A Toastmaster’s Visit

Recently, we had the honor to host a guest from Italy – Antonio Blissett, the Immediate Past President of the Erzelli Toasters in Genoa and the current Area A5 Director.  His visit was a good reminder of how Toastmasters extend beyond our home club and a great way to make connections in new places!  Furthermore, by visiting other clubs, we can learn something new that we can take with us to make our club even better.  With clubs in over 140 countries, it’s almost a guarantee you will find one in every major city.

3/14 Meeting
Group photo of our members and guests

Due to my curiosity, I was interested in learning more about Antonio’s experience with visiting our club.  Here’s what I found out!

TM7:  How did you find our club?
I simply looked you up on the Toastmasters International website, and I didn’t realize at first what the “7” in your name stood for.
I was just lucky to find one of the most history-rich Clubs on the planet !
TM7:  What motivated you to visit?
Wherever I go, I try to see if a Toastmasters Club in the area has a meeting schedule compatible with mine. I did it once out of curiosity, and I liked the experience so much that it has become a habit.
It’s just so exciting to meet other Clubs: you can always learn new tricks and bring them home for the benefit of your fellow Toasties 🙂
TM7:  What was your best experience during your visit?
I was delighted by the team spirit you have shown while setting up the meeting and by the warm welcome you gave to me and to the other guests.
Also, Alberto’s workshop was top-notch.  Engaging, effective, entertaining.

Alberto Alvarado, soon to be Distinguished Toastmaster, presented The Art of Evaluation workshop.  He shared his knowledge and expertise on how to effectively give feedback when evaluating a speech.

TM7:  While it was a different format than our regular meeting, did you notice similarities and differences between your club and ours?
I liked a lot of the formal ceremonies you performed during the meeting – the Pledge to the flag, the induction of a new member with a secret vote. Small but important rites which add solemnity, and increase the feeling of belonging. Our Club is just 3 years old, and we should definitely learn from you.
TM7:  Additional feedback on the way we conducted our meeting?
Really enjoyable atmosphere! Professional, but with the right amount of humor !  

Thank you Antonio!  We look forward to your visit again next year.  And if we ever find ourselves in Genoa, we’ll make sure to connect with The Erzelli Toasters!!

erzelli toasters Antonio Blissett
Post-meeting drinks and eats at our favorite restaurant, DiMille’s. Antonio approves! (With our Treasurer, Christoph Kubitza)

Written by Elaine Dusetzina, VP Public Relations

How to Optimize the Introduction for your Toastmasters Speech

First impressions when meeting people for the first time are very important because they have the ability to set the tone – positively or negatively – for new relationships. Similarly, when delivering a presentation at your Toastmasters club, the manner in which you and your presentation are introduced by the Toastmaster of the meeting can profoundly influence the effectiveness of your presentation. Your introduction is effectively the “first impression” the audience receives of your speech.

Make a Good First Impression

Here are two simple ways to optimize the effect of the speech introduction – also known as an “Intro”. The Intro is the content provided to the Toastmaster of the meeting recited to the audience immediately prior to the delivery of your speech.

Number one: Be concise with your Intro.

The more concise the Intro, the more likely the audience maintains concentration on it while the Toastmaster recites it. Remember, the audience is there to listen to your speech – not listen to a long-winded Intro. Help the Toastmaster help you “Get to the Point”! Prepare a simple and brief Intro stating your objectives and what the audience can gain from actively listening to it.

Number two: Help the Toastmaster make the delivery of your Intro the best it can be.

Do the Toastmaster a favor by providing a simply-worded and printed copy of your Intro in a font size of at least 14. Arrive for the meeting early, and ask the Toastmaster to familiarize with your Intro (as well as with the correct pronunciation of your name!) by reading it aloud to you as a rehearsal. If your Intro is sufficiently concise, this will take less than 60 seconds for the Toastmaster to do. Also, when it’s your turn to present, ask the Toastmaster to enthusiastically recite your Intro to the audience exactly as you created it. This way, your Intro will do its job: to set you up for success.

