Silvia, Toastmaster of the Evening, reminded us that this Thursday is (American) Thanksgiving. All too often we forget to be grateful, and she suggested that tonight’s speakers should start by saying what theyare grateful for. Debbie, agreeing, led us in a toast of gratitude for a club where there is passion, fun, and a willingness to boost each other’s confidence. Lars chose appreciate as the word of the night, and later, guests Gia-Linh, Margaux, Ian, Laura, Othmane, Anna, Sebastian, Alison, and Anaelle (2) showed their appreciation of the evening…
Is there anyone here who would like to improve their public speaking? It’s that time of year – a risk-free chance to test your mettle under pressure!” Suzanne, encouraging participation in the international speech and the evaluation contests, reminded us that we only learn when we leave our comfort zone. She urged everyone to “walk the walk and raise the bar!” For more information, she urged us to look at the contest folder on the Toastmasters International website.
DATE – January 23, 2024 THE PROCESS
After the club contest (January 23), the winner goes on to compete in the next heat – club, area, division, district and so on, all the way up to the international level.
ELIGIBILITY – International speech – those who have finished Pathways Level 2 Evaluation – open to all NEED A MODEL? – Examples of winning speeches are available on the Toastmasters International website.
Volunteers needed (in addition to contestant speakers and evaluators)
• contest chair
• chief judge
• vote counters
• sergeants at-arms + target speaker for the speech evaluation contest
Yannis found our club when he was looking for a way to improve his public speaking skills. As an architect, drawing is his personal self-expression, but at Toastmasters he has enjoyed the chance to share stories and receive feedback. Now he hopes to join the club, seeking to learn the skills of public speaking, important for his work. In return, he promises to be a good listener and provide honest feedback.
Vicki’s questions explored the concept of gratitude. Kelly is triply grateful to her fridge (the light, the contents, and the squeaky door reminding her not to over-eat). Martin suggested that counting blessings leads to gratitude. Ian confided that many events have left him overwhelmed with gratitude. Debbie told us about her gratitude when she met TMPers. Yannis explained what gratitude means to him. Finally, Suzanne admitted that she feels gratitude easier at the end of the day than at the beginning.
AI AND THE MEDICAL REVOLUTION Mohammad’s “How AI is Leading the Medical Revolution” was praised by Anaelle for its structure, which was clear from the start. He had chosen an interesting, topical topic and presented not only the advantages of IT but also the ethical issues it poses for the future. She suggested that starting with personal experiences could make a more powerful opening and reminded all speakers not to end with ‘thank you’. Blending historical and artistic knowledge, research, and a personal touch, Josep could be a tour guide at an exhibition, Tricia told us!
Yasmine, re-evaluating Connal’s “To Boldly Go where No One has Gone Before”, concluded that he had met his goals of improvement. She cited examples of his use of pauses to add drama and after questions, and she noted that he had spoken more slowly. His body language was stronger, too – he stood firmly, without rocking, and looked more confident. Finally, she enjoyed his use of impromptu humor. Suggestions for future growth included better eye contact and greater vocal variety.
THE PAINTER’S MESSAGE
Tricia opened her evaluation by telling Josep how much she had enjoyed his speech on Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire. It was well organized and well delivered, with great pacing, effective body language, confident and appropriate gestures, good use of slides, and humor. Although the speech was well researched, Tricia recommended citing sources, and suggested that he could open with a hook to involve the audience more. She also advised him to research transition phrases.
Blending historical and artistic knowledge, research, and a personal touch, Josep could be a tour guide at an exhibition, Tricia told us!
Martin praised Paula’s ability to convey enthusiasm and confidence in the first few seconds of her presentation. All points demanding accentuation were accompanied by meaningful gestures, he noted, and advised her to avoid turning from the audience to look at her slides. Martin noted that the four-part linear structure of the speech was smooth without violent shifts, although he suggested opening with a question to hook the audience.
Benoit had a few recommendations for improvement. He noted that we started and finished late… wondered if a PowerPoint might have helped keep the contest announcement shorter… and pointed out that the evening was noisy because of people talking during presentations. Points well taken! EVALUATION Benoit also had many congratulatory remarks – notably to Silvia and Debbie for their examples of gratitude, Vicki for her fun and enthusiasm, Silvia for giving the heads up to people outside during the break, Connal and Josep for their impressive progress, and Paula for her slides.