Meeting Recap: Nov. 5, 2012 (Life After Sandy)

posted Nov 11, 2012, 2:56 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 2:12 PM ]
Dear Survivors of Hurricane Sandy,

The wind was in our face, and a deluge engulfed our meeting space in lower Manhattan, but neither snow, nor rain nor gloom of night could stay the APS Toastmasters from completing our scheduled meeting. The theme was “Life After Sandy,” and with workplaces disrupted, friends and family displaced, many were wondering what that life would look like. The forces of nature were conspiring against us but we refused to declare Force Majeure, and it was our friends at Thomson Reuters - Mimi Hou and Sandro Fusco - who adroitly gave us shelter from the storm. Adroit was the Word of the Day, supplied by Word Master Neerja Purang

Many APS members were swamped with hurricane related responsibilities, but our meeting was flooded with guests including Mimi Hou, Preston and Margaret Trombly, Sarah Hoffman, Kuei-Ming Fan, Sally Grant, Tatyana Gorbatyuk, Murat Kilavuz, Len Lubarsky, and Michael Herrmann. Preston Trombly and Sarah Hoffman were there to practice their contest speeches for the District 46 Humorous Speech Competition on Saturday.

“Really, it Could Have Been Worse” was the moral of the story from Pam Burke. It was Project #3 from the Storytelling Manual. Pam told of a series of disastrous incidents on her first trip to California that tested her patience with the Golden State. Experienced Toastmaster Sandro Fusco – the newest APS member – was Pam’s Speech Evaluator. Sandro praised the speeches’ effective opening and its overall message, but he mentioned that every speech can be improved. It could have been more clear and concise, and a story twist at the end always helps.

Division C Humorous Champion Preston Trombly advised us that when traveling, we should “Play the Part and Travel Smart.” Recounting his trip to France, Preston adroitly proved that even an elementary yet exaggerated proficiency with the language may be enough if you also wear a scarf and beret.

Division F Humorous Champion Sarah Hoffman told us “Being a College Dropout” was not all that bad. She is doing quite well having finished only one year of her PhD, despite the high expectations of her parents who filled her childhood with studies of statistics and English vocabulary.

The Table Topics segment conducted by Gouri Seetharam offered every guest a chance to speak. Gouri had clever questions all related in some way to the recent hurricane. Rex Guo got a chance to describe the differences between disaster relief here and in China.

General Evaluator Rafay Khalid ran moderated Round Robin evaluations for our guest speakers that were a high water mark for the meeting. The contestants were inundated with feedback from everyone including insightful comments from our guests. Important suggestions included expanding use of the speaking area, ways to enhance vocal variety and making sure the story line and speech message were clear. Sally Grant gave the Grammarian report, and Tatyana Gorbatyuk accurately reported all timings.
The next APS meeting will be Wednesday, Novenber 28 at Thomson Reuters.
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Todd McKinney