SparkPeople Toastmasters Team Messageboard The Toastmasters Group is for current Toastmaster members, as well as those seeking to overcome thier fear of public speaking and /or improve communication and leadership skills. SparkPeople Toastmasters Team Messageboard Commitment It's not very different - signing up for SparkPeople, setting goals, taking the steps we know we have to take to achieve those goals, and achieving them - to joining Toastmasters, setting goals, taking the steps we know we have to take to achieve them... <BR> <BR> I'm convinced that it's not lack of "motivation" that holds us back, but hesitancy when it comes to full-on commitment, whether that's to ourselves and our personal goals or to our club and fellow members' goals. <BR> <BR> Does y... Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:28:42 EST How Does Health & Fitness Affect Your Speaking? For me, weight loss and exercise have added confidence and made me feel a bit better about the inevitable event photos. (The first time I lost a good deal of weight, I timed it to my first book launch. I either need to publish more or land a few more speaking engagements!) <BR> <BR> It also helps with movement and body language, not to be so stiff. <BR> <BR> Lastly, it leads to all sorts of relatable speech topics, doesn't it? I mean, all we have to do is skim the articles here on SparkPe... Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:56:31 EST Are You Making Progress Towards Your CL? Ahh, the book many of us forget to bring or forget to get filled out... despite the importance of leadership and developing leaders, it's not really the PRIMARY goal most of us had in mind when we joined Toastmasters. <BR> <BR> How are you progressing? Do you remember to get your book signed when you hold a role? Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:46:40 EST What CC Project Are You Working on? I just finished #4 - and didn't die! <BR> <BR> I gave a speech on the Great Molasses Flood. Sounds hilarious, but it's really quite horrifying - and I'd never heard of it till three days before I gave the speech! <BR> <BR> What are your biggest challenges, and what's the best feedback you've received, so far? Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:16:05 EST Word of the Day This week in my Toastmasters group the word was: <BR> <BR> AMELIORATE Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:04:39 EST Exciting news! Does your club have any? <BR> <BR> Even tho' I've missed a bunch of meetings due to all my cancer appointments and exhaustion, I was excited to get a letter and album pages from my club's current secretary (she took over from me). <BR> <BR> It seems our last year's President (who was married last year, too) is expecting twins in December! She is moving to California (we are in the Chicago area). Our secretary says we are having a send off for her next week. Each member is to fill the pages ... Mon, 5 Aug 2013 20:39:34 EST Spring Contests and Conferences Did you or your club participate? Are you going to your conference? <BR> <BR> I volunteered to assist at mine. It's an hour or so away, and I'd have to leave at the crack of dawn. However, there is an opportunity to take the cost of travel, food, tickets, etc. off my taxes... <BR> <BR> Even take the opportunity, if you like, to post your speech entry here, or the table topics with which you and/or your club's participant were faced. <BR> <BR> Happy Spring (or as we say here in Chi Town, "S... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 18:48:57 EST My Introduction - Hi there my name is Jennifer, I live in Arizona which is District 3. I have my CC and ALB currently, and working on my ACB. I'm also an Area Governor for 2012-2013, President for my home club and VP Membership for my secondary club. I love love love Toastmasters, and have met so many great people. I was excited to find a Toastmasters group here on Sparkpeople! Thu, 13 Dec 2012 22:45:38 EST Opportunities to Practice Your Speechcraft? Besides Toastmaster meetings, what opportunities do you have to practice your speechcraft? <BR> <BR> In my district, we have a free tv show that broadcasts volunteer Toastmaster meetings. This is a great chance to meet Toastmasters in clubs that I would not ever attend (very large district or area in terms of geography). Monday, we will be taping another episode and I will be one of the evaluators. Talk about being sharp on time! We cram a full meeting in 30 minutes! <BR> <BR> What do yo... Sat, 6 Oct 2012 13:10:21 EST Quotes for Toastmasters "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." <BR> <BR> ~Maya Angelou Fri, 25 Nov 2011 20:16:10 EST Toastmaster in District 29 We're a new district this year, having split away from District 27 which was cut in half on July 1. We used to be the 10th largest district in the world (220+ clubs, 4k+ members) and it was becoming unwieldy, so District 29 was formed in Northern Virginia on the West side of the Capital Beltway. <BR> <BR> I was the last Public Relations officer for District 27 last year before the split. This year I'm an Area Governor in D29 and assisting with our Fall Conference in November. I've been wi... Fri, 28 Oct 2011 03:18:57 EST Have You Ever Been Shocked? A couple of days