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Friday, October 21, 2016

Sandy Springs Toastmaster 10-20-16 Meeting Recap

After our Sergeant At Arms, Bud Otto, opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and turned it over to President, Alan Magee, who made a few announcements, the Toastmaster, Anastasia Pass, introduced her daughter, Aubrey Sears, who conducted the Improv Workshop.  Aubrey worked in improv for three years at four different theaters in the Atlanta area including Whole World, Village Theater, Relapse and with Groupmind Media in Roswell.  Aubrey first explained some of the key points of improvisation including the key elements of a scene.  The key points were to Keep an Open Mind; Start in the Middle; Show Don't Tell; Play with Patterns; Keep Action in the Present and Silence is Not a Bad Thing.  Next, the group worked through five Improv exercises for energy-building, group awareness, body awareness, focus, listening, trust and concentration.  Following the warm-ups, we then moved into more improvisation work with specific scene-driven games.  After a quick coffee and donut break, compliments of Reza Shah, two members at a time worked together in challenge rounds and individual rounds.  The exercises and games that we performed were Eights; Zip-Zap-Zop; 1-20; Clap Pass; Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves, Repeat-And and Questions.  Alan Magee, on behalf of all the members, presented Aubrey with a certificate of appreciation and a little thank you gift from the Club for sharing her time and talent.  Members offered very positive feedback.  It was a fun meeting and everyone said that they would like to do it again but next time they'd love to spend even more time on improvised scene work!  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sandy Springs Toastmasters 10/13/16 Meeting Recap

Today's meeting opened with the customary Pledge of Allegiance led by Bud Otto who then turned the meeting over to the President, Alan Magee. Alan and several attendees, filled multiple roles.  Alan brought the Coffee, served as TM and also a Speech Evaluator.  Alan talked about his recent trip to Boston and all shared some of the things he learned, e.g. Paul Revere - myths and legends and Boston was largely a man made city.  Alan also told us that the TM National Hdqtrs has moved from California where's it's been since 1984 to Denver, CO.  He'll keep us posted on the ramifications of that.  Alan then introduced Steve Bragg, the Table Topics Master.  Given the recent Hurricane Matthew, Steve challenged us to think quickly on a wide variety of questions related to disaster preparedness.  Bud Otto, our Ti/V and Ah/Gr, won Best Table Topics award for his humorous response to his "Go-Bag" question.

A quick coffee break, compliments of Alan, with brownies from Paige, preceded the second  half of the meeting which included 3 speakers.  Catherine Lautenbacher, the first speaker, was introduced by Evaluator, Reza Shah.  Catherine's 9th speech in the CC Manual was on Persuade with Power and was entitled "How to Kill the Mrs".  The speech title was a bit misleading in this witty and humorous persuasive speech on how Catherine advocates eliminating the title of "Mrs." automatically assigned to women post-marriage and if done, will no doubt make America great again!  Anastasia Pass, who also gave the Word and Joke of the day, introduced the 2nd speaker, Vanessa Lane.  Vanessa's speech was #8 in the CC Manual - Getting Comfortable with Visual Aids, and was entitled "Baking a Pound Cake".  She proceeded to explain to us her secret process of making an award-winning pound cake which included displaying her special bowl and numerous ingredients.  The highlight of her speech was presenting the group with an actual pound cake that she had made, minus a big chunk confiscated by her husband, that all of us got to test and enjoy!  Alan Magee introduced the 3rd and final speaker, Crystal Reeves.  Crystal recently earned her CC and this was her first speech from the Advanced Entertaining Speeches series and entitled "Transplants".  It was a well-told story about the 3 new things about the Atlanta area that were her favorites as a transplant and then one item that she hasn't yet conquered - gardening. Her speech ended with the conclusion that she is going to get a "student loan" to handle that.  You had to be here!   Catherine won Best Speaker Award and Anastasia won Best Evaluator.

Paige Kerr took on the role of GE for the first time and did an excellent job. She astutely pointed out that roles can be tricky and especially the GE which often changes from meeting to meeting.  It's a good idea to discuss ahead of time with TM how to handle the GE role and also to read thru the tips on the TM website and in the manual prior to doing any of the roles - even if it's not the first time! We had one visitor today and hope the Roger returns again.  Reminder that next week we will be having an Improv Workshop which will certainly be an adventure you don't want to miss!  Please let Anastasia Pass or Alan Magee know if you want to do a specific role working towards your Competent Leadership certification and also when you are ready to give a speech.