April 18th 2019 Noon Toastmasters Meeting

Toastmasters

Minutes

Location

Brookdale Paulin Creek

Timing

Start Time: 12:12 pm

End Time: 1:12 pm

Attendees

9 Members: President MeL Konrad, VP Education Brian Buckman, VP Membership Bert Rangel, Treasurer Mark Burchill, Secretary Frank Moraes, Holly Young, Orlando Kai O’Shea, Stephanie K Thatcher, Steve Domkowski.

3 Gusts: Area 25 Director Donica Hopkins, Jennifer Shannon, and Gabriel.

Roles

President: MeL Konrad

Toastmaster: Mark Burchill

Educational Minute: MeL Konrad

Table Topics: Orlando Kai O’Shea

Grammarian: Frank Moraes

Ah Counter / Timer: Stephanie K Thatcher.

Speakers

Holly Young: “All About Holly” — Dynamic Leadership (Ice Breaker)
      Evaluated by Frank Moraes.

Jennifer Shannon: “Just Checking” — Area 25 Speech Contest Winner
      Evaluated by the club.

New Buisness

District conference is coming up on 11 May 2019.

Next Meeting

7 May 2019

Motions

None.

Committee Reports

None.

Narrative

I started by reading the club mission and still managed to say “um” a lot.

President’s Remarks

MeL started by introducing our members. Gabriel attended his second meeting with us and I noticed that he signed up to do a speech in a few meetings. So I think we have a new member!

Also at the meeting was Area Director Donica Hopkins and Jennifer Shannon, who came to give her Area-winning speech “Just Checking” — which I assumed was about ethical approaches to banking.

District Conference

The District Conference is coming up on 11 May in San Ramon. I suspect a lot of people will go to it just for the chance to experience the wonder that is San Ramon. There’s a reason why everyone calls it “the 4th largest city in Contra Costa County”: because it’s population is below that of Richmond, Antioch, and Concord. How many other cities in Contra Costa County can say that?

In addition to San Ramon, there will be a lot of great speeches (if you’re into that kind of thing). The conference costs $99 and — like most Toastmasters events — should be fun. MeL will send out information about it this next week.

Our next meeting will be 07 May 2019. We were going to have an open house on 30 Apr 2019, but it turns out that the District will be supporting open houses in May, so we are probably going to do it then.

Orlando Gives Big Speech

MeL introduced Orlando who recently spoke in front of a large group.

He said that he was on the organizing committee for the Santa Rosa Trans Rights March — which took 8 weeks. There were about 400 people at the event and all the organizers gave speeches.

Orlando said that he had prepared remarks but that he found he was much better talking off the cuff.

His speech was simultaneously translated into Spanish and American Sign Language — something that none of the organizers had planned their speeches to allow for.

Congratulations, Orlando!

Upcoming Elections

The Toastmaster year runs from July through June. And that means we need to elect new officers. It’s a good thing because we really need to get rid of the current set of losers. (Like me.)

MeL went over the role of the Vice-President of Public Relations. Our current VP-PR, Anna Wong, has abandoned us to live in San Francisco. This makes no sense! Now I could understand if she had moved to San Ramon. I mean, who wouldn’t give up their last remaining molars to live in the 4th largest city in Contra Costa County? But San Francisco? Why?!

Anna will be sorely missed. So will her partner Marlee.

The VP-PR is the person responsible for reaching out to people and letting them know about the club. They do things like social media where they get into arguments about how Tony Robbins really isn’t that good a speaker and which toothpaste is best for public speaking. They might also reach out to local businesses and give speeches. Or anything else that might help promote the club. It’s a great opportunity to use your creativity.

Nominations will be in May and voting in June. After elected, all officers will have an electronic monitoring device placed on their ankles so they can’t escape.