ago, I put on a dress that I wore to a Christmas Party 10 years ago. Yes...I keep my classics...after all, if it's a classic, it's stylish. As I was struggling with the zipper, I realized that the carbs and candy (the 2 c's) are my detriment. I'm not a fan of chocolate...but I do love my gummy candy, licorice, and sour candy. <BR> <BR> Until recently I thought I was doing okay until I stepped on the scale after a day of black coffee and homemade gucamole with veggies ... Wed, 26 Oct 2011 09:27:37 EST Happy Birthday Toastmasters! On 10-22-11 TM will be 87 years ols! Our club is having birthday party meeting and widely publicizing it. Is your club doing anything special? <BR> <BR> Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:02:34 EST Club Questions How is your club handling the significant dues increase? <BR> Mine is in a whirlwind. My company pays dues for employee-members, but this increase <BR> is so huge, we are thinking they will change the policy and either stop altogether or pay only part. If so, I will probably drop out and, while I work with people who make a *lot* more than I do, expect they might also drop out. <BR> <BR> What's your membership doing in response to this increase? Tue, 13 Sep 2011 20:12:01 EST Great DEC meeting! I thought to share with you this message I sent regular email to my presidents: <BR> <BR> <BR> If you've never been to one, I encourage you to do so! <BR> <BR> After lunch (BTW, the free food is great) and our Division meeting, we had an educational session with Conor Cunneen. Has anyone heard him? Here's a link I found for you; <link> </link> <BR> <BR> He spoke about The Gift of Gab...Goals, Attitude and Behavior. Funny man. Great story teller, too. One thing he... Sat, 10 Sep 2011 22:14:25 EST Co-Leaders missed a get together, contests, etc. Two of us were in Chicago for a couple of days, but every time I went to pick up my phone to call, something interfered! I hope it will happen again soon - hopefully with all THREE together <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I am attending the monthly District Executive Council meeting where trophies will be distributed for our Area Contests...and all my clubs haven't even told me when they will be! <BR> <BR> It can be difficult even to get a club officer on the phone sometimes, and when y... Fri, 9 Sep 2011 22:17:56 EST For Speakers... This group has been pretty silent lately. What is everyone up to? What positives are you seeing along your SP journey?! Wed, 31 Aug 2011 20:19:30 EST any hints on giving evaluations? Hi All, <BR> <BR> I just wrote my first evaluations (not in their manuals, but just extras). Luckily, back about a month ago, I saw a speaker talk about just that topic. One person who gave the formal evaluation of one of the two speeches today,I thought, was a bit harsh. I actually think he was being a pill because she was doing her speeches out of order, and was doing the last one after skipping over a bunch of middle ones. <BR> <BR> The seminar I went to recommended starting out with ... Tue, 9 Aug 2011 18:29:32 EST Have you served a District office? Just attended AG training. I'm overwhelmed! <BR> <BR> Any suggestions? I'm wondering if between work, my disabled partner, SP, etc....let alone being Club VP Publicity, if I'll have time for this! I'm sure they wouldn't let me back out now, though. <BR> <BR> Can't even get club visits in til latter part of September due to three of the clubs being held in a church. Am told because of the church's summer schedule, I can't visit the meeting. <BR> <BR> Am trying to do all by email, but only t... Sat, 6 Aug 2011 20:11:25 EST What's the Best Introduction You've Heard? Greetings Toastmasters <BR> <BR> As I was going through my Toastmaster notebook earlier this morning, I began wondering if other TM fretted over creating engaging introductions. Each week, when I have a major role, I try to come up with an interesting introduction. Perhaps the one that gets the most smiles is my "junkie" introduction. <BR> <BR> It speaks about my addiction to Toastmasters. <BR> <BR> What about you? Do you have a favorite introduction? Wed, 3 Aug 2011 09:32:49 EST Are You Participating in the Speech Contest? As my fellow Toastmaster brother and sisters know, it's almost "contest season". <BR> <BR> Last year, I participated in the Humorous Speech Contest and came in second. My friendly nemesis is a writer for a comedy show...go figure that :-) -- living in Los Angeles and all. But nevertheless...I will continue to sharpen my skills. <BR> <BR> Because I'll be traveling most of August, I won't be able to participate in my club contest this year, which means I won't be able to participate at... Sun, 31 Jul 2011 18:22:55 EST Working towards my CC Hi All, <BR> <BR> I've joined my Toastmasters group at work recently, and it is in a bit of disarray, so I am also Now VP of Education too. <BR> <BR> I've given only two speaches so far, my third, partially written, is scheduled to be given next week. I would have given more by now, but part of the disarray was that they didn't put in for my membership for a while, and when they did, they didn't order me a beginning packet. I finally logged into toastmasters and ordered a competent commu... