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

February 25, 2014

Attendees: Binh, Chris, Connie, David, Judy, Laura, LaVonne, Lucy, Raj, Rocki, Rowena, Terry, Ruth, and Sam


David called our meeting to order on time and introduced Chris to begin the meeting as President.  After greeting us, Chris passed the meeting on to Binh, who was the Toastmaster for the day with the theme of “persistence.”

David was our first speaker, giving speech #4 from the Competent Communicator Manual – How to Say It.  His speech title was “The Pyramid of Success and Its Foundation.”  He spoke about his mentor, John Wooden – UCLA basketball coach, and John’s pyramid of success.  With the handout that was passed out, David went over specific aspects of the pyramid that he wanted to emphasize and how John Wooden has used the pyramid to coach his teams and also wants his player to apply the pyramid in their own lives.

Chris was our second speaker, giving speech #10 from the Competent Communicator Manual – Inspire Your Audience.  His speech title was “Growth.”  Chris spoke about the Nature of Change and the Power of Er.  He mentioned how living things grow and measuring growth can be done by seeking out opportunities.  The Power of Er was stated as someone wanting to be happier, healthier, etc.  He then encouraged all of us to take a leadership role in the club as another way to grow.  We can read books about swimming, but until someone actually swims, one won’t become a swimmer.  The same can be said for public speaking.  With this speech, Chris has now completed his Competent Communicator Manual.  Congratulations Chris!!

Lucy and Judy evaluated our speakers respectively.  They both used the sandwich method: compliment, constructive suggestion on how to improve, and finishing with a positive comment.

Laura was our Table Topics Master and used the word persistence.  She asked each speaker to tell us how persistence helped them achieve a personal goal.  She called upon Sam, Rocki, and Raj. Sam won when he spoke about goals for his children.

Terry was the timer for the day and LaVonne was the grammarian.

There were some suggestions that were mentioned at the meeting for us to become more efficient.  If a speaker has a handout that should be passed out to the audience, make sure it’s done before the meeting begins or have someone else assist in passing out the information. Timing begins when the speaker begins to speak.  When shaking hands to turn over the meeting to the next person, the person leaving the lectern walks behind the person coming up to take over the meeting.  Also, we are supposed to clap until the next person taking over the meeting reaches the lectern.  If possible, sit towards the front of the room if you have a role that requires you to walk up to the lectern.

Reminder: Dues for the next six months are due.  The total is $40 ($36 going to Toastmasters International and $4 for club dues).  Please make your check payable to TLC or Tracy Leadership Club.

On this day we recognized several achievers in the club. The following people were recognized because they have completed courses from the Toastmasters learning curriculum, they were: Maureen Bastedenbeck, Terry Lee Donaldson, Binh Nguyen, Lucy Kaye, and Sofia Valenzuela.

The 1st Speaker was Connie Vieira and she completed Project 3 from the Competent Communication Manual. Her speech was titled Evaluations and she gave us multiple ideas on how to give effective evaluations. Her speech was evaluated by Laura Smith.

The 2nd Speaker was Judy Castellon and she completed Project 10 from the Competent Communication Manual. Her speech was titled The Distinguished Club Program. She informed the members of the club’s goal to become distinguished and the remaining steps needed for its achievement. Her Speech was evaluated by Maureen Bastedenbeck.

The Table Topic Master was Sam Wong who asked members to speak on a legacy they desire to leave behind. Binh Nguyen, Lavonne Catron and Rocki Chaparro shared with us their aspirations.

If a member would like to know how to give effective evaluations or gain knowledge on the unmet criteria for TLC to become a distinguished club they could contact Connie Vieira and Judy Castellon.

Some key ideas to take away from the meeting were:
1. When critiquing speeches we must do it in a way that is received well and builds the speaker up.
2. To become a distinguished club some remaining things we have to accomplish are recruit three more members, complete two more Competent Communicator Manuals and one more Competent Leadership Manual. We can do it!
3. Let’s strive to accomplish things of worth and leave legacies that will truly make a difference.

TOASTMASTER – Chris Foley                  

Chris reminded us how important it is to recharge your body and brain on a daily basis.  He had the group participate in an exercise to move our heads in a way to reduce tension.  Chris also had some special quotes, and here is a sample;

“A fresh mind keeps the body fresh.  Take in the ideas of the day, drain off those of yesterday.  As to the morrow, time enough to consider it when it becomes today.”

I’ve attached a copy of his article for your reference.

1st SPEAKER – Chestene Dean

This was Chestene’s first speech, Competent Communication Manual 1, The Ice Breaker, titled Stepping out in Faith.  Chestene shared her life story beginning with her childhood, growing up in Culver City and Palmdale California, her family ties to the fabulous studio/movie era, her four extraordinary successful careers, personal health issues, and most of all, her faith in life.  She brought pictures and books to share.  Great job Chestene, we are so blessed to have you in our club!

