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Tuesday
Oct072014

Meeting 2014-10-07

Sylvain called the meeting to order on time and introduced Fedra as Toastmaster.

Janice took her first role as Timer in her first official day in Message Masters.

Craig chose “extemporaneous” as the Word of The Day and participants were successful in using this word.

Erik, our Table Topics Master, suggested Thanksgiving as the theme for our extemporaneous speech. He distributed question papers to Sylvain, Jill, Rana, Janice and Pranav. The questions were:

  • What’s the most important thing that you are thankful for?
  • What’s your favourite movie?
  • What’s your favourite game on TV?
  • What do you recommend as a substitute for Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

They were all successful in reaching the goal of speaking impromptu for about two minutes.  Janice, our new member, was Timer and bravely accepted to speak off the cuff.

Since we had still some time left, Fedra, continued impromptu speech with two more questions to finish the meeting on time.

The second part of our meeting was Firoozeh’s speech. She did her project number three from Competent Communication manual. Her title was: a Toastmaster wears many hats. She is determined to speak about Toastmasters clubs in one of the classes in LASI (Local Agencies Serving Immigrants) World Skills, in order to inform and also encourage the new immigrants to visit a Toastmasters club and then join it. She spoke about learning process in Toastmasters clubs, different roles that members can take in meetings and its benefits to new immigrants.

Rana, evaluated Firoozeh’s speech and admired her intention to be the ambassador of Toastmasters clubs. She also was not sure that her speech was informative or persuasive. Rana also suggested she link the benefit to each point to make it more powerful. Others feedback were, speaking about the benefits of Toastmaster to herself (Firoozeh) rather than immigrants to make it more effective.

Jill, our General Evaluator, shared her experience as Test Speaker at an area contest. She said that she spilled her coffee on her shirt, but since she had a dark shirt was relaxed and felt confident to deliver her speech. The dark colour absorbed the stain. She also mentioned that she learned from evaluators that she often smacks her lips and she hadn’t noticed that before. Now to control that, she pauses and then continues speaking. It was a good lesson for all of us. She also praised Fedra for her good use of time and asking impromptu questions.

Our Grammarian, Craig, gave a detailed report on grammar mistakes. He explained the difference between “may” and “might” when referring to “permission” and “likelihood”. It is unfortunate that "may" means both, whereas "might" means probability. He suggested that we consistently use "may" for permission and "might" for likelihood.

Announcements
• Craig announced that Natasha could not compete in the Area level Humorous contest and asked for volunteers. The area level contest will be next Friday, 2014-10-10 at 18:30 for 19:00 at the Overbrook Community Centre. He will be the Chief Judge.
•  The division level contest will be 2014-10-16 at 17:30 for 18:00 at the Richelieu Community Centre. This time, Craig will be the Contest Chair for one of the contests.
•  Craig also announced that the “Speech Contest Judging” workshop is uploaded on YouTube:

Part 1: Teaching

Part 2: Humorous Speech Contest

Firoozeh

Tuesday
Sep302014

Meeting 2014-09-23

Our Toastmaster, Rachael, opened the meeting on time and spoke about the Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals. Then Erik presented “judgment” for the Word of the Day, which means “an act or instance of judging.”

Our President, Jill, planned a training session for us. Coach Craig would deliver what he called a whirlwind briefing: “Successful Evaluation - Feedback That Inspires.” Then we would hear Natasha’s entry in the Humorous Speech Contest, followed by Rana practising for the Evaluation Contest by evaluating Natasha’s speech.

In our evaluation training we learned about the “Sandwich Method” for giving constructive feedback in three parts: good, bad, and good; or bread, meat and bread. He suggested the analogy was imprecise and proposed a modified sandwich: rapport, feedback, inspire.

He said that the evaluator should listening intently, focusing on the criteria for the speech project. An evaluator can take notes. He demonstrated examples of giving specific feedback, contrasting words to avoid and words to use. He finished by describing congruence where the material, our bodies, face, voice and mannerisms all work together. For details, visit: http://messagemasters.squarespace.com/articles/speech-evaluation-i-a-simple-structure-for-a-speech-evaluati.html

The next person who stood up behind the lectern was Natasha. She presented her project number two from the Competent Communication manual. She spoke about vegetarianism and encouraged us to stop eating meet to the benefit of our health and our planet. She shared with us her experience and positive impact on her life by giving up meat.

First Rana and then all people around the table evaluated her speech. Everyone was trying to apply the training we just received from Craig. Evaluators liked her body language and the logical flow of her speech. For such a serious subject, for the Homorous Speech Contest, they suggested she add more humor to make the message more palatable, indicate her topic, and be alarmed about her message.

After that we intended to give Rana feedback on her evaluation, but ran out of time. Craig wrapped up the evaluation part by describing some criteria for the Evaluation Contest, specifically that the conclusion must summarize the evaluation and encourage the speaker. As an exercise, he suggested Rana write a three minute evaluation at home.

Jill as General Evaluator, asked Timer, Firoozeh and Toastmaster, Rachael, to cut discussions when we are short of time. Good lesson thanks Jill!! Good practice being diplomatically assertive in real-world situations.

Today several good things happened:

  • We had a new member. Pranav joined our club. Welcome Pranav to our fun and friendly club. He was so enthusiastic to take his first role as Ah-counter.
  • We received some valuable training.
  • We had three guests. Two of them participated in our last meeting. So we might have new members in upcoming week.

