Fast Forward/Rewind – September 10, 2021

Friday’s Sunrise Toastmasters meeting centered around the theme of engagement, which was also the word of the day. Our astute President, Kelsey Long, opened this week’s meeting with some thoughts about supporting humanity and dignity for all. Our club normally has a minute of silence in acknowledgment and support of the Black Lives Matter movement. This week Kelsey also acknowledged the anniversary of 9/11 and asked us to keep in mind the first responders, and people who were killed in those attacks, as well as all of their loved ones. After our minute of silence, she then turned the meeting over to the Toastmaster, Savannah Murphy.

We had eleven members in attendance, and Savannah started off by sharing several definitions of the Word of the Day, “engagement.” Throughout the meeting, Savannah referenced various meanings of the word. She spoke of her sister’s engagement to be married, which has lasted much longer than expected due to COVID wedding postponements, and encouraged us all to seek out engagement, or involvement with people and causes that are important to us. Savannah also gave a word of caution about using engagement to describe battles, as in “military engagement,” because that innocuous phrase does not convey the type of gravity and concern that a military battle should invoke.

Summer Murphy presented the first prepared speech of the day, a Level 3 project on Communicating Change in the Visionary Communications pathway. In her speech titled “Jabberwocky,” Summer posed as the CFO of a package delivery service presenting an upcoming change to the other company officers. With convincing stats and estimates of lower costs and increased revenues, Summer laid out an appealing plan to give the company’s hourly employees a 20% raise in pay. She pointed out that the plan would not only benefit the company’s bottom line, but would also help the employees to raise their standards of living. Summer encouraged all of the officers to give their full support to this plan to raise hourly wages, noting that the plan is “simple, elegant, noble, and profitable.” Her evaluator, Karen Rhodes, remarked on how Summer’s use of numbers supported her points without being overwhelming, and praised her use of humor to ease the worries that the audience might have about the upcoming change.

Our second speaker was Dave Burr, who presented a Level 3 project on Understanding Emotional Intelligence in the Motivational Strategies pathway. Dave had just returned from attending his daughter’s wedding. He shared with us his efforts to engage with each of the guests at the wedding and find personal connections with his daughter’s and new son-in-law’s friends and extended family. With captivating recounts of several conversations, Dave walked us through his weekend as the “Father of the Bride.” He also reflected on how that type of intensive emotional engagement with others can be exhausting but rewarding. Kelsey Long served as his evaluator, and complimented Dave on his relaxed and informal delivery for this project. She also echoed the groups’ appreciation for his willingness to deepen his connection with the group by sharing personal stories in such an “emotionally intelligent” way.

Tim Murphy served as Table Topics Master, and resurrected some of the more impactful Table Topics questions he has heard in his long Toastmasters career. Our members expounded on a variety of topics, including their take on the American Dream; making all schools equal in funding, support and being a safe space for kids; and a prank involving glitter in the air conditioning vent of a friend’s truck.

Nereida Sutton served as the General Evaluator for the first time, and gave a thoughtful review of the meeting, especially noting the effective way in which the speech evaluators had included both positive feedback and suggested areas of improvement.  Angela Marsh was the Timer this week, and delivered times for each prepared speech, Table Topics response, and speech evaluation. John Doggett, serving as Grammarian, gave a review of the grammar elements used by the day’s speakers.

Our conscientious Treasurer, Dave Burr, reminds us that renewal dues must be turned in by the end of September to stay in good standing as a Toastmasters member.

Next week’s meeting will be at 7 am, September 17 EST on Zoom. The roles for that meeting are as follows:

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

Join us at the next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting where we are consistently engaged in building confidence, leadership and communication!