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Thursday
Jan202011

Meeting: 2011-01-18 "The King's Speech"

Everyone is talking about movie "The King's Speech" and why not us? With that as our theme, we made the word of the day "impediment" and used it five times.
 
Don delivered his speech entitled "Retirement... Fact or Fiction?" in which he weighed in on the Canada Pension Plan, among the world's best-funded national pension plans. He also pointed out that the amount he would receive was barely enough to pay his property taxes. He distributed a picture of a city intersection near his home and questioned the City of Ottawa's inability to fund burying overhead wires while finding the same amount of money to top up its pension funding for City employees.
 
Angela, our closet linguist, happily focused Table Topics around "The Kings Speech." She had us discuss various aspects of finding one's voice, both the king's and our own. She mindfully had me discuss how I used Toastmasters as a venue to overcame my challenge with stuttering, and suspecting a story, she even gave me an additional minute to do so... so I did.

Monday
Jan172011

Meeting: 2011-01-11 "Cold, eh?"

The theme of today's meeting was "Cold, eh?" which triggered out Toastmaster, Kathy, to muse on what that statement means to Canadians and to provide a definition of "eh". After verifying the agenda, Kathy introduced our only scheduled speaker - Rana.

Rana presented her second speech project from CC Manual.  The speech was entitled "Istanbul" and she detailed Istanbul as she remembered it. She described many interesting (the city is on two continents) and quirky (prayers in the street) facts about the city. Craig provided the evaluation of Rana’s speech where he applauded her ability to describe the city from the point of view of all SIX senses (yes 6) - sight, sound, feel, taste, touch & shopping... As he often does, Craig suggested several more speech projects for Rana based on ideas from this speech.

Next, Indra lead us through a Table Topics session, with a new twist. She would provide 2 words that you had to combine with the theme (Cold Eh?) to formulate a response.
- Angela was given Winter and Glove so she talked about her first canal skating experience.
- I (Chris) received Water and Swim. I decided to talk about playing hockey on ice next to open water...
- Craig had Hungry and Tired. He described his experience with Skate Skis.
- Don was tasked with Doctor and Medicine. Don talked about his 13 year old son who would not dress for the cold and suffered the consequences.
- Kathy was given Hockey and Fun so she talked about the collapse of her backyard hockey rink.

== Chris.

Wednesday
Jan052011

Meeting: 2011-01-04 "A New..."

Our first meeting of 2011 was a smoothly-run Message Masters launch into the New Year giving us all tools to achieve our resolutions and inspiration to attain personal and club goals.
 
Indra efficiently kicked off the meeting as Sergeant at Arms and passed the floor to Angela as Toastmaster who presented the theme “A new...” encouraging us all to bring guests to future meetings. With a few exceptions, the meeting was attended by our core membership providing a lively audience for Kathy to present her third speech to.
 
Kathy gave a timely speech entitled “Resolutions: Make Them Stick”. Kathy’s speech was informative, positive and inspiring. We were provided with practical examples and research showing why people often fail to achieve their resolutions and a series of constructive practices that lead to greater success in reaching goals. Mark Q. lead the evaluation round-table providing an overview and specific feedback on the strength of Kathy’s speech focusing on one point and weaving it throughout the speech from introduction, to body to conclusion with the result that we all likely came away with something we will be able to remember and use.
 
Craig jumped into a coaching role to complete the round-table evaluation with advice to avoid ‘meta-speaking’ and speak more directly with more power. Rather than say, “I am going to explain such-and-such”, Craig suggested the speaker launch into the explanation, possibly beginning with a question that would raise audience curiosity about the subject to be explained.
 
Craig lead table-topics in the form of presenting a question related to the theme of the meeting for everyone to think about and then assigning it to one person. I was given the first question and never got off the ground, proving the value of having a safe place to make a fool of oneself and be able to learn from it without ill consequence. The theme and the group leant well to table-topic speeches that were personal and truly learning opportunities for listeners and presenters.
 
Meeting Reporter, Jen Adams.

Monday
Jan032011

Meeting: 2010-12-21 "Our first debate..."

The purpose for this meeting was two-fold: To celebrate, as a club, the joy of the season, and to have some fun by doing a debate on whether organizations should or should not reimburse Toastmasters membership fees to their employees. The debate topic was announced a few weeks earlier to allow members to do research on the topic.

In a seasonal departure to the usual meetings, this meeting started with the partaking of an excellent cold lunch buffet, toasts and exchange of warm wishes by members. After a suitable period, Toastmaster Chris C. brought the meeting to order and Craig S. gave an informative speech on debating. This speech, which was an excellent prelude to the debate that followed, explained the different forms of debates, and gave pointers on taking part in debates. The audience was engaged, entertained and informed. Some members later expressed they felt better prepared for the debate that followed.

For the debate, members were divided into two groups. One group defended the point of view that organizations should reimburse their employees for their Toastmasters international membership fees, and the other group defended the opposite view. A representative for each group made an opening statement, and other members then had the opportunity to do a point by point rebuttal, putting into practice some of the pointers in Craig’s earlier speech. The debate was adjourned at the appointed time.

The Toastmaster wished everyone happy holidays and noted that the Toastmaster’s Learning Institute (TLI) will be held on January 8th, 2011, at the Westboro area. The TLI is mandatory training for Club Executive and optional training for club members.  The TLI is a free event for all club members and at this TLI, Indra F. is scheduled to make a presentation.

The Toastmaster also noted that interested members should start preparing for the Spring speech contests (International & Evaluation) which start in February 2011 and reminded everyone that one needs to have completed six speeches in order to participate in the International Speech portion of the contest.

Rana D.

Thursday
Dec162010

Meeting: 2010-12-14 "Confucius say..."

Confucius guided us today. Craig opened by pointing out the difference between quotes and quotations and gave us three quotations attributed to Confucius, tying them to our Toastmasters training and public speaking in general:

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
"And remember, no matter where you go, there you are."

Mark Geres awoke our interest with his speech "Sleep Apnea." He began by having us imagine ourselves submerged in a pool, warm, comfortable. As we attempt to rise out of the water for air, we cannot break the surface of the water. We panic, break through the surface, and gasp a welcome breath. THAT is what it is like to experience sleep apnea. After he hooked us, Mark gave us some information about sleep apnea. If we experienced some of the symptoms, he let us know where we could go to get help. Dramatic and informative.

In the second speech, Angela Romany connected us with our desire to make a difference in the world by giving to charity. Many charities spend much of their income on fund-raising activies. A CBC investigation revealed that between 2004 and 2008, Canadian charities spent $762 million on fundraising companies. Angela cautioned us to find out exactly how our intended charity spends money so that our hard-earned dollars create the intended benefit. Informative and persuasive.

Confucius said:

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."

If Confucious was a member of our club, he might say:

Public speaking is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

- Craig Senior