domingo, 7 de diciembre de 2008

Toastmasters 2008/12/03

Fellow Toastmasters,

Maria, wearing her Sargent-at-Arms hat, opened the meeting handling the word to our President, Cristine, that announced a cozy meeting: there were less than 10 people in the room when we started, although we ended up being 12 members and guests.

Cristine's opening was longer that usual, since she had to ask for candidates for the officer positions that need to be filled. After she described them, these were the candidates
* VP Education: no candidate
* Secretary: Lourdes
* Sergeant-at-Arms and assistant SaA: Joana and Maria

Maria, now with her Toastmaster hat on, announced the Word of the Day: "Help". An obvious choice, given the number of hats that she had to wear during the meeting! Celine volunteered a joke about some less than exciting effects of marriage, and our efficient multitasking Maria, about how having neighbours is not always easy and how the effect of changes and expectations is always subjective.

Cristine, another efficient multitasker, conducted the Table Topics, related to Egypt. Alberto chatted with Tutankhamun even if his choice would have been meeting with Cleopatra. Joana gave us some advice about how to deal with stubborn camels. Celine told us what not to do with delicious desserts, something that hopefully we will remember during the Christmas meals. Yoeri showed that the Rosetta Stone is not the only one that makes smart people ask insightful questions about stones. Jose showed his willingness to do whatever was needed in order to visit Abu Simbel.

Caroline gave the only speech of the day: "Your voice tells a lot of you". She used lots of funny examples that allowed her to display her vocal variety, and ended up mentioning his friend Ezra, a French beatboxer, and invited us to youtube him (not her words... but has this become an accepted verb, à la "to google"?). Alberto evaluated her speech, praising it but, at the same time, providing good advice on ways to improve.

Caroline's speech and Alberto's evaluation got both good grades from our General Evaluator, Lourdes. Her assistants, Xavier as timer and Yoeri as Aha-counter, reported their notes, that showed that our guest José did the best job using the time allowed during Table Topics, and that Maria was clearly the Queen Of The Word Of The Day. Lourdes praised Yoeri's use of the hammer, and the hammer itself.

Lourdes latter asked us to take full advantage of the forgiving and friendly Toastmaster environment as a safe sandbox to learn-by-doing and improve our leadership and team-playing skills; it was not just an abstract request, but an invitation to volunteer for meeting roles and officer positions.

Lourdes also asked future Table Topic Master's to always have at least ten questions ready, so that we can have nice meetings even when there are last-minute cancellations of scheduled speeches.

If we had something like a Hero of the Day award, no doubt it would have been given to our guest José. He doesn't understand a word of English, but managed to enjoy the meeting! Lourdes and Theresa helped him to follow what was going on, so they would get the Heroine Team of the Day award. The Leader Team of the Day award would go to Dave's newborn twins, because, despite their young age, managed to make Dave miss his scheduled speech. Fortunately, Caroline jumped in with her speech: Heroine of the Day would definitely go to her. Congrats to Dave and the rest of heroines and heroes!

Roles still available for Wednesday's meeting. Follow Lourdes' advice and go and get one!