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

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.

How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint

David Phillips is the founder of Presentationsteknik.com (Swedish) as well as the author of How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint, a book published in more than 30 countries. In 2014, he delivered a TEDx talk in Stockholm, Sweden by the same name, in which he outlines five principles for delivering impactful, enjoyable presentations:

  1. One message per slide
  2. Working memory
  3. Size
  4. Contrast
  5. Number of objects per slide

2019.08.22 Weekly Window

Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Sally introduced this theme as our Toastmaster-of-the-Day, explaining the value of being able to find the silver lining, even when things aren’t going well. She told the story of deciding to go to lunch on a day that had been particularly trying, only to discover that her car had a flat tire. AAA was able to replace her tire and, because of her bad day prompting her to go out, she didn’t have a flat tire when she was already late (to her dancing class later that day).

In a day of firsts, Maxine gave her Dynamic Leadership path’s Icebreaker speech today, speaking about her “passion pyramid” — the things about which she is most passionate — as a way to let us get to know her better. Asad served as Evaluator for the first time, providing a constructive evaluation of Maxine’s speech. Congratulations to both of you!

Joann used today’s theme of gratitude and the Word-of-the-Day, resilience, as inspiration as Table Topics Master, asking Loni to speak about the person within the past year for whom she is most thankful. Usamah was asked to speak about an occasion in his life that has built his sense of thankfulness, which he responded to by speaking about his wife’s journey with cancer. Finally, Allison explained that she felt grateful toward her parents because of the opportunities she was afforded growing up.

We hope you will join us next week!

Maxine receiving her Icebreaker ribbon from Joann
  • Best Table Topic: Usamah
  • Word of the Day: resilience

Pathways: Choosing Your Path

VPE Corner written in chalk on a chalkboard

Greetings, fellow Toastmasters!   Have you chosen your Path, yet?  I highly recommend that you do some research first.  Toastmasters provides an assessment; I think it almost always recommends Innovative Planning, which is the most common path.  I recently saw this great video that explains the concepts and the level of “Leadership” included in each path.  Please check out this “Tuesday Talks-N-Tips” video:

It is an hour-long presentation but interesting!  The presenter, George Marshall, was the Pathways Chief Ambassador for the first district to try Pathways, District 57

Other tools include:

Having now completed a Distinguished Toastmaster award (DTM) within the Traditional Program and two of the paths required towards a Pathways DTM, I’ll say I really have enjoyed Pathways, and I’ve learned a lot.  I am sure you will, too!  The Learning Management System (a.k.a. Basecamp) can be a little tricky to maneuver, but once you’ve gotten that, it’s smooth sailing!

I am planning to present a series of speeches over the next few months regarding “getting started” in Toastmasters and Pathways specifically.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Lao Tzu