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Meeting 2015-03-24

We had our first meeting in March today. Although our Sergeant at Arms, Jyothi, set up the meeting on time, we had to wait 3 minutes for our timer to reach the meeting. Anyways, she banged the gavel at 12:03. She started meeting speaking about spring and also giving greetings to Firoozeh for Now Rouz.

Erin, our Toastmaster continued the meeting with speaking about her experience last week in Halifax and Calgary. While the weather in those cities was well above 10 degrees, in Ottawa she faced much colder weather. Jill talked about the club executive committee election in May. She also said that from next week, every member of the committee will take turn to talk about their role in the committee and will answer questions. Erik also said that Craig won the Division speech contest last week, representing our club. Congratulations Craig!

Then Erin asked for volunteers to fill the available roles. We are experiencing a new challenge: taking two roles due to fewer people in our meetings. Jyothi took the role of Ah Counter, Janice took the role of Grammarian and Timer, and Jill took the role of General Evaluator and Speech Evaluator. What teamwork Message Masters!

Janice introduced “halcyon” as word of the day. She explained that it has two meanings: 1- calm; peaceful; tranquil and 2- rich; wealthy; prosperous.

The meeting continued with two speeches. The first speaker was Firoozeh. She prepared her project number 8 from Competent Communication Manual which is “get comfortable with visual aids.” The title of her speech was “Now Rouz, Iranians’ New Year.” She used props and handouts as visual aids. She set a table, which Iranians set for this occasion, called “Haftsin.” Then she spoke about the vernal equinox and the first day of spring which is called "Now Rouz" in Iran. She continued with all the preparations for Now Rouz and the traditions involved on and after that day. She finished with a toast to all the members and wished them happiness, health and prosperity for the New Year. She spoke 10 minutes and 30 seconds which well is above the limited range.

Natasha, her speech evaluator, suggested she tell about the booklet first and then take the audience through the pages. Also it’s much better to change her body movement rather than repeating in one direction.

Our next speaker was Erik, working towards his Advanced Communicator Gold. He chose project 4 of the Competent Communication manual which is ”how to say it.” His speech title was, “So, That’s What You Call It.”

His speech was about memory. He started his speech with a quote, “go and buy some principals. If you don’t like them, I have others.” He connected this quote to memory. In supporting his main point, he used several examples. He spoke about digital cameras and the abundant photos that we take and most of them are redundant. He compared memorizing necessary information with taking useful shots with camera. He also explained how digital gap has made everything from taking photo to searching a topic much easier. Nowadays, we don’t need to rely on our short term memory. However, remembering the analog age and the days that he had a good short memory remains nostalgic for him. His speech took 5 minutes and 42 seconds. He used word of the day two times in his speech.

Jill evaluated Erik’s speech. Before starting the evaluation, she encouraged all the members to take evaluation role in our meetings. She summarized the process of evaluation in two steps: think about “what worked for you and what else would have worked”, then she continued with her evaluation.

Jill liked the way that he compared old fashion camera, digital camera and memory. She liked his humor and also the characters that he had used in his speech. She suggested he could divide his speech into two categories; things that are mechanical and memory, and then talk about the two categories.

Our word of the day was “halcyon” and it was a challenging word and members used it 4 times.

Jill was also our General Evaluator. She started with thanking her team for doing a great job. After calling her team to give their reports, she admired the way that Erin started the meeting and by bringing up some information from her own life made the meeting warm and pleasant. She also admired the way that Natasha had started her evaluation with saying, “thanks for such an educational speech”, she suggested all to start with phrases like that.

In terms of Ah and Ums, Firoozeh had the most Ahs in her speech.


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