July 14, 2014 Meeting

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What's your B.H.A.G. (be-hag)? This week's theme was goal-setting. Allison taught us about setting Big Hairy Audacious Goals, inspired by the book Built to Last, by Jim Collins. A goal needs to have four qualities to be considered a B.H.A.G.:

Aligned - It's true to your values and who you are
Audacious - Initially, it seems impossible
Articulate - The stated goal should be easy to understand
Arduous - It requires a different thought pattern to accomplish

To prevent feeling overwhelmed, focus on one tiny step at a time, and celebrate your smaller accomplishments along the way.

In other news, kudos to Susan (Invocator), Durai (General Evaluator), and Chris (Table Topics Master), who were first-timers in their roles and did an awesome job!

Our Area Governor, Dell, joined us to perform our officer induction ceremony. Congratulations to our new officers, and thank you for stepping up to serve our club!

Officers 2014

It was another great meeting at Preston Persuaders! I hope you have the conation (Word of the Day) to make Preston Persuaders a bright spot in every week!

Ribbon Winners

Best Speaker: Allison
Best Evaluator: Sanju
Best of the Big 3: Mark
Best Table Topics Speaker: Shiny
5-Star Helper: Mickey
Sparkplug: Melanie

July 7, 2014 Meeting

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We had another fantastic meeting last night, led by our Toastmaster, Ed! We learned about water conservation, heard hilarious table topics with the prompt, "If I were a [aquatic animal] I would...", and enjoyed a panel discussion led by Bahman that highlighted the cultural diversity in our club. With representatives from the Arab countries, Mexico, India, United States, Iran, and China, we learned about different customs and cultural differences in a unique and informative way.

The Word of the Day (WOTD) was aqueous, which fit in perfectly with our water theme, and the fun and celebration continued as the Toastmaster of the Year and Rookie of the Year received their trophies! Join us next Monday for another fun and educational Preston Persuaders meeting!

Rookie and TM of the Year

Ribbon Winners

Best Speaker: Bahman D.
Best Evaluator: Mickey B.
Best of the Big 3: Brian T.
Best Table Topics Speaker: Dean E.
5-Star Helper: Hugh D.
Sparkplug: Tim (guest)


June 30th Meeting

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This was the last meeting of the Toastmasters year (July 1st - June 30th), and we ended it with pizazz at Angela's at the Crosswalk. Amid laughter and delicious appetizers, we celebrated our individual and club accomplishments of the past year.

Our speakers tonight were Larry and Chris. Larry gave us these three tips to stay focused and be more productive: maintain a clean and organized environment, eliminate distractions, and create a schedule using time blocks.

Chris told us how his time in Toastmasters helped him excel during a recent speech to hundreds of colleagues. Some of the helpful speaking tips he's learned include making eye contact and focusing on delivering a line to one person if you get nervous, consciously focusing your points to different areas of the audience to prevent pacing, and sharing personal stories to keep your audience entertained and engaged.

Allison invited us all to play fun speaking games for table topics tonight, including having a conversation using only questions, creating definitions for made-up words, and trying to fit unusual words into a conversation in a natural and playful way. 

We aspired (WOTD) to have an educational, fun, and meaningful meeting to end the year, and we succeeded!

Three special awards were given tonight!

Rookie of the Year: Durai K.
Toastmaster of the Year: Mark R.
Toastmaster of the Month (June): Janak P.

Ribbon Winners

Best Speaker: Chris J.
Best Evaluator: Jeff W.
Best of the Big 3: Allison B.
Best Table Topics Speaker: Shiny W. 
5-Star Helper: Mickey B.
Sparkplug: Allison B.

June 16th Meeting

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Meeting Recap

The meeting got started off with an invocation by Mickey beseeching all to believe in themselves. He encouraged everyone through his personal toastmaster experience of the power of self confidence and trust. Stephanie, the toastmaster for the meeting talked about hobbies, the theme for the meeting. Citing her own hobby of gardening, Stephanie detailed the many blessings of taking up a hobby that can be stimulating, nurturing and rewarding mentally and physically.

Wen was the first speaker and his speech was titled – where am I from. Using slide presentations and other facts about his background, Wen discussed his quest to unearth his ancestry and the interesting paths that quest took him through. In the end, Wen came to the conclusion the famous book of common prayer referred to as - dust to dust, earth to earth, ashes to ashes – as he said , “ My place is placeless with a trace that is traceless “. For the final speech of the meeting, Max spoke about – My grandfathers’ Ice cream. Max narrated another story of touching love from his vast repertoire of deep personal experiences. Max told the story of a young woman at a toastmaster meeting in a prison, who shared her joy and remembrances of her grandfather every time she ate an ice cream. Max’s recounting of the young woman’s feelings for her grandfather added a new dimension to the word love.

