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!

2019.10.17 Weekly Window

Our October 17th weekly was very enjoyable, with everyone pitching in to ensure things went smoothly. The theme of the meeting was “Change,” in honor of autumn and the upcoming holiday, Halloween. As Toastmaster-of-the-Day, Loni briefly detailed a few strategies she has found help when you find yourself faced with unexpected or sizable change. She closed by sharing the following quote:

"You're always you, and that don't change. And you're always changing, and there's nothing you can do about it." -- Neil Gaiman, "The Graveyard Book"

Doug gave his Icebreaker speech, entitled “Things I’ve Done, Places I’ve Been.” We learned about his life as a musician, with emphasis on the iterative nature of music practice. This lead to an explanation of how he spent several years in Brazil, outside of his comfort zone in a new country where most don’t speak English. This was both his first speech in Toastmasters and the first speech within the “Visionary Communicator” Pathway. Congratulations, Doug!

Christine served as Table Topics Master, asking a number of great questions designed to stimulate the minds — and mouths — of those who volunteered to respond. Usamah described his personal worth in terms of helping his son to grow into a loving human being, one who cares for other people. Joann shared the view that sometimes giving up is the right decision and that doing so doesn’t mean you didn’t learn something along the way or change the lives of others. Loni shared how Toastmasters had made something seemingly impossible — the task of speaking in front of a crowd — possible. And Doug explained that it is difficult to say who one is since every person has so many different facets and are even sometimes different people in different situations.

  • Best Speaker: Doug
  • Best Table Topic Speaker: Loni
  • Word of the Day: temper

Thanks to all who contributed to a fabulous meeting and hope to see you all again soon!

2019.09.26 Weekly Window

During the introduction of last week’s meeting, Loni gave a quick presentation on how to accept an award, including the following 5 steps:

  1. When possible, enter from Stage Left (House Right).
    This ensures the award giver will appear on the left side of any photographs that are taken. The left side is considered dominant.
  2. Make eye contact. Smile and shake hands.
    The human connection of accepting an award is very important and demonstrates graciousness and respect. By shaking hands before accepting the award, you ensure that your hands are placed comfortably.
  3. Accept award with your left hand.
    While maintaining the handshake, the award giver should extend the award to you with their left hand. Accept the award and hold it level so that it will be legible when photographed.
  4. Turn to the camera or audience. Smile.
    You won’t always be photographed, but you should acknowledge those who came to see your award acceptance.
  5. When possible, exit Stage Right (House Left).
    This is particularly important in situations where multiple awards are being given, as it helps to ensure that the previous recipient doesn’t collide with the incoming recipient.

Let’s hope that we all have more opportunities to accept awards with grace in the future!

This week was a very special occasion with Christine giving her Icebreaker speech, the very first speech of her first Pathway! She used her speech to rejoice in her status as a recent “empty-nester,” rejecting the negative connotations that are sometimes associated with the term and delighting in the benefits of having a home that was all her own. Asad delivered a warm and engaging speech about initiating communication styles, the first speech of level 2 of his current Pathway.

Thank you to everyone who turned out last week. We are still in need of a Toastmaster for next week’s meeting. I encourage everyone to please sign up in advance for a meeting role!

And with just a little bit of coaching, look how much better everyone did accepting their awards this week!

  • Best Speaker: Christine
  • Best Evaluator: DS
  • Word of the Day: burgeon

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 talk, 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.

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