Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 27 2013 at Goldmine

April 27 at the Goldmine
Steve got us thinking about how our thoughts set the stage for our heart.
As Toastmaster, John’s theme about speaking tips and tricks included:
*the audience wants you to succeed
*write out the speech completely, make note cards, rehearse, then throw away the notes and talk
*eye contact….hold it
Hal cracked us up with a joke about a dumb blonde’s response to a ventriloquist…
Thomas kept the time.  Sam counted the votes, ahs/ums, and gave awards: 
Best Table Topic was awarded to Serena and her commercial for lightly smoked sardines in olive oil.
Matthew’s other creative table topic questions went to Thomas who was asked to demonstrate finding out he had the winning lottery ticket a day too late, and to Sunitha who described meeting Bill Gates at a celebrity ball.
Shyam received the Best Speaker award for bringing history to life (from the Storytelling manual) as he took us to the banyon tree to feel the power of the birth of the Bagavad Gita.  Jessica got us thinking about the uniforms of our lives, and entertained us with hat stories.
Joyce's evaluation of Jessica's speech was a little too long, so Mike won Best Evaluator for his evaluation of Shyam’s story…and also received the Ah stick.
As part of our business meeting, Shyam assisted members with MeetUp, explaining how it has helped us connect with interested people outside our group.
Upcoming important dates:

  • Division contest: May 4 from 10:15-noon at Poplar Tent exit from I85 Fire Station
  • District conference: May 17-19 at Greensboro, including contests, division pride baskets (contact Joyce if you have something to contribute), and Youth Leadership and Communication programs (contact Jessica if you want to help).
  • July 13 will be the annual invitational Tall Tales and Homemade Ice Cream contest, at Baker’s Creek Park in Kannapolis (shelter #1) 9-noon. Serena will be contest chair & Phyl contest master.  Invite friends and family!And start preparing your 5-7 minute tales!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Goldmine Meeting April 20

We may have been low in number with just seven members and no guests, but we were not low in fun! Shyam thought stepping in as Toastmaster last week would be easy. Sometimes things happen and people drop out for one reason or another. But no worries! Those present stepped up to take on extra roles and we all learned to work together to put out a great meeting despite low numbers!

Serena opened up the meeting (a little late) as Presiding Officer. Joyce gave a great thought and introduced Shyam as Toastmaster, who came up with the so fitting theme, "Things in your life you wish never happened." Karen told a joke (a college student thought she was a great cell phone customer when they told her she had an "outstanding" balance). Dale stepped in as Grammarian at the last minute, listening for good/bad grammar and the word the day: "crux." Karen also stepped in at the last minute as Ah Bell/Ballot Counter and Timer (triple duty! You go girl!) 

Dale was also the Table Topics Master and everyone was open game for a killer table topic question. 
  • Joyce answered the question, "Tell us about something you would like to forget about, but can't." She said that every experience is a life lesson, but didn't want to be so philosophical so she said she would like to forget that her college-age son has totaled three vehicles. 
  • Serena passed on her question
  • Shyam answered quite an interesting question: "You have a new company with the letters, N-A-S-A. Tell us what those letters stand for and what your company does." His company stood for "Never Again Shall I Ask." His sales pitch was "we can help you forget the things you wish never happened to you." 
  • Gerry's question was, "Describe the last wedding you attended" and two words were thrown into the mix: "tiger" and "precocious." Gerry described her wedding and a "tiger in his tank." If you weren't there, don't worry about it. TMI. 
Best Table Topics Speaker: Joyce 
Our two speakers for the day were: 
Joyce who told about her High Performance Leadership Project: "Speak" the movie. 
Alex whose nonmanual speech, "Don't Want No New Stinkin' Password," explained why he is not yet working on the Better Speaker Series. Both disqualified on time, so "Best Speaker" award. 

Serena evaluated Joyce's speech while Gerry evaluated Alex's speech.
Best Evaluator: Serena

Shyam took on the General Evaluator role, evaluating the meeting as "perfect" (well, I wouldn't go THAT far!) 

Serena led the business portion of the meeting. Much congratulations to Steve Boles for placing second in BOTH the International and Table Topics contests. Shyam placed third in Table Topics and Dale placed first in International for People Growing Together Toastmasters in Salisbury. 