Preparing and providing the Toastmaster a solid, concise Speech Intro and collaborating with the Toastmaster prior to the start of the meeting can make a huge difference on how the audience reacts to your presentation. If you implement this strategy, you and your presentation will get the kickstart you and your presentation deserve.

If you need a template for your intro, please click on the following link => Sample Intro Template

Written by: Eric Linder, DTM

The purpose of Table Topics

When you attend a couple of  Toastmasters 7 meetings, you will recognize how the meeting is divided into three main sections – Table Topics, Prepared Speeches, and Evaluations.  A week ago, Salam Alchi, a seasoned Toastmaster who recently joined our club was the Table Topics Master (TT Master) and his explanation for the purpose of Table Topics was on point:

sdtm7

“The purpose of Table Topics is to help us sharpen our skills in impromptu speaking. Our goal is not just to simply speak for one minute and provide an answer to the question. Rather, it is to perform a miniature well-organized 1 to 2 minute speech addressing the question concisely and articulately.
The response should be given with purpose, whether to teach, inspire, confound, or amuse the audience. Tying the response to the theme is an added bonus.
The reason we are here is to hold space for each other to improve. The most crucial part of Table Topics is to do your best and have fun. Our inner critic is often the harshest one.
As the TT master, I believe it’s important to set up the participants for success by asking thought provoking and understandable questions. This provides participants a better opportunity to develop confidence and improve.”

Salam’s approach, which is a good example on how to conduct a Table Topics session, was to ask the question first then call on a member.  This allows everyone to digest the question and start thinking about on how to answer it appropriately.  Typically, the TT Master would call on a few members, then give an opportunity for guests to participate.

Here are some of the thought-provoking questions crafted by Salam surrounding the theme and Word of the Week: Satisfaction.
  • What does it mean to be satisfied?
  • What should be the goal of humanity?
  • Is suffering a necessary part of pleasure or satisfaction? Why?
  • How would you define genius?

If you’d like to take a stab at these questions and share it with us, write in the comment section below!  And if this is something that you’re interested in participating, you’re welcome to attend our meetings as a guest.  Check out our Meeting Info page for location and time.

 

About Salam Alchi:
Salam was born in Baghdad in 1988 and immigrated to the US in 1993. His passion in life is to study and understand the nature of our existence, both individually and collectively. When ready, he will apply what he has learned for the betterment of his family, peers, and environment. “
As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” – Hermes Trismegistus

A Cathartic Speech – by Tomo Osako

When you lay your emotions out in the open, it becomes a cathartic experience.  You feel a huge burden off your shoulders.  It’s still a part of you but it’s easier to breathe because you shared it with others.  The beauty of showing your vulnerability in a Toastmasters’s speech is that everyone is listening to you and is affected by your experience.
Tomo Osako presented a powerful speech for Project 4 – A Dramatic Talk, of the Advanced Communicator Series.  Titled “What is your Legacy?”, Tomo revealed to us the story of her father in his deathbed, the events leading up to it and what he left as his legacy.
I was touched at her courage to take us to a vulnerable part of her life.  This made me think about a book I’m currently reading, Rising Strong by Brene Brown when she talked about courage.

“Courage is contagious.  Rising strong changes not just you, but also the people around you.”

Not many people are bold enough to be in a vulnerable state, particularly when you’re standing in front of a crowd, some of which are strangers. Yet Tomo stood firm – even in the midst of tears, she kept her composure.  I couldn’t help but cry either.  In fact, I observed many others in the audience who cried with me.  All of us were touched by her story in one way or another.  And possibly given us the chance to ease tender emotions we’ve kept far too long inside.
In the past year, I’ve witnessed many courageous acts from fellow members who allowed us to be a part of the darkest days of their lives.  It allowed me reflect on my experiences and even made me consider to take a courageous leap in revealing my vulnerable side.
The end of every Toastmaster meeting is dedicated to recognizing the Best Table Topics Speaker, Best Evaluator and the Best Speaker saved for last.  It wasn’t a surprise that Tomo Osako received Best Speaker.  She truly deserved this recognition.

