Friday’s meeting seemed to focus on our responsibilities to ourselves and our fellow humans. Sunrise Toastmasters’ thoughtful VP Education, Savannah Murphy, opened this week’s meeting with notes on the generational wealth that is created by home ownership. She asked us all to keep in mind the ways in which generational wealth has been denied to people of color throughout our history as a nation as she led us into our customary minute of silence in acknowledgment and support of the Black Lives Matter movement. She then turned the meeting over to the Toastmaster, Amelya Black.
Amelya started off by sharing the Word of the Day, “proclaim,” with the 13 attending members. She told us of the 1948 United Nations’ proclaiming of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt, the Declaration included 30 articles of standard human rights and freedoms and has been used as the basis for human rights documents worldwide. Amelya then tied her theme and Word of the Day to the Toastmasters mission, noting that to be “effective leaders” we must support such basic rights for our fellow human beings.
Kelsey Long presented the first prepared speech of the day, a Level 2 project on Understanding Your Leadership Style in the Innovative Planning pathway. In her speech titled “In Pursuit of the Leader Within,” Kelsey identified the three maxims she will use in developing her leadership as our club president. Kelsey plans to “identify the why” by making sure she finds a reason to act and a motivation behind her leadership. She will “say yes to the mess” by understanding that things do not always go perfectly and by valuing reward over risk. She will “stand on the shoulders of giants” by reaching out to seasoned colleagues to help her gain insights. Her evaluator, Angela Marsh, remarked on how hard it is to believe that Kelsey gave this speech on her one year anniversary of first visiting the Sunrise Toastmasters club as it was such a strong and engaging talk. Angela applauded Kelsey’s “re-engineering” of the project outline to make the talk more warm and relatable.
Our second speaker was Anu Parvathaneni, who was revisiting a Level 1 project on Evaluation and Feedback in the Dynamic Leadership pathway. In her speech, “Mask Up, America” Anu incorporated feedback she received the first time she presented this speech to try and make the presentation more effective. Anu tried to acknowledge the reasons some Americans might feel they have a right to not wear a mask in public during the pandemic, but concluded that it is not about our rights, but our responsibilities. Karen Rhodes evaluated her speech, commenting on how each of Anu’s points helped to fulfill the four Greek rhetorical strategies for persuasive communication: logos, which uses reason and logic; ethos, which refers to character and credibility; pathos, which utilizes empathy to build an emotional appeal; and kairos, which seeks out the most opportune moment for a discussion.
Nereida Sutton served as Table Topics Master for the first time, and challenged everyone with bold questions about important topics of our time. Nereida’s topics included the minimum wage, vaccine mandates, defunding the police, free education, and racism. Our members were up to the task, speaking thoughtfully and from the heart, largely with a focus on our responsibilities to the greater good. Congratulations to Nereida for tackling the Table Topics job head on and providing a platform for such caring and mindful responses.
Savannah Murphy gave a thorough review of the meeting as the General Evaluator, especially praising the speech evaluators for including potential areas of improvement in their speaker feedback. Dave Burr served as timer this week, and delivered times for each prepared speech, Table Topics response, speech evaluation and the general meeting review. Norris Bass, serving as Grammarian, observed that, while the prepared speeches were very clean, we had a 4-way tie for the “Wizard of Ahs” award, citing the impromptu speakers as the ones needing to mind their filler words.
Our Toastmaster, Amelya, wrapped up the meeting by reminding us that in order to proclaim our truth we must speak it loudly, clearly and in public.
Next week’s meeting will be at 7 am, September 3 EST on Zoom. The roles for that meeting are as follows:
Speakers: (1) Tim, (2) Karen
Table Topics: Kelsey
Gen. Evaluator: Amelya
Evaluators: (1) Norris, (2) Kerstin
Join us at the next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting where we proclaim loudly, clearly and in public that we are here to help you build confidence, leadership and communication!