Meeting Recap: Nov. 28, 2012 (Resilience)

posted Dec 4, 2012, 4:42 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 2:31 PM ]
Dear APS Toastmasters,

Irrepressible resilience was bursting forth at the APS meeting this week. Resilience was the meeting theme, supplied by Toastmaster of the Day Kimberly Taylor,who ran an exciting, well paced meeting. 

Irrepressible was the Word of the Day provided by Word Master Pam Burke. The meeting featured touching stories, an inspirational keynote, strong evaluations, challenging table topics and a new member induction ceremony. As usual, everyone got a chance to speak at this meeting. 

A welcome guest was Michael Platania, who also served as Timer.

Christine Navigante gave us the Touching Story project from the Storytelling Manual. in “A Mother’s Love,” Christine described the emotional circumstances of her adoption as a young child. Speech Evaluator Georgia Jones praised Christine’s use of colorful and emotionally evocative language to set the story. Georgia also offered substantial suggestions such as a stronger opening and speech structure, more character development and pointed out that Christine’s tendency to begin some sentences with the word “and” detracted from the overall effect.

“Head in the Right Direction” was my interpretation of the very same speech project. I linked stories about my Father and my own childhood to illustrate that “it doesn’t matter where you come from, what matters is the direction in which you are headed.” Eloise Johnny evaluated my speech and mentioned some elements of good storytelling that were present - imagery, conflict and emotion. But Eloise suggested that more effective use of my voice at key moments would have enhanced the drama.

“When Life Gives You Lemons...” by Gouri Seetharam was the Keynote Address from The Professional Speaker Manual. In this longer speech project Gouri offered a tour de force, with a series of stories about overcoming adversity that were linked by interludes of lemon fresh joy. Speech Evaluator Brian Robinson applauded Gouri’s energy, humor and engaging style saying she could be on the world champion stage someday. Brian then dug in, asking Gouri to vary the pacing, be more conversational and relate the messages back to the audience, answering their silent question “what’s in it for me?” Brian also suggested that an emotional personal story would have been the perfect meringue on Gouri’s lemon pie.

Sandro Fusco continued the recent APS tradition of offering table topic questions that were inspired the meeting theme. Sandro provided provocative photo images that were an effective way to challenge the respondents to expound on the idea of Resilience.

VP Membership Gouri Seetharam then conducted an induction ceremony for recent members Sandro Fusco and Brian Robinson. Each was asked what they expect from, and could contribute to the club. Gouri then reiterated the APS club promise to provide all members with solid, substantive evaluations.

General Evaluator Andrea King had many insightful comments for the meeting. She praised the speeches, the creative table topics segment, and the member induction ceremony as being unique. Andrea also raised the intriguing subject of how evaluators should address the speakers. Should they refer to them by name, or in the third person as “the speaker?”

Grammarian Marcia Berry gave a thorough and precise report, even flagging some of the lesser observed filler words such as “actually.”

The next APS meetings will be Thursday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 19.

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Todd McKinney
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