February 11th, 2013 – International Speech Contest

On Monday 11th, we enjoyed of an exhilarating event: the Annual International Speech Contest!

Our gathering became twice extraordinary with the attendance of one of our most endearing members, Betty Nebelsky (DTM). Betty, we are glad to welcome you back!

During the Invocation and Pledge, Vaishali Sahay reminded us how important it is to participate in Toastmasters club meetings and to commit to the educational program. “Attending the meeting is not enough”, Vaishali said, “it is the active participation at our meetings that helps us to become proficient public speakers, better leaders and to grow as individuals.” Vaishali urged all —seasoned and new members—to fulfill a role in our coming meetings and be ready to excel in our speaking skills. Thank you Vaishali for your encouraging message!

Our President, Grace Weltman (DTM), highlighted the following business:

  • Volunteers are required to the 30th anniversary planning committee. Its chair, Julia Burge (DTM), will be more than happy to provide you with extensive information.
  • The improvement of the club website and social media is remarkable. Toastmasters International has recognized this progression and a visit from TI representatives to our club will be scheduled in the coming months. Congratulations! Let’s keep up our social media active by sending written contributions to our blog and Facebook page!

Grace addressed words wishing a prompt recovery to Anita, (ATMB) Gordon Kehmeier’s wife. All our good thoughts are with both Gordon and Anita.

Our Vice President of Membership, Emily Wratschko, informed us that Maryam Solhjou is leading the “Bring a Guest” club contest. Maryam leads by example; let’s follow her!

January newsletter is a success. Members complimented its editor, Karina Gaete Llanos, in this respect. Larry Savell (DTM) suggested a step forward in this area by entering the Toastmasters International contest for newsletters. Let’s get ready for new challenges!

Grace introduced the International Speech Contest Chair: Karina Gaete Llanos. Karina presented the contest as the world’s largest speech competition. This year over 30,000 contestants in 116 countries shall practice and give their presentations in local clubs –and they shall polish their skills as they advance for further levels of the competition. Karina introduced Kathy Branconier (CC/CL), who excelled in her job as Toastmaster –from the introductory remarks to the presentation of the speakers. Thank you Kathy for providing us the opportunity to learn by observing you as a proficient leader and Toastmaster.

Three seasoned speakers participated in the club’s Annual International Speech Contest:

  • Stan Laeno (ACG/CL) delivered his speech “I Believe I Can Fly”. Stan did a terrific job with his voice projection, but also used stance, movement, gestures and facial expressions to convey his message: “Whatever we want to achieve in this life starts by believing in ourselves.” Stan received the third place of the contest.
  • Julia Burge (DTM) shared her speech on “Career Advancement – Knowing What Matters”. She brilliantly organized a discourse with updated professional advice on work progression. Supporting her points and opinions with specific facts, Julia justified how results, image, timing and exposure influence the current core values of the career development. Julia won the second place of the contest.
  • Larry Savell (DTM) presented his speech “Pay Gratitude.” Larry appealed the noble cause of being thankful for the things we learnt from parents and mentors —because those lessons help us enormously to navigate our lives. “I regret never having said to my parents ‘Thank you for teaching me all that’”, he said. Larry concluded by urging the audience to pay gratitude by acknowledging our parents and mentors for what they taught us –and to be generous in passing the advice on to others. Larry won the first place of the International Speech Contest. Congratulations!

The closing of the International Speech Contest yielded the floor to a dazzling session of Table Topics led by one of our newest members: Theresa Branconier. “Would you rather…live in a rural or urban area?” With similar questions members exposed their preferences on mastering a musical instrument or languages; having a personal cook or driver; or not having cellphone or Internet. Theresa did a superb job commanding a dynamic extemporaneous part of the meeting.

Next Monday, February 18th, our club will be back to its regular meetings with a stimulating theme: Facing The Future. The meeting will be at the regular venue: at Coco’s Restaurant from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Come on in and join us! It will be fun!

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