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Friday, September 23, 2016

Sandy Springs Toastmasters Club Sept. 22 Meeting Recap

After Bud Otto opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance, and made a few opening remarks, he introduced the VPE, Anastasia Pass who welcomed everyone and then turned the meeting over to the Toastmaster of the day, Jan von Rensburg.  Jan has been a member for 4 years and though very busy with his career, it's always a treat when he attends and once again, did not disappoint with his wit and leadership.  Jan handed the baton to Vanessa Lane who conducted our Table Topics.  Vanessa challenged each attendee with questions about Fall & Autumn, Pumpkins, Pie, October Fest and other seasonal questions.  Paige Kerr won Best Table Topics response for her very animated and enthusiastic response which included rum and cokes and cheering on GA Tech football.

After a quick coffee break, compliments of Anastasia Pass, the speaking portion of the meeting began with GE Reza Shah introducing Evaluators.  The first speaker was Catherine Lautenbacher, giving her 8th speech about the history, ease and many benefits of using kettle bells.  As she pointed out, "sitting" is the new "smoking" health hazard and picking up a kettle bell or two at work or home is a great way to remind your muscles what they're supposed to do.  A great presentation as always. The second speaker was Phillip Knight who's career is also very demanding.  So when Phillip participates, it's always worth being there. Phillip's speech was his 3rd in the Advanced Communicator Bronze track and was about "pulling the thread" of stories in history that interest you. He challenged all of to find a piece of history that fascinates us and to dig into it to make it come alive and mean more than dates and places.  Michael McConnell offered Catherine positive and constructive feedback on her speech and brand new member, Andrea Miranda, told Phillip what she felt were the strong points of his speech and a couple ways to strengthen it. Catherine Lautenbacher won the Best Speaker Award and Andrea Miranda won Best Evaluator.

Jim Owen reminded all present that it is important for each of us to pay our fall Club dues.  Anastasia announced that we will be doing an Improv Workshop at our October 6th meeting and iinvites everyone to attend what surely will be a fun and unique meeting.  Many thanks to all who filled a role at this meeting and all meetings.  Our members are the lifeblood of our Club and their enthusiasm and contributions benefit not only the entire group, but improves their leadership and speaking skills as well!  Win, win!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sandy Springs Toastmasters Club 3133 September 15 Meeting Recap

After Bud Otto opened the meeting, he turned it over to Anastasia Pass, who wore several hats for the meeting.  First, as VPE, she welcomed the 2 guests, Bentley Boger and Chantel Thompson, and reminded current members to renew their dues. As Toastmaster, after all the roles were set and a few more opening remarks were made, Vanessa Lane gave us the Word of the Day: "hare" and Crystal Reeves entertained us royally with her very well told Joke of the Day about Forrest Gump trying to get into heaven.  Anastasia Pass then began the Table Topics session.  Instead of more somber reflection on the events of September 11, Anastasia brought in a box full of toys and let each participant select a toy that evoked some memories to speak about.  Some of the items were a mini soccer ball, Cookie Monster, matchbox car, several Golden Books, a baby doll, a Barbie doll, a stuffed dog, a Care Bear, and a Wizard of Oz lunch box. There were many happy and funny memories shared but Reza Shah won the Best Table Topics response with his story about a doll being his first toy and how he dissected it and divided it up among his 83 cousins and when they all got together, the fun of reassembling it began!

Jon Martindale spoiled us all with an amazing spread of instant coffee & tea, bananas, donuts, veges and dip!  And then Reza Shah arrived with a dozen more donuts! So after feasting and chatting, the speech segment began.  Bud Otto gave his entitled "Give Me That Old Time Country Music", the 5th project from the Advanced Communicator series. It was a brilliant comparison of classic country songs and themes to current day country music.  He even broke out singing (in tune no less!) several lines from Tennessee Ford's giant hit, Sixteen Tons. Catherine Lautenbacher gave Bud a rave review and also pointed out some ideas for strengthening his delivery.

Since we only had one speaker, Jon Martindale then offered to give an instructive presentation on all the elements of a good speech, including the GLOVE concept. Guest, Chantel Thompson, a past member of another Toastmasters group, surprised us by volunteering to be the General Evaluator. She gave our club her very positive feedback as seen from the eyes of a first time attendee.  All appreciated her stepping up.

Plans are still in the making for a fun and interactive Improv workshop for October 6th.  More details to come.  Next meeting is September 22.  See you then!