Rootin’ Tootin’ Open House

March 8, 2017

Submitted by Beverley Steeves, VP Education

Professional Edge Toastcrumbs 

The morning was ambushed  by  twelve rootin tootin six shooters, a number of Calamity Jane’s and Jesse James’s.  Amongst the unsavoury gang,  there were clearly cattle rustlers, bank robbers, drinkers, gamblers and saddle bums.  The mob came from the either Tombstone or Early Edition Toastmasters.  Their goal was to retrieve their banner, which they accomplished peacefully, with no gunshots fired.  Being the bandits they are, they galloped off with our banner.   READ MORE

SAA Ken started off the meeting with his usual enthusiasm, energy and professionalism.  All  eighteen guests were introduced.   With fun & humour he turned the meeting over to the Chairman, President Noel.

Noel provided a warm welcome to all the guests and members.  He clearly outlined the agenda and made changes where needed.  In his calm composed manner,  the meeting unfolded in a structured and organized manner.

Introducer, John provided a thorough and inviting introduction to our first speaker.   He set the audience up with anticipation and prepared the stage for Rhona & her second speech in her CC manual.

In  Rhona’s  speech, Sticky Tags and Labels, she started off by painting  a picture of a lovely little child sleeping, with his arms to his side and his little bottom sticking up in typical fashion.  Except, his name was Alan Kurdi,  and he was the little Syrian refugee boy washed up on the shore.  Rhona spoke from her heart of labels & tags we  assign to people.  She reminded us to think of people as fellow human beings and forgo classifying, or categorizing people.  Her confidence and sincerity allows her audience to connect with her.  She set out to challenge us and that was accomplished.  

Rita provided a thoughtful & insightful evaluation.  ‘Wow,’  Rita’s first words, ‘can you believe this was Rhona’s 2nd speech…and without notes’.  She emphasized the very effective use of the pause that Rhona had  mastered and said she had been moved by the speech.   A suggestion for improvement to Rhona  was to raise her voice.  The group evaluation was given.

Introducer Gary used his typical warm sense of humour  with his introduction to Karen.  Gary’s introduction of Karen was very complete and provided a sense of her accomplishments.  He as well, set the stage for Karen.

Karen started off her speech Head Forward by taking off her shoes, walking into water and easing onto a paddle board.   You could see her bliss  & feel she was reliving her time of boarding.  The calmness of the sea was clearly felt with her descriptive words and the motion she created with her demonstrating  paddling.  A vivid comparison was laid out with the difficulties one has in life, with meeting  waves head on when the water gets rough.  How the ‘board of life’ can get us  washed back & forth, and danger can prevail, if not met head on.   She shared a gleeful time when in a boat with her family.  The sparkle and smile on  Karen’s face was engaging.  Karen’s relaxed manner is always enjoyable to see & feel.

Duncan presented an energetic evaluation in which he provided a demonstration on how to help  improve an aspect of  Karen’s speech.   He thought  the analogies Karen used throughout her speech made for a  powerful statement.   Duncan mentioned Karen’s ease and comfortableness.  A group evaluation was given.

We all moseyed into the saloon for 10 minutes for some grub;  baked goodies, fruit tray  & firewater….Starbucks coffee.

The meeting was called back to order by SAA Ken and skillfully passed over to Chairman Noel.  Noel provided a clear guide on the format for the 2nd half of the meeting with Jamie & Alan, both being on the world stage.

Jamie shared a video of his winning speech,The Power of Spit, as delivered at the 2010 Semi Finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking.  How fortunate for us to be transported  there. The speech packed the essence of human emotions into 5-7 minute speech. It was humorous, tender, light hearted, and serious.  A  story of love, kindness, sadness, and passion.  Not a sound could be heard throughout the room.  After the speech, Jamie shared his speech’s development, how it came to be, the important factors to have in your speech &  other tips.

With his speech from the 2009 District 21 Humorous Speech Final, Recalculating, Alan had us laughing right out of the gate.   Although not actually knowing Margaret and Ian, we GOT to know them through their drive to Safeway.   With his use of accents & his body language, he touched our funny bone throughout.  His sense of humour, glint in his eye, and expressions, helped him became a comedian telling a story.  Before and after the speech Alan shared his view on what makes a speech humorous, the impact of accents & other tips.

A wonderful meeting was adjourned by the Chairman with a closing by the SAA.