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 12:08:17 EST Speech on Spark Experience Hi, <BR> I have been active on Sparkpeople for almost a year and have lost about 44 lbs. I gave a speech to my Toastmaster's group last night on achieving goals (even though I am still 4 lbs shy of my goal) using my Spark experience as the example. Thought today I would check to see if their was a Toastmaster's Team on Spark -- And, Lo, here I am. I think the philosophy of Sparkpeople is very close to Toastmasters. I am surprised there are not more Toastmaster members on the Team. <BR> Ha... Tue, 26 Jul 2011 12:56:11 EST Do you speak outside of club? Have you read my blog, "I'm so excited..." ?? <BR> <BR> Well, I have a speaking engagement! It's a fund raiser to enable poor people to attend the program I am in run by NW Univ and the IL Tobacco Quit Line. It's paid for by a federal grant. The funds raised will enable it to continue after the grant runs out. <BR> <BR> The engagement is on the roof of an athletic club! I'm to speak especially on what it meant to me to attend this program and get the help I need FREE (normally $250-$500) af... Sun, 17 Jul 2011 19:52:24 EST New Feature announced Here's the posting from Jen: <BR> <BR> We wanted to let you know about a small feature that launched today. <BR> <BR> On every SparkMail message you will now see a "Block This User" link on the right side of the page. After blocking, you can click the "Block List" button on you main SparkMail page to see everyone you have blocked, and be able to un-block members. <BR> <BR> Once you have blocked another member, if they try to send you a message they will see a general error saying you are n... Tue, 14 Jun 2011 21:56:13 EST Meaning of Motivation! ***********MOTIVATION********** <BR> <BR> Give me an .... M = Make short term goals. <BR> Give me an .... O = Out with the negative thoughts. <BR> Give me a ...... T = Think of why you want it. <BR> Give me an ..... I = Imagine how you will feel. <BR> Give me a ...... V = Visualize the future you. <BR> Give me an .... A = Acknowledge your successes. <BR> Give me a ...... T = Treat yourself with respect. <BR> Give me an ..... I = Investigate new ideas and foods. <BR> Give me an .... ... Sat, 21 May 2011 16:21:50 EST Speech ideas! Got an idea for a speech for my Bringing History to Life project in the Storytelling manual? <BR> <BR> Let's post our ideas here. I've thought of turning some of my blogs into speeches (and visa versa ;-) <BR> <BR> Have a great weekend, all! <em>100</em> Fri, 20 May 2011 22:27:56 EST We had a great meeting! Tell us about it here! West Suburban Toastmasters, Club 930, La Grange Park had a great meeting Thursday! <BR> <BR> We had a great speaker (a long time member who going through his CC manual for the second time. He as been an Area and Division Governor and is ALMOST over his stuttering problem...thanks to Toastmasters) and terrific Table Topics! <BR> <BR> Let me tell you about member has been taking classes at a local theater in improv. Her mind started spinning...she thought, "Why not?" With the help ... Sat, 9 Apr 2011 20:16:00 EST drinkng 8 glasses of water Hello, I recenlty joined becasue of my desire to reach out and communicate with others and because I have health issues. I know that drinking water is very important and by joining the forum I hope that I willl be able to meet the daily requirements, as well as develope a communicaton tie with others. Mon, 28 Mar 2011 12:50:28 EST Helping Members in Your Club I was our club's VPE a few years ago and was frustrated in that role. Many of our members do not speak English as a first language. Some are new to the US and were sent here by their home employers for the chance to learn English while working in their technical fields. I got no help from Toastmaster World Headquarters. I emailed them asking for advice how to help these members. They said something about just working with the member and being patient with their grasp of English - no mate... Sun, 30 Jan 2011 13:45:26 EST Table Topic Ideas Our TT master this week came up with a really creative idea. On pieces of paper, he wrote both initials and a phrase. The challenge was to define the initials based on the phrase. EG: IPAD = something in use for a very long time. The Toastmaster who spoke is an IT guy, so we all waited to hear what he came up with. He said "Ink pads", meaning notepads and spoke about the versatility of writing on the pieces of paper....It was a wonderfully creative idea and I will use it sometime! It cr... Sun, 30 Jan 2011 12:10:47 EST IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM SPARK PEOPLE RE CHAINS... Hi everyone, <BR> Below is a message posted on both the Sparks Leaders and Community teams from Sparks Coach Jen. <BR> <BR> QUOTE: <BR> Hi everyone, <BR> This is just a friendly reminder to please not pass along "chain" type SparkMails or comments on your SparkPage. There's one going around right now about being a beautiful person and passing it along to 3 other people you know. It's nice in theory, but can easily get out of hand. <BR> <BR> I'd ask that you spread the word to prevent t... Tue, 25 Jan 2011 19:04:40 EST True Fear - Table Topic. True Fear is: coming up on a six car accident on the highway and