Club Info

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July 2019


Please join us for this special event that will focus on great introductions and dynamic openings.  All are welcome!!!  We will start promptly at 6:30 p.m.  If you have any questions, please contact us: [email protected].

JUNE 2019

NOTICE - We have been informed that the building will be closed on June 24th.  Therefore, the Special coaching session is being rescheduled to early July and we will post the new date soon.  

Are you interested in learning how to do effective speech openings and dynamic introductions? Then join us for an interactive coaching session at our June 24th meeting.  Our guest speaker coaches graduate students to improve their speech performance and competitive speaking skills. You always hear that you should start your speech with a great opening. “It sets the tone for your whole speech!” However, most people can’t tell you how to do it. At this meeting, you will hear tips on how to write dynamic openings and introductions.  The main event is an interactive coaching session.    

To get the most out of the coaching event, we suggest you review one or two speeches before the meeting.  Break down why you think the opening is good (or not so good).  YouTube is a great source.  I was inspired by a speech given at our June 10th meeting, when Sonia gave a Pathways speech titled “Healthy Workplace, Healthy You!"  She gave an interesting and informative speech about how healthy food choices affects your life.  

The next day, I did a search for great speech openings and found the speech below in the first 5 minutes.  Yay!  Some may think it was a coincidence but we, at the Rock, know that was probably Holy Spirit trying to get our attention. I found a 2010 TedTalk by Jamie Oliver titled “Teach Every Child About Food.”  Check out the first 50 - 60 seconds of the presentation.

Here is the breakdown on why it has a great opening. 

  •  The opening starts with an interesting story, fact, or statistic.

Jamie’s opening line:  “Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, 4 Americans that are alive will be dead through the food that they eat.” It is a good opening that accomplishes several things in just 12 seconds.  It’s an amazing stat that most people probably don’t know.  It’s a serious topic that affects everyone.  It juxtaposes a known good “food” with a bad outcome “death.” The audience will immediately start to reconsider how they think about food.

  • Provides a quick intro that tells the audience about the speaker.  He provides enough information to let the audience know why they should listen to him.
  • Jamie's introduction hits the highlights and doesn’t bore you by repeating his resume or a list of accomplishments.  Then, he says “and for the last 7 years I’ve worked fairly tirelessly to save lives in my own way.  I’m not a doctor, I’m a chef.”  Not only is it a great word choice and visual language, but It sets up the premise for the rest of his speech. At this point, most of the audience is wondering “how does a chef save lives?”
  • Finally, he talks about the “power of food” and how it affects our lives. The “power of food” is another great phrase. Food is a topic everyone knows and usually has a strong opinion.  He then goes on to use stories and facts to demonstrate the power of food and the life and death effects it has on people. 
  • Check it out and let us know your thoughts at [email protected].


MAY 2019

We had a great open house.  I’d like to thank all the members who worked so hard to make the event successful and welcomed our guests.  Good Times!  As a special event, we had a Table Topics Tournament.  For Table Topics, a speaker has 1-2 minutes to answer a question.  We had 3 Table Topic Masters – Darren, Shellie, and David.  Each TT Master selected 4 audience members to come on stage and answer a question.  

Team Darren had to give a toast and honor someone for a special occasion.  Team Shellie had to read a bible verse and explain its meaning.  Team David gave unsolicited advice to famous people.  At the end of the three rounds, the TT Master selected one team member to advance to the final championship round. All of the speakers did a great job and impressed the audience.  

Although there were many excellent performances, alas, there could be only one.  The final competitors are listed below.

  • Christine represented Team Darren
  • Adriana represented Team Shellie
  • Dana represented Team David. 

It was a close competition and the secret judges huddled for the final results. 

Winner – Dana won 1st prize for her unsolicited advice to Jeff Bezos of Amazon.  She was pleasantly surprised that one of her prizes was an Amazon gift card.  

Finalists:  Adriana did a heartwarming interpretation of a bible verse and Christine gave a fabulous commencement speech to high school graduates.  

Congratulations to all of the competitors.  Great Job!!!


APRIL 2019

CANCELLED - April 22, regular meeting. Our next meeting on April 22 has been cancelled because the building is closed. PLEASE NOTE that the Open House is still on for April 29th. We would love for you to join us.

TABLE TOPIC TIPS:  BE CONFIDENT WHEN CALLED ON (Toastmasters Magazine - August 2016)

"To me, spontaneous speaking refers to any situation where you are asked to speak off the cuff and in the moment. The reality is that spontaneous speaking is much more prevalent than planned speaking (e.g., presentations). Think of being called on to introduce someone to others, or having your boss ask you for feedback on a new idea, or handling questions at the end of a meeting.  These situations occur all of the time. As all Toastmasters know, Table Topics is a great way to practice this skill.  To boost your skills, combine your Table Topics practice with the following…

TIP #1: Get out of your own way. The first thing that gets in your way when speaking off the cuff is you. Your desire to do well, to give the right answer, to have your feedback be meaningful and memorable, actually works against you. Before you speak, you likely judge what you intend to say and weigh it against your internal criteria: What I plan to say isn’t___ (fill in the blank… insightful, helpful, worthy, relevant, etc.). This pre-speaking evaluation inhibits you.

Rather than striving for greatness, dare to just accomplish the task at hand—answer the question, provide the feedback, introduce your colleague. Reduce the pressure you put on yourself and you will increase your chances of doing well. Simply put: Setting greatness as your goal gets in the way of you getting there. Of course, this is easier said than done. You are working against the muscle memory you’ve developed over the course of your life with a brain that reacts very quickly to help you solve problems. But by giving yourself permission to respond in the moment, rather than get it “right,” you can get out of your own way and speak well."

OPEN HOUSE - TABLE TOPICS.  At the Open House, we are going to focus on Table Topics.  “Table Topics® is a long-standing Toastmasters tradition intended to help members develop their ability to organize their thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic.” Table Topics are fun and engaging for the entire audience.  There will be food and prizes!!  See you there.

OPEN HOUSE:  Join us for our next open house on April 29, 2019.

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