Saturday, July 31, 2010

News from the Goldmine, July 31, 2010

"I do believe we are on a roll of delectation," quipped Betty Walker. The 18 Goldmine Toastmasters present this morning would whole heartedly agree that we lived our word of the day -- delectation: delight, enjoyment.

President Sonny Tolbert presided over what turned out to be a veritable laughing and learning lab. Sam Mullis, Thought of the Day presenter, challenged us with this profound statement: "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is facing some kind of battle." After the Pledge of Allegiance, Toastmaster of the Day, Bill Battermann, ACG, (A Classy Guy), announced his theme for the day, "Be Kind to Politicians," and we were off to the races....or polls!

Jokemaster Jennie Brasefield presented a compelling case for naming your dog something other than "Coldwater," and Wordmaster Phyllis Kombol enthusiastically introduced both her role and the word of the day: delectation. Richard Archer recognized each "ah" with a ring of the bell, and timer Al Minter kept the meeting on proper pace.

Betty Walker and her Table Topics participants nearly brought the house down with her excellent questions and their exaggerated responses. Let's just say that if a cheerful heart is good medicine, we all had our prescriptions filled today! Her theme, reminiscent of our recent Tall Tales Contest, was "Nothing But Lies." Richard Archer described his "Most Beautiful Day," with a fabricated fish tale; Beth Long had us all "in stitches" as she described the hearts she has broken (she and Freddie had matching freckles and buck teeth, by the way). And now we know that Shyam Narayan would reinvent himself as Ironman/Airforce fighter pilot if he left his current consulting career. Who knew? John Shepherd creatively invented a routine day...as the husband of Oprah Winfrey. We were amazed to hear about Oprah's athletic prowess! Matthew Charity, who thought he had ordered cucumbers seeds, actually received magic beans, and my, the garden he grew! Too bad his Momma thought he was stealing veggies from the neighbors and gave him a spanking... (I hope you all are planning to compete in our upcoming Humorous Speech Contest on August 28th!)

We barely had a chance to catch our breath from all those giggles and guffaws when it was time to hear from our speakers of the day. Miles Moody presented a captivating speech entitled "Nature's Angels," from the project "How to Say It." His word pictures were outstanding as was his use of simile and metaphor. Well done, Miles! And we're glad you're taking aim with camera now, not a shotgun!

Kim Jackson's presentation was "Speaking Off the Cuff," from the advanced manual "Specialty Speeches." This project required her to give her evaluator, Alex Porter, five general topics from which he chose one for her to use for the theme of her speech. Kim developed a thought-provoking presentation from the word "time."

After a brief recess, our evaluation process began with Master Evaluation Lee Johnston leading the charge. Joyce Preston gave an encouraging and helpful evaluation of Miles Moody's presentation. Alex Porter evaluated Kim Jackson's presentation and made several good points worth noting. Instant evaluation is one of the best things about Toastmasters, so thank you, Evaluators!

During the Wordmaster's report, Phyllis Kombol, (who likes to play with words, especially polysyllabic ones) referenced a wonderful resource: the Visual Thesaurus. She also reminded us that in our journey to become better communicators we need to listen for times our tongues become lazy.

During the business portion of our program it was decided to hold our Humorous Speech/Evaluation Contest during our regular club meeting time on Saturday, August 28. If you would like to compete or participate in other ways, see Sonny, Jay or Joyce.

Kim Jackson will be Toastmaster of the Day for our next meeting, August 7th. If you have not confirmed your role, please do so as soon as possible. If you are giving a prepared speech, please send Kim the details of your speech: title, time, manual, project number, goal, whether you need the lectern or not, etc. It looks like a great line up!

Richard Archer concluded today's meeting by announcing that Beth Long won for Best Table Topics, and received the Ah Stick as well. Joyce Preston won Best Evaluator and Kim Jackson as voted Best Speaker.

