Articles and Videos

Meeting: 2011-04-05 "Time To Choose..."

Message Masters met for another stimulating meeting on April 5 and though I committed to being the reporter, I am doing so belatedly.
Angela set the meeting in motion with a firm knock of the gavel and passed the control of the lectern to Kathy who acted as Toastmaster. Kathy provided a thoughtful introduction to the meeting remarking on the theme of ‘time to choose’ and then went on to fill the meeting roles.
Angela provided a word of the day, ‘vacillate’.
Chris presented his speech #7 entitled ‘The Rock’ which was his final speech to complete his competent communicator manual.
Craig provided the group with a voice lesson as part of the round table feedback for Chris’ speech.
Mark lead table topics using an I-phone application. His device provided a list of topics for impromptu conversations. Kathy was asked to speak about how to make maple syrup; Rana spoke about the possibility of aliens living on other planets; Indra waxed eloquently on legalizing marijuana; I spoke about imagining being an animal or plant;  Angela expounded on her least favourite sound; Faye gave some wise advice to a teenager to explore the world and take on internships; and Craig painted a vivid picture of a situation in which he convinced a stranger to share an umbrella. The app. was interesting for all but Mark felt he would not use it again.
Indra served as the general evaluator and prompted reports from the timekeeper, grammarian, ah’s and um counter before wrapping up another terrific meeting.


Meeting: 2011-04-12 "Gesundheit"

8 members attended.  There was one prepared speech delivered by Rana D. “Insights on Aviation Security”.  On her recent trip to Paris, the security checks posed some problems for her so her interest in aviation security was peaked. After doing some research, Rana shared her insights with us. Though there is a real threat, both Government and other stakeholders have come up with a number of suggestions to implement measures for improving aviation safety. But until such time as we figure out how to do things better, we have to learn to live with the inconvenience at airports. The speech was timed at 6:28.

Indra F. provided valuable feedback as evaluator and concluded that Rana had achieved her goal for the 3rd speech in the Competent Communicator manual “Get to the point”. 

Following the prepared speech, Chris used the theme of security at airports for his Table Topics and entertained all by asking questions about our travel experiences. Everyone had the opportunity to speak and maintained the presentations to between 1 and 2 minutes, 30 seconds.  

During the General Evaluation, Craig geared his comments to more effective chairmanship at meetings and provided a learning experience for leading meetings.


Meeting: 2011-03-28 "Try, try again"

The theme for this week’s Toastmaster’s Meeting was Try, try again….
Angela R. was today’s Toastmaster and did a great job of keeping us on track.  She saved time to provide a farewell to one of our associate guests, Cartier.  He has taken on a new job in Vancouver.  His expertise in the proper use of the English language and his ability to provide effective feedback will be missed.
Kathy B. presented an inspirational speech on providing recognition and feedback citing two personal examples of excellent performance.  She called the group to action by engaging them to provide feedback to someone that is making a difference in their daily lives.
Our table topics session took a different turn this week.  Under Craig S.’s leadership we held improvisation games that were designed to improve our communication abilities.  The twist with this exercise was that it did not always include verbal communication.   The first game involved communicating through clapping.  The second included sharing gibberish words with associated body language.  The third game involved creating a sentence one word at a time, and the last game involved using specific body language to role play.   All in all – a very valuable, interesting and fun exercise.
Don provided the general evaluation and collected feedback from the grammarian and timekeeper.   Our meeting adjourned promptly at 1 pm.

Kathy B.


Meeting: 2011-03-22 "Spring Cleaning"

At this first meeting of spring 2011, Message Masters members welcomed the current Area 21 Governor and two guests.  Both guests were former Toastmasters members considering re-joining.

Spring was very much on members’ minds, and the club had a dynamic meeting with two speeches and a quick round of table topics.  Craig, the Area 21 winner for table topics this year, gave his speech to members which he would give later that day at the District C contest called “Shake a Leg”.  Through the example of the tween musical group Dube Brothers who raise money for charity, Craig assured members everyone can make a difference in the world.  All anyone has to do is to just “shake a leg”, i.e. take action, no matter how small.

Cartier made his first speech at our club.  He spoke about “LEAN”, a systematic approach to efficiency and cost-effectiveness that can be implemented by organizations looking to be more “lean”.  As president of a company that helps workplaces to be more “lean”, he spoke with dynamism, passion, and gave us an interesting example in the restaurant business!  The speech more than met the objectives of Project #3 in the Competent Communication Manual.

Being ahead of schedule at that point, the club also did a quick round of table topics on the subject of spring cleaning.  Each member gave a 1-2 minute answer to related questions.  The meeting was adjourned after the usual General Evaluation, reports from the grammarian and the “ah” counters, with no doubt with spring firmly on each members’ mind!

Prepared by:  Rana D.


Meeting: 2011-03-08 "Old Stuff"

The topic for the day was “Old Stuff” which elicited wisecracks from both Sergeant at Arms Kathy, and Toastmaster Craig, that it should be “young stuff” instead :)

Our guest today was David Blaine, who is currently filling in for the Area 21 governor.  He immediately took on the only outstanding role, that of grammarian.

Chris then dove right into his speech project, Getting Comfortable with Visual Aids, with a speech entitled “Our RSVP”.  He had a great series of screenshots and handouts which detailed the intricacies of confirming meeting attendance and roles.  Several people have not been using the system properly up until now, so hopefully this will help streamline the role of the weekly Toastmaster in the future.

Marc presented his always popular “work related” table-topics for the day.  Jen described her experience of a job interview in front of a panel.  Angela told us about a job interview she thought she failed at, but got the job anyway.  Kathy tried hard to think of an unsuccessful interview, but couldn’t think of one so she just gave us some valuable lessons learned instead.  David regaled us with tales of beer before/during and after an interview.  Don spoke on the importance of business networking, and finally Mark told us about the importance of governance in running projects.

All in all, another fun and successful meeting!