Uriah Heep
Roland Young as Uriah Heep

Toastmaster Mark

My wishes have been fulfilled. Somehow, the word got out that I wasn’t too happy about all these foreign phrases people were using. So Mark picked:

Dulce et decorum est

Obsequious

This was one of my favorite words as a child because of Lord of the Rings. After out of the influence of the ring, Tolkien describes Gollum thus:

For that moment a change, which lasted for some time, came over him. He spoke with less hissing and whining, and he spoke to his companions direct, not to his precious self. He would cringe and flinch, if they stepped near him or made any sudden movement, and he avoided the touch of their elven-cloaks; but he was friendly, and indeed pitifully anxious to please. He would cackle with laughter and caper if any jest was made, or even if Frodo spoke kindly to him, and weep if Frodo rebuked him.

Sounds kind of like me. Did Tolkien make me the way I am?!

We discussed Uriah Heep, the character in David Copperfield. I have a confession to make: I’ve never heard the band. I was surprised to hear that they were a heavy metal band. I think I had always assumed they were a folk band. I listened to a little bit of them. They’re pretty good: great vocal harmonies and a rockin’ rhythm section!


Video: Uriah Heep performing “Easy Livin’

Well, here’s what the group had to say:

  • MeL: “I’m going to go the opposite of obsequious because that’s my cat, Sally.”
  • Brian: “Last night, my dog Brody was very obsequious behind me as I cooked bacon.
  • Holly: “Obsequious makes me think of The Stepford Wives and the creepy spell all those women were under.”
  • Stephanie: “Growing up my mother was quite obsequious about doing a complete body-scan at the doorway before she would allow me to go to school.”
  • Donica: “It’s very important at work that I am very obsequious to make sure that my boss is not trapped somewhere without a flight or hotel.”
  • Jennifer: “There’s a word for when the thing sounds like what it is.”
  • Orlando: “I’ve never met a cat in my life that was obsequious.”
  • Steve: “Donald Trump is not obsequious to anyone, but being a politician, he is full of Uriah Heep.”
  • Gabriel: “My wife is pregnant and last night I was not willing to be obsequious and go downstairs to get her lotion.”
  • Bert: “I am an obsequious monk of the hospitality industry.”

Speaker One: Holly

Holly gave her speech “All About Holly.” She talked about her life starting in Los Angeles and moving to the Bay Area when she was 12. Then she moved back south. Probably because her family didn’t settle in San Ramon — known throughout California as the 4th largest city in Contra Costa County. Finally, three years ago, she moved back to the Bay Area.

She spoke about her personal (marriage, children) and working (30 years in the real estate industry) life.

Her goal with Toastmasters is to consolidate her experiences and learn to coach and help others.

Anxiety: more than a 17-point word
Anxiety: more than a 17-point word

Speaker Two: Jennifer Shannon

Jennifer gave her Area 25 Speech Contest winning “Just Checking.” In it, she talked about her theory (from her psychological practice) that anxiety came from people focusing on things that are uncertain. “Is that pain in my arm cancer?” Or, “Am I going to lose my job?”

People can overcome this by assuming what they do about most things: that all is fine unless they have evidence otherwise.

It was clear why Jennifer won the Area contest!

Table Topics

Orlando was in charge of Table Topics where he gave money-related topics in celebration of tax time.

  • How much do you like to pay for a meal out?
    Holly: I like a good meal so I’ll pay a lot of money. Not a lot. Sixty dollars?
  • If you had to spend $150 on something non-practical in the next 24 hours, what would it be?
    Mark: A nice meal and a night at River’s End with my sweety.
  • What do you like to spend frivolous amounts of money on?
    Gabriel: I like to spend frivolous amounts of money on my motorcycle.
  • If you were guaranteed a good salary to do anything, what would you do?
    Bert: I enjoy what I do so much that I don’t even look outside of that.
  • What were you spending money on when you were 16?
    MeL: Ripple. [Now I know why I get along so well with MeL! -FM]
  • When was the last time that you wasted money?
    Steve: Ryan has no money at all. So when we go to Karaoke, the DJ always says, “Girls, if you like to go to McDonald’s, Ryan’s your man.”
  • Does money buy happiness?
    Stephanie: Money itself doesn’t buy happiness but what you do with it can add to your happiness.
  • What would you do with a sudden windfall?
    Bill Clarkson: Pay people to move to San Ramon so that it would be the 3rd largest city in Contra Costa County.

