02 Oct 2018 Meeting Narrative

Kelly brought the meeting to order to stating the mission of the club. I think it has something to do with making people feel horrible about themselves, turning into shut-ins, and dying alone with two tons of unread newspapers. Or maybe the opposite.

Okay, okay. It is:

The mission of our Noon Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment. We offer every member the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.

President’s Remarks

She then turned the meeting over to our president MeL who exudes self-confidence and the openness that is so critical for personal growth.

(You know, the problem with using sarcasm is that people think you are using it when you aren’t. Just assume when I am talking about people, I’m not being sarcastic. The truth is, I’m a very nice guy. Or at least I like to think of myself as a nice guy. I can see how there might be some confusion on the matter.)

We had a few absences so MeL got our guest Thea Daniels to give the second speech. More on that shortly.

A recent change for Noon Toastmaster is the physical make-up of our room, which makes setting up the meeting much easier.

We are going to have an open house Toastmasters meeting on 30 Oct. This is easy to remember because it is the 5th Tuesday of the month. It’s really important because we could use some fresh blood in the group. So if you can help out, we are in need of people to fill many positions like Toastmaster. Let’s do it for the group.

Gimme an N! Gimme an O! Gimme another O! Gimme a final N! What’s that spell?!

Toastmaster Brian

Brian was Toastmaster for the day. He did his own thought of the day and asked a number of insightful question:

  • Do fish ever get thirsty? Answer.

  • Why is it called a building when it is already built? Answer.

  • When they say dog food is new and improved, who tastes it? Answer.

  • If money doesn’t grow on trees, why do banks have branches? Answer.

  • Why does round pizza come in square boxes? Answer.

  • Why doesn’t glue stick in the bottle? Answer.

Just in case you have children who might ask you such questions, I’ve provided answers for each of these seemingly intractable questions. But just because I know you are dying to find out: dog food companies maintain dogs for taste-testing.

Word of the Day: Mentor

The word of the day was “mentor” which is “a trusted counselor or guide or tutor or coach.” Some of the responses:

  • Mark: “Back in the 80s, my business was at risk of going broke until I was mentored by a very curmudgeonly old gentleman.”

  • Anna: “I wish I had a mentor for everything — for work, for life, for diet, for exercise.”

  • MeL: “I have a wonderful opportunity with the soon-to-be Sonic Internet Club to be their first mentor.”

  • Steve: “I want a mentor to send me to college. I don’t want to work for it because I want to sleep until noon.”


Then it was time for the speakers. The first was me, “Why You Should Read Don Quixote.” It’s part of my Dynamic Leadership path. The truth is, I waited until the last minute to write the speech, which was fine. But that meant that I didn’t practice it much. That’s a good thing, however, because I’m supposed to take the input I received and use it to rework the speech. I’m looking forward to that.

The biggest criticism of my talk was not my excessive use of “uh” but rather that I don’t speak loud enough. Listening to my recording of the meeting proved that to be the case. I could barely hear me. But that was fine given I don’t have to be reminded of what I said.

What was Elvis Presley’s last top-10 single on the Billboard Hot 100? The first person to tell me wins a dollar!

The next speaker was Thea Daniels who spoke on how Toastmasters has helped her push herself out into the world. This resonated a lot for me. I use Toastmasters all the time to force myself to do things I don’t want to. I see it as Toastmasters homework. So even if I make a total fool of myself, I can justify it to myself as a part of my attempts at self-improvement.

Thea went on to exchange the fear of doing something with the fear of not doing something. It’s a hopeful message from an experienced Toastmaster to many of the newbies in Noon Toastmasters.

Also of interested is what a great talk she gave without preparation. It was inspiring.

Table Topics

MeL did Table Topics.

  • Mark: What’s the difference between ignorance and innocence? “Ignorance is not being aware — not having the information you need… Innocence is less of a problem… But we don’t want to let someone take it so far along that they believe every story from a Nigerian prince.”

  • Bert: What are your top 5 personal values? “I think about my familial values — I want to raise my two daughters well.”

  • Anna: What do you have that you cannot live without? “I know it is a cliche, but I really can’t live without my phone.”

  • Steve: Who do you love and what are you doing about it? “I love everyone! Why not? It doesn’t cost any more.”


Brian took back over as the Toastmaster. He introduced the General Evaluator, which was himself due to absence. He introduced Steve to evaluate for my speech, which seemed to come as a shock to him.

Steve’s comments turned into a kind of dialog. But he did note that I could speak a little louder. I’M TRYING. REALLY!

Steve also sang this song.

Brian discussed Thea’s speech. He noted how well it was structured.

General Evaluators

Next was Anna as Grammarian. She noted some phrases that she liked:

  • Mark: ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  • Thea: the only stupid question is the unasked question.

  • Frank: broccoli of literature.

Bert was the Ah Counter. He noted that nothing was really worth noting other than the ah firework display of my speech.

Mark presented the Timer’s Report:

  • Speakers

    • Frank: 7:09

    • Thea: 7:04

  • Table Topics

    • Mark: 1:30

    • Bert: 2:06

    • Kelly: 2:02

    • Anna: 0:40

    • Steve: 1:00

  • Evaluations

    • Steve: 1:45

    • Brian: 0:35

  • Grammarian (Anna): 1:42

  • Ah Counter (Bert): 1:41

Toastmaster Final Remarks

Brian said that he liked the new set-up. The group seemed to agree with that assessment.

After going over the opening positions for the next meeting, Brian turned the meeting back over to MeL.

President’s Final Remarks

MeL reminded everyone to let the group know if they are not going to be able to attend the meeting. And she thanked Thea for stepping up and helping us out at the meeting.

Remember: if you haven’t paid your membership dues, please do. They are over-do. We are currently in the grace period.

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