Thanks to all for another great day in the Goldmine!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

News from the Goldmine, July 24, 2010

Rookie Jerry Weikle hit a grand slam his first time at bat as Toastmaster of the Day, and his 15-member team followed suit for a winning meeting of the Goldmine Toastmasters. The playing field was in great shape thanks to co-Sgt-at-Arms, Jennie Brasefield and Lee Johnston, and after President/Coach Sonny Tolbert welcomed members and guests, Jennie led off with a profound thought of the day: "There's a time to live and a time to die; and it's not what you know, but who you know."

Coach Sonny tactfully tongue twisted his way through his joke, while VP of E/Assistant Coach, Joyce Preston, warmed us up with the word of the day: altruism (unselfish concern for others). Pinch hitter Richard Archer ably filled in as "catcher" of the ahs and the ballots. Timer/Scoreboard keeper, Insook Lee, overcame early technical difficulties and rallied to keep us on time and track.

Pitcher/Table Topics Master, Alex Porter, threw a few wild ones before finding his zone. Insook Lee took a swing at his challenge: "What's the most altruistic name you can think of....for a dog?" Serena Haneline hit it out of the park with "If you could be anywhere else right now, where would it be?" Bill Batterman hit a line drive over our heads with his response to "If Goldmine Toastmasters went to Ripley's Believe it or Not, who would they keep?" Kim Jackson followed with a long fly to centerfield, almost to the garden with all the tomatoes she referenced when Alex asked her to describe the best way to eat that summertime treat. Last up in the Table Topics inning was Richard Archer, whose crafty bunt brought Shyam/Jake home for the tying run and a memorable way to remember names....maybe.

Next up were the heavy hitters/prepared speakers. Shyam Narayan, spoke from an Advanced Manual, project number 5, "The After Dinner Speech." He knocked it out of the park with his presentation "Top Five Signs You Might Be in a Worthless Meeting," while giving his team plenty of corporate cliches to chew on. Clean up batter Fred Biggers took care of business by bringing culture in to play with his excellent interpretive reading of "The Merchant of Venice," his project number 4 from an Advanced Manual.

After the 7th inning stretch, Toastmaster/Manager Jerry introduced Master Evaluator/Umpire Sam Mullis to give his take on the game so far. Sam's excellent advice included the challenge that everyone on the team should be able to score by giving a winning introduction at a moment's notice. It was also noted that it is of utmost importance to enunciate our words and project our voices in order to properly communicate with the entire audience.

Next in the line-up, Evaluators/Scouts Lee Johnston and Al Minter gave some colorful play by play on what they saw as the positives in Shyam's and Fred's performances as well as suggestion for improvement.

It proved to be a victorious day in more ways than one for the Goldmine Toastmasters when guest Serena Haneline announced that she wants to join our team! And she has already volunteered to help write this blog--thank you, Serena!

Area 35 Governor, Kim Jackson, asked that the Goldmine team reach out to other Toastmaster Teams in our area to ensure that all will succeed this season. She also announced the Area 35 Humorous Speech/Evaluation Contest will be held Tuesday, September 28 at 6:30 p.m. at PGT in Salisbury. Winners of our Goldmine club contest will represent us there.

Speaking of winners, today's scoreboard shows that Richard Archer won best Table Topics; Shyam Narayan was awarded Best Speaker, and Al Minter came out on top as Best Evaluator. Richard did not "catch" a single "AH", so no tongue depressor was awarded today--another victory for our exceptional team!

Bill Battermann is Toastmaster for our July 31st meeting. Be sure to confirm your place on the team with him early this week!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

News from the Goldmine, June 12, 2010


Presiding officer, President Kim Jackson called the June 12th meeting to order and welcomed guest Lisa Trickey, who was invited to attend by member Jerry Weikle. Kim introduced the Thought of the Day presenter, one of the original Jackson Five (herself). She quoted two sources of ancient wisdom: the Old Testament and Victor Borge, in her thoughts about the wonders of laughter.

Professor/Toastmaster Insook Lee then took the helm and guided the Goldmine group through a great meeting. Jokemaster/Stand-Up Comedian Bill Battermann shared a laugh and insights in to his social life. Wordmaster Sam Mullis introduced word of the day, "artifice:" inventiveness, cunning, ingenuity. Ah Bell/Ballot Counter Phyllis Kombol and Timer Jennie Brasefield explained their roles before Rajnish Sharma introduced his table topics, which all related to the oil spill crisis. Lee Johnston, Betty Walker, Sonny Tolbert and Jay Johnson responded with thoughtful ideas and solutions, making the club wish THEY were in charge, not those presently trying to figure out what to do.

