February 19, 2015: President’s Report

This week gave us a chance to indulge as Joji P led us with the theme of “Guilty Pleasures”.  The first thing we discovered about ourselves and our fellow Toastmasters is that we have trouble feeling guilty.  In fact, not a single member brought up any pleasure that they felt guilty about.  (Maybe they need to try more things until we find something that makes us feel guilty.)

For table topics, Felicia D enthused about binge watching “House of Cards” and “The Fall”; Allie C revealed how she and her roommate would sing and dance to Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love” ( see link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1JPKLa-Ofc ); Angelique H shared the perfect meal of fish, mango juice, and spinach (even though the rest of her family did seem to appreciate having it for every meal); Julia S warned us not to disturb her while she was lying on the couch watching “Gilmore Girls”; and Natalie M  described the luxury of taking afternoon naps.

For the prepared speeches, Jan C spoke from the advanced manual “Special Occasion Speeches” as she presented the “Inspirational Book of the Year Award”.  Nilo O followed with a serious delivery of the facts and statistics behind suicides.  Hal S then served up a helping of “Alphabet Soup” by describing the changes SDG&E are proposing for home owners with solar panels and other devices that contribute to the power grid.

Best Table Topic: Natalie M
Most Improved: Nilo O
Best Evaluation: Jerry M
Best Speaker: Nilo O

February 12, 2015: President’s Report


This week featured special guest-star Toastmaster Kara D  with a theme of “Shine”! And shine is what we did, with Word-of-the-Day “Selfie”, a previous Word-of-the-Year winner from the Oxford English Dictionary.

John S glowed as Topicsmaster as he asked members to share their experiences with immunizations, rainfall, pictures you wish you hadn’t taken, stand-up paddle boards (adroitly avoided by Mark Imhoff), and Santa Ana winds.

For prepared speeches John W (me) started off with a contest for using Social Media to promote Toastmasters. After a long hiatus, returning Toastmaster Casey DeLorme transformed from man-about-town into a married father as he delivered a professional speech he is preparing. This was followed up by Alan H  with “Managing Your Paradoxes”. (Alan, I still say that even one of your slides would make a full advanced manual speech. You just have too much interesting information for one speech.)

Best Table Topics: Dorinda M (guest and returning Toastmaster)
Best Evaluator: Lynn P
Most Improved: Megan S
Best Speaker: Casey DeLorme (also a returning Toastmaster)

February 5, 2015: President’s Report

Our February 5th meeting was exciting for more than one reason. First, we were all delighted to have returning Toastmaster Kara D join us. It’s good to have you back! Secondly, Kara joined us in time for Voyagers’ entry into the 2015 Toastmasters International speech contests. In addition to this, John S acted as Master of Ceremony / Toastmaster and the newly retired Donna G was Chief Judge for this special contest meeting.

Everyone there was witness as some of our best speakers competed in Table Topics and Public Speaking. For Table Topics we heard Mike R, Natalie M, Mark I, and Mark S discuss favorite teachers from their life and lessons learned. We then entered the prepared speech contest where Diana B spoke on “Light from the Darkness”, Alan H spoke on “Manage Your Paradoxes to Better Manage your Life”, and Mark I spoke on “A Pilot’s Pilot”. There was too much good material presented and I spent much of my time writing down quotes from each of the speakers.

Continuing on at the next level, the combine Area 12 and Area 21 contest will be held the evening of Friday, 06 March, at the CalTrans building at 4050 Taylor Street, Building 2, San Diego, CA 92110 (just down the street from us). For Table Topics, Mark I and Mike R will represent Voyagers at the Area 12 contest. But the night won’t over for Mr. I as he continues on in the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking.

These contests have always been an excellent way for speakers to experience new ways to challenge themselves and the audience to see members strive to be their best. My thanks to all contestants and other participants for sharing with the other members of the club.

For the next meeting our returning member Kara D will be thrust into the limelight with the theme of “Shine”. Check your schedule to see if you have a role. As a warning to all members, the following week Joji P is considering having a “White Day” theme. If you are not familiar with it, you will have to look it up on Wikipedia.

January 22, 2015: President’s Report

Last week the theme of the meeting was “Rocks” so this week a softer approach was used and Toastmaster Donna G chose the theme “Pillows”. We discovered the history of pillows, the perfect number of pillows to have on your bed (turns out the number is 3), pillow fights, monkey pillows, and “The Proper Pillow” ( the website is http://properpillow.com/ ). It turns out that when the going gets tough, the tough get pillows.

Stack of 2 pillows
“Pillow Stack” Creative Commons image by Dana at Flickr.com

The speeches were very advanced since they both came from advanced manuals. Mike R spoke on “Auto Dealers versus Auto Brokers” from the Persuasive Speaking manual. Mike, although we learned a lot from your speech, I think you still owe the club a dollar for promoting your business. Diana B gave speech number 4 from the Humorous Speaking manual entitled “On Being a Grown Up”. Diana shared Woody Allen’s wisdom in the quote “80% of success is just showing up” as well as informing us that we need a “confident boss butt”. (Great! Since I’m president and supposed to be boss this means I’m going to have to work on keeping my butt confident).

Best Table Topics: Terry H
Best Evaluator: Cynthia P
Most Improved: Diana B
Best Speaker: Mike R

Welcome back visiting Voyager, Susan M. Please join us again. And a special shout out to Jerry and Beth for being drive-by Toastmasters and going out of their way to drop off items for the meeting. You were busy that morning so we appreciate the extra effort you made.