Meeting No.791 'Miracles'

This was our last meeting for 2017 and our first meeting with Pathways being operational (for less than 24 hours).
Sgt-at-Arms, David G. started the meeting spot on at 7:30 pm. Twelve members were present and a guest, Mark Xu, who has been in Australia only for a few months and who was member at a club in China.
Business Session was conducted with Chih D. in the chair, and matters at hand were moved expeditiously.
After a raft of program changes, Udana A. took control of the Educational Segment as Meeting Toastmaster.
Thought of the Day was presented by Daniel I. Word of the Day presented by Wendy P. was “snafu”, originally a military acronym for “situation normal, all fouled up”. The Word of the Day for this meeting was a real hit, as it was used profusely throughout the meeting.
The Round Robin, ably coordinated by Meeting TM, Udana A., was held around the meeting theme (miracles), and the question was “Do you believe in miracles?’
Peter K. followed with four fabulous Table Topics, also around the theme of “miracles”. Wendy P., DTM, evaluated the four respondents, praised them for their existing skills, and gave a common suggestion: when answering Table Topics the lectern is not needed, get rid of it, place at the back; this will allow you to do “full body” non-verbal communication with your audience.
After the tea break we resumed the meeting with a bang. Four speakers, including two icebreakers, a second and a seven speech!
Speaker #1 was Jinal M., and her icebreaker speech entitled “The Great Fight”. Jinal told us of her life in India, how being the eldest allowed her to “boss around” her sisters, and of her struggles to be able to go to a good secondary school, how to go to tertiary education, and how to win her parents to consent to her marriage to her chosen partner and not go into an arranged marriage.
Speeker #2 was Tayla H., with her icebreaker speech “My journey to Toastmasters”. Tayla told us of her love for her grandparents, of her puppy dog and pet chickens, but also how envy and greed hit her extended family. How all this affected her personal life and her health, and how now at age 22 and in her last year as a law student she has come to Toastmasters not just to develop her personal skills, but as a cathartic experience to make new friends and become a balanced person.
Speaker #3, doing only his second speech, was Greg Hynds. The title of his speech was “Jurisdiction over Terrorists”. Greg told us of the terrorist attack in a café in CBD Sydney in 2014 with two deaths and several injured. Some people, after the incident, wanted the military to become involved in dealing with terrorists. The rest of Greg’s powerful speech was about why this is not a good idea, and how the police are best suited to the task.
Speaker #4, doing speech 7, was Daniel B. and his speech title “Problems”. Daniel B. is a NLP practitioner and he used his knowledge to show us how some people know they have a “problem” and know what to do to overcome it, but don’t as they are afraid of losing their identity and the “secondary benefits” the get. He had a breakfast stool as visual aid. To the top of the class for innovation, as in my 20 plus years in Toastmasters this is the first time I have seen this.
Patty K was harkmaster, and she made it clear that no one should answer her questions but the persons nominated by her. Which is fair enough as we want all members to keep paying attention.
Wendy P, gave the report on WOD, and remarked how well the members had taken up “snafu”.
Stephen M. gave the Timer’s report, and following him David G. gave us his General Evaluation. David has been a member for several years now, and his experience can e seen by the quality of his reports.
The members present voted for Meeting 791 as Best Table Topic, Tayla H. (for the third meeting in a row!!); Best Evaluator, Stephen M. (for Tayla H’s icebreaker); and Best Speaker, Greg H. Congratulations Tayla, Stephen, and Greg!
We’ll now have out Festive Season recess and our next meeting will be on 17 January, the theme will be “tasks”.
Pathways is now operational for our club, and all members are reminded to go to, log in and go to Pathways to select your path and start your journey on this wonderful path.
See you all in January and may you all have a great festive season, surrounded by your families, friends, and people who appreciate and like you.

Daniel I.

Meeting No.790 'Enemies'

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

The theme of the meeting was “Enemies”, so the phrase above was presented as “Thought of the Day”. For those who wonder this phrase has been attributed to Chinese military genius, Sun Tzu (of The Art of War fame), and sometimes to Niccolo Machiavelli or Petrarch. However, according to my friend Wikiquote, there are no published sources yet found which predate its use by Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974): "My father taught me many things here. He taught me — keep your friends close but your enemies closer."