trying to brake on the same icy overpass brakes do nothing and I almost slid into the car in front of me. What do you do? <BR> <BR> My friends this will get your hart pumping. Sun, 9 Jan 2011 20:35:13 EST Happy New Year. I am new to your group. Good evening Toastmasters. I am M J Presley, CC, CL. <BR> My home club is Van Alstyne Voices in District 50. <BR> We are small club with only 14 members. We meet on <BR> Monday night at the Library. I am the clubs Sergeant at Arms. I also hold the office of Area 21 Governor. <BR> I have 5 clubs in my area. My goal this year is to complete my AC,and I hope to also finish my 2ed CC manual. <BR> I look forward to getting to know you as we challenge one other to be the best we can be. Sat, 8 Jan 2011 22:47:49 EST Toastmaster from New Jersey Hello All, <BR> <BR> I've been in Toastmasters a long time although I had to take some time off. I've always been an officer including area and division governor (they needed a volunteer and I do that a lot). Right now I'm VPE at Fort Monmouth Toastmasters. Our club is shrinking rapidly because of the Fort closing and we're in the process of re-locating. I'm not new to Spark People. I'm also in a number of other groups including ADD, Depression, and Martial Arts. Fri, 31 Dec 2010 09:48:38 EST Holiday Table Topics or Speech ideas Who has some? Please share here! <BR> <BR> <em>407</em> <em>447</em> <em>446</em> <em>500</em> <em>445</em> <em>443</em> <em>444</em> Thu, 9 Dec 2010 19:40:57 EST Advanced Communication Manuals I recently completed my CC Manual (hooray!), and I'm getting ready to order my first set of AC Manuals. <BR> <BR> I've given it a lot of thought, and I've selected the following: <BR> The Entertaining Speaker <BR> Interpretive Reading <BR> <BR> Does anyone have any experience with these tracks? Anything you learned that you'd like to share? Wed, 24 Nov 2010 13:03:34 EST Do You Visit Other Clubs/belong to more than 1? My district is working on starting a club at the local VA hospital and I've been asked to be an evaluator for one of the start-up meetings. Of course, I will do it! Years ago, I belonged to several clubs, but I have just one club now. <BR> <BR> What about the rest of the team?! Thu, 28 Oct 2010 20:07:24 EST Let's try a new ABC Game! I'll start out with 'A' the next person can do the next letter...make it something related to Toastmasters or to help us in the skills we learn there. <BR> <BR> 'A' attention to the speakers and the meeting as it progresses. <BR> <BR> Next? Sun, 26 Sep 2010 17:04:03 EST A Toast to Losing This is my introduction to the team. I am in District 36 - most of Washington, DC and the suburban Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince Georges. I belong to too many clubs, am a past Area Governor and am an active TLI trainer. I've earned my CC (twice), my CL, I've earned by ALB, but haven't figured out which club to give it to, same with ALS. Goal for this year is to finish earning my ACB. <BR> <BR> A toast to all of you. Fri, 27 Aug 2010 08:55:26 EST Do Contests Really Help You Grow As a Speaker? One of the things we hear, is that contests help us grow by participation (either audience, contestant, or functionary). <BR> <BR> Do you believe this to be true? <BR> <BR> Tue, 24 Aug 2010 08:34:44 EST Evaluation Contest I volunteered to enter the club level evaluation contest. I think it was impulse. I don't know who or how many contestants there might be. I volunteered to be an evaluator this past week so I could get some practice. <BR> <BR> Some of the feedback - my evaluation was technically correct, but it was not encouraging enough. I opened my evaluation the same way the speaker started her speech and that subtlty was lost on some of the members. Sharan started with "Sooooooooooo". <BR> <BR> My ... Fri, 13 Aug 2010 23:14:16 EST Being in Toastmasters and have social anxiety I haven't been going to Toastmaster meetings for awhile. My first time going, I just wanted to try something new and wanted to feel more comfortable talking. Being in large groups or just a few people is hard on me. They encourage me to talk and I hate being the center of attention. So I stopped going. <BR> <BR> I recently feel more comfortable after attending other social gatherings like job search support groups, Mom's group, walking/running group, and any fun and social gathering I can fi... Thu, 12 Aug 2010 20:30:24 EST Let's get to know one another! I got this from another team. It will help us get to know one another better. <BR> <BR> Just copy and paste mine, delete my entries and fill in your own. <BR> <BR> A - Available or married? Divorced and partnered. <BR> <BR> B- Book? Waiting for new Diana Gabaldon, Readers' Digest just came-almost done with it and A Course in Miracles; I LOVE to read! <BR> <BR> C- Cake or Pie? My homemade Hershey's choc cake warmed with ice cream. <BR> <BR> D- Drinks of Choice? SoBe water and coffee. ... Thu, 12 Aug 2010 15:28:17 EST Does your club have lowered attendance at certain times of the year? <BR> <BR> We are having our picnic next week. There's been hardly any response this year...with emails to members and guests, publicity, and the club pays for the main dish! <BR> <BR> <em>491</em> Fri, 30 Jul 2010 11:00:24 EST Favorite Role? What is