Did you miss Tomo’s speech?  If you’d like to view it, please visit our YouTube page by clicking on the link => Tomo Osako ACS Project 4 Speech

Our meetings are held every Thursday night from 6:30 – 8pm.  Meeting start on time therefore please arrive at least 15min early to allow for parking and meet our members.

Written by Elaine Dusetzina, VP Public Relations

TM7

What you missed during our 11/1/18 Meeting!

Our esteemed Christoph Kubitza concerted the meeting effortlessly with the theme of ‘Superstition’.
Running with this theme is Table Topics Mistress, Linda Hau who presented the audience with engaging questions.  She is edging closer to her Competent Leader award!

toastmasters7

Those who dared to answer were Sureal Sparx, Elaine Dusetzina, Gerald Eldred and Guests Jamie, Brennan, and Brandy.
Gerald distinguished himself with the best reply in the audience’s eyes.

Best Table Topics -Gerald Eldred

Gerald also passed his 1st Time General Evaluator baptism by fire with flying colors and took home a great evaluation team made up of Omar Ocampo, Elaine Dusetzina, Lou Weimann with functionaries, Ron Morrow, Shadi Abudayyeh, Antonio Garcia, and Joyce Persichilli.  Our Sargent-at-Arms and humorous, Lou Weimann distinguished himself as the best evaluator.

tm7Our Functionaries – Shadi, Ron, Antonio, Joyce

First time General Evaluator – Gerald Eldred

Best Evaluator – Lou Weimann

Last but not least, even when serious in filling in the media on a crisis at sea, Jon Berman could not stop making Matt Mounier laugh.  Dave Zarella persuaded us why he is the best realtor in San Diego and why we should pick him to sell our home in his Project 9 Persuade with Power speech.
But it is the deep spiritual Ice breaker part II by Salam Alchi that swayed the audience to distinguish Salam Alchi as the best speaker of the night.

Best Speaker – Salam Alchi

Best of all, we welcomed two new members – Teresa Rocha and Jamie Deproso!
Don’t miss our next meeting – every Thursday night from 6:30pm to 8pm at Normal Heights Community Center.  Any questions about the meeting, please contact us at vppr@toastmasters7.org.

This brief summary is written by Christoph Kubitza, DTM/Treasurer.

What is a Roast?

On August 23rd 2018, our Toastmasters club had a special event: A Roast of one of our most beloved members, Eric Linder.  Eric recently earned the Distinguished Toastmaster designation, also known as a DTM. The DTM is the highest level of educational achievement in Toastmasters.  Prerequisites to attain a DTM are substantial, with members generally taking 3-8 years to earn the award.  Find out more about Toastmasters International Distinguished Toastmasters program on this link => Distinguished Toastmaster.

In a way of celebrating our members who received the coveted DTM designation, our club has performed roasts to acknowledge their accomplishment by poking a little fun at them.

Did you attend Eric Linder’s Roast?

For those who have not attended a roast before, a roast is an event where someone is being honored.  The person honored is subjected to jokes at their expense.  Traditionally the roasters, the people making fun of the honoree, are the family and friends of the person being honored.  These friends and family members will start off by making jokes towards people in the crowd or their fellow roasters.  Then the jokes move to the spotlighted member and finally end on a nice note praising the highlighted member.

Unfortunately for Eric he doesn’t have any friends (this is an example of a roast joke)!  A call was made out to members in the Toastmaster club to help roast him while celebrating his accomplishments.

Here’s how the roast went down!

The Roastmaster (also known as the MC of the evening) was Bob Dietrich.  Bob is an accomplished speaker who has also achieved his DTM.  He did the best he could to keep the roast on schedule and full of laughs. Unfortunately Bob is just not very funny, so he failed at the 2nd part!