1st EVALUATOR – Connie Vieira

Connie praised Chestene for a great icebreaker speech and how she had her notes for reference but did not read them.  Chestene had a beginning, middle, and end to her story and it flowed smoothly.  A couple suggestions for next time; don’t walk away from the lectern, allow the Toastmaster to come to you and shake your hand; do not thank the audience, as it is a privilege for the audience to listen to your story and we thank you.

2nd SPEAKER – LaVonne Catron

Lavonne spoke for Competent Communication Manual 8, Get Comfortable With Visual Aids, titled My Cake Decorating Challenge.  LaVonne did an amazing demonstration of how to separate an egg yolk/white.  She cracked an egg, putting the yolk on a “colorful” plate, then squeezed/pressed an empty 16oz water bottle on the yolk, and it sucked it up into the bottle.  Chris was assisting her and he tried it too.  Wow!

Sergeant of Arms, David, started the meeting with the pledge to the flag. President Chris
Foley welcomed us. Then he passed the gravel to Lucy Kay, Toastmaster ofthe day.

Our first speaker was Terry Donaldson, she spoke from the CC manual, #2, Organize
Your Speech. She had a very interesting speech about dismantling her house, the
demolition team -removing different materials.

Our second speaker, also our Guest speaker was Christina Frankel, who spoke on
“Living Green”, we learned a lot from your speech, Christina!

Table Topic Master was Binh Nguyen, Rowena Donaldson won the ribbon of the day.

David Tabora was Timer and Vote Counter. Maureen Bastedenbeck was our
Grammarian! Ah Counter. LaVonne was The General Evaluator.

Chris Foley was First Evaluator, he evaluated Terry Donaldson.

This was a great meeting, everyone did so well !!

Present were: Binh Nguyen, Chris Foley, Dave Tabora, Judy Castellon, Laura Smith, LaVonne Catron, Lucy Kaye, Maureen Bastedenbeck, Rocki Chaparro, Rowena Donaldson, Sam Wong, Terry Donaldson, and guest Rajan Varadharajan.

Sergeant at Arms David Tabora called the meeting to order and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. President Chris Foley welcomed us and introduced Maureen Bastedenbeck, who was presiding as Toastmaster of the Day. Her theme of the day was “momentum.” She recommended that we don’t start from scratch every New Year but capitalize on our accomplishments and keep the momentum growing! Our guest – Raj – was introduced and welcomed as our newest member!

Lucy Kaye was Timer / Vote Counter and LaVonne Catron was Grammarian.

They worked hard at their duties but never got the opportunity to report. (Explanation later.)

Sam Wong, Speaker #1, fulfilled #5 in the Persuasive Speaking Advanced Manual: The Persuasive Leader. The title of his speech was: “Hands up for Table Topics.” He gave us pointers on how to be more effective as the Table Topics Master and suggestions on how to embrace the opportunity of being chosen to participate as an impromptu speaker! Great job!

Binh Nguyen, Speaker #2, presented from the Successful Club Series Advanced Manual: “Moments of Truth.” He mentioned Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most memorable speech, “I have a dream.” Binh recommended that we view Simon Sinek’s presentation on TED entitled, “How great leaders inspire action.” Binh explained about the Golden Circle and said that the “WHY” is what motivates people to follow great leaders. We even got introduced to the Neocortex and Limbic parts of our brains! A set of power point slides illustrated key points that Toastmasters International wants all clubs to address.

Binh put some thought into this presentation as he collaborated with Judy Castellon who tied the Table Topics to this speech! We were divided into pairs and given an assignment from the worksheet. Chris Foley spoke about “First Impressions.” Raj Varadharajan spoke about “Membership Orientation.” LaVonne Catron spoke about “Fellowship, Variety and Communication.” Laura Smith spoke about “Program Planning and Meeting Organization.” Terry Donaldson spoke about “Membership Strength.” Maureen Bastedenbeck spoke about “Achievement Recognition.” Great suggestions and ideas from all of the T. T. speakers.

General Evaluator, Terry Donaldson, realizing that there was not going to be adequate time to wrap up the meeting properly, asked the evaluators (David Tabora for Sam Wong’s speech and Rowena Donaldson for Binh Nguyen’s) to talk with the speakers later. Likewise, the Timer (Lucy Kaye) and the Grammarian (LaVonne Catron) were thanked for doing their jobs, but were not asked to give their respective reports. Terry Donaldson only made simple remarks about the meeting and promised to include her Evaluation of the Meeting in the Recap. (See below.)

Maureen Bastedenbeck wrapped up the meeting, reminding us about “Momentum.” President Chris Foley asked for announcements. Judy Castellon’s daughter will be having surgery next week, so Judy will be in Oklahoma City taking care of her daughter and grandchild. Responsibilities for next meeting were covered and Lucy Kaye volunteered to replace Judy as Toastmaster of the Day.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Donaldson

During the meeting, we had a guess who found us on the new website. He came and was very pleased with our awesome club.