In the prepared speech portion of the program, Alex Porter spoke from an advanced manual, the project being: making a cold sales call. His speech was entitled "Looking a Little Squirrely," which he delivered with his usual wit, as well as with able role play assistance from Phyllis Kombol. Mr. Wonderful Jay Nodine delivered an entertaining, humorous and thought-provoking speech, "The Learning Years."

Master Evaluator Mile Moody called upon Jerry Weikle and Joyce Preston to evaluate the prepared speakers, which they did quite capably, pointing out what was well done as well as offering suggestions for improvement. Wordmaster Sam reported that the word of the day was used twice...and once was when he introduced it. Perhaps we can work the word artifice into our conversations throughout the week. Miles gave a "two-thumbs-up" overall evaluation of our meeting, a designation that he deserved as Master Evaluator as well.

During the business section of the meeting, the new officer nominations submitted by the executive committee were approved by club vote:

President - Sonny Tolbert

VP-Ed. - Joyce Preston

VP-Membership - Phyllis Kombol

VP Publicity - Matthew Charity

Secretary - Jerry Weikle

Treasurer - Jay Nodine

Sgt-At-Arms - Lee Johnston - Jennie Brasefield

Webmaster - (Appointed) - Shyam Narayan

It was noted that Kim Jackson and Matthew Charity will serve as Area Governors for the upcoming year.

The recipient of our 2010 Community Leader Award will be Nancy Litton. She will receive her award at our annual banquet, Saturday, July 17 at 6 p.m. at McCabe's Restaurant. Please RSVP to Jay or Kim if you will be attending. Cost is $19.

Our annual Tall Tales/Homemade Ice Cream Contest will be held July 10 in place of our regular club meeting.

Ballot Counter Phyllis presented the following awards:
Best Speaker: Jay Nodine
Best Evaluator: Joyce Preston
Best Table Topics: Betty Walker
Ah Stick: Raj Sharma

Monday, June 7, 2010

News from the Goldmine, June 5, 2010

(Thank you to Toastmaster John Shepherd for submitting this summary of the June 5, 2010 meeting).


With several Toastmasters away for officer training, Goldmine was nevertheless well represented with 12 members in attendance. Al Minter, DTM, presided in the absence of a current officer and introduced the Thought of the Day presenter, Miles Moody. Miles gave a thoughtful reading that set the mood for the morning, led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and then introduced the Toastmaster of the morning, John Shepherd.


Using the month of June as the hitching post for the day, John asked the group what first comes to mind when they think of the month of June. Weddings, of course, came to the forefront, followed by a review of the June issue of Toastmaster magazine, which features several couples who either joined Toastmasters together or met through Toastmasters and later married. Wedding trivia and historical events that occurred in June were also presented at appropriate intervals during the meeting.


After Joke Master Richard Archer entertained the group with a joke that qualified (i.e. as being very good or very bad – we’re not saying which), John called on the Timer, Sam Mullis, the co-Ah/Ballot Counters Betty Walker and Pearl Bank-Williams, and visiting semi-Goldmine Toastmaster Jay Johnson, Word Master, to briefly (there being no guests present) explain their roles. The word of the morning was “mirage”.


Then on to Table Topics, with Sherman Greer serving as Topic Master. In an interesting twist, Miles gave the same question to each participant: “What birthday was your favorite and why?” Pearl Bank-Williams, Sam Mullis and Richard Archer were chosen to respond. Timer Sam later reported that Pearl and Richard stayed within the time limits, but that he himself had gone overtime and disqualified.


