Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weekly Recap: "Don't Sweat the Petty Things"

“…And don’t pet the sweaty things, either.” Jason wisely pointed out.

This week’s ‘Word of the Day,’ sanguine, has been brought to you by Grammarian Jessica. Sanguine is defined as cheerful and optimistic, it also means bloody and ruddy-faced (and I think I may have been the only one today who forgot to use it!).

ANNOUNCEMENT: Toastmaster Jeff informed us today that there will be two upcoming contests for Toastmasters: the Table Topics and the Humorous Speech contest. The Electric Toasters Table Topics contest will start September 19th. The winner of our local chapter will represent us in the finals. More info will be provided when possible, including sign ups, so keep your peepers open for it.


Our opening speaker Craig bid us “Welcome to the Wonderful World of Toastmasters.” Last week it was brought to light that there was some confusion about the processes of how Toastmasters works. This particularly included assigning the agenda. Today Craig gave us a lot of clarity about the inner workings, and what resources are available to us. He also shed some light for us on approaching our Competent Communication and Competent Leadership handbooks. I won’t elaborate further, as either Craig or I will share the details in its own post. In his parting words, Craig reminded us that, as is the case in most (if not all) facets of life, what we get out of Toastmasters is equivalent to what we put in. 

Next Robert conveyed a moral tale about how, with training, you can conquer fear. In storytelling format he told us about a threatening scuba incident he experienced several years ago. His mask had been leaking as he descended into the depths. By the time he reached the bottom, it had progressed into a serious problem. In his unsuccessful struggle to blow the water out of his mask, losing precious air in the process, he was also pulled off course by the current. The situation got desperate and he decided to head back for the surface. His dive computer beeped at him incessantly, however, indicating that he was ascending too fast. It was important that he heed the warning. Were he to rise too fast would have resulted in serious health issues. As tempting as it was to panic, Robert remembered his training, and kept calm by ascending at a crawl’s pace. In the end he made it back safely (obviously). He later learned that even the most experienced divers have gone through situations similar to his own.

“Let’s Play ‘Hide the Pickle’” was the promising title Jason chose for his speech, and it did not disappoint. Jason’s humorous account (designed to cater to a younger audience) focused on various legends surrounding the mystery of the “Christmas Pickle” ornament. The first told of a German immigrant who served as a union private during the US Civil War. He was captured and, dying in a prison camp from starvation and illness, pleaded to a Confederate guard on Christmas Eve for a pickle as his last wish. The guard conceded, and snuck for him a pickle, which led to a miraculous recovery. After his release, the union soldier hung a pickle on the Christmas tree in remembrance of that day. The second legend tells of two Spanish school children who got lost in an unfamiliar area. They stopped at an inn, but the innkeeper was evil and tricked them. After trapping them in pickle-barrels he stole their belongings and left them there, until Saint Nick found them and released them with his magical staff.

‘Don’t Sweat the Petty Things’ TABLE TOPICS:

Susannah comes from a long line of worriers, and feels that in the past worrying has steered her away from experiences that would have been engaging, challenging, and would have helped her to grow. Therefore she feels it’s overall better not to worry so much, and concluded with a quote “I’m a very old man, and I have worried about many things, most of which never happened.”

Greg used to work for a transmission provider, so he knows plenty of what it’s like to worry about every possible thing that could go wrong. In his experience, regulations aimed at preventing bad things from happening, inadvertently backfired, having caused those very things to happen. Drawing from those experiences, he concludes that worrying too much about something can definitely cause it to happen.


Eric acclaimed Craig for having broken down the ET internet presence that he, and other newer members, hadn’t known or misperceived about the resources available to us. He also echoed what Craig had said, that “what you get is what you put into it.”

Wei praised Robert for his strong storytelling form and powerful delivery. Wei also made note of his colorful range of vocabulary, having used no notes in the delivery of his speech.

Mike applauded Jason for his entertaining delivery, and noted his great use of imagery. Mike also acclaimed him for having a very natural speaking presence and tone of voice.

Karen took up the General Evaluator role at the last minute, and did a great job. She praised Eric’s evaluation of Craig, noting his emphatic voice. She gave cheer to Wei’s consistent steady pace. Lastly, she acknowledged Mike for always having a very relaxed disposition up at the podium.

  • Best Speaker Awarded to Jason Kent
  • Best Evaluator Awarded to Mike Fajen.
  • Best Table Topics Awarded to Susannah [?].

1 comment:

  1. Btw I didn't forget about Angela, who gave a great off the cuff 'Thought of the Day,' but... frankly, I forgot a lot of how it went. There was some great imagery about perspective over how we see our troubles as being big until we compare them to bigger stuff, and then a simile about mountains...

    Anyways, it was good, but I neglected to turn my recorder on until after she said it. So uh, sorry about that...