Our astute President, Kelsey Long, opened this week’s meeting by relating a story of beach front property in Southern California that was recently returned to the estate of the black family from whom it was seized by the government in the early 1900’s. Kelsey remarked that the story is a bittersweet reminder of so many black families and communities that have suffered the injustice and resulting financial loss of having their property taken from them as an act of oppression throughout our country’s history. She then led us into our usual minute of silence in acknowledgment and support of the Black Lives Matter movement before turning the meeting over to this week’s Toastmaster, Kerstin Haase.
This was Kerstin’s first time serving as Toastmaster. She chose “consciousness” as her word of the day, and reminded us throughout the meeting to raise awareness about important issues and use our voices with consciousness about the world around us. We had a smaller meeting than usual, with ten members in attendance, and Kerstin gave us an overview of the agenda before calling on our first speaker of the day, Tim Murphy.
Tim presented a Level 3 project on Making Connections Through Networking from the Strategic Relationships pathway. This project challenged Tim to attend a networking event, make strategic connections with people, and then talk about his experience. In his speech titled “Every Event is a Networking Event” Tim explained that every event where you have a chance to talk to people is a chance to build strategic relationships. Using anecdotes of talking with a homeless man in the park and working on the times tables with his nine-year-old granddaughter, Tim reminded us that if you approach all situations with the understanding that each person has value then every relationship will have the potential to benefit everyone involved. His evaluator, Dave Burr, commended Tim on “turning the project on its side” with his unique approach. Dave also noted that Tim’s delivery seemed very intentional and personal, and his use of quotes from Fred Rogers to bridge from one part of the speech to the next was very effective.
Our second speaker, Nereida Sutton, presented a Level 1 Evaluation and Feedback project from the Dynamic Leadership pathway titled “The HUB Program.” In her talk, Nereida gave us an insight into her job at UNCG to make sure that businesses that are at least 51% owned and managed by members of a minority or socially disadvantaged group have an equal opportunity to gain contract work with the university. It was clear during her speech that Nereida is not only knowledgeable about the ten steps that must be met as a good faith effort to ensure the HUB program is correctly administered at UNCG, but that she is passionate about making sure that small “Mom and Pop” shops get an equitable chance to work with the university. Her evaluator, Kelsey Long, observed that Nereida’s speech was very informative and she did a great job of incorporating feedback from her previous speech. Kelsey also remarked that it was obvious from the talk that Nereida’s work is very rewarding to her.
Norris Bass served as Table Topics Master, and challenged our members to tap in to their consciousness and imagine a “whole new world” based on the topics he presented. It seems our members took Kerstin’s advice to think about the world with consciousness of how our actions affect those around us. In the new worlds created by our members we would remove gratuitous sex, violence and racism from entertainment, create a more inclusive definition of “family” and “family-friendly,” take a more deliberately positive approach to designing social media, eliminate medical deserts, ensure equal pay for sports participants regardless of gender, and establish a government that cares for people without dictating to them.
Savannah served as the General Evaluator, and gave a thorough review of the meeting, including kudos to Kerstin for running a great meeting her first time as Toastmaster. Alvin Powell was the Timer this week, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. Summer Murphy, serving as Grammarian, reminded us to maintain consciousness about unintended sounds and filler words when we are speaking.
The next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting will be at 7 am, November 5 EST on Zoom.
The roles for that meeting are as follows:
Speakers: (1) Amelya, (2) John
Table Topics: Nereida
Gen. Evaluator: Norris
Evaluators: (1) Anu, (2) Savannah
Join us at Sunrise Toastmasters where we advance communication and leadership skills each week with a deliberate consciousness of the impact our words and actions convey.