your favorite role at Toastmasters? Do you choose the role because you are good at it or because this is an area in which you want to improve? Fri, 16 Jul 2010 23:53:08 EST We need team goals or challenges.. suggestions? Please post them or spark mail us with your ideas. <BR> <BR> They can be only Spark related or combine our two interests. <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>220</em> <em>252</em> Wed, 14 Jul 2010 15:25:03 EST I'm not actually in Toastmaste s......... Hello! I am not actually in Toastmasters but I would really like to - I am way too shy to join but it is something I have been interested in for about 15 years so it's been on my list of goals for that long - pretty bad huh? Am I going to be booted off this team since I'm not a member yet out in the real world? <BR> <BR> <em>40</em> Sun, 11 Jul 2010 13:43:51 EST Do you fulfill a role... At your club meetings? On Spark People? We can all be motivators in both groups. <BR> <BR> I'm interested to know how many of us multi-task. <BR> <BR> Any Wordmasters? Did I do that word correctly with the hyphen? <BR> <BR> I'd be interest to know if either group (TMI or SP) has helped you progress in the other! <BR> <BR> <em>220</em> Mon, 5 Jul 2010 12:40:15 EST Table Topics - What Does Your Club Do? This is a post where you can share what fun and challenging ways in which your team exercises extemporaneous speech in Table Topics. <BR> <BR> For example, in my club, we have someone who brings in an obscure word on index cards, calls 6 or 7 of us up. One person has the correct definition, but we each have to convincingly define the word. The club votes on the winner based on the presentation. At the end of the meeting, the correct definition is revealed. Sun, 4 Jul 2010 11:09:26 EST Not Good-bye -- Just "Break Time" Greetings fellow Toastmasters and Sparkers! <BR> <BR> The day before Thanksgiving in 2008, I took a pretty bad fall at work and ruptured some disks. I tried physical therapy, hypnotherapy, reiki, and the list goes on (both modern and ancient healing techniques). The pain became excruciating. I had surgery a few weeks ago. <BR> <BR> In a nutshell...I've guess you could say I've been a bit depressed over the situation. A former fitness fanatic (jogger, tae kwon do, and gym rat) relegated t... Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:13:51 EST Please see this! It came from my Course in Miracles co-leader. Awesome. Stick with it, you'll be glad you did. <BR> <BR> <BR> CKwdosjE Sun, 27 Jun 2010 14:04:08 EST Officer Elections I've been elected President of my club. Anyone been there? Any idea how to connect Toastmasters activity with SP goals? I know I will be talking about SP alot! Fulfilling the 'say SP 5 times a day' leader goal will be easier every other Thursday. Sat, 5 Jun 2010 11:48:39 EST Tomorrow Tomorrow will be my first speech moment without preparation!!!!!!!!!!!!! help, I am scared Sun, 2 May 2010 22:09:02 EST Hello, fellow Toastmasters! I am an eight year member of West Suburban Club 930 in the Chicagoland area. ACS, CL...almost to Gold. <BR> <BR> I want to do more public speaking outside of the club. Interested in spiritual growth, and having put forth the message that we can be what we want to be...I'd better get with the program! <BR> <BR> I'm so happy to have found Spark People. <BR> <BR> Regarding contests, I just placed 3rd in the Division's International Speech contest. May try again in the fall with the humorous ... Sun, 25 Apr 2010 21:15:09 EST Pecha kucha presentation format The April edition of TM magazine had an article about pecha kucha. It's a presentation style used mostly by designers to avoid "death by Powerpoint". The idea is to use 20 slides, allowing 20 seconds per slide, to present your topic. It forces you to be very precise and practiced in your presentation. <BR> <BR> It just so happens that my next speech from the CC manual is the one about getting comfortable with Visual Aids, so I thought I would try this technique. <BR> <BR> Has anyone tr... Sat, 10 Apr 2010 17:14:46 EST Let's reintroduce ourselves. It's been a while. Greetings and welcome to the Toastmaster team! <BR> <BR> Here's a bit about me. I'm a member (current hold the office of President) of Dynamic 90's Toastmasters in Los Angeles. We meet every Saturday from 8:00 am - 10:00 pm. <BR> <BR> I joined Dynamic 90's about 8 years ago, and consider myself a Toastmaster junkie. <BR> <BR> Shortly after joining, I decided to pursue a DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) designation. Three years later, I earned that designation. <BR> <BR> A couple of ... Fri, 19 Mar 2010 09:09:02 EST Reintroducing Myself to the Team...What about You? I'm a member of Dynamic 90's Toastmasters. We meet every Saturday from 8am - 10am in Los Angeles. Currently, I hold the role of President. <BR> <BR> I joined the club in February 2002 -- and have been a TM junkie ever since. <BR> <BR> I earned my DTM less than 3 years after joining-- I was a member of 3 different clubs in those days. <BR> <BR> Recently, I placed 2nd in the Area A-4 International Speech Contest. <BR> <BR> That's a bit about me..what about you? <BR> What Toastmaster Club ... Tue, 16 Mar 2010 11:22:18 EST Look for me on the Biggest Loser Next