domingo, 14 de febrero de 2016

“Better Late than Never”

What another extraordinary session of talent, humor, and charisma from our distinguished and fellow toastmasters. Tonight, we were a full house with 13 guests!

As always, our President Jelena welcomed us by inciting another inspirational question “How do you make your time meaningful?”

Her advice? First, improve your time management skills over 3 important aspects of your life. These are your career, relationships and yourself. Second, always have goals to achieve. Third, use your mornings for yourself.

Our Toastmaster Marc then briefly explained the topic of the session which was “better late than never”. This phrase were used several times between toastmasters which created some funny moments during the session.

The technical team consisted of Beatriz as our Timekeeper, Enrique as the Ah-Counter, and Olga as the Grammarian. For every crutch and fillers used, our Ah-Counter will collect €1. At the end of the session, he will hand out an imaginary bill for how much money each speaker need to give to him, theoretically. The word of the day is procrastination.

Our first speaker was Isabel who mesmerized the audience by holding out in the air a mysterious looking talisman in her hand. It was her lucky charm and she takes it with her everywhere she goes. She even counted that she’s passed by the streets of Passeig de Gracia 181 times with it. She explained that many people in the world believe in superstitions. In fact, 10 million people in the US don’t go out on Friday the 13th because it was considered “bad luck”. What’s her recommendation? Don’t let superstition control your life!

Next came our 2nd speaker Maria Luisa with a big bang! Entering through the room and all the way to the stage, Maria Luisa held up her mobile high while playing a song from the late David Bowie. The room was pumped up with good vibes and energy as she paid tribute to her hero David Bowie. He’s her hero because of his continuous reinvention of style and music. He was a trendsetter who embraced change and collaborated with different important artists such as Freddie Mercury and John Lennon. Maria Luisa reminded us that we are the average of the 5 people whom we spend with most of our time.

Finally, our third speaker Rayane came on stage and asked some thought provoking questions, “do you know or remember how you were born?” and “how do women feel and know when to give birth?”. With a powerpoint slide and 2 boxes on the table, she demonstrated the process of birth in a simplistic term. During her speech, she gave a very expert view of how it is done based on research and secondhand experience that she’s gotten from her father who’s a gynecologist. She made the learning process for the audience fun and lively as if we were back in school again. Rayane concluded: if you can master the challenge of birth, you can master any challenge!

The 3 speakers were evaluated, starting with Isabel by Mariyana. Isabel has outdone herself again by showing a “precious artifact” as a visual aid, her calmness and great use of voice. Paul, evaluating Maria Louisa’s speech, said that she has achieved her goal to communicate her ideas clearly and accurately while avoiding irrelevant words. She made a great entrance in which no one has done before, but could have taken it slower so that the audience and herself could have enjoyed it more. Lastly, M.A. congratulated Rayane for delivering her speech on something that’s very complex with a clear and delight manner. She spoke with authority even though she had no direct experience. But thank goodness that we didn’t have an actual pregnant woman on stage, as M.A. joked.

Up next our President Jelena led the table topics about Valentine’s Day gifts for your significant other. But before she picked out 3 lucky (or not so lucky) volunteers, she gave out 3 useful tips to prepare for table topics. These are: don't forget to breath, have structure for your speech, and finish with a good delivery.

The first person to go was Jorge who talked about giving a boyfriend arm pillow to his girlfriend as a gift. Everyone in the room burst with laughter by some of his comments. Our second volunteer was a guest named Marc who had to explain to his girlfriend (or soon to be ex-girlfriend) why he’s giving her a portrait of Bruce Willis. It turns out that his girlfriend cheated on him with good old Bruce. Last but not least, our brave Cristina came as the third volunteer and had to explain why she’s giving a book called “ Beard” (the book cover was a long black beard of a man) to her significant other. She reminded us that actually in Catalunya, “Valentine’s Day” is celebrated on April 23rd known as Saint Jordi’s Day where we exchange books and roses instead!

Our Technical team came with their reports on timing, the use of fillers, grammar and word of the day. Overall, we had a very good session with timing. Enrique collected a total of 51€ from using fillers and crutches! Olga congratulated everyone for not having lots of grammatical mistakes and for using the word of the day.

Our General Evaluator Nacho specified three things that can be improved:

  • evaluators can be more detailed with feedback and suggest real life examples
  • evaluators should try to link their feedback with the topic and conclusion of the speech
  • if you’re late to the session try to walk in only when applauses start, not during a speech

As we closed the session, we had one last big applause to Rayane for achieving her 5th advanced speech and to the new members Juan and Sean!

Blogger: Sean

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