Tuesday, January 21, 2014

At the Goldmine January 18, 2014

Goldmine welcomed new member Ankur, and guest Anu January 18, 2014.  Welcome! We are glad you were there, and hope we can all work together to become better communicators and leaders.

Gerry did a fine job jumping outside her comfort zone to be our Toastmaster of the Day. Congratulations for taking the plunge, Gerry!

We were a smallish group so we did some multitasking:  Serena was Presiding Officer and Ah Bell/Ballot counter.  Ray helped us get started with a thought and also served as grammarian.  We gave him some material to work with (interesting phrases, challenges in verb/noun agreement, ask/ax), even though none of us used the word of the day “acrid.”  I guess we did not want to raise a stink! Phyllis told a joke (of sorts) about silly exam answers and served as timer….AND was able to put together Best Table Topic in her response to our Table Topic Master Alex’s request that we “turn a phrase” by ending with the phrase he suggested, in this case “…can still turn out pretty much normal.”  Jerry also served 2 roles, explaining how men may find themselves in different circumstances when a woman “points a finger at her husband” in his Table Topic, and evaluating Cynthia’s presentation of “The Bethel Enrichment Center Scholarship” award.  Ankur entertained us with a brief story about lessons he learned as a youth in his Table Topic which ended with “We’ll never do that again!” Joyce presented a short speech “Bricks,” which challenged us to consider our goals for the new year, which surprised her evaluator Matthew with its brevity.

Eugene won Best Evaluator for his evaluation of Shyam’s longer than expected but informative speech “The Leader Board” where the new display of members’ progress and contributions toward the club Distinguished Club Program goals can be seen as a glance.  Shyam also took questions after his speech and as part of our business session about how the DCP goals work, and how Goldmine has been recognized at the highest level “President’s Distinguished Club” for completing at least 9 of the 10 goals for several years in a row now.

Sunitha served as our General Evaluator, also stepping out of her comfort zone.  Many of us find ourselves in the situation of having our words all leave us when we stand up to speak, but she did a creditable job, even though her hesitations earned her the Ah stick.

Cynthia received Best Speaker award; and she was honored in Shyam’s award ceremony for her “Outstanding Toastmaster” achievements for the 2012-2013 year, and recognized for her ALB. Shyam was also recognized for his ACS & ALB, and Joyce was recognized for her ACS & ALS achievements. 

Wow! That’s a lot of alphabet soup, isn’t it?! Shyam gave a handout in his speech that explained all the different award levels.  Ask an experienced Toastmaster for clarification and explanation, check out the Toastmasters International website, or look at the diagrams/explanations in your manuals.  Here’s a short version:  We all start out doing 10 speeches to earn the Competent Communicator (CC) award.  Other meeting roles and special events allow us to work through the 10 projects in the Competent Leader manual, to complete the CL award.  Beyond that, there are a variety of advance speaking manuals (5 speeches each), as well as other roles, projects and speeches that fit into the Advanced Communicator Bronze, Silver, & Gold (ACB, ACS, & ACG) levels.  On the Leadership track, again different roles, projects, speeches etc. are required to accomplish Advanced Leader Bronze or Silver (ALB, ALS).  Both tracks (4 levels in the communication track, 3 levels in the leadership track) culminate in the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award. Goldmine’s current members who have the DTM award are Al Minter & John Shepherd. Joyce is close to completing her requirements, as well.

Next week, a number of our members will be at the Toastmaster Leadership Institute, which includes officer training, judges' training, and other informative learning sessions.  Ray will serve as your Toastmaster.

Friday, January 17, 2014

January 11, 2014, Goldmine’s second week in our new home!

January 11, 2014, Goldmine’s second week in our new home!

We’re still sorting out options for the best way to handle our fabulous, flexible, and roomy new location…and some are still finding the new location. The coffee’s on!

