Fast Forward/Rewind for August 13, 2021

This “Friday the 13th” meeting of Sunrise Toastmasters turned out to be an unusual meeting indeed. Our honorable president, Kelsey Long, opened this week’s Sunrise Toastmasters meeting by introducing Ruth Friddle, past Division F Director, to conduct the officer transition ceremony for Sunrise Toastmasters. Ruth thanked the outgoing officers and led each new officer in the pledge to uphold their assigned duties. After the ceremony, Kelsey gave a heartfelt thanks to fellow member and outgoing president, Tim Murphy, for encouraging her to stretch past her comfort zone in accepting the nomination as Sunrise Toastmasters club president. Kelsey also presented Tim with a plaque to acknowledge his service as president for the 2020-2021 year before turning the meeting over to the Toastmaster, Anu Parvathaneni.

Anu served as master of ceremonies for our meeting which was attended by 13 members and one guest, Lorraine Jackson, the sister of long-time member, Alvin Powell. Anu started off with introductions, in which each person was asked to give their name and something they do as a hobby. The Word of the Day chosen by Anu was “fair” and she noted in the meeting some things that she felt are unfair, such as the “pink tax” assessed against items that are used by women and cost more than comparable items used by men, such as pink shaving razors.

Our first speaker was new member, Nereida Sutton, who gave her Icebreaker speech. Nereida gave us a glimpse into her life as an avid hiker by sharing the story of her move from everything comfortable and familiar to start a new life in Atlanta, Georgia. Nereida explained how joining a hiking club opened a door to new friendships and a new passion, culminating with a trying 5-hike challenge. Welcome to Sunrise Toastmasters, Nereida, and congratulations on a successful Icebreaker speech! Her evaluator, Dave Burr, noted that giving an Icebreaker on Zoom has its own unique challenges, but complemented Nereida on her descriptive language which “painted a picture” for her audience.

Our second speaker was Norris Bass, who was presenting the “Managing a Difficult Audience” project from the Dynamic Leadership pathway. Between deflecting and redirecting the members assigned to interrupt and disrupt his talk, Norris gave a presentation about one of the Native American women who worked as Hidden Figures for NASA in the 40’s and 50’s. His speech explained the role engineer and mathematician Mary Ross had within the space program. Savannah Murphy evaluated his speech, noting that Norris handled the group interruptions well, and complementing him on preparing well for the speech ahead of time to help make his delivery smooth.

Dustin Johnson served as Table Topics Master, using quotes from football coaches to prompt responses from participants. The responses followed a thread of noting that character and the willingness to put in the work are important in all aspects of life, from sports competitions to personal relationships. Our guest, Lorraine Jackson, made it clear that it is important to give your all in life, so that when others are trying to get the best of you, your best will already be in play.

John Doggett gave his debut performance as the General Evaluator, giving his overview of the meeting and then calling for the speech evaluators to give their talks.  Summer Murphy acted as timer this week, and noted that, in this odd “Friday the 13th” meeting with an unusual agenda, every single person stepped up to make sure their roles were delivered within the allotted times. New club member, Kerstin Haase, serving in her first Toastmasters role as Grammarian, noted that Nereida’s Icebreaker speech had no ah’s and um’s to report, and then shared a few quotes from the day’s talks that resonated with her.

Even with the unusual agenda, the meeting wrapped up right at 8 am. We are especially glad to welcome our newest members to Sunrise Toastmasters: Nereida Sutton, Kerstin Haase, and John Doggett.

Next week’s meeting will be at 7 am, August 20 EST on Zoom. The roles for that meeting are as follows:

Toastmaster: John
Speakers: (1) Savannah, (2) Summer
Table Topics: Dave
Gen. Evaluator: Norris
Evaluators: (1) Angela, (2) Amelya
Timer: Kerstin
Grammarian: Tim

Join us at the next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting for a chance to receive fair and encouraging feedback that will help you improve your speaking and leadership skills!