Our theme for today was CHANGE and our Toastmaster was Rowena Donaldson. An experienced Toastmaster, she got our attention by reminding us of the time change that will be happening this weekend. Her clever allusion to time “change” will prevent me from being late on Monday morning, thanks Rowena!

We were priveleged to hear the first speech by Raj, his “Icebreaker”. From the moment he took the podium and told us how much he liked our club I knew the speech would be great. What better way to “break the ice”! Raj told us of his career journey, how he changed his professional discipline and changed his location from Chicago to Tracy. It was wonderful to hear about the life journey of the newest member of our club. Congratulations Raj, we look forward to many speeches from you in the months ahead!

Our second speaker today was Rocki and she served up an inspirational speech. Though the speech was listed as get to the point, which she did beautifully by listing of a series of choices for us, I was very much inspired by the topic of her speech “Decisions, decisions…”.She explained to us the process of how she chose which charity she would volunteer her time to. Her step by step process always ended with her stating out loud the question “ Do I want to spend time doing this?” before she finally decided that she would volunteer at a women’s shelter here in Tracy. Good for you Rocki, and a great speech to boot!

Rowena mentioned that the house that she just moved out of is to become a shelter for women also. Rocki, you may have to make a decision on which shelter you will volunteerJ

The evaluators for today were David who evaluated Raj, and Lavonne who evaluated Rocki. Both evaluators began by being complimentary to the speakers and offered insights into what could have been done a little better. Encouragement at the end of their evaluations was given in the perfect use of the “sandwich” method of evaluation. Good work guys.

Lucy gave us food for thought with her Table Topics question centered around the questio “ Is it duty or a favor?” Binh, Terry, Maureen and Lavonne were called upon to give impromptu speeches on the subject. All four were outstanding, it seemed to me they must have prepared their answers, but in the end it was Lavonne who won with a cautionary tale of doing a favor by watching the neighbors’ kidsJ Great job Lucy!

Connie did a great job as timer. She held the cards up where the speakers could easily see them and made Raj laugh a little bit before his speech and encouraged him.

Our Grammarian for the day was Judy. She caught everyone saying a little something wrong but could not pin a thing on David because she could not read her own writing J

In general the meeting, as usual, was fun and informative. Each time I attend I learn a little bit more to put into my “Toastmasters tool kit” on communication. Today I am reminded that we are a good place to learn communication skills because our members are good people. With a team like ours learning is fun and I look forward to our next meeting