Viewing entries posted in December 2014

December 15, 2014 Meeting

by |

We kicked off final meeting of the year with a warm welcome from Brian, reading from Dr. Seuss’s The Places You’ll Go.  Our Toastmaster for the evening, Mark, started off by introducing our theme for the day, "Where are you from?", telling us that he has in fact lived over 90% of his life within 5 miles of the Presbyterian Hospital where he was born, noting that more than 40% of people generally settle in the community they were raised.

Introducing his role as Ah Counter, Don had the entire room chanting his rendition of Queen’s “We will we will rock you”, noting that he will, he will click you if you say an “ah” or “um” during the meeting.   

We had a full slate of excellent speakers! First, in her Ice Breaker speechAnd Then The Frenchmen Borrowed Our Flag, Danielle delivered a riveting and brave story about her journey in Spain that shaped the person she is today. 

Next, in her speech, The Initiation, Ann gave us an entertaining “day in the life” view of what it’s like to be a substitute teacher corralling a group of 5 year olds through an entire day of schooling for the first time. 

Then, in Lisa’s speech, First Family Vacation, we learn that it’s important to share our vacation plans with our children, as she tells us about what was supposed to be a magical family vacation to Disney World that turned out to be a disappointment for her 6-year old daughter.  Lisa still managed to make it an enjoyable experience for herself, having taken a picture with every one of the Disney Princesses!

Finally, Jyo delivered a heartfelt speech titled, Know You WHY, as she delivers Speech #10 in the CC manual for the sixth time.  Jyo encourages all to understand our WHY in life, and how it has helped others change the world, including the founder of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen foundation, which has helped save the lives of both Jyo and Lisa through breast cancer awareness and screening. 
We had a number of standing ovations during the meeting. Danielle, one of our newest members, for her Ice Breaker speech; Jyo Pai, one of most experienced members, for delivering a compelling tenth speech; and finally a heartfelt standing ovation from all of our members for our President Allison Blair, as she presided over her last meeting as President of Preston Persuaders Toastmasters.  Her leadership and energy over the past year have continued to reinforce the qualities of excellence that make Preston Persuaders a club our members and guests continue to value and enjoy coming to each week. 

We look forward to seeing YOU at our next meeting!

Ribbon Winners

5-Star Helper: Autumn
Best Evaluator: Allison
Best Table Topics: Autumn
Best of the Big 3: Mark
Best Speaker: Jyo
Spark Plug: Don

December 8, 2014 Meeting

by |

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."

This quote by Albert Schweitzer was shared by our Invocator Ann. We hope that your inner fire can be rekindled each week with your fellow Preston Persuaders!

As our Toastmaster, Durai inspired us all with his story of how he followed his heart to reunite with his wife and support her through a difficult time, even though his mind told him it wasn’t the best thing for his career.

Amar’s mission is to change one of the most prevalent stereotypes about engineers. For Amar, engineers are not just calculators that can be tucked away in windowless cubicles, they are people with personalities that can bring more value than just their calculations. In his Ice Breaker speech he told us how he went from studying engineering in Kuwait at the time Saddam Hussein invaded to now leading an engineering firm in Texas with 12 other engineers. His speech was expertly delivered! An excellent start to your Toastmasters career, Amar!

Stephanie began by lighting the first two candles of her manora. She shared with us the story of Hanukkah that she has always known and then proceeded to set the story straight. Apparently the jews under the command of Judah Maccabee (“the Hammer”), weren’t as defenseless as Stephanie had been led to believe when they drove their Greek-Syrian oppressors out of Jerusalem over a two year period.

Brian got his speech started off by apologizing for not bringing props (food) for his after-dinner role-playing speech. He shared three funny and touching stories about his boss Kevin as he wished him well on his new promotion. Brian knew he had arrived in Texas when Kevin took him out to lunch for the first time and it involved a long shopping trip to the gun store.

During Table Topics we heard lots of stories from our members around the theme of following their heart. As if by instinct (Word of the Day), the Big 3, evaluators, and helpers all performed their duties to perfection!

Before being inducted, our newest member Mays shared how the members of Preston Persuaders provided the first space in two years where she felt she was herself, the way she was in her home country. Mays is a tremendous addition to our growing Preston Persuaders family!

We had three guests, Sonia, Saeed, and Sherry, who all participated in Table Topics. We loved having them and they are welcome back anytime!

As our meeting theme taught us, remember to follow your heart! See you at next weeks meeting!

Ribbon Winners

5-Star Helper - Jyo
Best Evaluator - Lisa
Best Table Topics - Mays and guest Sherry
Best of the Big 3 - Durai
Best Speaker - Amar
Spark Plug - Stephanie

December 1, 2014 Meeting

by |

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”. This quote by Henry David Thoreau, accompanied by a supporting personal story, was shared by our invocator Chris to kick off our meeting about goals.

For his Ice Breaker speech, Jonas took us on a wild ride through his early career. His evaluator Jyo said it had been a long time since she had heard an Ice Breaker with so much energy and honesty. Jonas’ happiness and peace-of-mind are his true measure of success! His speech was fun and inspirational. Way to go Jonas!

Eileen got to the point for project #3: Music is a Language. Babies naturally recognize the beat of music and observe the joy music brings to the adults around them. Eileen taught us that babies and children learn spoken languages through exposure and that they can learn the language of music in the same way. If children were praised for their musical accomplishments in the same way they are praised for their first spoken words, we would probably have fewer children dropping out of music lessons in favor of other activities.

Dean taught us about the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Using powerpoint like a pro, he provided a very balanced view about what is working and what isn’t so far. On the plus side, 20 million people have gained insurance coverage who didn’t previously have it. Not so great: large companies with 10,000 or more employees had their healthcare costs per employee increased by $4,800 to $5,900. PPACA has a long road ahead of it with changing political leadership and the need to address the fact that healthcare costs are still extremely high.

After the meeting, our Toastmaster of the Day Mickey sent us some video links to reinforce the simple process for settings goals that he taught us: Short and Simple Process for Setting Goals by Brian TracyBrian Tracy on How to Word Your Goals, and How Goal Setting Has Impacted Brian Tracy’s Life.

All of the Big 3, Evaluators, and Helpers ambitiously (Word of the Day) completed their roles to produce a top-notch meeting. Our two guests, Sonia and Stacy, certainly enjoyed it based on their feedback at the end of the meeting.

Join us next week as Durai takes the reigns as Toastmaster!

Ribbon Winners

5-Star Helper - Durai
Best Evaluator - Jyo
Best Table Topics - Patrick
Best of the Big 3 - Mickey
Best Speaker - Eileen
Spark Plug - Jonas