Table Topics then gave way to the prepared speech segment of our meeting. Alex Porter, speaking from a project in the Entertaining Speaker manual, told the story of an “extroverted hermit” (whose name this writer has forgotten) who befriended Alex while he was working in a summer camp during his youth. The light and smiling mood of Alex’s story turned heavy and sad as he related with some difficulty how his friend had later been found murdered in his home. Fred Biggers, also giving an advance manual speech followed with a “monodrama”, a dramatic recitation of Hamlet’s contemplation of suicide in “To Be or Not to Be”. Hamlet came alive as Fred, personifying one of Shakespeare’s best known characters, pondered whether he should live or die.


After a break, John introduced Master Evaluator Al Minter who in turn introduced Miles Mood, evaluating Alex Porter, and Rajnish Sharma, evaluating Fred Biggers. Each had insightful and useful assessments, but this writer failed to record the details. Word Master Jay Johnson gave his report, noting that the WOD was sparsely used (in fact itself a mirage) and Timer Sam reported that Fred qualified but that Alex had gone overtime and disqualified.


Al Minter led the business session announcing the plans for the Goldmine Invitational Tall Tales Contest, the Officer Installation Banquet and plans to vote on the Communications and Leadership Recipient on Saturday June 12. John reviewed the program assignments for June 12.


Finally, Pearl presented the awards for the day, with the dreaded “Ah” stick going to Rajnish, Table Topics award to Richard, Evaluator award to Miles and Speaker award to Fred. And that’s no mirage.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

News from the Goldmine, May 29, 2010

Toastmaster Al Minter, dressed appropriately in red, white and blue, led 16 Goldminers through a great Memorial Day weekend meeting full of trivia and tribute. Presiding Officer Kim Jackson welcomed "adopted member," Jay Johnson, as well as Division C Governor, Ken Miller.

John Shepherd challenged us with this thought of the day: "We were given two ends: one to sit on and the other to think with. Success depends on which one we use the most." Jokemaster Kim Jackson humorously encouraged great speakers to "lose all their marbles," and Joyce Preston introduced forte as the word of the day. Timer Alex Porter dismissed with formalities and just did his job. Sonny Tolbert served as our "A, B, C, 1, 2, 3," Ah Bell/Ballott Counter.

Table Topics Master, Matthew Charity, asked Jerry Weikle what type of award he might create and award if given the opportunity, so if you ever hear of the Walker Award, Jerry gets the credit. Sam Mullis decided to bring George Washington back to life and ask him a few questions about his relationship with the media. If you watch American Idol next season, be sure to look for Jay Johnson getting his 15 minutes of fame, either as a contestant, or more preferably, as Simon's replacement!

In the prepared speech portion of the program, Sherman Greer presented his second speech and masterfully explained the state of our economy and our part in making it healthier: spend money! Speaker 2, Lee Johnston, presented his speech "Harley and Me" from the Entertaining Speaker, Advanced Manual, "Leave Them Laughing" project. Every time we hear thunder from now on we'll know that Lee is dealing with a 40 pound lapdog.

After a break, Master Evaluator Tony Hinson, capably filling that role for the first time, called upon Shyam Narayam to evaluate Sherman's speech. Shyam crafted a helpful evaluation, praising Sherman for his use of visuals and knowledge of his subject, and giving useful pointers for improvement. We agreed with Shyam that we should all boost the economy by determining to eat ice cream every day!

Jay Nodine presented his evaluation of Lee's speech and noted that although Lee did not elicit belly laughs, his presentation was light-hearted and memorable. He encouraged Lee to use body language when appropriate and praised him for the humorous elements of his speech.

Joyce Preston, Word Master, applauded the club for using "forte" 6 times and challenged us to work that word in to our everyday conversations this week. She also noted unique and creative uses of the English language by our members and guests, and cautioned us to be mindful of using less-than-professional verbage.

Master Evaluator, Tony Hinson, gave an over all evaluation of our meeting, noting that we kept on task after starting a mere one minute late. Tony reminded speakers to get all information to the Toastmaster of the day so that he/she can give a proper, informed introduction.

Presiding Officer Kim Jackson asked guests Jay and Ken for comments. Jay commended our use of the agenda and praised the fact that no changes had to be made at the last minute on it. Ken, who was making an official club visit as a Division officer, said it's always good to be at a Goldmine Toastmasters meeting.

