Monthly Archives: October 2012

Meeting Recap for October 31, 2012

Another fun and very enjoyable meeting today on this Halloween afternoon! Darius O, came dressed as a modern-day cowboy, complete with some kind of assault rifle in his holster as today’s Toastmaster and he did a great job!  The theme was, duh, “Halloween!”

Today’s first speaker was Jared S who gave us a very appropriate speech for today called:  “Cloak of Invincibility.”  Masked PhantomThis is project #5, Your Body Speaks, from the Competent Communicator Manual.  He did a fine job in telling us this – Best Speaker of the week – spooky story complete with his black cloak!
Dennis E was our second speaker and he was brave enough to give us a technical briefing from the advanced Technical Presentations Manual titled:  “Solutions Performance Management.”  Let’s just say there’s a reason why I haven’t delved into such a manual – yet.  It is not easy to liven up topics that just aren’t all that much alive.  Dennis still did a good job with the topic he was trying to present and we appreciate his effort.

Liz M was our Table Topics Master and presented the following tough questions for the following individuals:

Question Table Topic Person
The first Jack O Lanterns were made from turnips.  If you had to decorate and carve turnips for Halloween, how would you do it? Rich S
Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.  Please comment. LeAnn D
Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween.  Other girls believed they would see their boyfriend’s faces if they looked into mirrors while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween.  If you were, say, 13, whose face would you have seen – tell us about your boyfriend at that time and/or whose face would you have wanted to see? Cheryl E
The Village Halloween parade in New York City is the largest Halloween parade in the U.S.  The parade includes 50,000 participants and draws over 2 million spectators.  Assuming this parade gets postponed this year, would you agree or disagree with this decision and why? Candice C
If Halloween was not coming to your town, would you muster up a mini-celebration and how? Dave S
Tell us what Sanhainophobia means? Kevin M
Only 11.5% of the people will dress up their pets.  Have you ever dressed up your pet and if so, as what and how did it go? Craig M

Members then voted for their best Table Topic Response and the winner was our President – Kevin!

Dave S did his usual professional job of being our General Evaluator and was very positive about today’s meeting! Our first evaluator was Scott P who is really becoming a great evaluator.  gerald g dogHe evaluated Jared’s speech with some great examples of things that were done right and things that could be enhanced for future speeches.  Darrell V had the assignment of evaluating Dennis’ speech.  Darrell does an excellent job coming up with interesting ways of saying what he feels! Scott captured today’s Best Evaluator of the Week award for his frightening good evaluation.

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Reminder/Teaching Moment of the Week:

“Avoid the tendency to go on, and on, and on.  Craft a coherent message and then be quiet.  Rambling on will only weaken your overall speech”  — Andrew Dlugan, Six Minutes Speaking and Presentation Skills blog.

“Fear is not a foe but a friend – a familiar companion that nagged me to do my best. Don’t think of fear as a deterrent.  It’s a kick in the rear to prepare”  — Helen Hayes

If you have something you think we could all benefit from to make The Salt Lake Hardware Club even better, then please send them to Craig M and we will tell the group in the above reminder/teaching moment.

We really appreciate the great job everyone did today in making the meeting so enjoyable!

See you all next week!

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Meeting Recap for October 24, 2012

Man with a MicrophoneA very interesting and enjoyable meeting today full of fun and learning!  Kathy D was our Toastmaster and she did her usual stellar job of conducting today’s meeting with her theme of: “The Debate!”  Of course everyone has an opinion of the debates, even if that opinion is “what debates?”, so that led to a very lively meeting.

Darius O was our only speaker today and his speech titled: “Toastmasters and the FISTS of Friendship”. He was truly entertaining and fun to listen to!  FISTS standing for:  Filler, EvaluatIon, Sign, Time & Segue.  FistHe was filling in for a missing speaker and we really appreciate his willingness to do this just for all of us.  This was speech #5 in The Entertaining Speaker manual, and it was also Darius’10th advanced speech, which means he has now earned the Advanced Communicator Bronze award.  He joins five other club members that have also earned this award.  Congratulations,Darius!  And by the way, he also captured today’s “Best Speaker of the Day” award!

With only one speaker, that left us plenty of time for Table Topics.  I’m sorry that I can’t remember most of the responses to these questions, as I was trying to gather my thoughts about Darius’ speech as his evaluator – multi-tasking not being a strong suit of mine, apparently.  Let’s just say I believe they were all political debate-type questions, and we had the following pairs of individuals give an answer and then either a rebuttal or also an answer to the same question.  In speaking order they were:

RESPONSE REBUTTAL
Ellen C Lorianne O
Scott P Kevin M
Merrill B Michelle A
Melissa B Dave S
Darius O Kathy D

People then voted for their best Table Topic and the winners (a tie) were Michelle and Dave!  Both were awarded the “Best Table Topic Response” award for the day!  We must mention that this was Michelle’s second time in as many weeks doing Table Topics and she’s still only a guest (for now).  Merrill, our other guest, also participated in his first TT session and did a great job!

