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Public Speaking For All

July 27, 2020

Meeting report

by Administrator

Good evening, fellow Toastmasters!

Once again, we had a tremendous meeting last night. Members present were Shankar, Antréa, Laura, Craig, Pamela, Mindy, and Tammy. Our club mentor, Jim Lowery, was present as well. Those members not able to make the meeting last night were Michael, Justine, Sean, Rey, Harlon, Donna, and Julieanna.

In the absence of our club president, our presiding officer of the night was Laura Sanchez, the VP Education. She started the meeting at 5:34 with the pledge. Our FB livestream was not cooperating last night, so unfortunately, our typical online audience was not able to join us. Laura handed the meeting off to our Toastmaster of the night, Craig Sprout who began by explaining the run of show.

In honor of our theme last week, Shankar, our WAG, presented the word of the night which was syzygy. A syzygy is the nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies (such as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse) in a gravitational system. His example usage of the word related to speech delivery where all elements of a speech must line up in a perfect syzygy.

Antréa discussed the importance of the General Evaluator portion of the night in evaluating everything that happens in a meeting from preparation to organization, performance of duties, and delivery.

Pamela let our speakers know that she would use Zoom backgrounds to signal designated times and explained the time frames for each type of speech.

Craig, in his role of Toastmaster, brought up doing something special in months that have five Mondays. On the fifth Monday, we could hold a backwards meeting, a specially themed meeting (crazy hats), or use predetermined Zoom backgrounds. He then introduced our speaker of the night, Laura Sanchez.

Laura is on the Effective Coaching Pathway. She began by discussing remote work and the isolation and boredom some may be feeling. Folks need a way to become engaged and develop hobbies that are inexpensive and can be done from home. Her speech presented an explanation of the different types of genealogy and how to begin the research for someone interested in beginning this journey. She introduced various tips complete with software, website, and resource recommendations and left us wanting more with a mystery about her family that she uncovered. That story, however, is a topic for her next speech. Make sure you join us to find out the rest of the story!

Craig then turned the meeting over to our Table Topics Master, Jim. He began by asking what we can do for our dogs in this heat. Shankar talked about his beloved dog Jacobi and how he kept him cool. He took him to the lake but Jacobi, not a fan of water, wasn’t having it, and Shankar ended up more wet than Jacobi. Shankar shared that the best way to keep him cool was actually ice. This speech was 2 minutes and 16 seconds.

The next question was directed to Mindy (who we were very happy to see last night! Welcome back, Mindy!). She was asked if she knew of any names that should be the name of stars. Mindy shared a fascinating story about purchasing a star for her granddaughter, Bentley, who now has a wall hanging in her bedroom of the star. This speech was 1 minute and 26 seconds.

Craig talked about his take on luck by saying that we make our own luck. The harder he works, the luckier he seems to be. He said it isn’t luck that he’s in San Antonio; he saw an opportunity and jumped on it when it was presented. His story gave a good example of the difference between being fortunate and being lucky. This speech was 1 minute and 17 seconds.

Jim then asked us to picture bodies of water and asked which of those we prefer to cool off in. Antréa said her favorite is the beach. It best suits her awesome, beautiful self. 😊 She lived in the Canaries for a year on an island and still spends time at the beach that is only a few hours away. This speech was 1 minute and 16 seconds.

The last question about the stars went to Pamela who said she doesn’t spend much time star gazing. She has a ten month old so she doesn’t go out late or spend much time outside late now. All of us parents completely related to this statement. This speech was 1 minute and 6 seconds.

Antréa, the General Evaluator, introduced Tammy to give the evaluation of Laura’s speech.

Laura excelled at presenting her information. She was clearly very knowledgeable on her topic. She also left us with curiosity, with a mystery that is unsolved. As with all of us, eye contact has been very difficult when working remotely. Also, this was a very robust topic so time was a factor with a speech time of 9 minutes and 33 seconds.

Shankar gave the WAG report stating that Antréa won the most usages of the word of the night with two uses and Shankar and Jim both had one use each. Laura had 15 ums and 3 wannas. Tammy had one you know and two uhs. Craig’s gesture of blowing raspberries beat us both for the most interesting mention during the WAG report.

In the overall meeting evaluation, Antréa mentioned that we have to all take a role virtually in the room setup by downloading a flag background to put up during the pledge. We need to warmly greet guests and welcome people back who have been out for a while. We started the meeting late even though we ended early. Our agenda was complete, but we should all have the agenda up during the meeting so that we can follow along.

Craig turned the meeting back over to Laura, our presiding officer of the night, who recognized a few individuals for awards. Harlon was recognized for a level 4 award and Shankar was also recognized for a level 4 award. Antréa has also won an award. Shankar gave a shoutout for the newsletters and announced that our Table Topics winner was Mindy. Antréa came in second. Pamela gave kudos to Shankar for adding the quick-link information circle to the meeting agenda next to our roles that give the description of the role.

As a quick reminder, when you give a speech, please enter your Pathway and speech into the comment box so that our VP Education can track our completed speeches a little better.

Once again, I want to remind you to sign up for roles for next week at this link: This week, I will be asking you to sign up for the next two weeks because I will be out on vacation on the 10th and hope to have the roles filled before then. I’ll email you in a few days to remind everyone to sign up. Thank you all for being so gracious when I’ve reached out.

Thanks again for an amazing meeting! I look forward to seeing everyone again next week. 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