Fast Forward/Rewind – January 28, 2022

Our eloquent President-Elect, Amelya Black, opened this week’s meeting by acknowledging Holocaust Remembrance Day. Amelya encouraged us all to challenge the false narratives that can distort history and stand in the way of change and to look to the past with a commitment to “memory, dignity and justice.” Rather than our usual minute of silence in acknowledgment and support of the Black Lives Matter movement, this week Amelya asked that we spend our minute of silence in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust and other genocide atrocities.

Our Toastmaster for the meeting, Kelsey Long, chose “awareness” as her word of the day, especially as it relates to having knowledge or understanding of our own biases. We had 17 people in attendance, including Renuka Korlipara, who just joined the club (congratulations, Renuka!), and three guests: Drew Lindberg, Maria Leon, and Gary Kahn. After overseeing introductions and going over the meeting roles Kelsey turned the meeting over to today’s speaker, Norris Bass.

Norris gave an extended Level 4 Question and Answer Elective project from the Presentation Mastery pathway. In his talk, Norris used some Power Point slides to highlight some truths versus misconceptions about Down’s Syndrome. Having a family member with Down’s Syndrome, Norris drew on personal experience as well as the extensive research he has done on the topic to give a great overview challenging some misunderstandings about this genetic condition. After his talk, Norris hosted a question and answer session where he easily handled queries from the audience. People asked about his family’s experiences and for suggestions on how to make sure that interactions with people who have Down’s Syndrome are a positive experience for everyone involved. Norris‘ evaluator, Kerstin Haase noted that he did a great job of setting the tone of the speech and using photos to help the audience connect with his topic. Kerstin also commented that Norris’ facial expressions and in-depth answers really showed the passion he has for helping increase awareness about the Down Syndrome community. Because Norris’ project was to take 15-20 minutes, his was the only prepared speech of the day.

Tim Murphy served as Table Topics Master, and asked participants to speak about questions regarding institutional racism. With the extended prepared speech time, we only got to hear two impromptu answers during the meeting, but members found the questions so compelling many stayed online after the meeting to continue the discussions.

Savannah Murphy served as the General Evaluator, and provided a thorough review of the meeting, praising the Toastmaster for keeping the meeting on track with an unusual agenda and large group in attendance. Angela Marsh was the Timer this week, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. John Doggett served as Grammarian, and noted our filler words and the Word of the Day usage.

The meeting roles for January and February have been 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 4 EST on Zoom. 
The roles for that meeting are as follows:

Toastmaster: Nereida
Speaker 1: Greg (icebreaker speech)
Speaker 2: Kerstin
Table Topics 2: Amelya
Gen. Evaluator: John
Speaker Evaluator 1: Dave
Speaker Evaluator 2: Alvin
Timer: Karen
Grammarian: Summer

Join us at Sunrise Toastmasters where active listening brings an awareness of the truths your neighbors are sharing and will make you a more effective communicator and a better leader.