Oleg S conducted the evaluation portion of today’s meeting and we appreciate the great job our local Ukrainian is doing!  Craig was the lone evaluator.

Pumpkin wearing sunglassesHalloween - October 31

Don’t forget next week is Holloween.  
If you would like to come in costume – do it!  
If you want to bring goodies – do that too!  
Also if you have a role next week don’t pretend it snuck up on you.
You have been warned!

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Reminder/Teaching Moment of the Week:

  • If you know in advance that you won’t be attending on a given Wednesday, be sure to send our VP of Education, Scott P, an e-mail so he can mark you out for and not schedule you for any role that particular week (or weeks).

If you have something you think we could all benefit from to make the Salt Lake Hardware Club even better, then please send them to Craig M and we will tell the group in the above reminder/teaching moment.

See you all next week!

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Meeting Recap for October 17, 2012

Open House signCongratulations to all our potential new members for attending today’s Open House!  We really hope you enjoyed your visit and we look forward to seeing you again soon! We meet every Wednesday from 12:05 – 1:00 P.M. (except the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the last two of the year).  Don’t be afraid to call or write if you have any questions.  You’re also welcome to visit the club and/or our website (www.slhardware.com) as often as you would like before taking the Toastmaster plunge – which isn’t all that scary, especially when you consider what you get out of it!

We also had a couple of distinguished guests visit our club today!
Billie JonesBillie Jones, DTM, currently serving as our Area D2 Governor, joined us and we were thrilled to have her visit the Salt Lake Hardware Club for the first time!  Billie turned out to be one of our key contributors to the success of our Open House!  We’re assuming Scott P had something to do with her visit and we appreciate you inviting her!  We also got another visit from Oscar M  You may remember that Oscar was our “Target Speaker” for our club Evaluation Contest in August.  He is all the way down from Logan!  We even put him to work as today’s Ah Master!

For those club members that weren’t able to make it today (and  there were a lot of you), you missed a really good meeting and the opportunity to meet 13 people that usually aren’t at our club – though we’re hoping all of them soon become members and join our little family of fun and learning!  We appreciate the great job Rich S did in helping organize this event!

Our one and only speaker today (we did it that way on purpose so that we would have plenty of time to let the visitors share their thoughts) was our current president, Kevin M, who was giving speech #7 from the Competent Communicator manual – Research Your Topic.  His speech was titled “Not Normal” and it was perfect for today’s meeting.  Hearing some of Kevin’s stories, we could probably label him – Abby Normal!  Seriously though, we appreciate him taking on the assignment of speaking today AND running the portion of the meeting that he always does as our president!  He did win today’s “Best Speaker-of-the-Day Award” with his great speech!

Table Topics was conducted by Dennis E who was filling in at the last moment for two straight weeks!  Oscar was the first volunteer and had to come up with his favorite governmental conspiracy theory!  Rich S was next but adroitly avoided telling us who he thought won last night’s Presidential debate.  ElegenceBillie was then asked to talk about style over substance, straight from last night’s presidential debate.  Craig had to come up with a way to make peace in the middle east – not easy in 45 seconds!  Last but not least, Michelle A – the only guest who volunteered – had to speak about her favorite part of being in the military!  In the end, it was the veteran, Billie, who captured today’s best “Table Topic Response of the Week!”

Darrell conducted the evaluation portion of the meeting and we appreciate him volunteering at the last moment as well.  First up was our only evaluator of the day, LeeAnn D, who did a great job in evaluating Kevin’s speech.  She seems to be getting real comfortable in front of us and did a fantastic job, walking away with today’s “Best Evaluator” of the week award!

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Reminder/Teaching Moment of the Week:

  • Try bookending your speech.  That is, include a common element in both your opening and closing to provide Symmetry and make it more memorable.  (See “Bookending Your Speech: A Master Technique” on the  Six Minutes blog for more information on this technique.

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”     — Mark Twain

If you have something you think we could all benefit from to make the Salt Lake Hardware Club even better, then please send them to Craig M and we will tell the group in the above reminder/teaching moment.

We really appreciate the great job everyone did today in making our Open House so successfull!

See you all next week!

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Meeting Recap for October 10, 2012

This recap should not be abstruse, and hopefully you are all better off by attending today’s great meeting!  Our Toastmaster, Ellen C, picked an interesting theme for today’s meeting – “Legends of the Fall” – where she delivered some great stories that were downright scary!

