Toastmaster of the Evening Jon Berman

What Did I Miss: 12/10/2020

We “resolved” to show “True Grit” last night as Club President, Jon Berman was our Toastmaster. His theme was “True Grit” and his word of the week was “resolve” (now go back and read that very first sentence and you’ll find that I’m very clever).

Vice President of Membership, Sureal Sparx, gave a stirring Pledge & Inspiration as he spoke about his mother and signing up for a blood drive to donate in her honor (it’s December 23rd and there are spots remaining if you want to join him – CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

Club President, Jon Berman, donned a cowboy hat and kept it on throughout the meeting to introduce us to his theme. He spoke about a paper in which pointed out that grit was a better predictor of success than academic achievement.

Special shout out to our own Area 9 Director, Elaine Dusetzina for serving as our timer and making the green, yellow, and red very creative. She used holiday themed backgrounds. Christmas trees stood in for green, a yellow snowman (and a warning against eating yellow snow) for yellow, and a field of candy canes for red. It was both joyful and triumphant (Jim Carrey’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is streaming now on Netflix and Hulu).

For Table Topics, Chris Hammell led and used the word of the week in each of his questions. Inspired by Jon’s cowboy hat and cowboy puns, Chris adopted a cowboy drawl that was both hilarious and inconsistent simultaneously (how do I do it?). Here are the questions I asked and the summary of the answers.

Looking back over this past year, what things did you resolve to do that you were able to accomplish? – Club  Secretary, Kris Manske, said she was very happy with her Toastmaster accomplishments and that the lack of other things to do meant that she was able to tackle the curriculum more quickly. Kris shared the Best Table Topics Speaker of the Evening with Tomo for her answer.

We’re close to a new year, what do resolve to do to make life better for yourself next year? – Second-time guest, Gail, said she just moved from Thousand Oaks to San Diego so she was going to join Toastmasters to get back on track and develop the instant community that Toastmasters provides.

This has been a tough year, is there anything you resolved to do this year that you couldn’t because of the circumstances? – Lane Seidman pulled off the ultimate trick in 2020 by safely getting married in August (take THAT 2020). At the beginning of the year, he was training to run half and full marathons and didn’t get the opportunity to do it other than virtually so he’d like to accomplish that…and he’d probably like to go on a honeymoon too (he didn’t say that, but it was a rough year for travel).

If you could use resolve to accomplish only one goal in the next year, what would it be? – Guest Andy said he’d really enjoy finally getting good enough on a surfboard to do aerials. I hope he does because I can’t tell you how exhilarating it is (I didn’t do it in real-life but in an old 32-bit game that felt like real-life).

When you’re losing your resolve, how do you refocus on your goal? – Vice President of Public Relations, Tomo Osako said that most of the time when we lose focus on our goals, the solution is to take a nap. When she’s feeling stressed or irritable, she finds a nap helps her reboot and come back at the goal refreshed. Tomo shared the Best Table Topics Speaker of the Evening with Kris for her answer.

Carla Ruiz-Velasco started the manual speech section by delivering an Icebreaker speech. The Icebreaker is great for the member but it’s also the club’s first opportunity to get to know the member and we found out a lot about her. From preschool to 4th grade, her mother drove her from San Diego to a school in Tijuana so she could become bilingual and enjoy the same education that she did. It was there that she discovered a love of public speaking. After college she taught English and Spanish in Brazil. She even teased using public speaking in her volunteer work.

Area 14 Director, Corinna Koehler, talked about passive aggressiveness as conflict resolution technique. She went over the two types of conflict: as a mediator and handling a direct conflict.

Area 23 Director, Matt Corrales, took home Best Manual Speaker when he talked about the life-saving gift of a near-fatal car accident and the prison sentence that followed in his sobriety. Because of his record, he’s had no choice but to be honest about who he is and what he’s done. With his demons in the past, it’s time to decide for himself what path is best for him to take.

General Evaluator and Vice President of Education, Christoph Kubitza, led a fantastic evaluation team including first-time speech evaluator, Budd Barmeyer, who did a great job of giving specific and supportive feedback.

Lynette Benitez took the award for Best Evaluator of the meeting with her evaluation of Carla’s Icebreaker. She connected with Carla by sharing that she was also talkative and outgoing. She suggested Carla plant herself whether it is in a chair in front of the camera or standing so she isn’t shifting around. She also said she liked Carla’s speech because she could feel her vibe and authenticity.

Next week we’re having club elections and they announced tentative plans on 12/19 for a Virtual Holiday Party.

CLUB 7 CALENDAR

12/17: Club 7 Officer Elections

12/19: Virtual Holiday Party (more information coming)

12/24: Christmas Eve – no meeting

12/31: New Year’s Eve – no meeting

I hope you’re all doing well, Chris Hammell, DTM

What Did I Miss: 10/8/2020 (and surprise announcement at the bottom)

Celebration was the theme of the meeting this week and the word of the week was jovial and there was no one better to lead that meeting than Elaine “Cookie” Dusetzina with help from her two daughters.

Table Topics Master, Budd Barmeyer, asked questions that contained the theme and we were treated to everything from people’s best celebrations to why we should celebrate even small victories. For his answer on remembering to celebrate these small victories, Alberto Alvarado was voted Best Table Topics Speaker before flying away in a helicopter (I know you thinking I’m lying, but if you weren’t there…it totally happened).

Corinna Koehler talked about her early mistakes in trying to be a leader. She was one of two extremes, a micromanager or a best friend. Today she’s found a leadership style that allows her to develop her team’s skills while keeping them focused on their goals. I handed her my application after the meeting (again, if you think I’m lying but weren’t there, you should come next week).

