The lost art of spontaneity [Meeting Report of 2021-07-24]

Dear friends,

it was my honor to be Toastmaster of the Evening.  Spontaneity was the theme, and some great Toastmaster spontaneity helped make this an especially engaging meeting.  Shortly before the meeting was to start, Craig invited an experienced Toastmaster from England to present a speech: Joy Kurian from the Spa Speakers near Stratford upon Avon. And just before we started, Poorana offered to do his next speech.  We then needed one more evaluator, when my Toastmaster friend James Falcon from Saltsprings Club in Vancouver popped in unexpectedly. He was immediately drafted to do the third evaluation…………….and he spontaneously agreed. We were also delighted to have as a guest Adam McConnaughy from the Ramstein club. Adam is the incoming Director for our area.

Our President Poorana greeted everyone warmheartedly, and asked our guests (Joy, Adam and James) to introduce themselves.

As Toastmaster, I began with a quote from Bertrand Russell: β€œTo like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.”

Our Word of the Day was “blunder” : a gross, stupid, or careless mistake. If you want to be spontaneous, you have to live with having some blunders.

Marion gave the Joke of the Evening, also having to do with a kind of blunder:

At school, the teacher asked:
“Paul, give me a sentence with I”
Paul:” I is the…”
Teacher: ” no, Paul…you must say ‘I am..’ not ‘I is..’
Paul: ” ok, I am the ninth letter of the alphabet” πŸ˜

Martin had questions prepared for the Table Topics:

  • Craig told a fast moving story about “where would he travel spontaneously?”
  • Marion gave her ideas on “why should the world be more spontaneous?”
  • Adam shared “what he cooks when friends come over spontaneously?”
  • And I got the question of “why being spontaneous is fun?”

Craig and Adam were both voted as Best TTs Speaker.

Prepared Speeches:

We had three great speeches tonight.

Eloisa gave her Icebreaker titled: “But really, who am I?” She gave an outline of her life in recent years, moving from her home country of Paraguay to Germany, to highlight how and why is it worth changing ourselves to be happier in life.

Joy’s speech from the Pathways Effective Coaching was titled: “Growth Mindset and Grit”.  She gave an inspiring talk about the  power of  perseverance and grit to help us succeed in all aspects our life. She referred to the work of psychologist Angela Duckworth on the importance of perseverance in attaining goals.  (Check her out: https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance/transcript#t-13227).

Poorana‘s project was from the Presentation Mastery Path, Effective Body Language.  Title: “A Christmas Party”.  The great storyteller that he is, Poorana told how he and friends finally got to the Christmas party. His message: In life, when we need help, some people might ignore us like the fancy person, some people might not be able to help us due to personal circumstances but if we wait with patience, we will definitely meet the person who would be more than happy  to help us.

Best speech award went to our guest Joy.

Our three evaluators did an excellent job.  JP evaluated Eloisa’s Icebreaker, noting the many skills she brings to public speaking. Oliver praised Joy for her very inspiring and professionally delivered speech. And James reaffirmed that Poorana’s storytelling is very effective.

As best evaluator we also had a tie between JP and James.

Our next meeting is on the 27th of July, we would love to have you join us!Best wishes to you all, Jeff

Here is a snapshot of the evening:

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