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Friday, August 26, 2016

Sandy Springs Toastmasters August 25 Meeting Recap

Crystal Reeves served as our Humorous Speech Contest Chair, coordinating the 3 speakers, judges, timers and distributing all of the documents and rules.  Many thanks and a big round of applause to Crystal for all the time and energy she gave to this project!  Our three contestants all had us laughing.  Alan Magee gave the first speech entitled "Party of Four" which consisted of hilarious anecdotes about his experiences with "couples dating".  Red flags like knoodling and queso gluttony brought out the chuckles, Paige Kerr's speech entitled "Six Minutes" was about the nightmares of Atlanta traffic and a very unique way of coping with it by assigning positive business qualities to driver's bad behaviors.  Her determination to arrive alive and stay in the moment enhanced her humourous message.  Bud Otto was the final speaker and his speech "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" compared the unhealthy and ugle world of smokers and smoking in the past and the negative effects that were seemingly ignored to the world of today's mostly anti-smoking environment evidenced by what Bud called the "leper colony" smoking rooms at the airport.

While the judges met, club members offered each of the speakers constructive and candid feedback on strengths and weaknesses of their presentations.  The judges, Michael McConnell, Jim Owen and Duane Humphrey, met to go over their evaluations and determine the winner of our club contest.  After deliberating, Bud Otto was announced as our first place winner and Paige Kerr  won second place.  All were encouraged to continue to hone their topic rich speeches and try again next year.

After the coffee break, Anastasia Pass led The Lost Art of Complaining Round Robin Table Topics session.  Anastasia started the story and then passed it off to the next person at a rapid fire pace.  Each person had to pick up where the last person left off and had to weave into their part of the story some kind of complaint.  Paige Kerr won for best table topic response.  We had one guest at the meeting, John Sears, Anastasia's youngest son, who was visiting from his home in Salt Lake City.

Next meeting we will sadly say goodby to member Duane Humphrey.  We have all enjoyed getting to know him and been amazed by his speaking skills and the moving stories that he has shared.  So it will be a bittersweet moment because while we're happy for him that he has new adventures ahead, he will be missed by all of us in the Sandy Springs Toastmasters.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Toastmasters 8/18 Meeting Recap

Sandy Springs Toastmasters (Club 3133):

Anastasia Pass performed the TM duties for the meeting.

Catherine Lautenbacher took on a member's challenge to do a Table Topics on the Olympics. Questions to participants ranged from drug testing controversies to whether Dressage and Synchronized Diving should really be considered Olympic events.  Steve Bragg won for his humorous response on various events at the Olympics like water polo. During Table Topics this week, the group tried a new technique for the Ah/Grammarian role.  Instead of hand tracking the verbal "crutches" members use like ah, um, so, like, you know, as people responded a bell was rung each time they used a crutch.  After much laughter and discussion, it was clear that there were mixed feelings in the group about this strategy. Since it is important for our progress as speakers to pay close attention to not using crutches, we agreed to try it again but not at every meeting and only during the Table Topics session. However, all were open to letting the Speaker request this technique be used during their prepared speech.  

Paige Kerr provided delicious Starbucks coffee for the break.

Duane Humphrey, working towards his ACB and gave a speech about "Changing Your Perspective" which was a very personal and poignant story about how he and his wife had to change their perspective in a big way during their journey to start their family.  He captured the audience's attention right from the outset by blowing up a balloon and continued to use the visual aid to demonstrate important points about pressure, resistance and mental toughness - all leading to changing your perspective.

Many thanks to evaluator Crystal Reeve, for her detailed and helpful feedback particularly on the aspects that Duane asked her to pay close attention. Since there was only one speaker and one evaluator, they were both winners!

The upcoming meeting schedules are live on the Speak Up Sandy Springs site.  Please review future dates so that we can adjust as needed if you will be out during the next few meetings or if you would like to serve in a particular role. Next week we are hoping to have our Humorous Speech Contest.  Please contact Anastasia Pass or Alan Magee immediately if you are interested in being a contestant!  The winner will represent our Club at the Area competition.