Articles and Videos

Meeting: 2010-10-04 "Silence of the Lambs - Speaking without words"

On 2010-10-14, we experimented with Table Topics. We had participants stand for 90 seconds. Instead of giving them a topic, I asked them to stand in silence. There were no instructions other than at the end, we would discuss our experience.

4 people spoke... uh, participated.

I felt confident on approaching the lectern and was comfortable during the first minute.  During the last 30 seconds or so, I felt a little anxious and apprehensive.  As Danita said, I took on the attitude of most of the people that I made I contact with.


The exercise was very effective at illustrating how my body responds when in front of a group.  Rather than being concerned with content, as when delivering a message, my concentration became focused on the small reactions like shifting my body weight, tension in my face/cheeks, my heart rate etc.   It was very eye-opening!
Kathy Bedard
Director HR Consulting


Executive Team for 2010-2011

The following people chose to experience the learning opportunity in the Message Masters club executive for 2010-2011:

  • President: Craig Senior
  • Vice President Education: Chris McCarthy
  • Vice President Membership: Jennifer Adams
  • Vice President Public Relations: Don Christie
  • Treasurer: Angela Romany
  • Secretary: Lorraine Mastersmith
  • Sergeant at Arms: Danita Oickle
  • Immediate Past President: Mark Geres (ex officio)

Speech Contest Results Spring 2010 - Faye and Todd!

Message Masters continues a tradition of fine performances in the speech contests in the spring of 2010. Faye Sonier and Todd Collins represented Message Masters at the Division C Speech Contest on 2010-03-24, at CMHC, 700 Montreal Road, Ottawa, Ontario.

Todd Collins competed in the Table Topics contest. Only the first two places were announced, so we assume that Todd was next in line.

Faye Sonier placed third in the International Speech Contest with her speech "Falling."

Congratulations to Todd and Faye for expanding and growing through their speech contest experiences. We are all very proud of you!


Meeting: 2010-03-16 "Going Deep"

While today's meeting was lightly attended due to March break, we went deep on quality.

Faye practiced her contest speech and we invested some extra time focused on delivery: congruent emoting and use of physical space (blocking). As always, our feedback was VERY specific and highly developmental. We all notice different things as we listen in an audience!

In Table Topics, Craig designed each question for the intended presenter, still maintaining the structure of posing the question and then selecting the presenter. Each person received a question about a subject Craig felt the person would be highly passionate about and dropped hints to that effect in stating the questions. The members delivered.

The first question was for Todd in his practice for the Division C contest next week. He artfully dug into his speaking treasure and pulled out the magic rabbit of oratory, emoting and demonstrating. Chris spoke about something he passionately hates: shopping. Danita spoke about the value of social activities at work. Faye spoke on a more general subject: what are you most passionate about?

"The exercise," says Craig, "is to draw on experiences that incite and maybe excite our emotions. The intention is to have those emotions drive our voice, face, body, and hands. Instead of using vocal variety or pauses, or gestures, all these elements arrive naturally when our conscious selves get out of the way and allow our authentic selves to be fully present and in the moment with our speaking.

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