Speaker One Evaluation: Frank

I evaluated Holly’s Ice Breaker. It was really good — especially for a first speech. She speaks very clearly with few ums, ah, or other filler words.

She had a few pacing problems because she refused to wear her glasses and have access to her notes. I wouldn’t even know where to start if I did that.

I also recommended (I got this from MeL) to start and end the speech at the same place. That is: circle back to where you start.

It was great to see a new member speaking. Next time, Orlando will give his first speech.

Grammarian: Frank

I flailed around for a bit. Normally, I focus on what I like, but I forgot to take notes. So I babbled a bit about unusual word choices like “frivolous amounts.” But the difficult thing about being grammarian is that everyone in the group speaks rather well. We really need some ESL people so I can get out my red pen. (Just kidding. I’d be even nicer to them. You wouldn’t believe how bad my 5 words of Spanish are!)

Timer/Ah Counter: Stephanie

The times were:

  • Holly (4-6): 5:39
  • Jennifer (5-7): 6:45
  • Table Topics (1-2)
    • Holly: 0:27
    • Mark: 0:27
    • Gabriel: 0:10
    • Bert: 0:30
    • MeL: 1:04
    • Steve: 1:58
  • Frank (2-3): 2:48.

The Ahs:

  • Jennifer: 0
  • Gabriel: 0
  • Mark: 1
  • Holly: 2
  • Orlando: 4
  • MeL: 5
  • Frank: [redacted].

Wrap Up

MeL polled our guests:

  • Gabriel: I loved it. It’s my second time coming. I thought it was great. It’s exactly what I’m looking for.
  • Jennifer: I’ve been meaning to visit and the contest is a great excuse to do so… There is a huge benefit in doing a speech over and over again. I didn’t realize that before.
  • Donica: I really like this layout. It focuses attention.
  • Bill Clarkson: It’s amazing how unimpressive the largest city in Sonoma County is.

Our next meeting is May 7th.

And the meeting was adjourned.

Still from David Copperfield (1935) taken under Fair Use. Anxiety taken from Pixabay and licensed under Pixabay License.

Narrative of the 08 Jan 2019 Regular Meeting

So many Toastmasters showed up to this meeting that we are considering holding future meetings in MeL’s car.

Okay, okay, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was a pretty good turn-out for a rainy day. Plus we had two guests, which always brightens things up. We are looking forward to having the whole gang back together for the next meeting. In MeL’s car.

MeL acted as Sergeant at Arms and introduced President MeL. She introduced our two guests: Orlando and Geo. And then she introduced the Toastmaster who was… me.

I learned a lot doing it. I have no problem getting up in front of a group and making a fool of myself. But I’m totally disorganized. I couldn’t even follow my own notes. But we’ll get to that shortly.

I started by complaining about the small audience size that why comedians hate Tuesday night gigs. Do you want to know why? Well, you should have been at the meeting!

Kidding!

Finally, I got to my prepared comments. They were about what I most like about Toastmasters. And this is the diversity of the group. In my normal life, almost everyone I know is like me: pointy-headed intellectuals with more neuroses than sense. But at Toastmasters, I get to meet what I think of as normal people — even though they are doubtless also messes in their own wonderful ways!

Word of the Day

In my role as Toastmaster, I forgot to find someone to do the Thought/Joke of the Day. So I told a joke. It was a good joke. Unfortunately, it can’t really be related on paper. Or at least: it wouldn’t be funny. But if you want to hear it, just ask me to tell you the library joke. It’s part of my series, “Jokes You Can Tell Your Grandmother.”

Next up was the Word of the Day. And that word was “delicious.” But in my excitement to be Toastmaster, I didn’t think of an example. So I had to stand in front of everyone stuttering. I finally came out with something. But here are some good ones from the meeting:

  • Steve: The Red Delicious apple is not my favorite.

  • Brian: The food at House of Prime Rib is wonderfully delicious. [How do you get reservations?! -FM]

  • Bert: During my vacation, there was a delicious moment of floating on top of snow.

  • Mark: The hamburgers at the Rohnert Park Bowling Alley are surprisingly delicious.

  • MeL: There is a record from the 60s and it is called “Delicious.”