We had 22 people present, including our newest member Dana Michelle, who was voted in and inducted.  We hope our guest, Ankur had a good time. He was courageous in jumping into doing Table Topics as our Table Topics Master Sharon started a progressive story about our crazy weather.  One of our newest members, Paul added to it, followed by Matthew, and finally Shyam (who won with his crazy driving story…is it a Camaro or a mini-van?)

Georgia served as our TMOD, introduced by our Thought of the Day presenter Eugene, who challenged us to consider that we are shaped by what we think. Sam told a short funny story as our joke, Serena explained her role as Grammarian, and listened for use of our work of the day “virulent” as well as other interesting phrases.  

Jerry had to stay on his toes as timer, to keep track of who qualified.  Jessica’s Ice Breaker (on her third time through the CC manual) told us about how Hind’s Feet Farm has inspired her. Sam evaluated, winning best evaluation (partly because he toed the line on time! John inspired us with “The Elusive Pursuit of Happiness” which Joyce evaluated. Ray had Sonny’s help as he practiced his job interview skills, evaluated by Thomas. Our General Evaluator was Matthew.

In our business meeting, led by Serena as Presiding officer, we discussed our use of the room space and several options that we will be trying.  We also distributed flyers about the upcoming Improv event Feb. 8 for people to post.  We are anticipating TLI (Toastmaster Leadership Institute) East at Duke Jan. 18 and West in Cornelius Jan. 25.  All officers are asked to register, indicating “pay at door” as our Treasurer Thomas will be paying officers’ training fees out of Goldmine funds.  Other members who might work on a committee of an officer or consider an officer role are encouraged to attend (ask any officer for details, or D37 website).  Also upcoming will be the “International Speech Contest” and “Table Topics Contest”….will you compete?  Serena will be Contest Chair.  These spring contests progress from Club level in February/March to Area in the last half of March, then Division in April, and District at the conference May 2-4 which will be held at the Great Wolf Lodge! Let’s all plan to participate in some way!

Hal presented the awards, and adjourned our meeting at 10:10.  We’re getting ready for our next adventure on January 18!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 4th New Beginning Toastmasters Meeting

Shyam called the meeting to order and introduced Thomas who provided our Thought of the day.  Thomas quoted Zig Ziglar, “Fear has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise”

After the Pledge of Allegiance, John was called to serve as Toastmaster.  Jay stepped up to serve as ballot/ah bell counter. 

Ray was introduced as the Jokemaster, Joyce as the Grammarian, and Hal as the Timer.

Al served as Table Topics Master and called on Sharon to discuss her new beginning for Toastmasters in 2014.  Jerry advised what powerful inflection to launch a new beginning.  Cynthia discussed what a new beginning meant to her.

John discussed some famous people that suffered failure, but made great comebacks.  Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Kernel Sanders, and Mary Kay Ash as we entered into the prepared speech portion of our meeting.

Eugene’s “My Adventure of a Lifetime” discussed his unchaperoned European adventure when he was 16 and the experience of meeting the Pope.

Matthew’s “Five Reasons You Should Take an Improv Class” compared Toastmasters with an improvisation class.  He also explained how it will elevate you in give your speeches. With the assistance of Joyce, he provided an example of an improvisation session. 

Ray’s “Job Interview” was a mock interview where Sam was the Interviewer for a position in Texas.

John continued to talk about Muhammad Ali losing his championship and was able to get it back.  Then he brought matters home when he discussed the Panthers comeback to win the last 11 of its 12 games.

When we returned from our break, Kathy introduced Shyam to evaluate Eugene’s speech.  He applauded Eugene for not reading from his notes, used the room, and encouraged everyone to have an adventure.  The grow points Shyam noticed was that he should focus on saying “my adventure” and not repeat the title.

Phyllis advised Matthew that she was impressed with his persuasion to Goldmine effective examples.  She wanted to see the sales pitch earlier in the speech and lost him when he went back to the lectern to continue his speech. 

