At a Toastmasters meeting, you never know what interesting topics find their way into a speech next. This meeting started off with a speech about fire alarms with a bit of artistry and drama built into it.
Our second speaker was Sheila Wilkinson. She gave a speech about clutter. It was a very animated speech that was structured in a very interesting and effective way.
Nate Otto lead the Table Topics.
We spun the globe, pointed our finger, and landed on countries that we spoke about for 1-2 minutes.
Jeff McRaven was first up speaking about Portugal.
John Wendtland talked about the Dominican Republic.
Sheila Wilkinson was next up giving an impromptu speech on Peru.
John Satorius spoke about the Pacific Ocean.
Finally, Wyann Hoage related all she knew about Papua New Guinea to the group.
Several other speaking roles followed. At each meeting we strive to give everyone the opportunity to exercise their public speaking skills.
To fill in our new members, we replaced our prepared speech section of the meeting with informational speeches about our organization and what we do.
First, Heidi Schreiner spoke on officer roles.
Then, we were debriefed on the Competent Communicator series of speeches that everyone begins with.
Next, Jeff McRaven gave a talk on the Leadership Manual and how leadership is integrated into our educational program.
Finally, Steven Daigle talked about speech contests, conventions, and “Distinguished Clubs”.
Following the prepared speeches, we moved on to Table Topics. This is the time during the meeting that we get an opportunity to speak extemporaneously on a topic given to us.
First up was Jeff McRaven. Jeff is well-known for creating challenging Table Topics sessions. This particular night he was on the receiving end.
Long-time member Nate Otto followed up with the next question. Nate is a Table Topics speaker extraordinaire.
We do not require guests to speak; however, we had a guest who did a wonderful job of tackling a topic.
Finally, Sheila Wilkinson chimed in on the final topic of the night.
It was a dark and stormy night… we had our first scary stories themed meeting.
First up was Justin Weichel with his icebreaker. An icebreaker is a speech about yourself and is the first speech given by a new member.
How good does it feel to finish your first speech?
Next up was TIm Haukeness with a motivational speech. Tim has his own very distinctive way of injecting humor and energy into a speech.
In the Table Topics segment of the meeting (impromptu speaking), we moved on to scary stories.
Ivan Stoyanov opened the meeting discussing humans’ search for meaning by referencing Victor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”. John Wendtland then highlighted the far-reaching implications of the US’s geographic advantages. Finally, Jeff McRaven narrated the life of a famous American, framing the essence of his character with a letter he had written.
Sheila Wilkinson conducted interviews with several members in talk show format.
The entire meeting was conducted with a radio show theme. A large screen was used to separate the speakers from the audience. This enabled the speakers and the audience to focus on the vocal aspects of speaking.
Paul Langford led the evening with, “The Most Fascinating Place on Earth to Vacation”.
Alicia Saddoris then discussed different types of health and well-being.
Finally, Julie Court presented on leadership role models in the past and in the present in “To Be Or Not To Be”.
We planned a meeting that was not our normal 3-speeches-3-evaluations-and-table-topics night. Instead we had a hands-on learning session about Judging combined with a humorous speech by Alicia Saddoris.
First, Alicia gave her humorous speech entitled, “Undomesticated Humans”. We look forward to her competing in the Toastmasters’ W3 Area Humorous Speech competition in September.
Then Jeff McRaven gave a speech entitled, “The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Said”.
It was a well-honed humorous speech that Jeff had given many times in the past. Heidi Schreiner lead a practice judging session with the group. Jeff’s speech was difficult to judge. It was supposed to be…
Then Heidi gave a speech entitled, “The Value of Shame”. Jeff used the speech to lead a second practice judging session with the group.
We were given handouts of the official judging sheets used in Toastmaster speech competitions as judging aids. On the sheets all elements of good public speaking are weighted by relative importance. Exposure to both the process of judging a speech and the system used to judge speeches helps members better develop their own public speaking skills.