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Meeting: 2010-10-26 "Frost Has Arrived"

You'd never know it by the warm smiles that greeted members as they arrived.
Our Toastmaster, Chris McCarthy, was efficient and pleasant as he led the meeting in an organized manner. There were two notices presented: a reminder that the conference is coming soon, so get your ticket if you don't already have one; and, a reminder to submit your ideas for the new debate format that is in the works.

Marc Quesnel was our speaker for the day, with his presentation entitled APPS. His goal was to organize his speech and he did that and more. He chose to inspire each of us to present a speech before Christmas using his creative APPS strategy. Using stories and examples, he suggested that we become aware of our Audience, show our Passion, remember to Practice, and tell Stories (APPS) that your audience can relate to. Marc provided us with organization, inspiration and a clear path to follow! He was evaluated by Indra Fernando, who led the round table evaluation.

Our Table Topics was presented by Craig Senior. As always, it was a new experience. Craig presented himself as upper management and we were to introduce ourselves and take advantage of the situation by giving a quick pitch to the boss. All the participants did reasonably well, and it seemed to be a very practical experience that could be used in the real world. I thought about it after the meeting and clarified the description of my position and role. The very next day, I attended a working group. As the newest member of the group I was asked to explain my role and my expectations from the group. I was prepared! Thanks for the exercise Craig :-)

Don Christie rounded out the meeting with his General Evaluation. As well as providing comments and suggestions for the meeting, he led a discussion concerning preparation for the meeting. He encouraged the courtesy of RSVPs to the meetings, as much as possible, and stressed the importance of proper introductions. His praise for the meeting was friendly and warm and he left us all with a smile as he commented on Table Topics as something he both feared and enjoyed. I think we may all agree on that one!

In spite of the theme, there was no frost at this meeting!
See you next time,

Meeting Reporter October 26, 2010


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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