Our insightful President, Kelsey Long, opened this week’s meeting by mentioning that we should not only be celebrating black history, but also black futures. Kelsey spotlighted a black business owner, Bianca Willis, who has created a business called Learning to Live, providing travel opportunities for high school students of color to help them expand their horizons. Kelsey then led us into our usual minute of silence in acknowledgment and support of the Black Lives Matter movement, before passing the meeting over to our Toastmaster of the day, Dave Burr.
Dave chose nostalgic as his word of the day. We had 15 people in attendance, including twelve members and three guests, Avery Hale, Andrew Rymer and Maria Leon. After going over the meeting roles and a quick round of introductions using the word of the day, Dave turned the meeting over to the first speaker, Anu Parvathaneni.
Anu gave a Level 1 research presentation titled “A Step Closer.” In her talk, Anu introduced us to some new perspectives on introverts. Weaving together her own experiences with research gathered from a number of valuable sources, Anu helped her audience understand the ways in which introverts interact with the world, and some of the positive and negative aspects associated with being an introvert. Anu wrapped up by looking to a future in which she will be more comfortable with that more reserved part of herself. Her evaluator, Savannah Murphy, noted that Anu did a great job of making her research presentation more relatable by using personal stories. Savannah also noted that Anu gave the audience great resources for further research.
The second speaker of the day, Amelya Black, delivered the speech she plans to give at the upcoming Toastmasters International Speech Contest. In her heartfelt talk, Amelya shared with us some of the struggles of being a single parent. Opening with a quiet moment in her kitchen, Amelya then propelled us into her world where she sees chaos but is trying to choose calm. She projected her sense of frustration that she is “just trying to keep her head above water,” while her son needs her to be “an Olympic swimmer.” Amelya’s message spoke to all of us: that we all have times when life seems overwhelming, and all need to “uplift our fellow humans” and help each other stay afloat. John Doggett, who served as Amelya’s evaluator, said that her speech was encouraging for him because he is also a single parent. John also noted his appreciation of Amelya’s wrap up of her speech by returning to the kitchen scene where she began.
Alvin Powell served as Table Topics Master, and focused his topic questions on the conflict in Ukraine and war in general. It was a sober and introspective topic covering injuries both seen and unseen, the effects of streaming media on the perception of war, the possible return of a cold war, the humanity of welcoming refugees, and a reminder that “life is short but sweet for certain.”
Summer Murphy served as the General Evaluator, and provided a review of the meeting. Karen Rhodes was the Timer this week, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. Angela Marsh served as Grammarian, and noted our grammar faux pas and the word of the day usage.
Amelya Black will represent Sunrise Toastmasters at the Division F Speech Contest on March 5. The contest will be from 9AM until Noon on Zoom. We are proud to have Amelya representing our club and welcome everyone to log in to the contest and show our support!
The next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting will be at 7 am, March 4 EST on Zoom.
The roles for that meeting are as follows:
Speaker: Kelsey (speech and Q&A session)
Table Topics: Norris
Gen. Evaluator: Kerstin
Speaker Evaluator: Karen
Join us at Sunrise Toastmasters where we provide encouragement and a safe space to improve your communication skills and become a more effective leader.