Tuesday -3/9 The Biggest Loser taped a couple of shows at the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. The show will air next Tuesday, March 9th on NBC. <BR> <BR> Although I've never watched the show...the commitment of the contestants is contagious. We had a great time! <BR> <BR> If I weren't in school - I'd certainly tune in from time to time. <BR> <BR> Two contestants were assigned to me to work in the call center. Tue, 2 Mar 2010 10:44:08 EST Why Do Contests Put Fear in Toastmasters? Greetings Fellow Toastmasters <BR> <BR> When our club VPE (Dynamic 90's Toastmasters - Los Angeles), announced that the upcoming International and Evaluation Contest would be held this Saturday, I watched the reactions of some veteran Toastmasters. Those reactions varied from looking down at the floor, coughing, beginning conversations with those around them, and downright "deer in a headlight" looks. <BR> <BR> Why would a group of well-spoken, confidence filled people, feel so uncomforta... Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:44:00 EST Speech Contests I just competed in my first Toastmasters Contest - The evaluation contest. <BR> I didn't win, but I think it was a very good experience. <BR> <BR> Is anyone else participating in the Evaluation or International Speech Contest at their club? Fri, 19 Feb 2010 14:21:53 EST Forgot to introduce myself I can't believe I haven't introduced myself. I'm Joy. I used to go to the meetings in Mankato, MN a few years ago. Tue, 16 Feb 2010 03:41:34 EST Hello fellow Toastmasters! Hello my name is Debbie. I have been in AZ You Like It Toastmasters in Phoenix, AZ for almost 2 years now. It was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. I went to that first meeting with lots of reservations and now I have my Competant Leadership, almost finished my Competant Communicator and currently serve as our VP Public Relations. Ours is a lively group and is steadily growing. I joined SP because I want to project a better self image while getting healthier. Happy New Ye... Thu, 7 Jan 2010 21:33:43 EST What Resolutions? A couple of days ago, one of my dear friends told me that she was going to start this new year, by resolving to be happier with her life. <BR> <BR> Wow! What a resolution. Is it possible to put it out there and "just do it"? <BR> <BR> I say yes. Each morning when I awake, I thank my creator for giving me a better chance to be a better me. Although no one is perfect...I'm the perfect me. <BR> <BR> I challenge to be the best person I can be -- everyday. What does that mean? It means ... Thu, 7 Jan 2010 09:40:41 EST It's a Brand New Year -- A Brand New Life I just wanted to take a quick second to wish each of you a happy rest of your life. <BR> <BR> While many people make resolutions to do something to make their life better, I like to think of every day, (not just New Years) as the opportunity to create a new - better life for myself. <BR> <BR> Each morning when I arise, I thank my God for the opportunity to be a better Christian, parent, Toastmaster, and friend. <BR> <BR> Thank each of you for taking this journey with me. <BR> <BR> My yo... Fri, 1 Jan 2010 10:24:54 EST Too Busy To Spark? Greetings fellow Sparkers <BR> <BR> It's that time of the year when our time is stretched thin (pardon the pun). We sometimes don't force ourselves to exercise, or watch our food intake, because we are so pressed for time. I'm guilty too... <BR> <BR> This year, I'm pledging to myself (and you), that I will take some me time. Because after all...I am good health is valuable to me. I'm going to wake up each morning with a positive affirmation, joy in my heart, and love in my... Tue, 24 Nov 2009 08:37:02 EST What's Your Thanksgiving Menu? Our family does the traditional Thanksgiving thing. We meet at my Mother's house (early) to sample the goodies which include: <BR> Turkey <BR> Cornbread Dressing <BR> String Beans <BR> Mixed Greens (collards amd mustards) <BR> Mashed Potatoes <BR> Cornbread <BR> Dinner Rolls <BR> Garden Salad <BR> Gumbo (my contribution) <BR> Brisket (this is something new this year -- yucky :-) <BR> Ambrosia <BR> Lemon Meringue Pie (my contribution) <BR> Sweet Potato Pie <BR> Fresh coconut cake (from scratc... Tue, 17 Nov 2009 09:17:35 EST Are You Full Yet? As I was browsing the site this morning, one of the topics was, "When do you know you're full?". <BR> <BR> I guess I took that topic to a slightly different level. When I'm dining with family and friends, sometimes I find myself eating mindlessly. In other words, I find myself eating without really noticing what I'm eating; because I'm having such a great time. I guess this is why many pundits advise against eating in front of the television. <BR> <BR> I'm training myself to only eat (ei... Sun, 25 Oct 2009 10:13:10 EST Food --- Food --- and More Food... I'm just returning from a trip to Las Vegas with my family. <BR> <BR> Every day, we selected a different restaurant to meet at. Most of the days, my family wanted to try one of the numerous buffets. <BR> <BR> Today, we decided to go the Rio --- which was known for it's fantastic buffet. Although I hadn't been to the Rio in a number of years, I thought it was an excellent choice. It turned out, that the food was not as