“Preparing a Feast”- Meeting of November 18. 2017

Zhou officiated as Toast Master.  He opened the meeting with memories from last year’s Thanksgiving when Zhou and his family, who had just moved to the States baked their first turkey.
Isabella Z. and  Justin K. acted as Grammarian and Time Keeper respectively.
The Word of the Day was “ Commemoration”.
Kathy M., the first speaker of the day, presented her eighth speech from the CC manual. In a speech titled “ Patient Centered Care”, Kathy presented the benefits of centering care around the patients in the hospital setting, namely: engagement of patient with health care providers leading to increased satisfaction and better outcomes and cost savings. Communication and words of affirmation are key to Patient Centered Care. Using jenga! As a starting point, Kathy guided three volunteers from the assistance on ways to make affirmative statements.

Matt K. was the second speaker of the day. His speech playfully titled “ What’s the Yellen about?” made a powerful case for keeping Janet Yellen, the current  Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in place. Using the analogy of the US economy as a car and Ms Yellen as a skilled driver, Matt gave three examples of how Ms Yellen was able to steady the post recession economy and create more jobs. Because of her successful track record, Ms Yellen should be allowed to finish her 14 year term. “ We are all passengers in this car and we need a steady driver”, Matt said in conclusion.
Matt was presenting project #2 from the CC manual: Organize your Speech.
Regrettably, we know that we are about to get a new driver.

Steven W. was our third speaker. Steven was presenting CC project #8: Get Comfortable with visual aids.  Using cleverly mounted family pictures , Steven took the audience on a journey, from his early childhood to his teen years. The son of a decorated paratrooper and a mother with a passion for cheer leading and sewing, Steven and his sister ended up following their mother’s footsteps after his parents divorced. He picked up sewing and tap dance and has pictures to prove it!

Our final Speaker of the day, Yanyan B. presented “ Write it down.” , project #9: Persuade with Power, from the CC manual. Write it down! So that you do not forget, to unload your mental RAM and because that’s a way of thinking on paper. Writing an idea down allows it to take a life on its own, and evolve into new forms.
Bill S. was the table topics master and the subject was Thanksgiving feast food. Matt was voted Best Table Topic and Lara G. Best Evaluator.

Playful end to the meeting

Our next meeting is December 9th, 2017.

” Let it Go.” Meeting of November 11, 2017.

Thanks to Kathy M. for the write up.
Word of the day: Bury the Hatchet. This is an idiom, and one definition is to let go of hurts and misunderstandings and make peace.
Bill welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order as our fearless leader.
Tom was our Toastmaster for the day. He talked about letting go of material stuff as he and his family start to downsize and begin the journey of becoming empty nesters.  Aswini was the Grammarian and came up with the innovative phrase Bury the hatchet.  Dave E. was the timer. He told of a Toastmaster moment where he was in China recently and had to present to a group. He was proud to say he was the sole person that kept to the allotted time. Zhou was the Table Topics Master. He  asked questions to elicit techniques members use to let it go. This topic was well received. Aleli was the General Evaluator and gave a tip to have a grid that you can use as you are listening to speeches. This is one way to capture strengths and areas to work on in order to give others a complete critic of their speech.
For our first speech,” Password Do’s and Don’ts”, Justin warned us how easy it is for hackers to acquire our passwords by using sophisticated software to break our codes. He suggested ways to make our passwords safer and options to use an APP to store our numerous passwords for easier retrieval.   He met his personal objectives to speak without notes and to limit filler words. He met his objectives for his CC project #3 by getting to his main point, and supporting this with his examples and stories.
Bill’s speech, “ Road Rage”, gave us brain science and how our fight, flight, or freeze reactions can be identified and tamed with mindfulness and meditation. He represented the 9 different parts of the medial prefrontal cortex with a handout and using the example of his fist and palm as a map to locate the various areas he was describing in the handout. He ended with giving us a meditation we can use while we are “seeing red” behind the wheel in order to release our negative feelings.
Isabella gave a technical speech for her CC #4, How to Say It. Her speech was titled “My Case Study of the Two Page Design Process”, and she had a handout of the steps.  Her expertise of the subject was amazing and very apparent to everyone. Her process and examples for each step were clear and organized. She smiled, slowed her speech rate, and paused appropriately at the opening and the beginning of the speech that had a wonderful effect of allowing the audience to hear and understand her story better. There was limited use of rhetorical devices.
Dilip gave a pocket speech that was inspirational that might have been easily called, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”.  He described a plan that anyone can try in order to loosen the grip of fear and the feeling of loss of control, and to bring you back so you are in charge of your decisions. When you recognize what you fear and why, it is less daunting. This will give you some perspective. Otherwise, when you look back on your life, you may have regrets of unfulfilled adventure and experiences. Dillip’s advice?  Just do it!