With such a theme, we managed to have a serious and fun meeting.

It all started at 7:31 when acting Sgt-at-Arms, Chih opened the meeting and promptly handed the reins to Business Session Chair, Udana. In addition to handle the administrative aspects of the life of the club, the Business Session is the segment where members can learn how to chair a meeting, how to submit motions, etc. All members will get a chance at having a go at this activity.

Chariman Udana welcomed members, and guests Tania and Ali, and also former member and friend Arun R to the meeting, and expeditiously moved through the agenda, and then gave control to Meeting Toastmaster, Patti K.

Patti, with her usual affability, quickly brought us to the Round Robin, the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the club and quickly reveal something about ourselves.

Thought of the day, shown at the heading, was delivered by Greg H. Next, Daniel I presented the Word of the Day, which happened to be Word of the Yeara 2017: complicit.

Peter K had his chance to present Table Topics for the first time. He had five questions around the meeting’s theme, all well researched, and even quoting the Bible.

Arun R evaluated the Table Topics, and every speaker was not only built up but also received helpful hints on how to take it up another notch.

After the tea/coffe break break, club president Udana A inducted into the club new members Tayla Harrison and Jinal Makawana. I always get a great deal of pleasure in welcoming new members, and, as a father of two daughters, even more so when they are young and female. Welcome Tayla and Jinal. You have come at our club at a very exciting time, when we’re just about to embark in Pathways, the new and vastly improved educational system. May you get every thing you need from Toastmasters.

There were only two speakers for the night, and one was impromptu.

One of the many reasons why I am a Toastmasters addict is because I keep being surprised by people. I’ve met Wendy P, DTM, around 1994 at a Toastmaster convention. I joined Werribee in February 2013 and since then I had numerous occasions to see Wendy in action. We all know she’s a gold-class evaluator. But I never suspected she was what we in Australia call a “petrol head” (i.e., a lover of automobiles and car racing). Her speech was about being the proud owner of an Alfa Romeo car, and how being member of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club gave her opportunity to go around many racing circuits, including Philip Island, Sundown, and others, with Winton being her favourite. Congratulations Wendy for living your life to the full, and for sharing those precious moments with us all.

Second speaker was yours truly. This was an impromptu speech due to the cancellation of other speakers. Unfortunately I could not make it fit into a manual speech, as I didn’t even had manuals with me. (It’s important to always speak from a manual and advance towards your goals.) I tried to make it a bit of an educational speech, and I spoke about some tips for powerful evaluations. I would have liked to prepare better, but noticing how some members were taking notes, I think it was well received.

Tayla H (harkmaster), Daniel I (word of the day), Jinal (Ah-counter) and Ramya/Arun (timekeepers) were in charge of the minor reports.

Patti K has recently joined our club, after a long membership in Bribie Island Club in Distirct 69. Every club has its own personality and traditions, which are neither better or worse, but simply

different. In this case, Patti, in her role as Meeting Toastmaster, asked the timekeeper to inform the meeting of the times taken after the table topics, after the speeches, and after the evaluation. Then at the end of the meeting the timekeeper can report in other aspects such as starting the meeting on time, etc.

By asking for the times of the different kind of speakers to be given at the end of the segment, the evaluators can use this information if needed, and the members can use it to decide our votes on Best Table Topic, Best Evaluator, and Best Speaker. When it is your turn to be Meeting Toastmaster, you may like to do this as well.

The meeting closed at 9:32 pm. As this meeting was on the fifth Wednesday of the month, our next meeting is only a few days away, on 7 December. Hope to see all the seats taken for our last meeting of 2017.

Some news that came at hand after the meeting. Bunnings have cancelled our Sausage Sizzle date and given it to another organisation. Reasons are not clear to me at this stage, but its important that members know they will now not be needed to staff the stand on Sunday 10 December.

Looking forward to seeing you all next Wednesday.

Daniel I.
Werribee Toastmasters VPPR