Liberty Village Toastmasters Meeting Summary – December 21st

Here is what happened on the last meeting of 2011…

Written by Mark K.

As if having Distinguished Toastmaster and speaker extraordinaire Ram open our meeting was not captivating enough, his message to all of us to “pay it forward” was a rousing call in its own right! Ram described the concept of paying it forward as asking that a good turn be repaid by having it done to others instead of you. Ram persuaded us all that Pay it Forward Day is a brilliant initiative which embodies the power of giving. It is amazing the difference a simple idea can have in changing the world – one good deed at a time. It is borrowed from the book by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The hero of her story is young Trevor McKinney, a 12-year-old whose idea is deceptively simple: do a good deed for three people, and in exchange, ask each of them to “pay it forward” to three more. “So nine people get helped. Then those people have to do twenty-seven…. Then it spreads out.” The Pay It Forward Movement is the real-life reaction to the release of the novel in early 2000.

Our first speaker was the always-informative Maria Lalla who was taking on her third Toastmaster speech. Through her speech (entitled ‘Running Prepared’), Maria provided the club with key insights and lessons on taking up running. For all of those considering taking up the activity (perhaps as a new years’ resolution, anyone?), Maria’s preparation points included the need for folks to be well-stretched for the activity, well-clothed (for the winter running conditions) and well-secured, in terms of running in well-lit areas, running with a buddy and cautioning the use of Ipod’s while running outside.

Our second speaker of the night was by the long-time member and advanced speaker, John Krissilas who shared a timely and fitting message in his speech ‘The Postmark’. Timely and fitting because ‘The Postmark’ referred to the unique stamp which Christmas Island (small island off the coast of Cape Breton) post office applies to all of the postcards that people from around the world send to Christmas Island so they can get the Christmas Island post stamp.
Our third speaker, was Mark Keating who continued his torrid career in Liberty Village Toastmasters by doing his 2nd speech at his 2nd meeting as a member. After having shared his background and experience in his ice-breaker, this week Mark provided the group with his keys to professional networking. He described how we can build a brand for ourselves through developing a biography. He followed this idea up with an interactive look at his resume and how this ‘static’ form can be refreshed and renewed through the active use of social media (such as LinkedIn). Lastly he connected these two ideas by reminding us that they are only good as so far as we can grow and nurture these networks.

Veteran Liberty Village Toastmaster Ian took the reins on facilitating this week’s table topics. Taking his cue from Ram’s wonderful introduction on Paying it Forward, Ian asked Table Topic participants what they would do to contribute to, or solve a problem in today’s society. We had a wonderful display of not only the oratory skills of Liberty Village’s members, but also of their immensely rich ideas of what they would do to pay it forward. Ted, Cleaver, Vanessa and Sean outlined their thought-provoking ideas for improving world hunger, banking, food banks and public transit, while Francisco provided ac a little levity in suggesting we watch bad television to relieve the stresses of the day! In the end, guest (and soon-to-be-member) Vanessa took home the honours of table topics master through her beautiful call to Liberty Village toastmasters to contribute money, time or perishable food items to our local food bank.

Well-conceived and constructive speech evaluations were then provided by Andrew, Sean and Rene then we heard reports from the Ah-counter, the Grammarian, the Quizmaster followed by John Kjarsgaard’s General Evaluation of the meeting, in which he called for all Liberty Village members to take advantage of the Easy-Speak link to confirm their roles and/or participation at the upcoming meeting.

Just before the meeting concluded, Club President Sean took the opportunity to wish everyone a happy holidays and new year and reminded all that the next meeting would be held also at the Centre for Social Innovation on Wednesday January 4th.

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