May 13th, 2013 – Education

How do people learn best? Which subjects can educational institutions improve? What in the end does it mean to be educated? On Monday 13th, our meeting pivoted around Education.

Our club lived the most emotional Invocation and Pledge ever when Babette Davis treated us with an exquisite interpretation of the National Anthem: a moment that will stay in our memories for a very long time. Thank you Babette!

The board welcomed our guests Danielle, Michelle and David, and informed that:

  • The minutes from May 6th stand as corrected.
  • The Open House will take place on June 3rd. Invitations and program will be distributed soon. The goal of the event is to bring someone who could benefit from Toastmasters.
  • The mentor training will take place on May 17th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
  • The 30th Anniversary Celebration will take place on Friday, June 28th 2013 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm at Raffaello’s Restaurant. The restaurant accommodates dietary restrictions. Fee is $35 to be paid online or by check before May 30th. Bring object donations in or contact Shelly Lipanovich (CC/CL) for more information.
  • New members will be voted on May 20th.
  • Induction ceremony for new members will take place on June 3rd.
  • Officer elections will take place on June 10th.

The Toastmaster, Karina Gaete Llanos (CC), skillfully conducted a meeting that made us remember school times, old friends and unforgettable teachers. The Toastmaster introduced the functionaries who presented their roles, respectively. Theresa Branconier, the Grammarian, introduced the Word of the Day: foster—a verb meaning to help (something) grow or develop, and it was widely used during the meeting.

Do you think that education begins at home? If you had to go to college again, which field of study would you choose? Who was your favorite teacher at school and why? With these questions the Table Topics Master, Emily Wratschko took us to an entertained and dynamic extemporaneous speaking session. The outstanding preparation and command of this part of the meeting made Emily win the Best Program Manager ribbon. The Best Table Topics Speaker ribbon went to David Lee, our guest! Congratulations, Emily and David!

During Mentor’s Moment, Betty Nebelsky (DTM) gave us a few hints to eliminate filler words on our speeches. “If you use them to stall when asked a question, repeat the question to buy time while you think.  If it’s to fill awkward pauses, try using, “in addition to”, “ on the other hand” or, “in other words”.  Remember pauses are good: they give you and your audience a break”-Betty concluded. An excellent reminder Betty! Thank you!

Three speakers shared with us three animated speeches—one Ice Breaker among them— followed by supportive evaluations:

In the speech “Jack-of-all-trades, Master of One”, Latrece Hawkins—taking her personal and professional experience—presented a radiography of “jacks”, and she told us how this trait or circumstance can be a positive one. Not knowing initially how to cope with this attribute, she had to learn to love herself to accept it.

Steve Weltman evaluated Latrece’s speech. Steve highlighted the fluency, clarity, and humor of the speaker’s delivery accompanied by an excellent eye contact and use of notes. The evaluator also pointed out the good use of vocal variety, voice projection and pitch—adding intensity to the discourse. Steve suggested starting the story at an earlier point in time—in order to know the speaker’s perspective. The impressive quality of Steve’s evaluation made him win the Best Evaluator ribbon.

“How many of you have had a life-changing experience?” With this question Grace Weltman (DTM) introduced her speech “A Close Call Changes It All”—a summary of her close call with death experienced three years ago, and the decisions made at that point in time. “Looking back, I am thankful for the opportunity she has been given to transform my life and the other’s lives”—Grace concluded. This striking account made Grace win the Best Speaker ribbon.

Austin Burge (CC/ALB) evaluated Grace’s speech. Austin emphasized the clearness, fluency and the organization of the delivery—with a perfect use of pauses, pitch and vocal variety. Austin pointed out that, due to time restraints, the speech was concluded on rush—as a consequence, the discourse ended with a weak conclusion. The evaluator suggested working on a better distribution of the time allowed to the assignment, and concluding with a strong recommendation. Austin also made the suggestion of relaxing arms in order to better convey the oral message by improving body language.

Shelly Lipanovich (CC/CL) presented “Skin Care Maintenance.” Starting by the analogy of cars and furniture maintenance, Shelly delivered an equally interesting, useful and entertaining speech on the importance of caring about our skin. “Healthy, up-kept skin improves personal appearance. […] I consider my face my marketing tool, therefore I care for it”—Shelly conclude.  Shelly was voted Most Improved Speaker.

Gordon Kehmeier (ATMB), who evaluated Shelly’s discourse, highlighted the excellent organization of the delivery—accompanied by an exceptional humor, vocal variety and pitch change. The evaluator suggested avoiding the use of the lectern on future speeches.

The General Evaluator, Julia Burge (DTM):

  • Praised the superb and distinctive Invocation and Pledge we enjoyed on this day.
  • Commented the good development of the meeting thanks to the contribution of all the functionaries.
  • Reminded that the Table Topics Master should ask for the Timer’s report and the votes at the end of this section of the meeting.

We concluded the meeting with “+1”. David Lee came in as a guest and left the meeting as a member! Welcome to our club, David!

Next Monday, May 20th, we shall talk about “Movies”. 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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