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Summit Toastmasters 2013-2014 Officers


Summit Toastmasters inducted their new officers for the 2013-2014 year on Tuesday, June 18.

The new officers are –

  • President – Jim Shaw, ACS and Pat Moore, ACB, CL
  • VP of Education – Courtney Kirschbaum
  • VP of Membership – Carl Johnson
  • VP of Public Relations – Alice Miller, CC
  • Secretary – Doug Mendel
  • Treasurer – Alan Swartz, DTM
  • Sergeant at Arms – TBD
  • Immediate Past President – Travis Usinger, CC

The new officers start their term on July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 Continue reading


Happy Birthday Summit Toastmasters (2011)!

Happy 23rd Birthday

Summit Toastmasters!

July 1988 – July 2011

Meeting Minutes – 06/07/2011

by Alan Swartz

Meeting held at Frisco Town Hall.

Toastmaster was Alan Swartz. Speakers Yvonne Bryant on “Find Your Voice” about International Director who started out as nun but found her voice in Toastmasters 20 years later. Judi LaPoint spoke on “It’s Contagious” about how our attitudes affect us and a checkup from the neckup. Judi was named best speaker.

Alan was Table Topics Master. Alice Miller spoke on Fund raising solicitation for the Needy Nudist Network; Jim Shaw on preparing for role on Faking It radio show as Haitian voodoo witch doctor; Yvonne Bryant on convincing passengers on airplane you want the only parachute; Pat Moore on other species that might rule the world(elephants); and Judi LaPoint on cats ruling the world. Alice was named best table topics speaker.

Pat evaluated Yvonne and Jim evaluated Judi. They were tied for Best Evaluator.

Officer elections were held: Alice Miller President: Yvonne Bryant VP Education; Pat Moore VP Membership; Amy Nakos, VP Public Relations; Alan Swartz Secretary; Jim Shaw Treasurer. Installation will be held next meeting.

Meeting adjourned.

I Felt Bad About my Speaking

by Judi LaPoint

Judi LaPoint

When I joined Toastmaster in June, 2010, I would have to say I felt bad about my speaking.  It wasn’t that I was afraid to speak in public – it was that I didn’t have the confidence that HOW I said, what I said  -would have the impact I intended to have on my audience!

I joined Toastmasters to give me the confidence to be an effective speaker. I had no intention, desire or inclination to be a humorous speaker – that was completely outside the realm of how I ever saw myself!

But in August of 2010 we started talking about the upcoming humorous speaking contest. My palms started to sweat, my respiration increased and I got a bit queasy in my stomach. All signs to back away. I thought  to myself, I could be a judge – or a timer.

Then I thought , “Well, wait a second. I am here to learn to stretch myself in uncomfortable situations. I am not here to hide – I am here to grow!” So I tentatively raised my hand and volunteered to be a speaker! It was horrifying – but I had done it!

A week went by with almost no sleep – tossing and turning – what was I going to talk about? How was I going to make it funny? What on earth was I thinking! I wonder if I could get out of it.  Could I call in sick? Should I just quit?

Nope. I was going to do it – even if I fell flat on my face! I finally hit upon the idea of aging. While it isn’t all that funny to me, some aspects of it make me want to laugh – otherwise I’d cry! I’d read some REALLY funny things on aging. One of the funniest was Nora Ephron’s book “I Feel Bad About My Neck!”

That book spoke to me. Nora and I were like sisters our stories were so alike. That’s when I decided I would do a take-off on Nora’s and my story! I crafted my speech – it was too long. Oh what to cut? I finally got it down to seven minutes!

I presented it to my husband. He said, “That’s’ very good!” But I could tell he “didn’t get it!” So I modified it to add a way to include men. Then I gave it at a small dinner party. That was the worst! There was small polite twitters of laughter – nothing uproarious that would be needed to win a contest. I modified it again.

When I got to the first contest imagine my delight when most of the judges were women about my age! They knew exactly what I was going through – we’re ALL going through it. The younger women just haven’t learned that they need to appreciate their necks now, while they still can.

Well, the rest is history. After two more contests and more fine tuning, with the help from fellow toastmasters, friends and complete strangers, I finally had a speech that was worthy of the Toastmaster’s District 26 Humorous Speech Contest! Yes. I won it!

From believing I would rather call in sick, or quit to winning the District Champion! I challenged myself, got out from under the fear and stretched my wings. I didn’t just fly, I soared! It was and still is an amazing feeling.

I urge you to stretch your wings and soar! You’ll be glad you did!

Commentary: Making meetings more expensive

In Seth Godin’s Blog post “Making meetings more expensive,” he speaks of hiring a meeting fairie whose job would be to do the following:

  • Getting precisely the right people invited, but no others.
  • Making the meeting start right on time.
  • Scheduling meetings so that they don’t end when Outlook says they should, but so that they end when they need to.
  • Ensuring that every meeting has a clearly defined purpose, and accomplishes that purpose, then ends.
  • Welcoming guests appropriately. If you are hosting someone, the fairie makes sure the guest has adequate directions, a place to productively wait before the meeting starts, access to the internet, something to drink, biographies of who else will be in the room and a clear understanding of the goals of the meeting.
  • Managing the flow of information, including agendas and Powerpoints. This includes eliminating the last minute running around looking for a VGA cable or a monitor that works. The fairie would make sure that everyone left with a copy of whatever they needed.
  • Issuing a follow up memo to everyone who attended the meeting, clearly delineating who came and what was decided.

After reading this, it makes you wonder, what if all businesses or organizations had people who were also in Toastmasters?  Would they need to hire an outside “meeting fairie”?  Would the Toastmaster become the offical “meeting fairie”?

These are the same skills that we are learning through Toastmasters as we work through our Competent Leaders manuals. 

  • One of my challenges is still getting the meeting started “On Time”! 
  • Our meeting themes set the tone for the meeting. 
  • Our club Secretaries issue the minutes after our club meetings so that we all know what went on and what decisions were made (if any). 
  • We always welcome our guests and try to pair them with a member to help them through the meetings.

If we are learning these skills, are we not in actuality making our companies and organizations more efficient? 

So are we Toastmasters, “meeting fairies”, or maybe we are both?  Whichever you decide, I say we are all on our way to becoming Competent Leaders!

Thank you for the commentary Seth!