“ Wizard and Ghost”- Meeting of October 28,2017

Aswini H was Ghost Master of the day- she led an entertaining meeting on the theme of Halloween: riddles, recipes, jokes!

Brett S and Lara G were Grammarian and Timer respectively.

The word of the day was “ Doppelganger”

Yanyan Z presented CC project #8 titled” Machine Learning- A gentle introduction” about the language of machines and the future applications of automation.

Justin K presented CC project #2 titled “ Can democracy survive tribalism?” Tribalism is part of what gave humans a competitive advantage. These days of intense political and ideological division gives tribalism a bad rep. However, more than tribalism, it’s insularity and the unwillingness to engage those that hold different opinions into a conversation that’s the problem. Justin’s call to action: Choose pragmatism over ignorance everywhere, even in your own tribe

Zhou presented CC project #8 “ How to select binoculars.” Zhou who is an avid collector of binoculars enlightened the audience on the mysteries of binocular magnification. He also showed a few items from his extensive collection to the audience, from the pocket size to the large. There are binoculars for every activity.

Saher A. presented CC project #2: “ Music- for present and future”, on the associations our brains make with certain songs. To demonstrate, Saher played a song she heard during her childhood and described in great detail the activities and the sensations associated with this piece. Music has the ability to activate all parts of the brain, including  the visual cortex. Music will also mesh with memories and embed these memories in the brain for a long, long time. No wonder, music is powerful therapy for patients suffering from memory loss.

Andy K. was the Table Topics master

Our next meeting is November 11.

“ You are what you read”- Meeting of October 21, 2017.

Marti M. was the Toastmaster of the day, Andy K., Grammarian and Isabella Z., Timer.
The word of the day was “ Homonym.”
If we are what we read and Marti what she reads.  Judging from her selection of books, our talented Toastmaster  is intensely interested in people; what makes them tick, what makes them buy and how they adjust to technology. She also is an aspiring song writer.

Speaker #1, Brett S, presented project #3,Defusing Verbal Criticism” from the Advanced Interpersonal Communication Manual. Nobody is perfect, we are all humans and bound to make mistakes. Instead of taking criticism negatively, we should learn from it and improve ourselves.  In this three-part speech, Brett explained the do’s and don’ts of handling verbal criticism, followed by a demonstration of how to handle verbal criticism and a final Q& A section.  Kudos to Brett for so adeptly defusing my criticism of his shoddy installation of crown molding in an improvised conversation. Brett’s advice works!  My experience as the unsatisfied customer was that listening, acknowledgment and apology go a long way towards defusing verbal criticism.

Speaker #2, Aswini H,. presented project #7- Research your topic   from the CC Manual. In her speech titled “ Origin and evolution of startups”, Aswini explained what startups are and why, despite the high failure rate, some are more successful than others. Key takeaways: be creative in your approach to problem solving, insist on impeccable execution and be flexible and tweak ready.

Speaker #3, Lidia S., presented CC project #3- Get to the Point.  In her speech titled “ Why reading Literary Fiction is So Important”, Lidia made a compelling case for why reading literary fiction make people better citizens who not only have more rewarding jobs, but also are more civically minded and active.  According to research, reading literary fiction activates the part of the brain controlling cognitive function and boosts empathy. Literary fiction presents situations of moral complexity, which in my interpretation, take the reader out of the box and expands and enriches his/her world beyond that of non fiction.  Similarly, poetry activates the self analysis and memory functions . In conclusion, she encouraged the audience to read more literary fiction to become better citizens.

Our last speaker of the day was Matt K. presenting his ice breaker titled “ Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Face.” Matt started and ended his speech with a punch. In his introduction, he told the story how a surprise defeat of his favorite football team ended in him smashing his tv and he concluded with how he chose to make the best of being figuratively punched in the face when he was laid off.  Matt’s trajectory from his home state of Georgia to the oil fields of Wyoming, Western Colorado, Alaska to Seattle is a testament to the flexibility and the creativity and humor of an oil engineer turned salesman.
I think that we can all agree that, by choosing to join Seattle Sunrise Toastmasters , Matt truly is making  the very best of “being punched in the face.”  Well done and welcome to the club, Matt!

Welcome to our new Sunriser

Saher A. was the Table Topics Master. Members of the audience answered questions about books in their lives. Some notable quotes: “ I like to be proven wrong” – Lidia S. , “ Half of these books have to go.”- Andy K., “ Suzzalo reminds me of Harry Potter.” – Kathy M. and “ My father was an editor for childrens’ books. He only read me one story when I was a child.” – Zhou.

Zhou and Andy K. tied for Best Table Topic. Tom B. and Paula L. tied for Best Evaluator.
Our next meeting is October 28, 2017.