Thursday, August 23, 2012

Weekly Recap: "I'd Rather Be at the Circus..."

…Was the conclusion Karen came to as this week’s Toastmaster. She took the original ambiguous theme “Would you rather” and gave it her own twist, focusing on the big top, obviously! Throughout the meeting she provided more information about the history of origins of the circus than I thought possible. This included the use and treatment of elephants and the invention of ‘fairy-floss’—err, cotton candy. 

And like a circus, today’s meeting was a little chaotic, as only three of us were there to fill our roles today. Everyone else had to perform multiple roles on the spot! There was a lot of role-juggling, and a special mention goes out to Jessica. She managed to acrobatically handle… I don’t know—5 roles(?) all in one meeting, and did a fantastic job!

This week’s ‘Word of the Day,’ extravagant, was provided by Grammarian Scott, which was well suited to the circus theme. Jeff's ‘Thought of the Day’ goes as follows: 
Savor what we have today, because that’s what we have today. Tomorrow’s going to come no matter what… So look forward to and embrace what is coming forward, because there’s not much we can do about it.

We also had a special guest appearance from new ‘Area Governor’ Max Lopez, whose duties at Toastmasters is to ‘visit all the local chapters and take notes,’ as former Area Governor Jeff put it. Both Max and Jeff delivered superb impromptu speeches. Jeff took the stage first, using Eric’s setup question to launch into a speech about commercial real estate, offering advice about investing in the purchasing and trading of businesses. 

Next Max took the spotlight, and gave an inspiring speech which talked about how his boss’s suggestion led him to Toastmasters, that he used to have a stutter, and what it was like as he fought through and overcame it. It is worth noting that he never stuttered during this speech and, as Jessica (his evaluator) noted, nobody would have known that he ever had a stuttering issue. 

I can’t imagine how much more intense the difficulty of public speaking would have been for me to have the added encumbrance of a stammer. I can’t confidently say I could see myself doing it, but he did. Not only did he overcome that obstacle, he’s picked up some notable speaking accomplishments along the way. Good for you, Max. 

‘Would You Rather’ TABLE TOPICS:

Eric, though hard-pressed to decide, would ultimately rather lose every debate but be right, rather than win every argument and be wrong, chiefly due to his opposition to presenting misinformation. Kayla knew the clear choice was to blather like Yoda rather than breathe like Darth Vader, and ‘work she would to her advantage of it she’d make.’ Craig argued that rather than live in a world of complete security at the cost of freedom, or vice versa, he’d prefer to live in an America overseen by a benevolent dictator that ensured security but gave some freedoms. Super competitive Jessica told us she’d rather go onto a game show over a reality series, and would meticulously destroy her opposition. Ryan told us that when he finds a lion in his room, he’d pass by the banjo, whip, and barstool, and blind it into submission with a laser-pointer, then make his getaway. 

Craig served as evaluator for Jeff, crediting him for his ‘Gift of Gab’ skills. Next Jessica evaluated Max, giving praise for immediately changing the energy and ‘warmed up the room.’ General Evaluator Eric explained how the agenda assignment works (in reply to Scott's query), and commended Jessica’s point about avoiding the use of jargon acronyms. 

  • Best Speaker Awarded to Max Lopez.
  • Best Evaluator Awarded to Jessica Zahnow.
  • Best Table Topics Awarded to Eric Williams.

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