Jersey. A Round Robin evaluation mostly focused on facial expression, accent and pronunciation, but one insightful suggestion was to have Derek speak Mandarin when a phone call awakens him from a sound sleep. That would not only enhance the humor but might also serve to defuse the language issue altogether.

“Toastmasters Anonymous” is the Division D Humorous Contest speech by Todd McKinney. It is inspired by entirely true stories of Toastmasters addiction that APS members have witnessed and experienced. The Round Robin consensus found the most glaring problem to be the ending, which needs to be more energetic and funny.

Table Topics Master Marcia Berry had questions suitable for contestants, since both Harry Aneziris and Wesley Webster will be competing at the Division D Contest. Each got two questions. Harry would like to go back to a focal point of western history – the trial of Socrates, so he could hear the arguments of both sides. Wesley - who already appears younger than his years - said he was willing to take the chance and drink from the fountain of youth. Jaya Rudrabhatala would like to have the superpower to change the way people think in order to help the world situation. Manuel Saldana thought his relationship with his wife would be even better if he could read her thoughts, while Cecil Joseph believes that we do need to explore the universe, especially if we don’t find intelligent life here on earth. Steve Kirschner said being cloned would allow him to be in two places at the same time. Gouri Seetharam believes in “The Power of Now” and being present in the moment, as espoused by Eckhart Tolle.  Pam Burke said her newest horizon is her just launched website, which will kick start her professional speaking career.

General Evaluator Jaya Rudrabhatala called on her team of Jamie Tyrrell and Wesley Webster who both gave comprehensive reports. Jaya appreciated the warm greeting given the guests by club members, the vigilance of Manuel Saldana in guarding the door, and praised Marcia Berry for the excellent Table Topics.

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Todd McKinney
Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers