Our thoughtful Sergeant at Arms, Norris Bass, opened this week’s meeting by building on last week’s idea introduced by Anu Parvathaneni that, when wanting to have an impact on the world’s problems, we can feel insignificant like a grain of sand. Norris asked us to think of ourselves instead as a pebble being tossed into a pond, and how our ripples might have a positive effect. Norris then led us into our usual minute of silence in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before turning over the meeting to the Toastmaster of the day, Greg Sutton.
We had 15 members in attendance. Greg, tuning in from a business trip in Buenos Aires, chose comfort as his word of the day. He explained that comfort can be physical or mental, and that it is important to recognize how we are affecting the comfort of those around us. Greg illustrated this point with our club’s bias flag, which can be used to signal when a speaker’s bias is causing discomfort. He then turned the meeting over to the first speaker of the day.
Maria Leon presented her first Icebreaker speech from the Dynamic Leadership pathway. In her talk titled “Tap Water,” Maria shared a bit about her family, her job, and how she hopes Toastmasters will help her to grow as a communicator and a leader for the next generation. Maria explained how her job as a building estimator requires a lot of communication with many different people. She talked about how she initially “dreaded” that part of her job, but now feels like it is one of her strong suits. Maria also told a vivid story about a recent trip to visit her extended family in Mexico and an unfortunate tap water incident that had her out of commission for several days. We all enjoyed getting to know Maria and congratulate her on completing her first Toastmasters speech! Angela Marsh served as Maria’s evaluator, noting that the tone and pace of her speech conveyed comfort with her topic and her audience. Angela also complimented Maria on her entertaining and authentic delivery style, and echoed the group’s anticipation for her next talk.
Alvin Powell was the second speaker and gave a speech titled “How Do You Like Your Eggs?” After exclaiming that he was “eggstatic” about Maria’s Icebreaker, Alvin presented a well-researched talk about one of his favorite comfort foods, eggs. He talked about what determines the color of an egg (the type of chicken that lays it) and whether brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs (nope, they are not). Alvin also covered some of the jargon used in marketing eggs (you guessed it, fancy jargon does not equal happy chickens or more nutritious eggs). Alvin concluded by commenting that eggs are like people, a product of both genetics and their environment. Alvin’s evaluator, Kerstin Haase, found his talk to be well organized and captivating. Kerstin also praised Alvin’s use of an interesting and on-topic Zoom background to set the tone for his speech.
Tim Murphy served as Table Topics Master, and ran with the theme of the meeting, posing questions about things that bring comfort and also discomfort. Members talked about the comfort food of mashed potatoes and gravy, the comfort of reaching out to a mental health hotline in a time of crisis, constant stress depriving them of a “comfort zone,” missing the joys of a comfortable silence shared with children who have left home, leaving a comfortable job for new growth opportunities, and the childhood comfort of reading books where kids are the heroes in control.
Tanuja Reddy served as the General Evaluator for the first time, and gave a thorough review of the meeting. We had one bias flag raised, which was responded to appropriately by the speaker. Anu Parvathaneni served as the Timer, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. Greg Sutton also served as Grammarian, and noted the grammar faux pas and filler words used by individual speakers in the meeting.
The next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting will be at 7 am, May 27 EST on Zoom.
The roles for that meeting are as follows:
Speaker 1: Amelya
Speaker 2: Summer
Table Topics: Renuka
Gen. Evaluator: Karen
Speaker 1 Eval: Alvin
Speaker 2 Eval: Tim
Invite someone you know to step out of their comfort zone and discover the friendship and personal growth at Sunrise Toastmasters!