In club business, we were reminded to send our nominations for the Communication and Leadership Award via email to all current members by Monday evening, May 31. We will hold a club vote on June 12, and the award will be given July 10 at our annual awards banquet.

Nominations for 2010/2011 Club Officers are complete and will be presented to the membership for their approval. Officers will be attending TLI East next Saturday. Goldmine Members Matthew Charity and Kim Jackson will be serving as Area Governors for the upcoming year.

Sonny Tolbert presented the following awards: Best Table Topics Speaker: Jay Johnson; Best Speaker: Sherman Greer; Best Evaluator: Shyam Narayam; and Ah Stick Award: Sherman Greer,.

Thanks to John Shepherd for taking on the Toastmaster role for June 5. With all officers attending TLI we need all members present and accounted for next Saturday! Determine that Goldmine Toastmasters is your forte! (an activity that one does with excellence)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

News from the Goldmine, May 22, 2010

(Thank you to Toastmaster of the Day, Betty Walker, for providing today's News from the Goldmine).


Presiding Officer Joyce Preston opened today's meeting and Alex Porter presented the thought of the day. Miles Moody served as Wordmaster, looking for uses of the word "scour", among other notable words and phrases. Al Minter handled the timing as well as the ah and ballot counting.


Table Topics Master, Jerry Weikle, presented "race-themed" questions as follows: "What would you serve as food and drink at a tailgating party?" (Raj Sharma); "What would you do if given a free ticket to the big race?" (Insook Lee); "What would you say to Bruton Smith if you met him coming out of the bathroom?" (Miles Moody); "Would you run to your car after the race is over or wait till the crowd left?" (Alex Porter).


Prepared speakers were Shyam Narayam and Fred Biggers. Shyam spoke from an advanced manual, "The Entertaining Speaker." His project was "Resources for Entertainment," with a speech titled "Thank the Assistant and Drink Black Coffee." Fred also spoke from an advanced manual, "Communication on Television," and his project was "When You are the Host." Fred conducted a television interview with Alex on his TV "show:" Cabarrus Spin with Alex Porter.

Joyce Preston served as Master Evaluator, and Insook Lee and Miles Moody evaluated the prepared speeches.


The winners were:


Best Speaker – Shyam

Best Evaluator – Miles

Best Table Topics – Alex

Ah Stick – Raj


Business and Events:


Community award nominations are due May 31

Toastmasters Leadership Institute June 5

Tall Tales & Ice Cream Contest – July 10, 9:00 a.m.

Awards Banquet and New Officers Installation – July 17, 6:00 p.m.


Al Minter will be Toastmaster for next week’s meeting. Be sure to confirm your role with him for the May 29th meeting early this week so he can plan accordingly for a GREAT day in the Goldmine!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

News from the Goldmine, May 15, 2010

It was a great day at Goldmine Toastmasters, and not just because we got to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jay Nodine!

Toastmaster Sam Mullis and Presiding Officer Kim Jackson led us through 90 minutes of laughter and learning. Alex Porter presented an inspiring thought of the day, while Betty Walker may have involved up to a third of our members in her joke! Wordmaster Phyllis Kombol was on the lookout for "utopia," as well as clever phrases, of which she spotted a few. Table Topics Master (and Birthday Boy) Jay Nodine called on Alex, Phyllis, Jerry and Betty and each enlightened us on a variety of topics.

In the prepared speech portion of our program, Raj Sharma (and the Tortoise and the Hare) inspired us to greater teamwork, while Joyce Kalinowski-Przybyszewski-Preston entertained and informed us about her "Big Fat Polish Wedding." Fred Biggers and Kim Jackson evaluated Raj and Joyce, providing both kudos and recommendations.

Master Evaluator, Lee Johnston, provided an overview assessment of the day's meeting before Ballot Counter, Jerry Weikle, presented Best Table Topics Award to Betty Walker; Best Speaker to Raj Sharma, Best Evaluator to Kim Jackson and the coveted Ah Stick to Fred Biggers.

Betty Walker will serve as Toastmaster for our next meeting, May 22. Be sure to confirm your role with her in a timely manner this week!