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Sunset Toastmasters

Meeting Reports

May 4, 2006

By Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross opened the meeting with a brief review of club business. This included a reminder about the district conference and contest later this month. We also had a treasury motion from Martha Washington to reimburse Betsy $15 for the conference cost. As it turned out, all of the die-hard attendees had had a rough morning; this became the underlying theme for a frantically fun meeting.

Though the official theme of the meeting was “New laws,” our Toastmaster, Paul Revere, started us off with a tale of his frantic morning, which included vision problems caused by reversed contact lenses.

Our gracious speaker of the day was Martha, who took time out of a congested schedule to present “Too Much Commercialism Permeating Our Society,” Speech #9 from the Communication and Leadership Manual. Martha gave us some startling statistics about how we are inundated with ads and might not even realize it. She pointed out the groups of people this impacts, from the children who imitate stunts, to the elderly who are targets for telemarketers. Martha ended with a call to action for us to be responsible as adults to mitigate the effects of commercialism.

Following our frantically fun format, Dolly Madison did a superb job of turning right around and presenting an evaluation of Martha’s speech with just a minute or two of preparation time! In her review of Martha’s speech, Dolly pointed out the good use of introductory information both from Toastmaster Paul and in Martha’s opening. The speech was well organized: Martha gave us the affected groups of people and how they were impacted. Dolly suggested that Martha beef up her ending with a stronger, longer call to action. Dolly noted that Martha has great eye contact and very little use of notes. Martha was very comfortable with and knowledgeable about the topic. A truly amazing evaluation from Dolly!

Our timer, John Hancock, had a rough go as the stopwatch was missing. He was able to keep us lit up by referring to his wrist watch and making tick marks for each minute that passed. A very concise job, especially given the technology handicap.

Amelia Earhart kicked off table topics with a surprising story about not being allowed to visit a friend at the hospital since she is a volunteer there—hospital rules. She invited all of us to speak about privacy laws and issues. The winning table topic came from Betsy, who shared the fact that Kaiser Pharmacy posts people’s names rather than numbers since not everyone comprehends the number system.

Our general evaluation was short since Dolly was heroic enough to give her evaluation directly after Martha’s speech. John did an unbelievably fantastic job of timing each speaker (again, no stopwatch). The room was set up as cozy as always. There was not a single “ah,” “um,” vocal pause, incorrect phrasing, or verb agreement problem. Every toastmaster spoke with impeccable grammar and peppered their speaking with the word of the day, “privacy.” A truly brilliant speaking event (no grammarian).

Awards! Martha had to leave the meeting early, so she was not there to receive her honors: a ribbon for completing Speech #9 in the Communication and Leadership Manual, and Outstanding Participant!

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