REMINDER: May 4 is the Division B contest at 10:15 a.m. at Poplar Tent Fire Station. Please come out and support Steve and Dale. (Note: Because we have FOUR clubs in our area, both first and second place contestants get to advance).  We will be having a shortened Table Topics meeting that day. Also, Dale suggested that we advertise the contests more to nonToastmasters. 

Ah stick went to Alex Porter. Karen closed the meeting at 10:06 a.m.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I forgot about being the blogger (still not sure what that really means) for April 13th’s Goldmine meeting. I probably forgot because Friday the 13thcame on Saturday this month.
Present were members Phyllis, Karen, Thomas, Steve. Matthew, Cynthia, Serena, Joyce, Jerry, Sunitha, Al, Hal, Shyam, Sonny, John, and Alex. We also were delighted to have handsome Miles Randolph attend as a guest.
Phyllis started the meeting almost on time. John Shepherd gave us a thought about education not being preparation for life, but life itself. Toastmaster of the Day, Karen Boothe, then introduced Jerry Weikle who proved to be more of a Chokemaster than a Jokemaster with one of the lamest gags ever told. Thank God, I have forgotten it.
Not to be outdone, Serena proved to be anything but serene ringing the ah bell and Cynthia Randolph had a meltdown trying to explain how she was going to time the proceedings. She was actually much funnier than the Jokemaster.
Table Topics
All of that chaos was followed by Alex Porter’s brilliant explanation and use of a little known word, “druther,” in the table topic questions.
  • Hal Levin, having tried both, druther have age and experience than youth and folly.
  • Joyce druther have a pet than no pet. Turns out she and her dog Hershey are real buds,
  • Sonny druther have a flat tire than a dead battery, but druther have neither.
  • Shyam druthertry high heels than the flats he’s worn all his life. Then his wife would not be taller than he is when she wears her heels.
By the way, the noun form of druther is druthers. Used correctly in a sentence - ” If I had my druthers, I wouldn’t have to write blogs.”
Prepared Speeches
Steve Boles and Matthew Charity both practiced their contest speeches. Oh junk, that was tonight and I forgot to go, too. Probably wrapped up by now. Steve spoke on being his daughter’s hero and Matthew told us about life defining moments. Both were very verygood.
Thomas Kombol, sporting his new “get a job/businessman” hairdo and shaven chin, led us in evaluations. Sunitha Nalla (that is such an easy name to learn after Shyam Narayan) evaluated Steve, and Phyllis Kombol evaluated Matthew. After round robin evaluations of the two speeches, Al Minter gave the Grammarian's report.
  • Serena presented awards to Joyce Preston, Best Table Topic;
  • Matthew Charity, Best Prepared Speaker;
  • Phyllis Kombol, Best Evaluator, and
  • Sunitha Nalla carried home the coveted tongue deprsessor, bless her heart
Blogger - Alex Porter

Thursday, April 11, 2013

March 29 Backward Meeting

Long-time Goldminer, Richard Archer, led this crazy group of Toastmasters in a meeting that started at the end and ended at the beginning. This Backward Meeting started with Ballot Counter, Jerry Weikle, presenting the awards (BEFORE anyone had spoken!):

"Ah" Stick: Richard Archer
Best Speaker: Cynthia Randolph
Best Evaluator: Dale Wagstaff
Best Table Topic Speaker: Steve Boles

Then our President and Presiding Officer, Phyllis Kombol, conducted the business meeting and announcements. Upcoming contests (in backward order): May 17-19: District 37 Contest, April 24: Division B contest, April 18: Area 14 contest, and April 4: Goldmine contest.

Phyllis presented to Joyce Preston an award for recruiting new members. There will be a Lead & Succeed event on Tuesday, April 30 at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. More information available at 

Serena Edwards, VPE, reviewed next weeks' schedule and guests gave comments (Georgia and Candice). 

The meeting was then given to General Evaluator John Shepherd. He gave his overall evaluation on a crazy start to an interesting meeting. Mike Hall, in the grammarian role, gave his report for crazy words people "said." The timer (Thomas Kombol) gave his timer report, including a VERY long table topic from Shyam (14 minutes????)

