March 24th Meeting

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Meeting Recap

Sarah’s invocations have been so inspiring, she delivered yet another invocation on the need to show and feel compassion towards everyone. Sarah introduced many in the audience to the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference and renowned author Karen Armstrong’s call for compassion in her TED talk of 2008. Toastmaster for the meeting Shiny took everyone on a sojourn(WOTD) in describing the tales of the - Story Journey - theme for the meeting.

In his speech – No Rooz – Bahman introduced to all the Persian New Year celebrations that occur each spring and last for thirteen days of merriment. Speaking on – Parent, Adult and Child – Durai connected the dots between the three behaviors in transaction analysis and how in each approach the ego comes into play. In a very entertaining speech about – Skiing – Brian recalled his vacation trip of many years ago with his college friend and the many funny instances that occurred during the trip, including some who misconstrued them as an “alternate-lifestyle couple”.

Larry’s entertaining questions during the Table Topics segment was fun for all participants and listeners alike. Dean handled the General Evaluator role and all three evaluators provided insightful feedback to the speakers.

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

March 17th Meeting

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Meeting Recap

After the exciting and hectic contest meeting last week, Sarah Whitfield’s timely invocation on always working to live in the moment got the meeting started in the right direction. Continuing on tips for PPTM roles, Jyo Pai reminded everyone the importance of developing and taking up club leadership roles. The toastmaster for the meeting Ed Meissner narrated how “The Winds of March” – theme of the meeting – affected his life growing up in west Texas. That caused a little haboob (WOTD) among the audience.

Chris Jackson started off the first speech in more ways than one… it was his Ice Breaker speech as well. Chris shared his personal experience of coaching a kids soccer team and the emotional roller coaster that ultimately led him to become a better leader. In his speech - Tennis On table - Mike Tatachar talked about how his dormant passion of playing Table Tennis was awakened and the numerous physical and mental benefits of the game. In her speech - Path to Agile - Lisa Sun gave everyone an insight into the makings of an IT company’s approach to product development and the interplay of technology relative to business considerations. The final speech of the meeting - Retirement Planning - Dean Emmert discussed the various options for all to take when planning for retirements. It was very informative to all.

Table Topics master Janak Patel engaged everyone with humorous topics/questions for this segment. General evaluator Jeff Whitfield touched on the key aspect for all speech evaluations – the speaking objectives as enumerated in the manual. A good reminder indeed! PPTM members were delighted to welcome former PPTM president Doris Fuellgarbe.

March 10th Meeting

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Contest Recap

Last Monday was the day Preston Persuaders were awaiting with much excitement – The club speech contest day. Befitting the theme for the meeting –Seize the Moment – our Contest Master, Sarah Whitfield, and all five contestants had the audience in rapture.

To get the speeches started, Bahman spun quite a tall tale about his tech-savvy grandma’s new password complete with 7 characters, a number, and one especially special character. The audience was still laughing at his punch line the rest of the evening. Mark took us on a magical journey as he uncovered the mysterious truth about Toastmasters.

All three speakers participating in the International Speech Contest had a remarkable common thread weaving through the fabric of their speeches – a deep personal touching connection. In his speech - Why Are You Here? - Mickey explored how he connected at multiple levels with his father . He went on to explain how crucial personal communication skills are and how being in a Toastmasters club is furthering that journey. In her speech - Nurture and Nature- Stephanie literally touched everyone’s soul recanting her relationship with her son. Her speech truly embodied a mother’s unconditional love for her son. In his speech titled - L i f e - Mike captured the unexpected twists and turns that make everyone’s life what it is. Mike recalled how a serious accident his daughter suffered suddenly thrust the family into action and personal revelation.

The meeting was not only a feast to the mind, but also to the body. The refreshments served up were fancy and delicious. A big thank you to Contest Chair Lisa Sun, Chief Judge Jyo Pai, and the rest of our amazing volunteers who made this contest such a success!