Ruben Figueroa, talked about one of the first Coronavirus cases which included a stint in the hospital followed by reinfection and a subsequent re-hospitalization. He discussed the many symptoms and the damage scientists are finding in the lungs and the pancreas. He didn’t have time to discuss the vaccine and the crowd booed him vigorously (look, if you don’t want to come to a meeting, you’re going to have to take my word for it).

Sureal Sparx introduced us to the idea that choosing your own name as an adult could help you craft the person you want to be and make you feel more in control of your life. Further, it can be the key to adulthood – a real benchmark in which you can change your name and feel empowered to take control of your life. He even had learning steps when you’re a certain age like being able to explore your values. For this novel and thought out approach, he earned the Best Speaker vote….before ascending to heaven on a cloud (okay fine, all of the last sentences of the speaker summaries are lies – you should still show up and see these amazing speeches in person).

Alberto Alvarado led a well-prepared evaluation team. Antonio Garcia won Best Evaluator with an evaluation of Sureal’s speech which included specific, supportive ways in which he could improve. Antonio pointed out that he and Sureal started around the same time so it should be no surprise that they both walked away with Best Speaker and Evaluator last night.

Next week is our Open House and our Club President, Jon Berman is going to lead us to glory!

And, as a reminder, Humorous Speech Champ, Dave Zarella and International Speech Champ, Bob Dietrich are going to the Area 9 Contest to represent us Saturday, October 17thBookmark this page, https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-9/ , and stay tuned for more information.

Also, there several other contests being run by our members who are serving the district as Area Directors and they could use our help. Please reach out to any of them if you are free on the following days.

October 10 @10am: Sureal Sparx, Area 1 & 6 Contest (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-areas-1-6/)

October 17 @9:30am: Elaine Dusetzina, Area 9 Director – Bob Dietrich and Dave Zarella are competing here (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-9/)

October 24 @10am: Corinna Koehler, Area 14 Director (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-12-14/)

November 14 @ 8:30am: Matt Corrales, Area 23 Director (https://d5tm.org/event/northern-division-online-area-contests-area-18-23/)

I hope you’re all doing well,

Chris Hammell, DTM

November 12 @ 6-8:15pm (Gavel drop at 6:30pm): Toastmasters meeting will be replaced with Table Topics Mania on the outside patio at DiMille’s. Members only. RSVP here: https://tinyurl.com/sd7pizza

What Did I Miss: 10/1/2020

Self-care was the theme of my meeting this week. I saw an opening on the agenda and I couldn’t resist jumping in. My word of the week was cope because I hope that everyone is doing just that. I also hope that if you haven’t been attending club meetings, you consider making us part of your self-care. We enjoy seeing everyone each week.

What some may not realize about the timer role is that, as the Toastmaster of the Evening, the timer is only person you talk to. Everyone else you introduce but you’re interacting with the timer and they become your most important tool for running the meeting. Manny Thosy made for an excellent partner-in-crime and even kept me from making a mistake.

What can I say about Joyce Persichilli, our Table Topics Master? She was in charge of every Toastmasters club in San Diego County and a few in Arizona. She took the theme and asked members and guests questions about self-care. Member, Corinna Koehler and Guest, Christina tied for best table topics speaker.

There was also a tie for best manual Speaker. Both delivering their Icebreakers, Gregory Pitts and Budd Barmeyer split the votes for best speaker.

Gregory Pitts’ spoke about gaining a lot of success in various endeavors but not feeling proficient in anyone thing. With the help of the book, Essentialism, he is eliminating things that take his time away from the things he wants to rigorously pursue.

Budd Barmeyer, talked about how he enjoys serving people and hearing their stories. He has found his calling in helping and developing others while traveling the world and enjoying the positive energy of others.

Kris Manske gave us an inside look at a mentor-protégé relationship via her two cats, Orange and Velcro. While Orange was a reluctant mentor at first, she rose to the occasion and Velcro learned many valuable skills like mirroring and the assuming the ‘cat loaf’ position. While Kris insists the speech was mostly to show cute cat pictures, it also reminds us that we should have more cats.

Christoph Kubitza led a well-prepared evaluation team which included, Ben Nitti who would be voted into membership later that night. Eric Linder won the Best Evaluator vote for his evaluation of Budd Barmeyer’s speech.

And because I want everyone to have them, here are the links I provided with the theme and word of the week in case anyone needs them or knows anyone who could use them:

Theme: Self-Care (https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/the-5-step-guide-self-care-for-busy-people.html)

Word of the Week: Cope/Coping/Coped (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html)

And, as a reminder, Humorous Speech Champ, Dave Zarella and International Speech Champ, Bob Dietrich are going to the Area 9 Contest to represent us Saturday, October 17thBookmark this page, https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-9/ , and stay tuned for more information.

Also, there several other contests being run by our members who are serving the district as Area Directors and they could use our help. Please reach out to any of them if you are free on the following days.

October 10 @10am: Sureal Sparx, Area 1 & 6 Contest (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-areas-1-6/)

October 17 @9:30am: Elaine Dusetzina, Area 9 Director – Bob Dietrich and Dave Zarella are competing here (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-9/)

October 24 @10am: Corinna Koehler, Area 14 Director (https://d5tm.org/event/southern-division-online-area-contests-area-12-14/)

November 14 @ 8:30am: Matt Corrales, Area 23 Director (https://d5tm.org/event/northern-division-online-area-contests-area-18-23/)

I hope you’re all doing well,

Chris Hammell, DTM