  • Orlando: I took a walk into Armstrong Redwoods after Christmas and it was delicious.

  • Geo: I’ve been making these smoothies in the morning and they are delicious.

Speech: Thank You, Tom

Mark then gave a speech called “Thank You, Tom.” It was a fond remembrance of his father. What stood out to me was something that Mark learned about business from his father — without even realizing it until he did it. It had to do with saving a client who hadn’t been well treated by Mark’s predecessor.

The speech was part of Mark’s Advanced Communicator Silver. I believe after he gets it, we have to refer to him as Mr Burchill or simply Sire. (I made this same joke at the meeting, but poorly stated; this is my second try.)

After the speech, I sped on to Table Topics. Thankfully, the group reminded me that we were supposed to evaluate Mark’s speech. So after I hissed at everyone, we did that.

Can you believe we only get one minute to write evaluations, Comrades?! Let us take back power from the officer pigs who create false scarcity of minutes!

So left, two, three!

So left, two, three!

To the work that we must do.

March on in the Workers’ United Front,

For you are a worker too!

Excuse me! The Workers’ United Front took over there for a moment. Don’t get me wrong, they’re nice people. Just don’t mention the capitalist oppression of the prolotariate.

Table Topics

Brian was in charge of Table Topics. He presented a “grab-bag” of topics. Here are some examples:

  • Memorable New Year Resolutions (MeL): “One memorable resolution was when my husband and I ran an office furniture store. I used to eat at my desk. So I resolved not to eat at my desk. It took me three months to make good on this resolution. And to this day, I still don’t do it.”

  • Memorable Birthday (Mark): “I think I was in my twenties. I went out to the Blue Heron. And I thought I was getting so old! And that was the oldest I’ve ever felt on a birthday.”

  • What Super-Power Would You Pick (Geo): “I think I’d go for time travel. Then I could go back in time and change all the horrible experiences in my life.”

  • Beach or Snow (Orlando): “A couple of weeks ago I was watching this video about this guy called the ‘ice man’ or something. He never gets sick. He’s 57. And he swims in icy water. And he hiked Mount Everest in his shorts… It was super inspiring. So I’ve been making a conscious decision to be more present in the cold weather.”

Speech Evaluation

Bert evaluated Mark’s speech. He spoke about the difficulties of giving this kind of speech. Then he noted Mark’s excellent pacing, tone, and storytelling. He went through most of the points of the story. His only real “complaint” was that the speech hadn’t been longer.

Grammarian

MeL presented the grammarian’s report. She highlighted the gems that she liked:

  • My stated original intention of making “ooze” the word of the day.

  • Bert’s statement that he was “floating on snow.”

  • A phrase from Mark’s speech: “Ambition, persistence, humility.”

  • Orlando said “Be present in cold weather.”

Then we all discussed the word “peccadillo.” Geo was nice enough to pull up a definition for us, “a small, relatively unimportant offense or sin.”

Timer / Ah Counter

Steve presented the timer and ah counter reports. He focused on things besides ums and ahs — filler words, for example. Four people used a filler word at the beginning of speaking:

  • Geo: well.

  • Me: okay.

  • Bert: well.

  • MeL: um.

Interestingly, I absolutely positively never used um or ah during the whole meeting.

The timings:

  • Mark speech (5-7): 6:53

  • Table Topics (1-2)

    • MeL: 0:55

    • Bert: 1:19

    • Mark: 0:56

    • Geo: 1:05

    • Orlando: 0:54

    • Me: 1:13

  • Evaluation (2-3): 2:52

  • Grammarian (1-2): 1:59

Wrap-Up

I waffled a bit at the end — talking about the small but exciting meeting and our wonderful guests who were like pros — they really did a great job. And then I turned the meeting back over to MeL.

MeL asked our guests what they thought about the meeting. Orlando said he really enjoyed it — that he had no idea what to expect coming in. Geo said he got a lot out of the meeting. MeL thanked them both for coming and participating.

And with that, the meeting was adjourned!

Minutes of the 08 Jan 2019 Regular Meeting

Location

Brookdale Paulin Creek

Timing

Start Time: 12:14 pm

End Time: 1:05 pm

Attendees

6 Members: President MeL Konrad, VP Education Brian Buckman, VP Membership Bert Rangel, Treasurer Mark Burchill, Secretary Frank Moraes, and Steve Domkowski.

2 Guest: Orlando, Geo.

Roles

President: MeL Konrad

Toastmaster: Frank Moraes

Table Topics: Brian Buckman

Grammarian: MeL Konrad

Ah Counter / Timer: Steve Domkowski

Speakers

Mark Burchill: “Thank You, Tom” — Special Occasions Speeches Path — ACS.

Evaluated by Bert Rangel.

Previous Buisness

None.

Next Meeting

22 January 2019

Motions

None.

Committee Reports

None.

Narrative for the 06 Nov 2018 Regular Meeting

Sergeant-at-arms Kelly read our mission and introduced Present MeL Konrad. She introduced our three returning guests: Deborah, Alisa, and Yana. And then there was a bunch of paper work so I didn’t really pay attention. Who knows what happened!

MeL announced that we decided to drop the second November meeting because it was so close to Thanksgiving — just two days apart so it was clearly a no-go. (Notice how that can be taken as an obvious statement of fact or a snarky comment by a secretary who is totally out of control. What would life be without ambiguity? Unambiguous!)

MeL took over as Toastmaster and reminded us that 06 Nov 1860 was the day that Abraham Lincoln was first elected president. This made sense because it was election day for us. I should know because, being a liberal, I voted 37 times before the meeting.

Word of the Day

The word of the day was “history.”

Before we get into this, I should point out that I gave people the wrong idea. I said, “My family has a mental illness.” Despite what the beaten and battered man you know may indicate, I have a long history of performance. So I rarely say anything that is true. While my family is crazy, they are no more so than the rest of you. I just liked the sound of “history of mental illness.” .+.+.+.+ Really. &&^** Perfectly normal.

Some highlights:

  • Yana: my history does not define my future.

  • Mark: when you travel you learn that others have a different perception of history than you do. When we were in the south we learned about the “war of northern aggression.”

  • Brian: When I look at my personal history, I try not to say “coulda, shoulda, woulda.”

Speech #1

Brian spoke about his problems with procrastination. He had a lot of good ideas. But he never got around to writing the speech.

I’m kidding of course. Brian gets better each time he gives a speech. That’s both true of his presentation and his content. For example, he presented a memorable object lesson, “When you have to eat two frogs, eat the uglier one first. That’s excellent advice.

But this is very important Brian! If you ever provide an example that makes me that ill again, I will kidnap you and force you to watch all three The Human Centipede films.

Speaking of The Human Centipede I am fascinated by the evolution of the anus. We don’t tend to think much of the worm, but that was the organism that introduced the anus into life on Earth. Until then, animals took nutrients in and flushed wastes out of the same hole. Having separate places for this meant that we could extract far more nutrients from our food. I still find the whole process disgusting. But it really is amazing. And as much as my anus disgusts me, its better than the option. Don’t think about it. (In case you were wondering, this is the Easter Egg!)

Speech #2

Next up was me. I had to give an improved version of my previous speech on Don Quixote. So I bought a plastic sword and brought a pot to wear on my head. It is only when you start putting pots on your head when you realize just how big your head is.

Listening to my speech I was struck by the relative lack of ums and ahs. Instead, there was a whole lot of stammering. But I think I do a good job of mixing up my speaking disfluencies.

Table Topics

Mark ran the Table Topics with two choices: a saying or a word. Some highlights:

  • Dan — Gambit: I think all through my life I’ve been involved in a lot of gambits — a lot of failures and a lot of successes.

  • Bert — Déjà vu: Did I really see the future?

  • Kelly — Raining cats and dogs: I love to run in the rain.

  • Deborah — Dressed to the nine: That is when you go for it. It is when you make sure your outfit speaks to who you really think you are.

Evaluations

Bert evaluated Brian’s speech. He talked about how Brian had a natural and authentic approach to his speaking. What’s more, he highlighted the structure of his speech. Then he started talking about frogs and I started to have more fantasies of men tied to chairs forced to watch violent scatological films.

There was a round-robin discussion of my speech. Everyone was really nice. In other words, they lied. Mark liked my humor, but he’s twisted in that way. Bert discussed my passion. Kelly thought I should have worn the pot longer. I agree — no one can make a pot work like me.

Grammarian

Kelly was the grammarian. She focused on our 16th president. She was also taken with the words maverick and gamut. As a once very serious chess player, I will tell you: there are no interesting lines that follow from gamuts accepted or declined. But I did once write a short story called “Rook Gamut.” It’s not about chess.

Ah Counter

Bert was the ah counter. He prefaced his comments by noting that ahs aren’t all bad. This probably comes from the fact that I whine about them so much. Now that Brian has fixed his ah problems, I’m all alone. But being as I am, I may try to introduce even more ahs into my speeches. Not true! My plan is to start doing sections of my one-man play “Deconstructed” where I will have memorize these things. Otherwise, the writer gets really angry. Regardless, the quality of the speeches just get better and better.

Timer

  • Brian: 6:25

  • Frank: 5:33

  • Table Topics

    • Alisa: 1:15

    • Dan: 0.42

    • Yana: 1:03

    • Bert: 1:10

    • Kelly: 2:18

    • Deborah: 1:49

  • Bert: ?

Ending

MeL said she was pleased that the speeches were humorous and that the guests played such an important part in the meetings.

The guests all discussed their thoughts about the meeting.

And the meeting was over!

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Minutes for the 06 Nov 2018 Regular Meeting

Location

Brookdale Paulin Creek

Timing

Start Time: 12:12 pm

End Time: 1:15 pm

Attendees

7 Members: President MeL Konrad, VP Education Brian Buckman, VP Membership Bert Rangel, Sergeant Kelly Cunneen, Treasurer Mark Burchill, Secretary Frank Moraes, and Schell.

3 Guest: Deborah, Alisa, and Yana.

Roles

President: MeL Konrad

Toastmaster: MeL Konrad

Table Topics: Mark Burchill

General Evaluator: MeL Konrad

Grammarian: Kelly Cunneen

Timer: MeL Konrad

Speakers

Brian Buckman: “Eat That Frog!” — Dynamic Leadership Path — Research and Presenting Speech.

Evaluated by Bert Rangel.

Frank Moraes: “Why You Should Read Don Quixote – Part 2” — Evaluation and Feedback — Evaluation and Feedback Speech (Part II).

Evaluated by Round Robin.

Previous Buisness

None.

Important: Membership Dues Can Still Be Submitted

You still have until the end of the month to get your membership dues in. If you haven’t already done so, please do it now!

Next Meeting

04 December 2018

Motions

None.

Committee Reports

None.

Noon Toastmasters

Minutes for the 06 Nov 2018 Executive Meeting

Minutes

  • Start Time: 11:03 am

  • Location: Brookdale Paulin Creek

  • Presiding officer: President MeL Konrad

  • Attendees: MeL Konrad, VP Education Brian Buckman, VP Membership Bert Rangel, Treasurer Mark Burchill, Sergeant Kelly Cunneen, and Secretary Frank Moraes.

  • Previous Month’s Minutes: approved.

  • Financial report: Mark sent out the financial report. We have 11 paid members. Dan Schell has returned and should be submitting his dues soon. We paid for our PO Box last month for the whole year, which is roughly a third of our 6-month budget. Paypal is being a problem. [Secretary’s remark: because they suck!] They wanted lots of information about our contact information. So we are no longer using Paypal and we are no longer accepting credit cards.

  • DP Status: Brian said that Anna and he had almost completed their first path. Our biggest problem with getting DP status is not all the stuff we do. We are an awesome club. Our problem is that we are a small club. Mark proposed that new members starting after the new year sign-up for 9 months instead of the normal 3 months. We will offer $10 off the first yearly membership.

  • Officers Training: Dec 1.

  • Old Business:

    • Mix-up with officers names on the website has been fixed.

    • MeL thanked the group for the successful open house and gave everyone a gift-card for Starbucks. Thanks, MeL!