Tall Tales Contest
1st Place: Mark R, TM
2nd Place: Bahman D, TM

International Speech Contest
1st Place: Mickey B, CC
2nd Place: Mike T, TM

Mark and Mickey will go on to represent our club at the Area Contest on Saturday, March 29th. 

February 24th Meeting

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The theme for the meeting was “the early bird gets the worm” and it seemed as though all Preston Persuaders attending the meeting were following the cue. Members were all early for the meeting and were suitably rewarded. Not only was it a wonderful meeting, each table was meticulously (WOTD) adorn with a cup of delicious gummy worms, thanks to the generosity of the Toastmaster for the meeting CC Stephanie M. Invocator TM Janak P. started off the meeting in a humorous vein by stating that when you are not an “early bird” you can miss out on a choice breakfast at hotels. In her remarks, Club President CC, CL Allison B. recalled her personal story of getting a significant reward by being the earliest on her first day of work.

In her Ice Breaker speech TM Carolyn K. spoke of how she used a very personal tragic event to conquer her fears. Championing the case for the mass introduction of electric cars, ACB Brian T. rhetorically reminded everyone on how dependant we all were on the automobile and how the auto bailout was a missed opportunity to move away from fossil fuels. In perhaps a first ever at Preston Persuader club, the Toastmaster Stephanie M. was also the final speaker of the evening. Stephanie completed the final project of the Competent Communication manual with a commanding delivery of a cause she felt right and finally accomplish it. Kudos to Stephanie on completing the CC manual and becoming a Competent Communicator. Table Topics Master TM Durai K. challenged all to recall how we have missed seizing opportunities in our lives and how we would do better the next time.

February 17th Meeting

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Meeting Recap

“Be my Valentine - every which way”, that seemed to echo through the meeting. First, TM Mike T., Toastmaster for the meeting, started the meeting stating how you can transcend your valentine experience from chocolates and flowers by describing his own personal valentine surprise event. Mike also shared a couple of very funny valentine quotes. Using a placard, TM Bahaman D. aptly described in his speech the five generations that make up the American social fabric and went on to elaborate the attributes of the Traditionalists Generation prior to the baby boomers. TM Larry D. in his speech on Relationships posed very interesting takes on food, beverages and relationships. Recalling on his personal experiences, Larry was able to convince all that relationships are really what makes us who we are. Finally, in her speech “why we compete” DTM Jyo P. redefined competition, which ultimately led her to encourage members to see the rewards of participating in the upcoming club speech contest. You could clearly see that Table Topics master ACS, ALS Ed M. was prepared for the theme of the meeting. Ed posed valentine related entertaining questions and the six ebullient(WOTD) participants equally excelled in their extemporaneous speeches. General Evaluator ACB Rick G. gave a unique yet valuable perspective on speech evaluation and how it helps to discover your “speaking” self. VP of Education, TM Mark R. deftly handled the duties of acting president for the meeting. VP of Membership, ACB Brian T. continued championing membership drive by introducing the newest club member Chris J. We extend a warm PPTM welcome to Chris.

February 10th Meeting

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CC Alex E. got the meeting started by invoking the quote “Home is where the Heart is” from the great Italian thinker Pliney. Club President CC, CL Allison B. in her remarks reminded all about the upcoming club speech contest on Mar 3rd. Continuing the new Back to Basics Tips, club VP of Education, TM Mark R. very succinctly described the role of the Invocator to include a brief inspirational thought for the meeting as well as not impinging on the Toastmaster’s topic. The Toastmaster for the meeting TM Wen K. used a map to demonstrate where and how your place of residence can be impacted by a nuclear accident. TM Durai K. in his speech “My Lemon” shared his very personal experience of first buying a new car and later a used car and connected the dots for the audience of the emotional roller coaster he went through. TM Mike T. recounted his family’s funny and rewarding experience of acquiring a canine pet that had to meet a host of requirements. He said his family is now enjoying the little “ball of furry”. CC Lisa S. detailed the process involved marketing an expensive product via a “cold call”. She then closed the sale by effectively using a member to role play a customer and addressing the customer needs. Table Topics Master, TM Melanie R. laid out an exciting topic of tall tales that got eager participants to let loose their imaginations. The topic and the participants together made up for a very humorous segment. General evaluator, DTM Jyo P., in yet another masterful demonstration of a PPTM role, provided an innocuous (WOTD), yet insightful evaluation of the evaluators.

