Fast Forward / Rewind 01/15/2021

The second Sunrise Toastmasters meeting of 2021 was one for the books. Our participants spanned the globe, including Tim and Summer Murphy in Hawaii; guest Mary Inglut in Zurich, Switzerland; returning guest Helen Grothe from snowy Minnesota; and the usual suspects in VA & NC.

Distinguished Toastmaster Dave Burr lead the show in typical Dave fashion, dropping knowledge and humor in equal measure. Dave introduced us to the NASA-funded HI-SEAS program, led by Kim Binstead with the University of Hawaii, which simulates space exploration at an isolated, Mars-like habitat not far from Tim & Summer on Mauna Loa in Hawaii, and drew parallels between this tightly-controlled environment and the quasi-quarantined environment we have all been living in for many, many months now. Dave chose SARCASM as the word of the day to remind us of the importance of playfulness in our interactions with our household (i.e., our ‘crew’).

As part of the ‘Researching and Presenting’ project from the Visionary Communication Pathway, our first speaker, Karen Rhodes, made us all hungry for Super Bowl snacks with her speech, “The History of the Buffalo Wing”. She regaled us with the myths and legends of the true inventor of the hot & spicy Buffalo wing, named after cold & snowy Buffalo, NY (where Karen used to live). We may never know the truth of who served the first Buffalo wing but we now know for sure Karen is the coolest and calmest in the face of mid-speech Zoom technical difficulties!

Our second speaker, Anu Parvathaneni, gave a timely speech on New Year’s resolutions titled “Try and Try Again“, focusing on her use of vocal variety. She enlightened us to why New Year’s Resolutions are so ‘fail-able’ and gave us strategies to increase our chances of success with our resolutions, my favorite being: give yourself a break if you miss a day, or a week, or a month, or a year! Start again anyway!

Following speeches, Table Topics was led by Angela Marsh – with a twist this week! Participants were asked to turn off their cameras, then turn them on if a statement by Angela applied to them. The table topics question was then posed to one of the attendees with their camera on. It was a fun way to learn little facts about ALL meeting participants, not just those answering Table Topics questions.

Amelya Black was intentional and comprehensive in leading the evaluation team for the first time as General Evaluator, supported by Norris, Savannah, Wendi, and Marlit. We are all looking forward to next week when she will lead our meeting for the first time as Toastmaster!

Do YOU have a New Year’s Resolution to improve your public speaking skills, challenge yourself, or broaden your community safely in these never-ending pandemic times? If so, join us next week as a guest and see how Toastmasters can be a truly special avenue for all of the above. We’d love to have you.