good as I remembered it. There were fewer food stations -- and th... Fri, 23 Oct 2009 00:31:08 EST Holiday Happiness I can't believe that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner! <BR> <BR> What makes this an especially hectic time for me, is that the holiday season is the busiest time at my job. A number of people want to host Food Drives -- which means that my staff and I are busy setting up food drives, attending events, and working long hours to make sure that our donors are happy. <BR> <BR> This of course means that my time for physical fitness is reduced. I normally begin my day at 5... Tue, 13 Oct 2009 08:38:50 EST 6 Months or a Year...Which is Better At our meeting this past Saturday, we discussed changing the Officer's Term to 1 year and meeting every other week instead of weekly. <BR> <BR> What does your club do? <BR> <BR> Do you have problems keeping officers and members engaged? <BR> <BR> How often do you meet? <BR> <BR> How many active members do you have? Wed, 23 Sep 2009 09:10:33 EST Update on "Are You Scared?" A few months ago, I began writing about a friend who was considering liposuction. She went through the process and looks great. <BR> <BR> According to her, the worst part was wearing a girdle from just below her bra to below her knees. Although she was given pain pills, she said she didn't need or use them at all. <BR> <BR> I drove her to her check up the day after the surgery. When they removed the copious amounts of cotton, she looked a lot less like the Michelin man -and more like her... Thu, 10 Sep 2009 08:44:41 EST Pay ti Forward I was attending a conference in Chicago last week and watched one of my favorite movies one evening. <BR> <BR> Paying it Forward, is the way I try to live my life -- and I encourage my family, and associates to do the same. <BR> <BR> Although we all go through trials and tribulations on our life journey, I believe the journey becomes more meaningful when we help others through their tough times, even if we are currently facing difficulties along our own path. <BR> <BR> Each time I watch... Sun, 30 Aug 2009 17:01:52 EST Special Meeting Roles? Does anyone have any *special* meeting roles at your TM Club meetings? <BR> In addition to the regular meeting roles of Toastmaster, Wordmaster/Grammarian, General Evaluator, etc., our club recently added a "Pearls Master." <BR> The Pearls Master offers a tip to the club, aka a "Pearl of Wisdom." So far, topics have ranged from reducing Ahs/Ums to fighting nerves. <BR> <BR> I was wondering if anyone else has created any special roles in their clubs. Tue, 25 Aug 2009 17:52:47 EST I'm in Love! It's good to be in love...and I found the most marvelous person in the world. This person is perfect...yes, I said it...absolutely perfect! This person is me. <BR> <BR> When I was a young girl, one of the things my parents taught me, is that although no one person is perfect, every person is the perfect "them". In other words, we create our own perfection. No one can do you - like you. <BR> <BR> As a child, that concept was a bit difficult for me to understand, but as I continued to g... Wed, 19 Aug 2009 09:44:25 EST I've been Sparking for Almost a Year It's hard to believe that it's been (nearly) a year since I joined the Spark family. <BR> <BR> Since joining, I've had the opportunity to communicate with new friends -- and enjoy the support of others. <BR> <BR> Physical fitness has always been an important aspect of my life. Jogging, Tae Kwon Do, and weight training have been regular routines for me since my early 20's (when my late husband and I started our family). <BR> <BR> I'm thankful that fitness has always been f un for me. H... Wed, 12 Aug 2009 09:55:12 EST Have You Ever Wanted a TM to Leave Your Group? Greetings fellow TM <BR> <BR> A few days ago, a Toastmaster brother and I were speaking about a member who has been transferring her membership from club to club. <BR> <BR> A few weeks ago, this person joined our club. At the time she joined, I was serving as VPE. One of the rules of our club, is that when you can't serve in the role assigned, it's your responsibility to find a replacement and advise the VPE by Wednesday before the upcoming Saturday meeting. It should also be noted tha... Fri, 24 Jul 2009 10:36:23 EST Friday... Begins the Weekend, or ends the Week? As I'm sitting at my desk on a Friday morning, I began to ponder the question of whether or not Friday can really be considered the beginning of the weekend or the end of the week. If it begins the weekend, then Sunday begins the week...or perhaps Friday ends the week...then Sunday ends the weekend. <BR> <BR> No matter...I enjoy every day. I'm thankful for my health, my strength, a significant (I hope) portion of my right mind, and of course my family and friends...and of course a job tha... Fri, 17 Jul 2009 08:57:52 EST New Charter I just got an e-mail our new charter kit is in so we will be distributing it tonight. Party time. Well no keg. Do Wells sos and ahs count when you are writing them? Maybe I should write pause instead of well and so. LOL. Thu, 16 Jul 2009 13:09:49 EST At First I Thought I Wouldn't.... A few weeks ago, the Pastor announced that the Church was going to offer a summer program to give the children