Meeting Recap: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 (Talking Turkey)

posted Dec 19, 2015, 10:40 AM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Jan 1, 2016, 2:59 PM ]
Dear APS Members,


There was no need for dissert at this meeting because everyone was “Talking Turkey.” Toastmaster of the Day Marcia Berry explained the origin of the turkey term, and encouraged us to never do the opposite and “talk crow.” S&P Effective Communicator Gillian Wong was a guest speaker, and “Dissert” was the non-fat Word of the Day.


Abstractly speaking, Manuel Saldana believes that “One Dimension of Wellness” is found in the food we eat. A fist sized portion is best, as moderation leads to a complete integration of mind, body and spirit within the wellness pyramid. Speech evaluator David Hamilton liked Manuel’s structure and universal topic, but wanted to be surprised and confused with a more abstract approach before everything was finally made clear.  


Speaking under fire was Gillian Wong, who believes in “The Right to Live.” Choice is a fine thing, but should the most innocent and defenseless pay the price? Especially since many reading this now would not have been born otherwise? Gillian advocated that the time frame for choice be reduced. Marcia Berry praised Gillian’s challenging topic, strong structure and logic, but suggested that when fielding difficult questions first acknowledge the interrogators point of view before giving your response. Marcia then suggested that Gillian could increase the drama by saving her own personal story for the very end.


“Goodbye Dennis” was a tribute by Harry Aneziris to his late cousin Dennis Fokas, DTM. Speaking with obvious emotion, Harry recalled that Dennis was a well-known Toastmaster who touched many lives in both New York and New Jersey Districts. Harry reminded us that “your life only ends when people stop talking and thinking about you.” Eloise Johnny loved Harry’s touching story and expert delivery, but found the opening reference to “triskaidekaphobia” to be distracting and obscurely off topic.


Accepting an award given at the District 46 Humorous Speech Contest, Todd McKinney said “Thank you for 2nd Place.” The silver medal is really not all that bad, since only one outcome could have been better. Still Todd wanted to win first place for APS, and hoped that an APS contestant would eventually capture first place in Humorous and International Speech, the only contests where APS has not already brought home the gold. Derek Chen agreed with the sentiment, but said Todd should share some insights on how to win, and be even more emphatic with his declaration.


A Table Topics Round Robin had everyone talking turkey. Manuel Saldana said that delicious turkeys have no right to live, especially at Thanksgiving. Eloise Johnny does not mind if her boss gets credit for her ideas, as long as the ideas get used. Gillian Wong thinks more things may be possible than impossible, but it depends on your outlook, while Derek Chen believes one’s success at talking turkey may depend on your personality. David Hamilton thinks Toastmasters will really help his career, while it has already helped Marcia Berry speak up for herself.


General Evaluator Derek Chen applauded Manuel Saldana for the room preparation, but separately said even a five minute delay in starting the meeting was too much. Derek thought the Round Robin Table Topics format was challenging, but still wanted the questions asked first before a respondent was chosen.


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Todd McKinney

Secretary, Advanced Public Speakers