Table topic master, Lisa had come very prepared to discuss the subject of hobbies. She posed thought provoking and amusing questions about hobbies that ended up revealing a lot about club members and their hobbies. A gamut of hobbies was discussed and members had a relaxed (WOTD) feeling doing it.

The meeting ended with club president Allison, reminding everyone about the membership drive meeting on June 30.

Ribbon Winners
Best Speaker: Max R, DTM
Best Evaluator: ---
Best of the Big 3: Lisa S, ACB
Best Table Topics Speaker: Jyo P, DTM
5-Star Helper: Susan B, TM
Sparkplug: Mark R, TM

June 9th Meeting

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Meeting Recap

Stephanie was the invocator for the meeting. She spoke about the joys of summer and the many outdoor things one can do in the Dallas metro area. Dean, the toastmaster for the meeting expanded on what summer, the theme for the meeting, is all about. Dean talked about how summer activities are so special and uplifting after a long bout of winter hibernation. He said it is the season when people are able interact with each other more and travel is a much anticipated endeavour. In the spirit of the meeting joke master Jyo brought laughter and cheers to get the meeting rolling.

For the first speech, Sophia gave everyone an insight on the nuances of travel planning. In her speech, planning your vacation, Sophia elaborated various steps one can take to prudently spend on vacation trips without sacrificing the quality. She cited her current summer travel plans and shared the steps she has taken to accrue savings. In an entertaining speech titled –Body language in different countries – Bahman demonstrated the intent and impact of body gestures while speaking in different countries. Particularly amusing were similar gestures in different countries that had diametrically opposite meanings with dire consequences. Bahman’s speech highlighted how, in larger life, sometimes well intended gestures can cause problems devoid (WOTD) of understanding.

With extended time available, table topics master Sarah really stepped up to the “lectern”. She had well prepared thematic questions for all the table topics participants, resulting in a very lively meeting. The evaluators did an outstanding job in providing a positive and constructive feedback to the prepared speakers. The meeting ended with club president Allison, reminding everyone about the Annual Club End-of-Year Event on June 30. The club also named Rick G as the Toastmaster for the Month for May. Congratulations, Rick.

Ribbon Winners
Best Speaker: Bahman D, ACB
Best Evaluator: Rick G, ACB
Best of the Big 3: Sarah W, CC, ALB
Best Table Topics Speaker: Melanie R, TM
5-Star Helper: Mickey B, CC
Sparkplug: Jyo P, DTM

June 2nd Meeting

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Meeting Recap

The meeting started off with Sarah’s inspiring invocation. Toastmaster for the meeting was Mike Tatachar. The theme for the meeting was -Don’t mind..its the brain. To illustrate the intertwining of the mind and the brain, Mike referenced a movie – Transcendence, which he had seen recently. Mike shared the fascinating movie story of how the brain of the protagonist was captured digitally just before he dies and uploaded into the internet. When this image became belligerent, it had to be destroyed by a virus that ultimately takes the entire internet down. The Joke master Stephanie had tickled everyone’s funny bone with joke about Gore, Bush and Clinton.

The first of the prepared speeches began with Bahman talking about – Iran/ Iraq war. Bahman clearly layed out the basic facts about the two countries and gave us all a firm background of the event. Bahman, then proceeded to describe the unbelievable loss of lives during the war in both countries that was the direct result of the ambitious adventure of the despotic ruler of Iraq. Brahman’s slide presentation was comprehensive with lots of data and numbers. In his very poignant speech – A hospital Visit – Patrick had everyone tugging to their hearts. Patrick shared his story of visiting his very sick neighbor in the hospital that profoundly changed his life. In spite of grueling difficulties the dying neighbor had faced throughout his life, he conveyed to Patrick, with painstaking gestures that he had a good life because he was loved. That singular statement moved everyone in the audience. The final speech – The World would be a better place to live if .. – by Lisa was emotional indeed. Lisa shared her deeply personal experience with a health issue and how she battled back to successfully overcome it. In spite of such a difficult situation, Lisa managed to articulate how each one of us can play a small constructive part that could benefit the world immensely. Table Topics master, Janak parlayed the WOTDpsychosomatic, into entertaining questions and fun responses.

Ribbon Winners
Best Speaker: Patrick M, CC
Best Evaluator: Hugh D, DTM
Best of the Big 3: Mickey B, CC
Best Table Topics Speaker: Jeremy (guest)
5-Star Helper: Brian T, ACB
Sparkplug: Stephanie M, CC

May 26th Meeting

Meeting Recap

We had a shorter meeting than usual last Monday with it being Memorial Day. With Melanie as Toastmaster the meeting was a cynosure (WOTD) none the less. Melanie had everyone thinking about WHY they are involved with Toastmasters.

