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Parliamentary Procedure in Motion

If you missed today’s workshop on Parliamentary Procedure, you missed a treat!!  When we think of Robert’s Rules of order, we think of very formal and strict rules for running a meeting.  [Yawn!] Tamesia Garner’s presentation couldn’t have been more different.  She very clearly focused on the heart of the matter that most people can appreciate.

We received a great handout on constructing a successful meeting agenda entitled, “The Agenda: Don’t Leave Home without It” and detailing a number of different segments that can help a group make the most of their time.

Her second handout — entitled “Getting the Train on the Tracks” — discussed how motions are handled, using a train as a metaphor:

  • Getting the train on the tracks; a motion is made.
  • Can the train go anywhere at this point? The motion is seconded (or not, in which case the train is derailed).
  • Once we are chugging along, what happens next to get us on our journey? The motion is restated and possibly voted upon (at the “Voting Station,” naturally).

Tammy has a humorous and down-to-earth style that you can’t help but appreciate.  At the same time, she is inclusive, sagacious, and a great teacher, ensuring that she thoroughly and completely answered every question asked by the audience members.

Thank you to our members who filled roles today:

  • Sally, Toastmaster
  • Doug, Grammarian (word of the day: sagacious)
  • Loni, Timer for a complex speech

Also to volunteers, Usamah and Paulette!

And thanks to Loni for the yummy refreshments!

One Set of Rules to Rule them All

We will have a special guest this week, Tammy Garner, to speak on Parliamentary Procedure.  This is the formal process of running a meeting that is used by Toastmasters and many other organizations.

Sally will serve as Toastmaster for this special event and — while this will not have the standard format of our usual meetings — we still have a few roles to fill.  We still need a Timer, an Evaluator and a Grammarian (for a word of the day).

We encourage you to share the news with your friends and anyone who might be interested in this topic and come support our guest.

Sally Voted Division Director of the Year

District Director Kathy Kest and Sally

Our Immediate Past President and current Vice President of Education Sally was recently voted Division Director of the Year for District 56! This is a HUGE honor and might not have been possible if Sally hadn’t decided to make the push to achieve the Distinguished Toastmaster educational award. We’re very fortunate to count Sally among our leadership (and membership)! Her attitude toward service is both an asset and an inspiration to us all. Thank you and congratulations, Sally!

Fall 2019 Toastmasters Leadership Institute

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend my first TLI — Toastmasters Leadership Institute — a three-hour workshop to orient chapter officers within their specific roles. The facilities at MD Anderson were spacious and comfortable, and I was grateful for the coffee and assortment of breakfast options that were provided by TLI. District 56 Director Kathy Kest provided a superb example of acknowledgement versus recognition during her opening statement, wherein she recognized two gentlemen who had gone above and beyond to help resolve an unanticipated issue with parking.

The TLI leadership team ran individual breakout sessions for each role, exemplifying servant leadership by generously sharing their expertise. They each helped attendees understand how we can help our chapters grow by fulfilling our individual officer roles. As the VP of Public Relations for Spirited Speech Masters, I attended the VPPR session lead by Rhonda Reeves, Director of Division M and the VPPR for Exxon-Mobile’s Innovators chapter. She presented a clever acronym she uses to represent the aims of a VPPR:

  • Promote
  • Raise Awareness
  • Attract Members
  • Increase Membership
  • Sustain the Brand
  • Engage the Community

The room of VPPRs was then divided into groups of four, and each group was charged with determining the How, When, Who, and What of our assigned aim. This style of self-generated content and learning was extremely effective, not only because it helped us to think through what we already knew (or could figure out together) but because we were getting to know one another better. I know I made a couple of connections I hope to have the opportunity to develop further.

Overall, I felt like I learned a lot, both about my role as VPPR and about Toastmasters in general (as a new-ish member, I was particularly grateful for the temporary embargo on Toastmasters acronyms). I would recommend TLI to any new officer, and hope to have the opportunity to attend the TLI in the Spring with even more of my fellow Spirited Speech Masters!

Area Q54 Council meeting, immediately following Saturday’s TLI
L to R: Sally Boyd, Joann Hester, Patricia Koch, and Diane Nino

Open House 2019

Spirited Speech Masters is excited to invite you to attend an open house on Thursday, June 13th at 12 noon to 1 PM in 1MC16.3312 (one of the central conference rooms, badge access required).

Dawn will be delivering a speech entitled “The Kitchen Sink.” Dawn enjoys backpacking over long distances and, through years of experience, has fine-tuned the contents of her backpack for the greatest efficiency and lowest weight. Come benefit from her extensive, field-tested knowledge and see the benefits that Toastmasters can offer!

Light refreshments will be served.