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Meeting: 2014-03-18

In wintery weather, a springy Jill as Toastmaster set out the tone of a cheerful and exuberant meeting. The meeting started with few important remarks:

Valerie mentioned that the skills she acquired at our training were appreciated during a meeting at work. She explained how the nonjudgmental, experimental atmosphere at Message Masters helped her improve her public speaking skills, with immediate results in her professional life.

Paula proposed that the General Evaluator (GE) automatically fill in the Meeting Reporter role. The rationale behind this suggestion was that the GE is already conducting in-meeting evaluation. It is just one more step to put this assessment on paper. The proposition was voted on and approved by members.

Craig informed us about the Area 21 Contest where he won 1st place in the International Speech Contest and Rana won 2nd place in Table Topics. Congratulations to Craig and Rana! Craig moves on to the Division C Speech Contest on March 20.

We continued our meeting with two great speeches. Our new member, Firoozeh, gave her Ice Breaker speech about the ups and downs of her experience of immigrating to Canada, the obstacles in the process, and eventual success. Everyone in the room was impressed with the speech’s fluidity and coherence, the seeming ease with which it was delivered and the emotional roller-coaster of its content. Craig, in his evaluation, praised Firoozeh for the high starting point in her Toastmaster saga and encouraged her to keep it up.

In the second speech, Rana took us on a trip, a history trip to Istanbul. Thanks to Rana’s thorough preparation, visual aids, and talent as a speaker, we were all immersed in the joys and sorrows of Constantinople, from its first (re-)inauguration in 324 A.D., as the capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great, to its falling to the Mehmed II in the historic battle of 1453, to the new, rediscovered glory under the Ottoman Empire.

During the closing remarks, guests and members were invited to speak. Michelle and Percita both mentioned that some other groups are maybe more rigorous in following rules. As a group, we discussed that while we appreciate rigour and structure and understand how they add value to our meetings, we also like to create a free space where creativity can flourish. Rana encouraged members to take up official roles within the Message Masters Executive and Percita suggested that we could add more information to the Agenda, such as where the members are in their Toastmaster journey.

Toastmaster: Jill Abramczyk
Timer: Valerie Organ
Grammarian and Ah-Counter: Michelle St-Pierre
General Evaluator and Meeting Reporter: Paula Popovici
Speech: Firoozeh Ghobadi
Evaluator: Craig Senior
Speech: Rana Dincoy

Reporter: Paula Popovici

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