Our exceptional President, Kelsey Long, opened this week’s meeting by acknowledging the importance of Black History Month. Kelsey shared a quote from Barack Obama reminding us that having Black History Month does not mean that the history of black people in America is a separate thing; it is a reminder of how the efforts and accomplishments of people of color helped to build and shape our country. She 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, Nereida Sutton.
Nereida chose “freedom” as her word of the day, and wove several thoughts and quotes about freedom throughout the meeting. We had 14 people in attendance, including twelve members, and two guests: Maria Leon, and Gary Kahn. After overseeing introductions and going over the meeting roles Nereida turned the meeting over to the first speaker, Greg Sutton.
“Diving into the uncomfortable” to give his first Icebreaker speech, Greg weaved humor and storytelling into his talk to share some of his background and why he decided to join Toastmasters. As a former business owner, a teacher, and the partner of someone in the spotlight of politics, Greg has become particularly aware of the importance of communicating effectively. Greg also shared with the group his hope of starting a youth program for kids in tech, especially for demographics who do not always get those opportunities. He is looking to Sunrise Toastmasters as a place to find encouragement and growth and we are excited to have him as one of our members. Greg’s evaluator, Tim Murphy, noted that he did a great job with the pace of his speech. Tim also commented that Greg was very deliberate with his words, pausing to collect his thoughts rather than filling in with ahs and ums. Finally, Tim echoed the group’s thoughts when he said that he is looking forward to hearing more speeches from Greg.
The second speaker of the day, Kerstin Haase, delivered a Level 1 Research talk from the Presentation Mastery pathway. Kerstin shared with the group her research on stoicism and her admiration for people who chose to live a stoic type of life. Using both ancient and modern philosophers as resources, Kerstin laid out the principals of stoicism and how it can help us to maintain resiliency when we discipline our minds and learn to distinguish whether events are within our control. Alvin Powell served as Kerstin’s evaluator and observed that she did a great job of drawing her audience in with a personal story before sharing her research. Alvin also noted that Kerstin cited several resources to support her talk, while making the speech engaging and interesting for her audience.
Amelya Black served as Table Topics Master, and shared some fascinating photos she found using the word “life” as a search term. Amelya asked respondents to comment on the photos, and our members told stories of elephants, fishermen at dawn, weathered old men and trains moving through the rain.
John Doggett served as the General Evaluator, and provided a review of the meeting. Karen Rhodes was the Timer this week, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. Summer Murphy served as Grammarian, and noted our grammar faux pas while sharing some memorable quotes from the day’s speakers.
Toastmaster Nereida closed the meeting by reminding us to live in a way that enhances the freedom of others.
The meeting roles for January and February are posted online here. If you are unable to fill your role for a particular meeting, please reach out to your fellow Toastmasters who are not scheduled that day to find a replacement.
The next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting will be at 7 am, February 11 EST on Zoom.
The roles for that meeting are as follows:
Speaker 1: Summer
Speaker 2: Alvin
Table Topics 2: Kerstin
Gen. Evaluator: Nereida
Speaker Evaluator 1: Angela
Speaker Evaluator 2: Savannah
Join us at Sunrise Toastmasters where encouragement and growth will help you to become better communicators and more effective leaders.