Meeting Recap: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 (Fresh Start)

posted Feb 15, 2016, 10:25 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club

Dear APS Members,

Ever feel the need to get a “Fresh Start?” Kismet will be taking stalwart APS member Manuel Saldana and family to Virginia for a fresh start, and Toastmaster of the Day Marcia Berry wanted to pay Manuel a farewell “Roast” tribute. Roasts are rare at APS, but members served up a roast that was very well done indeed! Guests at the table were Division E Director Lisa Qu, Lingshuang Zhang, Yana Naginsky, Jonathan Yu and Chaoqing Hou. “Kismet” was the Word of the Day defined by Grammarian Georgia Jones.

“Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste” was the title and message from Christopher Sassone. Using well-known stories, including that of motivational speaker Les Brown, Chris illustrated how a crisis presents not just danger, but opportunity. Evaluator Georgia Jones liked Chris’ engaging speech title and his confident delivery but reminded him that using personal stories from one’s own life is the most effective way for a speaker to establish rapport with listeners.

What is the best way to handle someone who is constantly getting on your nerves? Asserting yourself effectively could lead to the solution, as Marcelo Braga showed in “Houston, I Have a Problem.” Marcelo proposed four steps; 1) tell the person you have a problem 2) tell them how you feel 3) propose a solution and 4) explain the benefit of that solution. David Hamilton enjoyed the entertaining example of the mis-squeezed toothpaste tube, but asked that some solutions also be illustrated. David then suggested that Marcelo could make use of the entire speaking area during this longer speech project.

Todd McKinney got the Roast started by noting that Manuel Saldana has been one of the most reliable and helpful Toastmasters in recent years. But since most people are not like that, what is really going on? Todd proposed that Manuel must have a secret hidden agenda, perhaps involving a wife in New Jersey and another in Virginia. Marcia Berry thought that Manuel’s deceptive behavior could be explained by his hunger for power and attention. Yana Naginsky shared some special times with Manuel when both were Area Governors, but even she can’t explain the mystery. Lisa Qu agrees that Manuel is an enigma, yet one with many special qualities. Eloise Johnny believes that Manuel is a heartbreaker, judging by the way he led on members of her home club BAIT, only to dump them when he was through. Neerja Purang thought Manuel to be an omnipotent Toastmaster and presented him with a bouquet of flowers – a gift to his wife for putting up with his marital malfeasance. Georgia Jones said that Manuel appears to be a Mary Poppins like Toastmaster; a cuddly kitten that is in reality a dangerous crouching Tiger ready to growl. Harry Aneziris believes that Manuel’s secret motivation all along has been to defeat him in speech contests, while Jonathan Yu thinks that prevailing in contests explains his decision to move to another Toastmasters District. Members Tatyana Gorbatyuk, Kelvin Davis and Jinquan Liang were in attendance but did not get a chance to speak.

General Evaluator Manuel Saldana praised himself for setting up the room and then called on his team. Timer Derek Chen noted that only a few speakers went overtime, and Georgia Jones reported that only Jonathan Yu was able to use the Word of the Day. Unable to rebut the many roast statements made, Manuel mainly blamed Gouri Seetharam for bringing him into Toastmasters in the first place. However he did admit that he has grown and learned more by giving unto others than his secret agenda had ever allowed for. 

In special recognition of Manuel’s many contributions to APS Marcia Berry then presented him with a certificate representing honorary lifetime membership.

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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers