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Public Speaking For All

August 31, 2020

Meeting Report

by Administrator

Fellow Toastmasters,
On Monday, Harlon began the meeting on time at 5:30. He had the American flag ready and led the pledge of allegiance for the group.

Members present on Monday night were Harlon, Shankar, Antréa, Craig, Julieanna, Laura, and Tammy. Those members not able to make the meeting last night were Donna, Pamela, Michael, Justine, Mindy, Sean, and Rey.

Antréa, Julieanna, Laura, and Craig appeared to have taken advantage of the 5th Monday recommended costume theme. Antréa was dressed up as Sebastian the crab, Craig as a pirate, and Laura with her bird on her shoulder and a striped shirt, confessed that she didn’t dress up even though she fit right in looking like a pirate.

Harlan turned the meeting over to Antréa, the lovely redheaded Toastmaster crab with the Jamaican accent. Antrea played Under the Sea theme music to honor her character.

Harlon, as WAG, introduced the Word of the day, mesmerize /ˈmezməˌrīz/ which is a verb that means to hold the attention of (someone) to the exclusion of all else, or so as to transfix them. He used the statement, “I was mesmerized by my wife’s beautiful eyes” as his example of how to incorporate it into a sentence. Harlon’s role for the night was to count ahs, ums, uhs, and total up the uses of the word of the day.

Tammy, in her role as General Evaluator, described the role of the Toastmasters evaluation as one of the most important tasks we carry out in order to help our fellow TM speakers to improve. Craig, the Pirate of the Caribbean for the night, was the evaluator for our one speech of the night. His role was to give immediate feedback to the speaker so that they are able to make future speeches better.

Our timer, Shankar, discussed the importance of time. We need to be time conscious and can’t allow ourselves to be distracted and “mesmerized” forever. We have to watch time. He used the zoom color backgrounds for his indicators. Shankar was also Topics Master and gave an explanation of the impromptu speaking session. He said that if you are an imperious teenager like Ariel and you go outside the ocean and then sneak back into the water, you will have to explain yourself to your dad, the king. He will put you on the spot and make you, on the spur of the moment, give an explanation much like we do in the TT portion of the meeting.

Antréa introduced the speaker of the night, Dr. Laura Sanchez. When Ollie joined the speech on her shoulder, she did look rather pirate-ish. Laura presented us with part two of the genealogical principles. She began with a bit of history about her family. This story was about the mystery of Mary Elizabeth Shehan. She started with an obituary. The obituary confirmed name and place lived. From that, she got a death certificate which confirmed much information she already had, but gave her the birthdate. There was a contradiction in place of birth. Was it Louisville or Ireland? She found some information that was transcribed incorrectly on census records. She then looked at the obit again and found a sister, Ida Carnes. Then she looked at the record she found on Lizzie Shehan. She stopped by the cemetery in Louisville. There, she found a discrepancy in the date of birth. She also found the headstone for Ida Carnes and Jennie Shehan. She found wedding records from 1883 across the border in Indiana. She found the death record for Samuel Lippy, brother, and Lillian, sister. The research took her about 5 years from beginning to end. She learned from this that with family stories, you only get the answers to the questions you ask, so you have to make sure you ask the right questions. It is the same in leadership. Antréa asked us to take one minute and send messages of support and evaluation to Laura in the chat. (8:03)

Our TTM followed the theme of the night and asked Tammy how she would convince Sebastian to walk along the shore with her. Tammy would convince Sebastian to walk by her side on the shore by assuring him that she would be safe with her and that she would protect her from harm. (1:15)

Craig, were he prince, has to convince Ariel that living under the sea is not as easy as she suggests. He thinks of a Simpson’s episode saying that it is easy to live under the sea. There are also things under the sea that are not so pleasant – such as crabs that pinch you. Problematic also are gigantic sharks with big teeth that eat things. We don’t want to be somebody’s meal. He’s also addicted to oxygen since he has lungs and not gills. (1:55)

Ariel was not happy that she couldn’t convince her prince to live under the sea. To console herself, she went to her cave with all the objects she has collected. Julie was to share what object kept mesmerizing Ariel. Julie maintained that it wasn’t an object but the prince that kept mesmerizing her. She was completely captivated by him. Nothing else in the world mattered. (1:24)

Ariel has had a tough time getting the prince to live with her under the water. It’s so sad. She didn’t want to give up too early, though. She wanted to start an import/export business to accumulate more shells so Harlon was asked what he would advise would be the best thing for Ariel to export from the sea to the land that would make shells for her. Harlon said that Ariel will sell out the fish because you can’t trust the mermaids, or the crabs like Sebastian, for that matter. No fish throughout the sea are safe because there is someone now that will sell them out. Ariel is going to do whatever it takes to make the shells that she has to make. Bye bye, cod, bye bye, tuna… (1:20) Needless to say, our TM Sebastian was not very happy to hear this speaker’s slander of her friend’s and her character.

Sebastian has been devastated by Ariel’s business. She can’t understand why she would do that. Ariel decides to turn everything around and adopts the posture that you can survive without eating meat. Antrea told us that Ariel did come back to her ways. There is plenty of algae in the sea. That’s all we need to eat. There are things other than meat to eat to survive. There is a lot of seaweed and tofu and chickpeas, and much else besides the meat you eat. (1:37)

The little mermaid got very sad and felt that maybe she went into the wrong line of business. Obviously, she needed a strategy to convince her prince, so she goes to the dating consultant, Laura. Laura broke out in song recalling how she remembers that Ariel was very clear about what she wanted:
I wanna be where the people are
I wanna see, wanna see 'em dancin'
Walkin' around on those -
What do ya call 'em? Oh, feet…
And then she recommended that Ariel use her feet to lure the prince to the beach to give him a pros and cons list that she has created, making sure, of course, that the pros outweighed the cons. (1:24)

Antréa invited the GE to carry out the evaluation portion of the night. Tammy introduced Craig who said that Laura’s speech was awesome because it was so personal, and the audience could relate to family legends. She did well with telling the story. It was easy to tell that she had spent time with the material and that by virtue of having spent so much time with it, the presentation flowed very well. The visual aids helped tremendously with underlining her points and tied facts together throughout the search. He recommended that sometimes you need to just take a pause and breathe. She used transition words, so, and in fact, that are commonly used. She may want to create a bit more variety in her transitions. In her presentation, he challenged her to leave out the last bullet points written out at the end and just say them. She could challenge herself to use something besides Word and PowerPoint. This presentation would have lent itself nicely to Prezi. Another place to challenge herself would be to tie in the conclusion to the beginning of the speech. Maybe start with beginning bullets then tie back at the end because that would let us see where she was going from the beginning. Also, look at the camera.

Tammy then asked for the timer’s report. Shankar was so mesmerized by Craig’s evaluation of Laura that he forgot to time him. For the WAG report, Harlon said that Tammy recovered from her first speaking of the night where she used all the ums, to not using another one during the Topics portion of the meeting. The most mesmerizing speaker of the night was Antrea with over 10 uses of the word. She did a wonderful job of mesmerizing us. There were a few other sos, ums, uhs, and ahs. Antrea, however, was clean of fillers tonight, even though she was too crabby. 😊

The General Evaluator pointed out that the theme night was amazing. Our Toastmaster keeping in character and accent throughout the meeting was truly engaging. The Topics Master played along and not only kept the theme but adjusted questions according to what the answer to the prior question was. This was undoubtedly one of the most creative meetings that we have had to date.

Harlon pointed out that we need more people to fill roles for the next meeting and Shankar talked us through how to sign up. Harlon won our TT of the night with his dark rendition of Ariel’s first entrepreneurial endeavor.

We will be off next week for Labor Day and will resume meetings on September 14th. We still need meeting roles filled. Let’s fill up the roles for the next few weeks so that we situate the club members in a better position to prepare ourselves. Sign up for roles at this link:

Thanks again for an amazing meeting! Have a great week! See you after Labor Day!

The link to the virtual meeting is here:


Tri-County Chamber of Commerce Toastmasters club Secretary


Meeting update

by Administrator

October 12

Meeting update

by Administrator