Fast Forward/Rewind – February 18, 2022

Our observant President, Kelsey Long, opened this week’s meeting by acknowledging the birthday of Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison who passed away in 2019. Kelsey shared her admiration of Morrison’s refusal to change her writing style to make it more palatable to white readers, and read a quote from the author about her experience “navigating a white male world.” Kelsey then led us into our usual minute of silence in acknowledgment and support of the Black Lives Matter movement, before passing the meeting over to our Toastmaster of the day, John Doggett.

We had 17 people in attendance, including sixteen members and one guest. After going over the meeting roles and a quick round of introductions, John turned the meeting over to the first speaker, Amelya Black.

Amelya presented a talk in preparation for competing in the upcoming Toastmasters International Speech Contest. In a talk titled, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” Amelya shared her thoughts on the importance of helping others even when we have struggles to deal with in our own lives. Painting pictures with her words, Amelya allowed us to see the elderly man and his wife with mental health issues, sleeping for months in an abandoned building; or the 15 year old, arrested while trying to care for his little sister, sitting alone on a court bench, their parents nowhere to be found. Amelya ended with a call to action for us to open our eyes and see the unseen and to do anything to help someone in need. Her evaluator, Tim Murphy, noted that Amelya did a great job of making her audience feel connected to the people and stories in her talk. Tim also commented that her use of hand gestures helped to accentuate parts of her talk and make them more memorable.

The second speaker of the day, Savannah Murphy, delivered a talk titled “The Wisdom of Anger,” in which she challenged the commonly held belief that anger is a “bad” emotion. With examples from her own experiences, Savannah shared ways in which we might use anger: as a fuel to do something useful like exercising, as armor to protect yourself from emotional damage, or as a guide to explore where some internal wounds might need to be addressed. Savannah left us with the knowledge that, although we all have the capacity for anger, we should try to understand our anger so we can use it in more positive ways. Angela Marsh, who served as Savannah’s evaluator, described the speech as being “very sticky,” meaning it was easy to follow and remember her points. Angela also noted her appreciation of Savannah’s suggested tools for leveraging our anger rather than just labeling it as something bad.

New member Greg Sutton served as Table Topics Master for the first time, and gave us all a chance to flex our creativity muscles. After providing an initial prompt, Greg asked each respondent to build on a story using the information from the previous answer. The story began with a dark stormy night and a knock at the door, and wound its way through several meetings, dogs, diners and a mischievous midnight excursion.

Norris Bass served as the General Evaluator, and provided a review of the meeting. Kelsey Long was the Timer this week, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. Karen Rhodes served as Grammarian, and noted our grammar faux pas and the word of the day usage.

The next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting will be at 7 am, February 25 EST on Zoom. 
The roles for that meeting are as follows:

Toastmaster: Dave
Speaker 1: Anu
Speaker 2: Amelya
Table Topics: Alvin
Gen. Evaluator: Summer
Speaker Evaluator 1: Savannah
Speaker Evaluator 2: Nereida
Timer: Karen
Grammarian: Angela

Join us at Sunrise Toastmasters where our collaboration efforts help us all to improve our communication and leadership skills.