February 3rd Meeting

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It’s the start of the second month of the new year and a timely theme of the meeting – Time Management. TM Stephanie M made a resounding start by invoking a Henry Thoreau quote - “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity”. The Toastmaster for the meeting ACG, ALS Hugh D spoke about the importance of time management in our daily lives. He cited the example of Super Bowl 16 , whence, the Cincinnati Bengals could not effectively manage the final minutes of the game and wound up losing to San Francisco. In his “Ice Breaker” speech TM Bahman D gave a very personal introduction of himself, making an impressive start of his TM journey. In her speech “Shaking In My Boots”, TM Susan B shared her literal shivering experience of her health scare. In his speech, TM Mark R weaved a remarkable tall tale of truth about toastmasters and had everyone riveted to the tale. Indeed, Mark administered (WOTD) a dose of laughter to everyone. The evening’s finale speech, "The 3 C’s of Life", was delivered by DTM Jyo P. In a poignant yet indomitable speech, Jyo spoke about how her own choice, per chance happenstance and finally her desire to change transformed her life. Table Topics Master CC Alex E made the impromptu speaking segment alluring by offering a reward. The General Evaluator CC Mickey B efficiently managed the evaluation segment, thus demonstrating his time management skills. The meeting came to a conclusion with the club recognizing TM Larry D as the Toastmaster of the month. Kudos to Larry!

January 27th Meeting

It’s the Super Bowl week!! True to form, Preston Persuaders pondered over this eventful topic. The toastmaster for the meeting, CC Lisa S. recounted the not-so-nominal (WOTD) history and little known facts about the Super Bowl. Lisa talked about how the Super Bowl has evolved to become such an American cultural phenomena and how the cost of TV commercials has skyrocketed over the years. In her speech, My Experience of Being a Mom, TM Sophia O. spoke from the heart and got members tugging at their heartstrings.

TM Mike T. spoke about the life of Madiba, aka, Nelson Mandela. Mike’s “rest of the story” was a reference to the legendary radio voice, Paul Harvey. The final speech was from ACB Brian T. regarding Preston Persuader’s meeting location. Brian presented a well organized residential map of current members and solicited everyone’s thoughts on future backup meeting locations. Table topic master, TM Mark R. brilliantly carried the Super Bowl commercial aspects by inviting members and guest speakers to try their hand at selling products in the year 2150. General Evaluator TM Stephanie M. conducted the evaluation segment and ensured meeting timelines. For a consecutive week, Preston Persuaders welcomed a new member. Carolyn K. came to the meeting as a first time guest and left as the newest Preston Persuader. A hearty welcome to Carolyn!

December 17th Meeting

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TM Mark R. led the end of the year spectacular with a meeting packed with wonderful speeches. TM Durai K. shared with us his favorite book The Greatest Salesman in the World. TM Larry D. taught us that having grit is the passion to moving forward in life. TM Wen K. explained how to make a delectable beef stew. CC Mickey B. shared his experiences and great tips to provide poignant evaluations. CC, CL Allison B. roasted outgoing club president ACB Rick G. for his service in office. Members and guests packed Spoons Cafe and enjoyed great food and camaraderie after the meeting. The next meeting will not be until Monday, January 6, so have spectacular and safe holidays until then!

December 2nd Meeting

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CC, CL Allison B. led a meeting full of holiday cheer. TM Larry D. gave his icebreaker speech talking about the places he has been and that he is still creating the answer to "Who Am I." ACB Brian T. explained that the way Hollywood portrays sprinklers in the ceiling of buildings is all wrong; they only go off when the temperature rises to a certain degree. TM Wen K. had a lot of holiday songs and questions in store for the table topics participants, and general evaluator CC Mickey B. advised of the importance of preparing a backup speech, whether you are the toastmaster or not, to be ready to seize opportunity.