    • Mark has contacted all outstanding members regarding dues.

    • There was concern about our old address on our local website and the TMI websites. It was not there. It was, however, on Google Maps. Bert contacted Google regarding this and they made an exception and actually fixed the problem. We are now clean.

    • We’ve canceled the podcast.

  • VP Reports:

    • Education: Brian said that we should have two new levels by the next meeting.

    • Membership: Bert sent out a thank you email message to people for coming to the open house. Then he sent another message announcing the current meeting.

  • Housekeeping items:

    • Frank wants the WordPress site destroyed!

    • Nov 20 meeting was canceled due to its proximity to Thanksgiving.

    • Dec 18 meeting will be a Social.

    • Jan meetings are pushed up by a week so that the first meeting will be on Jan 8.

  • Discussions:

    • Bert would like to focus on LinkedIn for marketing.

    • In order to get $50 for the open house, we need (1) copy of guest list; (2) copy of flier; (3) receipts. Information must be provided to Mark.

  • Motions:

    • Previous Month’s Minutes: Mark motioned, Bert seconded.

  • Votes:

    • Previous Month’s Minutes: yes (unanimous).

  • Action Items:

    • MeL and Bert will organize the welcome material.

  • End Time: 12:00 am

Join Us!

All members are welcome to join us for executive meetings. They occur at 11:00 am the first Tuesday of each month. They are more lively than they probably sound.

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Minutes for the 06 Nov 2018 Executive Meeting

  • Start Time: 11:03 am

  • Location: Brookdale Paulin Creek

  • Presiding officer: President MeL Konrad

  • Attendees: MeL Konrad, VP Education Brian Buckman, VP Membership Bert Rangel, Treasurer Mark Burchill, Sergeant Kelly Cunneen, and Secretary Frank Moraes.

  • Previous Month’s Minutes: approved.

  • Financial report: Mark sent out the financial report. We have 11 paid members. Dan Schell has returned and should be submitting his dues soon. We paid for our PO Box last month for the whole year, which is roughly a third of our 6-month budget. Paypal is being a problem. [Secretary’s remark: because they suck!] They wanted lots of information about our contact information. So we are no longer using Paypal and we are no longer accepting credit cards.

  • DP Status: Brian said that Anna and he had almost completed their first path. Our biggest problem with getting DP status is not all the stuff we do. We are an awesome club. Our problem is that we are a small club. Mark proposed that new members starting after the new year sign-up for 9 months instead of the normal 3 months. We will offer $10 off the first yearly membership.

  • Officers Training: Dec 1.

  • Old Business:

    • Mix-up with officers names on the website has been fixed.

    • MeL thanked the group for the successful open house and gave everyone a gift-card for Starbucks. Thanks, MeL!

    • Mark has contacted all outstanding members regarding dues.

    • There was concern about our old address on our local website and the TMI websites. It was not there. It was, however, on Google Maps. Bert contacted Google regarding this and they made an exception and actually fixed the problem. We are now clean.

    • We’ve canceled the podcast.

Minutes for the 02 Oct 2018 Executive Meeting

  • Start Time: 11:04 am

  • Location: Brookdale Paulin Creek

  • Presiding officer: President MeL Konrad

  • Attendees: MeL Konrad, VP Education Brian Buckman, nominated VP Public Relations Anna Wong, VP Membership Bert Rangel, Treasurer Mark Burchill, Sergeant Kelly Cunneen, and Secretary Frank Moraes.

  • Previous Month’s Minutes: approved.

  • Financial report: Mark sent out the financial report and the quarterly budget comparison. Expenses are low. We’ve only received 8 dues despite the fact that we have more members. Mark will look into this.

  • DP Status: Brian reported that we got the required 8 dues and club officer list submitted on time. We are working toward our Level I. MeL will give Brian a CL to report at the next meeting or two. Mark has an ALS (for sponsoring the Sonic club) to submit. There will be a local training on 1 December 2018. We will get points if we send 4 people to it.

  • Old Business:

    • Frank presented information on our new blog, which is up at NoonToastmasters.com. He will act as editor for the time being. Accounts will be set up for other club members. Currently, there are accounts for Anna and Frank.

