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Spirited Speech Masters and guests honor Dr. Farzana Chohan

Be Your Best Leader: Executive Leadership Summit

District 56 is hosting an Executive Leadership Summit on November 2nd. This set of workshops will substitute for officer-required Toastmasters Leadership Institute, but all members are encouraged to attend.

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2019
Time: 9a – 2p (Registration at 8:30a)
Where: Fountain Life Center
14083 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77035

Register Here

Please join to learn more from your fellow Toastmasters and let us all grow as leaders!

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.

The Magic Formula Behind Better Storytelling

Ever since the release of their first feature-length film in 1995, Pixar has been known for their creative, often heart-warming storytelling. In the video Pixar Storytelling Rules #5: Essence of Structure, Bloop Animation describes the typical formula they use to tell stories in iconic films such as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, and Up. Watch below to learn how you can employ the same techniques when telling a story as part of a speech, helping take your narrative skills to Infinity … and Beyond!

Have a resource you'd like to share with the rest of our readership? Click here to make a submission!

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!