Jerry advised Ray with interviewing skills as feedback.  He discussed using reflective listening, showing gratitude, and introducing himself to the interviewer. 

Kathy provided her feedback on the meeting and turned the meeting back to Shyam.

Dana joined Goldmine today.  We were reminded that the TLI-West is January 25th and everyone is invited to attend if they are interested in becoming an officer or serving on a committee.  Members also voted in favor to having an improvisation meeting in February.

Jerry won the Best Table Topic Speech, Eugene won Best prepared Speaker, Phyllis, won the Best Evaluator award, and Ray won the “Ah” Stick.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Last meeting at Fairfield Inn- December 28, 2013

Today was our LAST meeting at Fairfield Inn! Our Toastmaster of the day, Matthew Charity, had a most fitting theme for the meeting: "A Trip Down Memory Lane." We had eleven members, and two guests (if you count Jay Johnson as a "guest"!)

Serena opened up the meeting as Presiding Officer. Jerry Weikle shared a thought: "Any fool can criticize, condemn, or complain...most fools do." He introduced our Toastmaster who introduced our Jokemaster, Kathy Kombol. Thomas Kombol listened for good/bad grammar and the word of the day ("egress") as Wordmaster. Shyam Narayan stepped in as Ah Bell/Ballot Counter and Serena Edwards kept the time as Timer.

Jerry Weikle also led our Table Topics section, keeping the theme of the day.
  • Shyam had the question: "As you go down memory lane, do you turn to the right, the left, or continue straight ahead?" Shyam is apparently following the yellow brick road, not turning to the right, but to the left so he won't be left out! And also because he has to turn to the left to look back down memory lane!
  • Paul Junior attempted to answer the question: "How much is a ticket to go down memory lane?" He says to not worry about life!
  • Philip (guest) had the question: "Have you ever gotten lost going down memory lane?" He had never gotten lost, he just couldn't remember where he was. He has a lot of memories and wishes he could have his grandkids first!
  • Jay Johnson answered the question: "Have you ever bought a ticket on memory lane and wanted your money back?" First he had story about the word of the day, "egress." Barnum Bailey had a sign in the circus tent that said: "This way to the egress." Then he said he would never want his money back because it doesn't cost anything to go down memory lane. He goes down it 3-4 times a year when he comes to North Carolina.
  • John Shepherd had the question: "When you go down memory lane, do you focus on when you have screwed up or when things have turned out well?" He said both. He can relive memories--both good and bad. The world's greatest secret is that we become what we think about the most. We need to think and live more optimistically!
Matthew shared his memories, including the first day he attended with a copy of the agenda from February 2008. Joyce and Shyam also joined Goldmine in 2008. They shareed memories of when they first came to Goldmine. Serena shared her memories of first coming to Goldmine and not being able to answer a table topic question.

The prepared speakers gave their speeches:
Joyce spoke from the Storytelling advanced manual (#4: Touching Story). Her speech was titled, "The Miracle on the Farm."  Her touching story was about Billy and his family's farm that was facing a drought. His mom saw him walking slowly to the woods every day. She finds out he was carrying water in his hands to a fawn. The day she found out the compassion of her son, it rained.

Phyllis spoke from Interpretive Reading advanced manual (Melodrama). The title of her speech was "Milk and Murder." Her speech was a melodrama from the viewpoint of Cicely Williams, a Jamaican physician, who spoke about the use of sweetened condensed milk as a substitute for breast milk and the thousands of children who were dying from this substitute.

John Shepherd led the evaluation part of the meeting as General Evaluator. Eugene evaluated Joyce's speech and Jay evaluated Phyllis.

We voted in and had a new member induction for our newest member,  Paul Junior! Serena closed the meeting and led the business session. Reminder: New location starts next week (January 4) at the Rotary Hall, 211 West Avenue, Kannapolis. The next officer meeting will be on January 11.

Best Table Topics Speaker: John
Best Speaker: Joyce
Best Evaluator: Jay
Ah Stick: John