Evaluators, Dale Wagstaff and Gerry Fenner evaluated speakers, Serena Edwards and Cynthia Randolph respectively, giving them much praise for a speech well done (but not spoken yet!) 

Then came the first (I mean, second) speaker, Serena, who spoke from the Entertaining Speech manual with a speech titled, "Are you a Cat Person or a Dog Person?" Cynthia gave her last speech in the Competent Communicator manual called "My Best Friend."

Shyam started the Table Topics with the answer to an unknown question. It all started when he went to the bathroom on a trip and wound up in a time machine, coming back after 14 minutes! His question from Table Topics master, Sharon Davis, was "Tell me a time when you wet your pants."

Phyllis answered her question, which was "Tell us your proudest moment as a Toastmaster." Steve ended the Table Topics round talking about food and other dramatic stuff, answering the question, "Tell me about your favorite food."

Timer explained his role, Ballot Counter explained his role, Grammarian explained his role, and Jokemaster, Jessica Keyes, gave a joke. In between these, thoroughly confused Toastmaster, Richard, introduced each one after they spoke.

Steve Boles introduced the Toastmaster, led the pledge, and shared his Thought of the Day: "The beautiful thing about a future is that it comes one day at a time and Practice makes perfect; nobody's perfect so why practice?"

The meeting ended with Presiding Officer Phyllis opening, er, closing the meeting.

Perhaps we should do more of them--we ended/started ahead of time at 9:50 a.m.! 


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Forward we go!

The April 7 Goldmine meeting was done in the forward direction, in contrast to last week…what a relief!

Sharon’s opening thought was about how life is school for the soul; reminding us that we should always be thinking “What can I learn?” and “How can I serve?”
Dale served us very nicely as Toastmaster and Jokemaster, and sprinkled in some strange things you didn’t know:

  1. Rats can last longer without water than camels. 
  2.  Your stomach makes a new layer of mucous every 2 weeks so it does not digest itself. 
  3.  The dot over the i is a tittle (or is it maybe a jot?). 
  4.  A raisin dropped into a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down. (Thomas, with his nearly completed degree in science, explained that it’s because of nucleation sites…oh yeah, now we all really understand!?) 
  5. A female ferret in heat will die if it can’t find a mate. 
  6.  In the chariot scene in the movie Ben Hur, you can see a small red car in the background, and Charlton Heston is wearing a watch (oops!).
  7. Bruce Lee’s movements are so fast that they had to slow the film down so that his movements were visible. 
  8.  Celery has negative calories (burns more calories to eat it that is in it). 
  9.  Many years ago in England, whistles were baked into the rib of ceramic drinking cups, so that you could whistle to get the attention of the server when your cup was empty…hence “wet your whistle.”
  10. Charlie Chaplin once won 3rd prize in a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest.

Gerry led Table topics with “Boy was my face red when…” prompting Joyce to tell about a flour disaster. Then Steve had to explain what he was afraid of…Failure! (especially not being the “good parent”); and Thomas described his favorite view out the window, which was the Blue Ridge Mountains in the spring, (though he left us wondering why he climbed out the window when most dorm rooms have perfectly good doors…there’s probably a speech in that).

Jerry presented a multi-part speech about cold calls and dealing with objections to close a deal, assisted by John Shepherd in role play, and concluding with a short discussion. Phyllis had us get to know Margaret Sanger with a project from the Storytelling manual designed to bring history to life. Bill spoke about the blessings of touch once people go beyond fear, and talked eloquently about the grace and work of “Touching.”

Sonny was general evaluator, coordinating Hal’s evaluation of Jerry’s presentation, Joyce’s evaluation of Phyllis’s story, and Thomas’ evaluation of Bill’s speech.
Richard served as timer. Sam was Ah bell & ballot counter, giving awards to Steve for Best Table Topic, Joyce for Best Evaluator, Phyllis for Best Speaker, and the Ah stick to Bill.


  • ·       officer nominations should now be communicated to Richard/Sam,
  • ·       officer meeting is planned for after Apr. 13 meeting,
  • ·       area contest April 18 at Cannon School at 6:30,
  • ·       Division B contest May 4 10-12 at the fire station at I85 Poplar Tent Rd.,
  • ·       District contests and conference in Greensboro May 17-19.