Favorite Teacher – Faithfully Speaking Toastmasters – Aug 11, 2020

As first-time Toastmaster tonight, Joel asked us to introduce ourselves by reminiscing about our favorite teacher.  Ironically, most of us chose our English teachers and several shared how those favorite teachers led them to the careers they currently have.  Mark encouraged us to create a Timeline of Gratitude looking back at those times in our lives – both positive and negative – that today we are thankful for.  I’m thinking that would be great fodder for someone’s upcoming speech.  Margaret shared two tips on effective evaluations:  giving actual examples of how the speaker could improve and, remembering your evaluation is a performance not just for the speaker but for everyone in the audience.  As our first speaker, Madhura treated us to an overview of Taoism including its origins in the 6th century BC by Lao Tzu and its main tenets.  She dedicated her speech to Joe Sharp from whom she received a book on Taoism.  Mary followed with her speech on why she has stayed in Toastmasters for “18 Years Plus”, the most important reason being to help others reap the benefits of Toastmasters through mentoring.  Having experience and knowledge, a desire to help others grow and being an unconditional cheerleader are the three traits she finds most beneficial as a mentor and anyone finishing Level 1 in Pathways is ready for that opportunity.  Speaking of which, we congratulate Madhura and heap “plaudits” on her completing Level 1 in Pathways, a culmination of four speeches.  Way to go Madhura!

Mark outdid himself on Table Topics tonight with well-thought out questions including the seasons of life, sin, prayer and miracles.  Even Shelly, our guest and now newest member, participated with how the Lord’s prayer directs her communication with God.  We’re so glad you’re joining us Shelly! 

“The unaffected loveliness of the commonplace..” -Oswald Chambers, quoted by Margaret in her Table Topic tonight.

July 28, 2020 Meeting

The “hallmarks” of this past week’s meeting were two enjoyable speeches, thoughtful comments on enhancing our online presence, and our guest Shelley.  I (Mary) provided some Toastmaster tips on handling Table Topics, among those thinking of several topics ahead of time in case the need arises to divert the original question and giving yourself several seconds before speaking to organize your thoughts.  Joel delivered his speech on Agile Methods again after receiving and incorporating the feedback the first time he presented it to us in May.  Rachel delivered a proposal on her taking a gap year to “walk, read and love” during her 6.5 hours when her children are in school.  Whitney’s table topics made some of us uneasy because it was talking about ourselves, but gave us greater insight into our fellow Toastmasters.  The meeting was followed by an officer’s get-together where we discussed the Distinguished Club Program, ways to increase membership, an enhanced website and increased Facebook presence and our budget.  Minutes will be forthcoming.