The roasters of the evening were: Shadi Abudayyeh, Matt Mounier, Diane Horton, Sue Linder (Eric’s sister!), Antonio Garcia,  Sureal Sparx, Yesica Vazquez, Dave Zarella, Chris Hammell, and finally, Eric Linder himself.  Some of the roasters were incredibly hilarious (such as reigning club’s funniest member Shadi Abudayyeh) and some of the roasters were, to put it mildly, not funny (Yesica Vazquez).  Many of the jokes at these events are quite rude, risqué, and unbecoming of me listing them here, so I’ve taken the liberty of including some not as adult jokes here that received laughs.

I’m not saying that Antonio has a big forehead, I’m just saying it was a stunt double in the movie Three Billboards.”

 

There’s an old saying that says nice people can’t be funny. Tonight, Diane Horton will prove that.”

 

Matt likes to call himself the Mortgage Millennial, which explains why everyone hates him.”

 

#notmypresident”

Lou Weimann, our Club’s Sergeant-At-Arms commented on his experience of attending this roast:

“There are so many benefits to being a member of Toastmasters 7. One benefit I never knew about was the comradeship the group members share which leads to hilarious events like this ROAST. I never thought I could laugh so hard and almost piss my pants countless times. The jokes were so funny and I am so glad I didn’t miss this event. As if I needed any additional positive reinforcement for joining Toastmasters 7 months ago… but this ROAST is that additional awesomeness. Thank you, Eric Linder, for being a great person, a great sport and most importantly a great mentor to us all! “

Video credit to Bob Dietrich

 

Check out these photos from the Roast by our awesome photographer, Antonio Garcia – Access only available to SDTM7 members:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bEiLzzkaJo0Mjy95SLk58OnQIwK5LQr2

 

Written by Shadi Abudayyeh, Club President, CC/CL.  Check out his bio on our Meet Our Club Officers page.
Our club meetings are held every Thursdays (also last Tuesdays of the month). 6:30pm to 8pm in Normal Heights Community Center.
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sandiegotoastmasters7

Effective Speech Evaluations

On August 16th, our meeting consisted of five speakers and five speech evaluators that we call a ‘Speakathon’. Providing effective speech evaluations are a key aspect of our club’s culture.  This culture is rooted in the deep care and concern our members have for one another.  

The members of our club just don’t show up for meetings; their lives are also bound by the friendships they develop.  Each of our members want the best for one another. They enjoy helping each other grow and succeed.
This week, like any week, each of our evaluators gave everything they had to help improve the speeches of the presenters that preceded them. Our members learn to provide excellent speech evaluations not only by observing other people deliver exceptional evaluations, but also by attending seminars that help its attendees develop highly effective speech evaluations.
The excellent evaluations in turn motivate the speakers to achieve their goals.  And that achievement is reflected in the Communication and Leadership awards that the Club received in the most recent Toastmasters year, which were more than any other club in District 5 Toastmasters.
By: Eric Linder, DTM

Eric became an enthusiastic, fun-loving member of San Diego Toastmasters 7 in February 2006. After the first several months of being a Club Member, Eric began to focus on the leadership aspects of Toastmasters.
Here’s an extensive list of his accomplishments:
– Mentored over a dozen SDTM7 members and as an advisor to many more.
– Served nearly every Club Officer role and is a five-term SDTM7 Club President.
– Trained District 5 Club officers for every Club Officer role except for one.
– Served as the Area 9 Director for six Clubs.  Awarded the Area 9 Director of the Year (Making A Difference) Award for 2016-2017 and was also the Area 9 Contest Chair for Fall 2017.
Eric received the Distinguished Toastmaster award in 2018.  But his favorite activity in Toastmasters is interviewing Contestants at Speech contests because “they always have something interesting to say when you give them the chance.

Don’t miss out on this Thursday’s comedic event!  The Roast of Eric Linder.

RSVP on our Facebook page event => https://www.facebook.com/events/2214448558785369/