Fast Forward/Rewind – January 7, 2022

This week was our first meeting of the New Year and Sunrise Toastmasters hosted an Open House. Our magnanimous President, Kelsey Long, started us off with lines from the latest poem by Amanda Gorman. The powerful message in ‘New Day’s Lyric’ reminds us that in these trying times we must come together to move forward. Kelsey then led us into our usual minute of silence, where we come together each week to acknowledge and support the Black Lives Matter movement, before turning the meeting over to this week’s Toastmaster, Norris Bass.

In celebration of the New Year, Norris chose “resolution” as his word of the day. We had fourteen people in attendance, including eleven members and three guests: Tanuja Reddy, Renuka Korlipara, and Kathryn Howard. Norris had everyone introduce themselves and asked each member to share one of their New Year’s resolutions After introductions, Norris turned the meeting over to the speaker of the day, Tim Murphy.

Tim presented a Level I Evaluation and Feedback project from the Presentation Mastery pathway. In his speech titled “Who Is Telling Your Story?” Tim laid out the importance of being able to skillfully relate your own individual story and to have the opportunity to hear stories from a diverse group of people. Tim explained how Toastmasters is the perfect place to combat the homogenous messaging from our social media feeds, and to learn how to craft and deliver our own stories using today’s technology. Stepping in as his evaluator, Summer Murphy commended Tim for his clear, concise, and organized message. Summer also noted his seamless transition to and from a screen-shared video clip during his presentation. Finally, she applauded Tim for his choice of such a relatable Open House speech topic. Our guests got a great lesson on the value of Toastmasters, and our members were reminded of why our weekly 7 AM meetings are truly the breakfast of champions.

For this week’s Open House meeting, we only had one prepared speech, and then held two Table Topics sessions so everyone would be sure to have a chance to speak at today’s meeting. Savannah Murphy was our first Table Topics Master, and asked questions about stepping out of our comfort zones. We got a glimpse into where our members are most comfortable, and some great life advice from our guests: Renuka Korlipara advised us that storming out of an argument and taking off by yourself in a strange city can get you lost, and Kathryn likes to jump into new things with both feet before her feet turn cold and she chickens out. Anu Parvathaneni served as the second Table Topics Master, and focused her questions on resolutions and quotes from some not-so-famous people. Members shared thoughts about drinking more water, and avoiding the trappings of the corporate world. Our other guest, Tanuja Reddy, expounded on the need to take care of our own health and mental wellbeing before we can be supportive of others. Thank you to our guests who all participated in Table Topics today; they did a fantastic job!

Kelsey Long served as the General Evaluator, and gave a thorough review of the meeting. Karen Rhodes was the Timer this week, and did an outstanding job reporting on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and evaluations. Kerstin Haase, serving as Grammarian, gave a very accurate report on everyone’s ahs and ums 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, January 14 EST on Zoom. 
The roles for that meeting are as follows:

Toastmaster: Kerstin
Speakers: (1) Savannah, (2) Dave
Table Topics: Kelsey
Gen. Evaluator: Norris
Evaluators: (1) Alvin, (2) Angela
Timer: Summer
Grammarian: Greg

You are the only one who can tell your story. Make it part of your New Year’s resolutions to join Sunrise Toastmasters where we are helping each other become more skillful communicators and exceptional leaders.