    • Frank pushed the podcast off until the next meeting.

  • VP Reports:

    • Education: Brian said he was pressing forward with people getting their Level I.

    • Membership: Bert and MeL discussed having guest gift packets.

    • Public Relations: Anna will be setting up a LinkedIn account for us. She now has access to our Instagram and Facebook accounts. We discussed putting out a list of all our social media accounts for everyone.

  • Housekeeping items:

    • Kelly and MeL put together a new system so that we can start up the meetings more quickly.

    • MeL asked that Brian read every position (even the ones that are filled) when listing them at the end of the regular meetings.

  • Discussions:

    • We’ve decided to keep the room set-up as we find it so that less work is required.

    • The club is going to have an open house on 30 October 2018 (the 5th Tuesday of the month) at 12:12 pm. Anna said she would give a speech and provide food. Mark will do Table Topics. We need to follow-up with any people who come to the meeting.

    • Bert proposed that we go paperless — or more paperless. He’s requested PDFs of all our major documents.

    • Noon Toastmasters is sponsoring a new club at Sonic. Mark will be running an example meeting for them on 24 October 2018. MeL (who will be their mentor) and Frank will help out.

  • Motions:

    • Previous Month’s Minutes: Mark motioned, Bert seconded.

    • Have Open House on 30 October 2018: Mark motioned, Frank seconded.

  • Votes:

    • Previous Month’s Minutes: yes (unanimous).

    • Have Open House on 30 October 2018: yes (unanimous).

  • Action Items:

    • Frank and Mark will interface on the technical details of the podcast.

    • Anna will check with TMI to see if it has our right meeting time and location.

    • We need to deactivate the WordPress account. (No one assigned.)

    • Frank will check our old website to see if it has any mention of the old meeting address.

    • Mark will check with members who have not renewed.

    • MeL will change Bert’s position on the old website to VP Membership.

  • End Time: 11:59 am

Join Us!

All members are welcome to join us for executive meetings. They occur at 11:00 am the first Tuesday of each month. They are more lively than they probably sound.

02 Oct 2018 Meeting Minutes

Location

Brookdale Paulin Creek

Timing

Start Time: 12:12 pm
End Time: 1:12 pm

Attendees

8 Members: President MeL Konrad, VP Education Brian Buckman, VP Public Relations Anna Wong, VP Membership Bert Rangel, Sergeant Kelly Cunneen, Treasurer Mark Burchill, Secretary Frank Moraes, and Steve Domkowski.

2 Guests: TM Thea Daniels and Charlie

Roles

President: MeL Konrad
Toastmaster: Brian Buckman
Greeter: Anna Wong
Table Topics: MeL Konrad
General Evaluator: Brian Buckman
Grammarian: Anna Wong
Ah-Counter: Bert Rangel
Timer: Mark Burchill.

Speakers

Frank Moraes: “Why You Should Read Don Quixote” — Dynamic Leadership Path — Evaluation and Feedback speech.

Evaluated by Steve Domkowski.

Thea Daniels: “The Fear of Not Doing Something” — Impromptu fill-in.

No evaluation.

Previous Buisness

None.

Special Thanks for Thea Daniels

Experienced Toastmaster Thea Daniels was a guest at our meeting and really stepped up to help us out because of some absences. She gave a speech for our second unassigned speaking slot. I don’t think I’m alone is my gratefulness. Thanks Thea!

Important: Membership Dues Can Still Be Submitted

There is a month grace period for membership dues. So if you haven’t submitted them, please contact Mark and get paid up. Thanks!

Motions

None.

Committee Reports

None.

MeL Shows How to Evaluate a Speech

This post is mostly just to show, more or less, what we can do with video at the meetings. This one shows our president, MeL Konrad, evaluating a speech by Brian Buckman. Sadly, I didn’t have the camera running when Brian gave his speech. But as I said, this is mostly just a test.

It does show how to do a speech evaluation. I thought it was one of the best that I’m seen: insightful and encouraging. Have a look!

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.”

Speakers

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.”

Evaluations

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.