Spirited Speech Masters and Dan Rex honoring MD Anderson and Shibu Varghese

2019.09.12 Weekly Window

The theme of our September 12th meeting was “Planning for Success” which our Vice President of Education and Toastmaster-of-the-Day, Sally, sneakily managed to relate to The Pathways education program. As part of the meeting opening, Sally shared the following quote from Harvey Mackay with us:

She related the message of this quote to the success striven for and achieved by Houston native Ramona Smith, the 2018 World Champion of Public Speaking, emphasizing the safety and support that Toastmasters provides to members who want to take a risk and try something new.

Joann graciously stepped in as Table Topics Master at the last minute, using a creative variation where each volunteer picked up a copy of one of the Toastmasters monthly magazines, opened it to a random page, and spoke about the an idea therein.

  • Loni talked about having investigated what it takes to deliver a Ted, sharing that — while she considered this type of speaking to be outside of her wheelhouse — she’s still determined to (eventually) take it for a spin.
  • Maxine spoke about her appreciation of the emphasis upon goal-setting within Toastmasters and how that’s made a difference to her.
  • Sally spoke about failure as a learning tool, not just for oneself but potentially for others, if you’re brave enough to share the lessons learned from your setbacks.
  • Joann gave a short speech about saying cheers around the world.

Thanks to everyone in attendance last week! We hope you can join us this Thursday for our weekly meeting, the theme of which will be “Accepting Appreciation Gracefully.” Loni will serve as Toastmaster-of-the-Day, and you can help out by signing up for a role here.

Update Your Profile, Earn a Cupcake!

If you’ve been planning to update your profile, now is a fabulous time to do so! If just four members update their profiles before October 31st, I will make homemade pumpkin cupcakes to share at our Halloween meeting!

But I don’t know what to write…

Understandable! The goal of our roster is to give prospective members an idea of the diversity of reasons that people join Toastmasters. With any luck, they will read about your reasons for joining and find something familiar! Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Where did you first hear about Toastmasters?
  • Why did you decide to attend your first meeting?
  • What is one thing that surprised you about Toastmasters?
  • How has Toastmasters helped you grow?
  • What are your current goals and how do you think Toastmasters will help you achieve them?

NOM NOM NOM! I can’t wait!

Fabulous! You can update your profile by visiting the Profile Page. To update your picture, use the gray field at the top of the page. To edit your profile, scroll down to the Biographical Info field. Once you’ve finished editing, scroll to the bottom of the page to click the Update Profile button.

Finally, if you simply prefer to email me your profile and/or photo for me to update for you — just let me know!

2019.09.05 Weekly Window

The theme of this week’s meeting was “Enjoy the Journey.” Joann fulfilled the role of Toastmaster-of-the-Day, opening our meeting by presenting a map of Seaborne Creek Park. She used the map’s “You Are Here” marker as a metaphor for appreciating one’s current circumstances instead of coveting something unattainable.

Loni delivered a speech from Level 1 of the Innovative Planning Pathway, speaking from experience about different strategies to survive a Timeshare Presentation without making a commitment to buy.

Asad delivered a speech about the project management concept of gap analysis, a method used to determine whether business requirements are being met and — if not — what steps should be taken to get from the current, inadequate state to the desired state.

Sally introduced a fun variation on Table Topics, asking each member or guest to write down words to represent each of the letters in a provided acronym. These words were passed along to another person, and volunteers were solicited to tell a story using all of the words on the page. D.S. stole the show with a story about teaching her then-teenaged son how to drive a stick-shift.

  • Best Speaker: Loni
  • Best Evaluator: Twana
  • Best Table Topic: D.S.
  • Most Improved: Asad
  • Word of the Day: adventure

2019.08.29 Weekly Window

In honor of Labor Day, the theme of our August 29th meeting was “Job Appreciation.” Allison graciously filled in as Toastmasters at the last minute, giving a short introduction about thankless jobs.

We were lucky enough to have two prepared speeches:

  • Asad delivered the first speech within level 2 of Dynamic Leadership: Understanding Your Leadership Style, in which he outlined the structure of a good project, including its timeframe, multiple people from different levels, and the end results produced.
  • Sally delivered a speech from level 3 of Presentation Mastery, entitled “Getting Started with Pathways” and encouraging members to print their projects ahead of the presentation to avoid technical glitches that can occur unexpectedly. Be sure to check out more Pathways-related content in Sally’s VPE Corner.

Usamah served as Table Topics Master for the day, using the theme “Perceptions” as inspiration for his prompts.

  • Sally spoke about the most valuable lessons she gained from her parents: Age and Experience.
  • Christine shared what most brings her joy working at MD Anderson, relating how much she appreciates seeing employees taking the time to help patients who seem to be lost or in need of assistance.
  • Asad spoke about what he most enjoys during his time off, sharing his recent use of apps to help organize his speeches and timing.
  • Allison shared the earliest time in her life that she could remember being thankful, relating information about the opportunities of her early childhood.
  • Best Speaker: Sally
  • Best Evaluator: Joann
  • Best Table Topic: Christine
  • Word of the Day: illustrious

District 56 2019-2020 Incentives

District 56 is offering a great incentive for members who:

  1. Renew membership dues by 9/15/2019 and 3/15/2020.
    To make things easier, you can instead opt to pay double dues by 9/15/2019. Click here for more information about dues payment.
  2. Submit three educational awards before 3/15/2020.
    An educational award includes the completion of a level within Pathways. As a bonus, completing just this incentive grants you a Triple Crown Pin as well as recognition at the May 2020 Spring Conference or within The Applause District newsletter.
  3. Sponsor or recruit 3 or more members during the period 10/1/2019 to 3/30/2020.

Members who achieve all three goals will be awarded an Outstanding Member pin and $50 Toastmasters International voucher! Read more about member- and chapter-specific incentives for the 2019-2020 fiscal year here.