Our contemplative Vice President Education, Savannah Murphy, opened this week’s meeting. After giving a trigger warning, Savannah offered an intimate recognition of the lives lost in the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, NY on May 14. Savannah then asked that, during our moment of silence, we all think about ways that our club could make tangible contributions to the Black Lives Matter Movement and racial equity, and invited everyone to stay after the meeting to discuss those ideas. After our minute of silence, Savannah briefly explained our club’s bias flagging program before turning over the meeting to the Toastmaster of the day, Angela Marsh.
We had 11 members and one guest in attendance. Angela, chose audible as her word of the day. She asked everyone to introduce themselves and give an example of things they would like to hear as an audible. Members talked about how much they enjoy hearing rain, birds, laughter and the phrase, “You’re right!” Angela then turned the meeting over to the first speaker of the day.
Amelya Black presented a Level 3 project from the Motivational Strategies pathway. In her talk titled “Hold Fast,” Amelya talked about some of the things she discovered while keeping a journal of her emotions for the past two weeks. Amelya shared her highs and lows, starting from a place of “love and openness,” and then facing emotional and physical challenges that made it difficult to “hold fast and keep moving.” Speaking openly about the herculean effort of trying to stay positive while in pain, Amelya emphasized the importance of finding support when facing a mental crisis, and allowing yourself the love and empathy required to recalibrate and get to a healthier place. Kerstin Haase served as Amelya’s evaluator, calling her speech a “fantastic piece of work.” Kerstin described Amelya’s talk as an uphill climb in which her audience accompanied her, and thanked her for giving us all something to carry through our day.
Summer Murphy was the second speaker and delivered a Level 1 project from the Humorous Speaking pathway. In her speech titled “The Not Sad Things,” Summer chose to break away from the overwhelming sadness of this week’s violence and tragedies and talk about some things in her life that are not sad. Using humorous and playful descriptions, Summer talked about the delights of coconut shrimp, the cathartic effects of ladies night, the thrill of snorkeling with sharks, the overflow of positive energy at Zumba, and the captivating fun of frolicking dolphins. She concluded by reminding everyone that sadness can be paralyzing, and we have to keep moving forward; so, make sure to stop and think about the “not sad things.” Summer’s evaluator, Tim Murphy, praised Summer’s use of vocal variety and personal anecdotes and her choice to deliver a humorous speech after such a difficult week. Tim noted that, while there is dignity in just trudging on when things are difficult, Summer instead took us “skipping down the yellow brick road.”
Anu Parvathaneni served as Table Topics Master, and ran with the theme of the meeting, posing questions about things that are audible. Members talked about the loudest person they know, someone who needs to be heard, favorite Audible books and fighting the patriarchy.
Karen Rhodes served as the General Evaluator, and gave a thorough review of the meeting. We had one bias flag raised, which was responded to appropriately by the speaker. Tanuja Reddy served as the Timer, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. Dave Burr served as Grammarian, and noted the grammar faux pas and memorable phrases from speakers in the meeting.
The next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting will be at 7 am, June 3 EST on Zoom.
The roles for that meeting are as follows:
Speaker 1: Kerstin
Speaker 2: Dave
Table Topics: Maria
Gen. Evaluator: Alvin
Speaker 1 Eval: Greg
Speaker 2 Eval: Amelya
Invite someone you know to start their journey toward becoming a better communicator and a more effective leader at Sunrise Toastmasters!