Chris gave a speech on how we are addicted to electronics. How we check our phone 150 time a day and that it take about 72 hours to detox our addiction to electronics.

Rocki gave a very cute speech as she show us our favorite pets of our club member and look alike pet and their owners.

LaVonne was toastmaster of the day and the theme was mirror mirror where she gave us a story to two dog in a room of mirrors.

One was very happy and the other was very angry due to how their expression is reflecting back from the mirror as they enter the room.

We had two evaluator Binh and Connie both doing awesome sandwich work.

I was the general evaluator and suggested to the table topic master to NOT ask for volunteer or permission.

Sam Wong

ATTENDING MEMBERS:  Binh Nguyen,  Judy Castellon, LaVonne Catron, Rowena Donaldson, Terry Donaldson, Sam Wong, Maureen Bastedenbeck, Chris Foley, Rocki Chaparro, David Tabora, and Lucy Kaye.  No guests were present.

New Sergeant at Arms, David, started the meeting with the Pledge to the Flag.  President, Chris Foley welcomed us wished us all a Happy New year.  He immediately passed the gavel to Sam, Toastmaster of the Day, who shared some thoughts about resolutions.

Our first speaker was Lucy Kaye , who competed her Competent Communicator manual with speech #10, sharing a listing of all the speeches she made throughout the year and what it has meant to her to be a Toastmaster.  Since so many of us have witnessed her growth, it was definitely inspiring.

David Tabora gave his fourth speech Principles to Follow When Playing Chess.  Most of us are aware of  the game of chess, but not proficient players, so this was very informative.

Rowena led Table Topics;  Maureen, LaVonne and Rocki participated and Rocki won the ribbon of the day.

As today’s General Evaluator, I invited Terry to evaluate Lucy.  Terry was very complementary, making note of the difference between her Ice Breaker Speech, which was somewhat hurried, and this speech, which was extremely professional and passionate.   Judy evaluated David’s speech and pointed out that he was able to keep us interested, even with a rather involved topic.

Chris and Laura gave reports as grammarian and timer, respectively.

Sam wrapped up the meeting with a suggestion that rather than make resolutions, we strive to avoid major regrets, namely,

  1.  I wish I’d had the courage to live my life true to myself, rather than doing what others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t spent so much time working so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings, to let go of grudges, fear and hatred and had been  more willing to forgive.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with friends
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier…since happiness is a choice.

At the end of the meeting, Sam indicated that he has the TLC website up and running at www.tracyleadershipclub.com.

President, Chris closed the meeting,   commenting that we’re off to a great start for 2014.

Respectfully submitted,

Maureen Bastedenbeck

Roles for next week:  Toastmaster-LaVonne, Speakers-Chris and Rocki, Table Topics-Terry, General Evaluator-Sam, Evaluators-Binh and Connie, Timer-Maureen, Grammarian-Rowena

Toastmaster Judy’s meeting doubled as a food drive, in celebration with the Thanksgiving spirit.   Judy ran the meeting in such a way that everyone was required to speak about what they are grateful for.  Thank you Maureen for the organizing the food drive, a brilliant idea that we should continue as a yearly tradition.

Both speakers did an excellent performance of  “Persuading with Power” Lucy about the contributions of immigrants, Connie’s about the contributions and benefits of toastmasters.  Laura and Chris accomplished the difficult task of evaluating these two speeches with helpful detailed observations and pointers.

Building on the theme, Table topics master Maureen’s word of the day was “Grateful”, Chris took the prize with his gratefulness on being an American.

The following meetings are cancelled:
November 26
December 24, 31

The following slate of candidates for office was approved.
1.       President                             Chris Foley
2.      VP of Education                Judy Castellon/Binh Nguyen   (Co VP of Education)
3.      VP of Membership            Rocki Chaparro
4.      VP of PR                             Sam Wong/Maureen Bastedenbeck (Co VP of PR)
5.      Secretary/Treasurer          Connie Vieira (with the stipulation the General Evaluator of the Day prepares the recap)
6.      Sgt. At Arms                       David Tabora

A great meeting, including remembering to observe a moment for our Veterans, of all times in this country. Chris Foley, in Speech #1 presented very interesting information about the various units of military, and the “soldierization” of a civilian.
Speaker #2, Maureen, a “veteran” of public speaking, presented an educational speech about, “how to find topics” when you are scheduled to speak.
The word of the day was, “abandon” with a couple of definitions, present by Connie.
John Colton was a guest at the meeting and won Table Topics ribbon. Congratulations, John.
Be sure to attend upcoming meetings which will include holiday info, and perhaps themes.