Announcements:

  • Rana announced that eight members submitted their dues so we can continue as a club in good standing. She also handed out the receipts.

Reporter: Firoozeh

Sunday
Sep212014

Meeting 2014-09-16

We had a wonderful start! All around the table were enthusiastic people. We welcomed four guests.

Our Toastmaster, Percita introduced our club members as a "family" where we have fun and learn. We learn public speaking and leadership skills with the support of our comrades. What better way to have fun than with our word of-the day, "delectable," an adjective meaning delicious, mouth-watering, appetizing, extremely beautiful or attractive.

Jill as Table Topics Master suggested that speaking from the heart and mind is the ultimate goal for a speaker.  She did something new for our club. She brought real toasting glasses and filled them with water. Jill what’s going on here, thank you!!! That was preparation... She handed out a one-page quick reference on proposing toasts, demonstrated a toast, then it was our turn. To propose a toast:

  1. introduce yourself
  2. describe why the recipient deserves the toast
  3. ask the other members to rise
  4. give clear instruction on the wording of the toast
  5. lead the other members in saying the toast and drinking the beverage.

Erik, Firoozeh, Sylvain, Yin Fung and Craig were chosen. Erik toasted Mike Duffy as a politician. Sylvain toasted Celine Dion as his special singer. Firoozeh toasted her professor at the university as a person who made a great impression in her life. Yin Fung toasted her father as her hero. Craig used an article by Ezra Levant about Justin Trudeau to toast and defend those “on the fringe”!!!

Rana presented her number 5 project from the Advanced manual, Speaking Persuasively. The topic of her presentation was "Leadership 2.0" asking what kind of leaders we need for the public service. She demonstrated her point by contrasting two managers with different leadership styles: one directing and the other inspiring. In addition to good examples, her open body language made her speech more engaging. She received feedback on her speech, like asking her to describe how the different leadership styles affected her performance and a suggestion on how to make the talk more concise.

Valerie as General Evaluator, doing her first evaluation, spoke for five minutes, sharp, and she asked some questions from the audiences about Table Topics, which made it interesting.

Tuesday
Sep162014

Meeting 2014-09-09

For start of the meeting our Toastmaster, Craig, welcomed our two guests and talked about the importance of attending Toastmaster meetings. He suggested that attending Toastmasters could be considered as an hour of training for the employees. Then he talked about different time schedules of about 80 clubs in Ottawa and then asked Grammarian and Timer to talk about their roles. Then he announced that members may pay their dues, and Rana talked about the fee which mostly goes for renting the room in the Main library. Some of the members paid their dues during the meeting.

Rachael like always had a fun way to start Table Topics. Fedra, Rana, Firoozeh, Hala (brave guest), and Natasha were chosen to talk about the topic. She distributed a paper with a name on it. The selected speaker turned over the paper and read the name. The names were door, suitcase, briefcase, etc.

Jill's presentation project was “Presenting An Award.” Her topic was "Shapeshifter of the Year." She talked about Rana and portrayed her hard work very beautifully and talked about her ability to play in different roles at the club. Jill gave the award to Rana and she got very happy and thanked her sincerely. It was a surpring award to one of the club members which everybody enjoyed. Fedra suggested to Jill that it could be interesting if she had played a piece of music in the background.

As General Evaluator, Erik analyzed the speeches that we had made in Table Topics and gave practical comments for everyone, like feeling free to depart from the topic.

Our meeting came to an end with our guests comment about the meeting.

Announcements:
• A three-hour Contest Judging workshop from 6-9 pm will be held on Thursday at Jean Talon Building.
• Dues will increase for Message Master membership to $110

Reporter: Firoozeh

Tuesday
Jun102014

Meeting: 2014-06-03

Toastmasters can be fattening. You heard it here first. Toastmasters can be fattening, if you precede a meeting with a curbside BBQ sausage with all the fixings. A few of us started turning this into a weekly treat, or what might more accurately be called an addiction. They sure are tasty!

Many organizations strive to implement Lean processes. Today, our timer reduced the timing process by 66.7% by getting lost in thought and displaying only the red card. That made for a few exciting moments for speakers. La-la-la-la-la RED!

Table Topics filled today's meeting.

Fedra started us off by responding to "People are usually terrified by..." public speaking she said. She described some of the common fear responses and concluded with the suggestion that Toastmasters can help.

As Craig walked to the lecturn to answer the question, "Who influenced you the most in your life?" Jill hinted, "Me!" Without skipping a beat, Craig began with "The person who influenced me the most in my life was... Jill!"  Craig is never one to back down from a challenge. He went on to describe, in varying shades of comedy and serious, how Jill's ever-present gratitude and enthusiasm affect him in a postive way.

Jill enthusiastically described her hero. No, it isn't Craig. It's her dog Waldo, which survived puppyhood as a wild dog in the Turks and Caicos.

Natasha accepted the challenge of describing Toastmasters 50 years from now. She suggested that we would see a situation like in the movie "WALL-E" where we would float in chairs with computers. We would have computer chips in our heads and would be able to process information at the speed of thought. [Editorial: As long as it's something more powerful than a ZX81, we should be good to go.]

Sylvain described some activities he did this week:

  • He came to Toastmasters at the suggestion of a former member of our club
  • He built a deck
  • He will leave to travel abroad
  • Networking with people

The topics are serious and silly. We take the exercise seriously in our oratorical gymnasium, but ourselves, not so seriously.

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