February 25th, 2013 – Imagination

On Monday 25th, we enjoyed of a creative gathering around the theme of Imagination.

The Invocation and Pledge led by Larry Savell (DTM) was an inspirational, patriotic reminder on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of George Washington’s birth. Larry highlighted two important commitments to the rule of law by the Commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, and first President of the United States: his refusal to the offer of becoming King of the United States, and stepping aside at the end of his second presidential term.

Struggle, deception, and bloodshed have marked the transfer of political power throughout world history. George Washington’s commitment to the rule of law –often at the expense of his own personal power and advantages—honor and ennoble him. King George III said that Washington’s retirement from the presidency along with his earlier resignation of Commander in Chief “placed him in a light the most distinguished of any man living,” and that his relinquishing power made him “the greatest character of the age.”

Immediately after opening the meeting, our President—Grace Weltman (DTM)–yielded the floor to the Treasurer, James Noh. James presented a second draft of the Spring Budget 2013. After a brief discussion the budget was approved. Our club has a budget and James won the Enthusiasm Award ribbon for his hard work and persistence on providing us with a financial plan. Thank you, James and congratulations!

The Vice President of Education (VPE), Shelly Lipanovich (CC), encouraged members to advance in their Competent Communicator and Competent Leader manuals. She reminded us that our club is “Select Distinguished”. However, the recognition of “President’s Distinguished” is needed as we held this one the last few terms. To obtain it, our club should meet two more goals. Our club either needs:

  1. One more Advanced Communicator Bronze, Silver, or Gold (ACB, S, G),
  2. Four more new members, or
  3. To have four out of seven officers trained.

Thank you Shelly for your always-valuable educational support!

Our President introduced the Toastmaster, Stan Laeno (ACG), who started by quoting Albert Einstein, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Stan—who is always a pleasure to hear of—marvelously conducted an engaging gathering.

While introducing the program participants, the grammarian, Lucy Mendoza, presented the Word of the Day: visionary—an adjective meaning having or showing clear ideas about what should happen or be done in the future; having or showing a powerful imagination; or relating to something that is seen or imagined in a dream or vision. Several speakers used visionary in their speeches, and we had the pleasure to hear several pieces of creative language, like:

  • “Hardwork is easy work not done in the proper time” by Grace Weltman (DTM).
  • “Toastmasters is a place where we can fail and not be fired for it” by Shelly Lipanovich.
  • “You must learn to disagree without being disagreeable” by Terry Chodosh (CTM).

Congratulations to all the speakers! Listening to your words is always a pleasure for the ears!

What do you think of when you hear astrology? Speed? Intelligence? The Table Topics Master, Vaishali Sahay, made the speakers develop their imagination when describing the thoughts that come up to them with the sound of a single word. The unique and entertaining impromptu setting created by Vaishali earned her the Best Program Manager ribbon. The Best Table Topics Speaker ribbon went to Terry Chodosh (CTM)—who won this recognition for two consecutive times. Congratulations, Vaishali and Terry!

Mentors Moment came to us from Grace Weltman (DTM), who reminded us of the importance of daily planning and organizing. When developing these two precious habits, first arrange the activities, people, or materials involved into a sensible order: priority, sequence, position in the chain of command, or administrative functions. Whatever   the order  used, plan and organize so that you proceed from a problem to a goal. “Take care of the little work, which also help to do better the big task and alleviates a lot of stress in your life”—Grace concluded. Thank you, Grace, for your always-professional advice!

We had the pleasure to hear three awe-inspiring speeches:

Emily Wratschko shared her speech entitled “The Adventures of Emily and Laura.”  Using a pleasant and expressive voice, Emily related her experiences around South Bay’s second hand record stores in search of records for a gramophone—her mom’s, Laura, latest acquisition. Thank you Emily for such an entertaining speech!

Theresa Branconier presented her discourse “Childish Innocence”. She told us about the spontaneous response of her five-year-old friend Alexis when Theresa asked her what to speak about on her speech. “Speak about fairies”, Alexis replied. Alexis’ spontaneous reaction made Theresa felt as happy as she was astounded for the naturalness of her friend’s answer and behavior. “We all should do more like a five-year-old to have a new outlook on the world”—Theresa concluded. Every word used added value, meaning, and impact to Theresa’s speech. Theresa won the Most Improved Speaker ribbon.

Shelly Lipanovich (CC) provided an informational and entertaining delivery entitled “Toastmasters Defined!” With her humorous speech, Shelly put some light on Toastmasters’ Communication and Leadership Tracks. Using helpful visuals, Shelly told us how to become a Competent Communicator—and then work towards Advanced Communicator Bronze, Silver, and Gold—and how to become a Competent Leader—and then work towards Advanced Leader Bronze and Silver. The two tracks that lead us to Distinguished Toastmaster! Shelly won the Best Speaker ribbon. Congratulations, Shelly!

The General Evaluator, Donald Longmire, introduced the evaluation part of the meeting by presenting Maryam Solhjou, Terry Chodosh (CTM) and Kathy Branconier (CC/CL)—the evaluators. Donald delivered an accurate summary of the planning and running of the meeting.

Maryam emphasized the humorous undertone and excellent eye contact used by Emily in her speech. The evaluator highlighted that an outstanding use of vocal variety—such as Emily’s-becomes even more powerful when accompanied by a more natural body language.

Terry underlined the impeccable organization of Theresa’s discourse, complemented with personal experiences. He pointed out the importance of voice variation, and avoiding lectern and notes—particularly when talking about an emotional topic.

Kathy highlighted Shelly’s natural humorous skills to give an educational delivery supported by visual aids—and encouraged members to advance in their manuals. The evaluator stressed the benefits of smiling while delivering a speech; however laughing may disturb the sense of good spirit when speaking to an audience. Kathy was voted Best Evaluator of the meeting.

Next Monday, March 4th, we shall talk about Romance. 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’s always fun!

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