May 20th, 2013 – Movies

What is the film title of the sequel to Alice In Wonderland? Who played Baby in the film Dirty Dancing? Who played James Bond in ‘Live and Let Die’? … On Monday 20th we had an awesome time taking about Movies.

After Babette Davis put the path to our meeting by leading the Invocation and Pledge, the board:

  • Confirmed that our 30th Anniversary celebration will take place on Friday June 28th:


  1. The cost is $35.00 per person and payments are accepted online or by check.
  2. Deadline to register is June 17th.
  3. Auction items are welcomed.


  • Reminded us that dues are due.
  • Updated us on the mentorship program:
  1. An officer role for mentorship will be created.
  2. Forms for role guidance are with the Sargent at Arms .
  • Stated that a speakathon event is being studied.
  • Notified that the induction ceremony for David Lee, Mavera Mir, Latrece Hawkins and Babette Davis will take place in June.
  • Reported that a Toastmasters Book Club is being considered. The club would meet for one hour every other month prior to our regular meeting. Ask Maryam Solhjou for more information.
  • Welcomed our guests: Adam and Asma.

The first-time Toastmaster, James Noh, exceptionally led the meeting: a superb presentation that brought him the Best Program Manager ribbon. Congratulations James!

The Toastmaster introduced the functionaries who presented their roles. Latrece Hawkins, the grammarian, introduced the Word of the Day: fortitude—a noun referring the mental strength and courage that allows someone to face danger, pain, etc.

We heard some interesting use of the language and expressions. For example:

  • What is there not to like about a Disney movie? By Kathy Branconier.
  • Why do people go to the movies when you have TV? By Betty Nebelsky.
  • Pride and Prejudice…my mother decided to drag me to that movie! By Austin Burge.

Although we heard stimulating quotes, inspiring thoughts, provoking words and rousing sayings, only one speaker used fortitude. With patience and fortitude, eventually one day, we may extensively use the Word of the Day.

What’s the last movie that made you cry? What’s your favorite romantic movie/comedy/thriller? What about your all-time favorite movie? With these questions, and many more, the Table Topics Master, Jamel Wong took us to an exciting journey through the Seventh Art world. Theresa Branconier was voted Best Table Topics speaker.

During Mentor’s Moment, Larry Savell (DTM) reminded us of the importance to keep the speech simple. “If you present a professional speech in Toastmasters, don’t throw out technical terms nor fill [it] with issues that the audience has no relationship or concept of”—Larry stated. “If you present your speech in front of coworkers or in a conference, do not try to cover every single area of the topic you talk about. Keep in mind that, at times, less is more”—Larry concluded.

An always-worthwhile reminder Larry. Thank you!

We had the pleasure to hear three committed speeches followed by three constructive evaluations:

In the speech “What Did You Say?” Maryam Solhjou told us about assertiveness and the four styles of communication: passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive and assertive. We may be passive and not encourage ourselves, or aggressive and roughshod over others, or passive-aggressive and smile while harming others behind their backs. To build healthy relationships, we must learn to be assertive – that is, to be clear, direct, and respectful in how we communicate. “Be aware of what type of communicator you are”—Maryam concluded. Maryam was voted Best Speaker. Excellent job Maryam!

Vaishali Sahay, who evaluated Maryam’s speech, highlighted the suitable choice of the topic, the appropriate use of gestures and body language, the proper research of the theme and the effective choice of words that the speaker used during her delivery. The evaluator encouraged the orator to avoid the use of notes and suggested using examples evenly on the four types of communicators.

Bill Bau (ACB/CL) shared “General Evaluator”—a summary of the duties of this role during Toastmasters meetings. The speaker presented an outline of the parliamentary procedure and stated the most important responsibilities and actions to be taken by the General Evaluator prior to the meeting, upon arrival at the meeting and during the meeting.

During her evaluation to Bill’s speech, Shelly Lipanovich (CC/CL) observed the convenience of the theme to fulfill the project and the relatable subject of interest. Shelly suggested enhancing visual aids and adding more information to them.

Anne Marie Knudsen (ATMG/CL) presented “Is your house safe?”—an extensive guideline of the products we use on a daily basis and may have an impact in our health: from dyes used in foods to cleaning products. The speaker called on our common sense to encourage us all to be smart consumers. “Now that I have scared you all, common sense prevails”—Anne Marie concluded. Anne Marie was voted Most Improved Speaker.

During his evaluation to Anne Marie’s speech, Terry Chodosh (CTM) underlined the applicability of the topic to all in the room. Terry also stressed the detailed and exceptional research executed by the speaker to present her speech and the instructional message contained in it. The evaluator recommended asking a question to the audience when opening the speech. Terry also emphasized the positive effect of presenting the delivery with a touch of humor, encouraged the speaker to talk to people –instead of paying attention to the notes—and to step away from the lectern. The complete evaluation given by Terry allowed him win the Best Evaluator ribbon.

Congratulations to Anne Marie and Terry!

The General Evaluator, Theresa Branconier, highlighted:

  • The appropriateness and briefness of the Invocation and Pledge.
  • The long but informative business meeting.
  • The readiness of the functionaries and the agendas.
  • The quality of the speeches and positive evaluations.

The General Evaluator also reminded us that:

  • The Ballot Counter collects votes and notes.
  • When the hammer hits, the session starts. Toastmasters should be mindful of everyone’s time.

Next Monday, June 3rd, is our OPEN HOUSE! We shall talk about Community Awareness. 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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