Fall Scene

Our opening speech by LeeAnn D was titled “Keep it Snappy”, which is project #3 in the Competent Communicator manual.  She went into detail on how we can deliver better elevator speeches whenever we have the opportunity to go beyond, “What do you do for a living?”  We all know what the acronym:  “SHNAPPS” stands for, right?  Veteran Darius O was our second speaker today and entertained us with the 4th project in the advanced Entertaining Speaker manual – titled “Change in Salina”.  Darius did his usual great job and kept us all on our seats waiting to see whether he was going to fall off that roof or not!  He captured today’s “Best Speaker of the Week” award with his outstanding presentation.

Cartoon DragonRich S was today’s Table Topics Master, where he asked our President, Kevin M, what character in Camelot would he want to be and why?  Kevin chose the dragon because of all the hot air that comes out of him according to his wife.  Dennis E (welcome back!) was asked what kind of monster he would like to be and why?  It wasn’t easy for Dennis to decide on such a mean spirited beast, which just goes to show you what a big softy he must be!  He doesn’t want to be a mean monster, but the gentle, kind man, that he is!  Scott P was the next person that got volunteered and he had to decide on what character from the Wizard of Oz would he want to be and why?  He thought about being a Munchkin, but settled on the scarecrow, citing a brain is much needed to be involved in the crazy world of I.T.  When the votes were all counted, it was Kevin who captured the “Best Table Topic Response” award of the day!

We got to hear some nice assessments from our evaluators.  Dennis E, who volunteered for us at the last minute, was evaluating LeeAnn’s speech and did a great job!  He was followed by our local Ukrainian,Oleg O, who evaluated Darius’ speech.  Oleg has an interesting way of delivering information that’s always fun and different and we appreciate the progress he’s making as a speaker on a weekly basis!  Oleg’s nice review also captured today’s “Best Evaluator” award!

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Reminder/Teaching Moment of the Week:

  • Introductions are a great way to let the club know a little bit more about you!  Be pro-active in getting your intro to the Toastmaster or the General Evaluator.

If you have something you think we could all benefit from to make the Salt Lake Hardware Club even better, then please send them to Craig M and we will tell the group in the above reminder/teaching moment!

Don’t forget next week’s “Open House” – Bring Guests!
Also remember to bring any food items you signed up for!

See you all next week!

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Meeting Recap for October 3, 2012

I hope all of you that were at today’s meeting reaped the benefits of another great gathering!  Our Toastmaster and President, Kevin M, picked the theme “Fall Harvest” and even brought in Pumpkinpumpkins from his own garden to decorate our table!  We had two individuals, Liz M and Becky C, step up to the plate big time for our club by giving speeches that they didn’t even know they were giving until yesterday!  The club really appreciates such an act of service and hopefully we can all chip in for someone else, sometime!

Liz’s speech was based on her ‘running career’ and she told us all about the “Top Five Running Injuries” – several of these she has had firsthand experience!  She threw words at us like “patellofemoral” and things like that, but fortunately she translated these scary words into their English equivalent’s so we knew what she was talking about!  This was her 5th speech from the Competent Communicator manual – “Your Body Speaks”.

Becky followed Liz’s presentation with a speech on “Yoga Breathing Basics”.  I know of at least two different types of breathing: a) the kind you have when you’re sleeping real well;  b) the kind you have when you’re in front of The Salt Lake Hardware Club giving a speech!  Becky’s speech was from the advanced “Communicating on Television Manual” and she looks ready for prime time!  This speech captured today’s “Best Speaker-of-the-Day” award!

Darrell stepped in (a common theme in today’s meeting) to run Table Topics for us and he had some great questions for those that volunteered – and those that didn’t!  Scott P (the ONLY volunteer) got to talk to us about “Fall Colors” and did a great job!  Claire S responded to us about the O.J. Simpson trial and how she felt about the trial’s outcome – she mentioned the white, getaway vehicle!  Rich S was then volunteered and he chose his cherished topic, “politics” and told us why Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson would be his president of choice.  Rich was so smooth in his delivery (except for the occasional clicker noise that was carried out to perfection by Darius O) that he captured the “Best Table Topic Response” award of the day!

Ellen C (also filling in) was today’s General Evaluator and did an excellent job, especially her introduction of Cheryl!  Cheryl E did a great job in evaluating Liz’s speech and we appreciate how quickly her speaking skills are improving!  Our witty, Jared S, captured today’s “Best Evaluator” award with his wonderful evaluation of Becky’s speech!

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Reminder/Teaching Moment of the Week:

  • It is unnecessary to send the group an e-mail if you can’t make it to a particular meeting if you DON’T have a role

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever.  Hit the point once, then come back and hit it again.  Then hit it again with a tremendous whack.”     — Winston Churchill

We would also like to congratulate Claire S as the newest member of the Salt Lake Hardware Club!  She was unanimously voted into the club today and we’re happy to have her!

We really appreciate the great job everyone did today in making the meeting so enjoyable!

See you all next week!

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