Here’s a panoramic photo of our members that were in attendance:

Mark used a compelling powerpoint for his visual aids project. With lots of examples we learned fundamental principles of modern web design: Less is MORE and a website must look awesome on all devices!

With all the extra time every member was able to participate in Table Topics, including Stephanie our Table Topics Master.

Allison played double-duty as Evaluator and General Evaluator. Thanks to everyone that attended our special Memorial Day meeting!

Ribbon Winners
Best Speaker: Mark R, TM
Best Evaluator: Allison B, CC, CL
Best of the Big 3: Stephanie M, CC
Best Table Topics Speaker: Melanie R, TM
5-Star Helper: Mark R, TM
Sparkplug: Shiny W, ACB

April 14th Meeting

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Meeting Recap

Toastmaster for the meeting, Allison, started off by recounting humorous personal anecdotes in her daily life that required making decisions, the theme of the meeting. Everyone enjoyed learning how the time of day mattered in the decisions of the Israeli parole board in granting paroles.

In his speech, Good Corporate Citizen, Chris made a presentation on the background that led to the Sarbanes-Oxley law and how good governance and corporate ethics are the backbone of the company he works for. In his speech,Patrick and the Lion’s Den, Patrick delivered a thundering roar. His voice inflections and animated gestures mesmerized the audience. In his speech, Easy Peasy Sprouting, Mark truly met his speech objectives for researching a topic. In a very demonstrative presentation, Mark described how easy it is to grow various sprouts and the powerful nutritional benefits they can bring to your diet. For the finale, Bahman spoke about Credit Scores. His speech was very revealing on how simple omissions can affect your credit score and how they can have devastating impact on future purchases. Bahman completed all the projects from the competent communicator manual. Kudos to Bahman.

Mike, our Table Topics Master, posed interesting questions relative to decision making and the participating speakers had humorous responses. The General Evaluator Lisa again reminded all of us about the importance of addressing the speech objectives in evaluating the prepared speeches. Although a packed meeting, everyone did an outstanding job reconciling (WOTD) to maintain scheduled times.

Ribbon Winners
Best Speaker: Patrick M, CC
Best Evaluator: Mickey B, CC
Best of the Big 3: Allison B, CC, CL
Best Table Topics Speaker: Carolyn K, TM
5-Star Helper: Rick G, ACB
Sparkplug: Mark R, TM

April 7th Meeting

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Meeting Recap

Our meeting last Monday was anything but tranquil (WOTD) with lively presentations by speakers and helpers alike. Toastmaster of the Day, Brian, shared with us the fascinating history of “the weekend”.

For the prepared speeches, Durai used engaging body gestures to take us all along for the worst flight he’s ever been on. We learned that gardening, cooking, and reading all feed Jyo’s soul. And, Max shared with us how our humbly awesome club fits into the grand scheme of Toastmasters International.

All our Table Topics Speakers, Evaluators, and Helpers did a great job! At the end of the meeting we all were thoroughly generally evaluated by Sarah.

Ribbon Winners
Best Speaker: Durai K, TM
Best Evaluator: Susan B, TM
Best of the Big 3: Sarah W, CC, ALB
Best Table Topics Speaker: Patrick M, CC
5-Star Helper: Janak P, TM
Sparkplug: Sarah W, CC, ALB

March 31st Meeting

Meeting Recap

Toastmaster for the evening Mickey took everyone on a personal adventure to get us started on the - Adventure Time – theme for the meeting. In his speech –It Was Not My Time – Max experienced an adventure of epic proportions. He narrated quite poignantly how he was hospitalized and was in coma for three weeks and lived to tell us his story. It was a very remarkable and touching speech. In her speech – Toastmasters Club Adventure in Taipei – Shinyexploited (WOTD) her trip overseas to explore and experience a Toastmaster meeting in Taiwan. It was quite illuminating to hear how the Toastmasters in Taipei have created a platform for social networking as well culinary experiences. In his speech – Plano: America’s City – Bahman reeled off effortlessly the numerous positive statistics on the city of Plano and how that has put Plano in one the most livable cities in America. Sofia in her – A Few Facts and Memories About Columbia – speech recalled many of the wonderful and happy moments growing up in her native country of Columbia. All were introduced to the tropical fruit, guanabana, whose flavor is a combination of strawberry and pineapple.

Congratulations to Mickey on winning first place in the International Speech Area Contest. Mickey will represent PPTM in the Divisional Contest. Congratulations to Mark as well on securing second place in the Tall Tales Contest.

Ribbon Winners
Best Speaker: Sofia O, TM
Best Evaluator: Janak P, TM
Best of the Big 3: Mickey B, CC
Best Table Topics Speaker: Doug Warner, TM
5-Star Helper: Allison B, CC, CL
Sparkplug: Sofia O, TM