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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sandy Springs Toastmaster Club 1-26-17 Meeting Recap

We closed out the first month of 2017 with another great meeting.  One month down, 11 to go!!! Bud Otto handled all the Sergeant-at-Arms pre-meeting duties, opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and then turned it over to the President, Alan Magee.  Alan encouraged all members to revisit their 2017 Toastmaster goals, sign up for roles and speeches so they progress towards their Competent Communicator and Competent Leader certifications.  

Toastmaster, Andrea Miranda, warmly welcomed the 2 guests, Melinda Schmitt and Ralston Medouze, who introduced themselves.  Andrea then explained that since we only had one International Speech Contest competitor, we would continue with the regular meeting format and have the speech contest after the break. Andrea gave the Word of the Day - "bailiwick", which only Bud Otto used during the meeting.  Good job, Bud! VP of Education, Anastasia Pass, stepped up to fill the Table Topics role, offering random questions from the card box. All the members and guests participated and there were so many interesting responses that there was a 3-way tie for Best Table Topics - John Calloway, Guest - Melinda Schmitt and Lisa Borowsky.  Many thanks to John Calloway for providing the coffee for our break.  

Alan Magee was our sole contestant for the International Speech Contest.  He gave a rousing and enthusiastic speech entitled "Alan Magee Bullet Proof Interview Process - Patented Five Step Program".  While Vanessa served as the contest Judge, Darbie served as the Evaluator.  Both gave Alan very high marks for structure, content and presentation. It would have been very tough for anyone to earn more judges points and evaluator compliments than he did.  Crystal Reeves and Lisa Borowsky, our timers/vote counters, noted that everyone qualified for votes in both TT and speaking. Congratulations to Alan for being our club's representative at the Speech contest in February along with Andrea Miranda for Table Topics.  And while handing out kudos, belated high fives and hearty congratulations to Vanessa Lane for earning her Competent Communicator preceded by Crystal Reeves earning her Competent Leader!  Yeah for both of you! 

John Calloway, in his first time serving as General Evaluator did an excellent job summarizing all of the events of the day, reminded all to turn off their phones during the meeting and commended all who served in the various roles.  Anastasia Pass rallied everyone to remember that this is their club and we can each do our part to make it a great club.  She read the Toastmaster Mission Statements at Club, District and International levels and discussed how close our club is to achieving Distinguished TM Club designation.  Lastly, she reiterated that Toastmasters can provide not only opportunities to practice speaking but empowers us to become better communicators and strong leaders.  Our district rep, Marianne Gudina, will be attending our 2/2 meeting and we look forward to showing her what a unique and savvy group of members we have here at Sandy Springs. Jeremiah Jones gave a very thorough and helpful Ah/Grammarian report aided by a new report form. The meeting was closed with very nice feedback from the 2 guests who introduced themselves earlier as well as from another guest who arrived late, Monique Larue Wilson. Nice to have three guests and we look forward to seeing them again. After doing a flawless job on only her second time being Toastmaster, Andrea closed the meeting with a smile and on time. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sandy Springs Toastmasters Club 1-19-17 Meeting Recap

Our ever-faithful Sergeant-At-Arms, Bud Otto, after being out for a few weeks was back and had our room setup and organized to start the meeting on time with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Club President, Alan Magee opened the meeting by referring to the new issue of Toastmasters Magazine and encouraged all members to read the interesting articles and valuable tips throughout the monthly publication. He turned the meeting over to Anastasia Pass, the VP-Education as well as the Table Topics Contest Chair and TM.

Instead of the standard TT segment of the meeting and prior to the official club TT contest, Anastasia gave a presentation on Table Topics Contest rules, roles, responsibilities and procedures that we would employ at the club level and that we can expect at the next level of competition.  She went over the role of the Timers, Counters, Judges and Contestants. Resources and materials were previously circulated by Anastasia and Andrea Miranda, Contest Assistant.  Members are encouraged to review these materials, especially the tips and strategies for getting better at Table Topics responses.

After enjoying some hot coffee and fresh, yummy donuts, compliments of Reza Shah, the three contestants drew for order of competition, all those who had roles were given their forms & the contest began.  The brave contestants were Andrea Miranda, John Calloway and Alan Magee.  An excellent job was done by all who served in special roles.  Many thanks to Contest Assistant, Andrea Miranda; Judges, Bud Otto and Crystal Reeves (note that at next levels the identity of the judges will be confidential); and Timers/Counters, Reza Shah and Vanessa Lane.  Our newest member, Lisa Borowsky, presented the Word of the Day, "prevail" and also learned a lot about focus and good listening as she filled the Ah/Gr role for the first time.  We really appreciate that our guest, Tonya Woodrum, offered our club warm and very specific accolades.  The Timers/Counters carefully tallied the Judge's ballots and gave the results to Contest Chair who proudly announced the winner of the contest. Congratulations to Andrea Miranda who will be representing our Club at the Area Level Contest on Feb. 11 at Spelman College!  All members are welcome to attend the contest to cheer her on.

At our next meeting we will conduct the Club level International Speech Contest.  In order to qualify as a contestant for this speech contest you must be a member in good standing, in a club that is in good standing and you must have given at least 6 speeches from the Competent Communicator Manual. Right now, Alan Magee, Bud Otto and Steve Bragg are slotted to give speeches but anyone who meets the aforementioned criteria is welcome to give a speech.  Please contact Andrea Miranda, John Calloway, Anastasia Pass or Alan Magee if interested.  It was a great meeting and again, many thanks to all members who pulled it all together.

Hoping that Friday, January 20th everyone takes at least a moment to pause and contemplate one of the greatest American traditions, the Inauguration of the President of the United States.  We  should be so proud that we show the world how the peaceful transition of governmental power can happen. May God Bless the U.S.A.  See you next week.