Liberty Village Toastmasters meeting summary – December 14th, 2011

Meeting Minutes Dec 14th

The theme for the meeting was introduced by Toastmaster Paul and essentially dealt with the idea that your direction is a result of your perception. Paul used three excellent examples to illustrate the message in the theme. First was Jim Clarke who failed to summit Everest twice before finally succeeding on his third attempt. Next was Lance Armstrong who went on to not only survive cancer but to win the famous Tour de France bicycle race five times. Finally Paul spoke about his own experience with direction when he began his professional career as a PHD Engineer and ultimately landing happily and successfully as a business management consultant.

In conclusion Paul urged us to consider ours setbacks not as failures but as benchmarks for improvement and to consider the ups but not the downs in our individual Toastmasters journey.

First Speaker: Mark Keating Speech #1
Title: If Given a Chance

Mark launched his Liberty Village career in fine style with his Ice Breaker speech. We all witnessed a man with a clear sense of himself and a well developed sense of humour. A confident speaker Mark showed that he will be a great addition to the roster at Liberty Village. In his speech he talked about how we can change someone’s life by simply taking a chance on them – by believing in what’s possible.

He shared his experience when studying economics in University he interviewed for a technical IT job and got sort listed for the position despite a near total lack of technical IT skills. Ultimately it was not his lack of technical skills that was an issue for the hiring manager. It was in fact his soft skills and attitude that allowed him to overcame those obstacles and get the job. An important point he made was that the hiring manager took a chance and hired him and he succeeded beyond her highest expectations. She gave Mark the gift of belief and he never looked back. He switched to Computer Science and has had a successful career.

A husband and a father Mark has accomplished a lot so far in his career and his life and in conclusion asked us all to pay it forward by giving the gift of belief in what’s possible to another.

Second Speaker: Marilyn Volk Speech #2
Title: Christmas Cheer

Marilyn gave a rousing and seasonally inspired presentation all about the trials and tribulations of Christmas shopping. She shared that she is a chronic last minute shopper and how this has led her to some real adventure over the years. In fact this year alone Marilyn suggested that because she waits so long to do her shopping selection is always and issue and that she had to have a friend in Boston help her by purchasing a gift card from Bloomingdales for her boyfriend. Next she told us about the very real dangers of having a Martini inspired lunch before shopping and finding out that that leads to exaggerated feelings of joy and as she said “ if you want your bank account to hit rock bottom than bottoms up!”

In fact the lunch and her expanded feelings of joy led her to purchase a very, very expensive scarf for her boyfriend only to sadly leave it behind as the store was rushing her out to close for the night.

But the story has a happy ending because a man found the scarf and turned it in to guest services and all was good. So what starts with adventure ends with adventure and this speech had it all. Delivered with joy, and humour and with a sparkle in her eye Marilyn really hit her marks on only her second speech.

Table Topics by Maria

Maria took over the reins and guided us through a creative and interesting session by providing speakers with a choice of photographs from various media and had the speakers pick one and describe to the audience what was happening. Now imagine if you will the images selected that allowed Mark to talk about super models, Sean to talk about his previous life as a secret agent, Vanessa to share some tableau magic, Rachel a guest to grapple with full Nelson’s and boxing, Natalia to talk about furry surrogates and finally Rene to share his pictured narrative about dental bliss.

Speech evaluations by Ted and Jay followed the table topics session and they were at once supportive and helpful. Then we heard reports from the Au-counter, the Grammarian, the Quizmaster followed by the Luke’s positive and helpful General Evaluation of the meeting.

The meeting concluded at 8:15pm

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Liberty Village Toastmasters is one of Toronto’s premier public-speaking groups.
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