Meeting Recap: Oct. 24, 2012 (The Magic of Suspense)

posted Nov 5, 2012, 12:59 PM by Advanced Public Speakers Toastmasters Club   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 2:14 PM ]
Dear Brave Knights,

The castle of APS was haunted by “The Magic of Suspense,” with theme and poetic imagery supplied by Toastmaster of the Day Leila Singh. In the spirit of the holiday, Leila also provided masks and festive accouterments. With facial recognition thus impaired I would not be guilty of bombast to say that no one could be imprisoned in the dungeon of despair, because the speaking talent of our members refused to be held incognito. “Bombastic” was the Word of the Day supplied by Word Master Marcia Berry

Welcome guests at the Bal Masqué included Marian O’ Sullivan, Tatyana Gorbatyuk, and Derek Chen.

First up was Kimberly Taylor with a presentation from the Better Speaker Series “Know Your Audience.” Kimberly spoke of techniques a speaker can use to ensure connection with their audience, and used a slide show to reinforce the main points. Speech Evaluator FX Charpentier praised Kimberly for effective movement within the limited speaking area, but suggested that the overall presentation would be better if the speaker and slide show were not on opposite sides of the room.

Georgia Jones shook “The Money Tree,” a project from the Humorously Speaking Manual that left everyone with a smile. The stories Georgia employed supported her main point – that a “cornucopia of blessings” are there for the taking as long as we are looking in the right places. Speech evaluator Harry Aneziris complemented Georgia’s high energy, content specific body language and engaging material, but said that the well known Forrest Gump quote she used at the conclusion simply did not measure up to the rest of her speech.

“Leadership Lessons” from Neerja Purang was the final presentation speech in fulfillment of her High Performance Leadership Project. Neerja recounted her vision, and the lessons learned from her role as APS Special Meeting Coordinator. As speech evaluator, I mentioned that her project has more than met the goals of generating enthusiasm and bringing club members together. I also mentioned that a more clear, top down explanation of the project would benefit those who were not already familiar with the details.

Next came an induction ceremony for our newest members, ably conducted by VP Membership Gouri Seetharam. Leila Singh, Pam Burke, Rex Guo and Marcia Berry each spoke eloquently about what they hope to achieve and contribute at APS.  Common themes were the pursuit of excellence and the possibility of learning from other advanced speakers.

Rex Guo made his debut as Table Topics “Monster” with a series of questions cleverly designed to be out of the ordinary and unusual. Rex even threw down the gauntlet to two of our guests. Marian O’Sullivan and Derek Chen both got their chance to grapple with the unexpected.

General Evaluator Gouri Seetharam conducted a comprehensive segment with actionable feedback for every participant. She praised the granular speech evaluations as being central to the APS ethos, and said that when it came to the sandwich technique “a spicy sandwich is best.” Marcia Berry and Timer Eloise Johnny then gave their reports, but by then the masquerade was over.

The next APS meeting will be Thursday, November 8.

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Todd McKinney