displaced from summer school (due to budget cuts) something to do. <BR> <BR> I like children...after all, my late husband and I had 3...and I've sinced adopted 2 more. I signed up to volunteer for the program; so did 100 other people. <BR> <BR> The first day was this past Monday. My volunteer days are Tuesdays and Fridays. I left work a hour early for my 4 hour volunteer commi... Thu, 16 Jul 2009 09:36:03 EST How do you celebrate birthdays? Saturday (July 4th) was my son's 21st Birthday. <BR> <BR> As part of our birthday celebration, we go to the park and run a few miles. We do this for a few reasons, first of all to serve as a reminder that without good health, our lives would be less rich, and secondly, because to take time to enjoy one other. <BR> <BR> The entire family (all 3 sons) plus my adopted son, my 2 daughter-in-laws, and the rest of the family (including my Mom), spend an evening at the park. <BR> <BR> I call... Tue, 14 Jul 2009 11:00:11 EST Is Cheaper Better????.... A few minutes ago, I read a article about supermarket buying habits. It seems that many people are switching from name-brand items to less expensive (so called store brand) products. Here's the comment I made: <BR> <BR> It really doesn't matter how much money, I have (or don't have), the issue (for me) is quality. In many cases, when I've tested the private labels against the brand name items, I found no difference. To that end, I'd go with the less expensive version (unless I had a c... Fri, 10 Jul 2009 10:41:49 EST Inches or Pounds? Which Is Better... Normally, when I post -- I deselect the box to have an e-mail sent to me when someone replies...not today. <BR> <BR> I guess, my mailbox sometimes takes over my life. However, I saw that a couple of times, people replied to my ramblings...and I haven't been responsive. Please forgive me...I promise to do better -- starting today. <BR> <BR> As I was dressing this morning, I began to think of my own mortality...perhaps in part because of the recent deaths of some high profile people, as w... Fri, 10 Jul 2009 09:16:50 EST New to Toastmasters group I usually speak about what I think about most, so since I've joined, I'll join my fellow Toastmasters! <BR> <BR> Member of Glen Burnie Toastmasters, Glen Burnie, MD. Thu, 9 Jul 2009 07:13:12 EST Toastmaster in Arizona Good evening, <BR> <BR> My name is Jennifer and I live Arizona, I belong to two toastmasters clubs out here,one through my work called Rx for Speakers and the second is called New Horizon. <BR> <BR> I have not been a toastmaster for very long, since around February. I'm looking forward to meeting you. Mon, 22 Jun 2009 22:11:18 EST On Track When You're Away From Your Regular Track? Well...this is my big travel season, and one of the conundrums I deal with is how to get to the nearest track when I'm away from my regular stomping grounds. <BR> <BR> Although it's true that the majority of hotels have free gyms -- but my thing is that I'm an outdoor person. To be honest, I'm unfamiliar with many of the areas I stay in while away from home. <BR> <BR> Usually I ask the Concierge for advice on best places to run...but my internal logistics (especially when I'm out in na... Wed, 10 Jun 2009 09:18:18 EST 2009 Mother's Day I had a great day on Sunday. Instead of taking my mother and all the other mothers in the family out to celebrate, I decided to barbecue. <BR> <BR> It was a fantastic day to grill. The weather was perfect. Another nice day in L.A. <BR> <BR> The majority of the family came over...and the gifts of love, coupled with cards, and flowers was abundant. <BR> <BR> This Mother's Day was a prime example of how wonderful family time can be...and how precious our mothers are. Tue, 12 May 2009 08:52:26 EST Part 4 -- Are You Scared? Well...we met the other surgeon yesterday. I was really impressed with everything at the office. My suggestion was that if she was really set on liposuction, I would select him. <BR> <BR> From the conversation we had yesterday, it looks as if she's going to do it. I believe she's making the final consultation appointment today. <BR> <BR> The 5th and final message will appear after her surgery. I can't wait to see the results...I've never known anyone to willingly go "under the knife" ... Wed, 29 Apr 2009 08:57:57 EST Part 3...Are You Scared Today, we're going to visit the 2nd surgeon. I'm kind of I never thought so many people would be willing to spend so much money on a few perceived areas of their body. <BR> Over the past few days, we looked at hundreds of pictures of people who (in my opinion) look very good. To be honest, some of the before and after pictures looked almost the same; however, I did see a few very drastic improvements of people with lovehandles and some tummy tuck results. However, my friend... Tue, 28 Apr 2009 08:31:15 EST Are You Scared? Part 2 Well...I had the discussion with my friend yesterday. She's really interested in body re sculpturing. She lost quite a few pounds, and is interested in finding a great surgeon to get rid of the hanging skin. According to my friend, she has interviewed a number of surgeons, and has narrowed it down to 2. She asked me to visit the two she has seen and help her decide. <BR> More next time... Fri, 24 Apr 2009 08:44:17 EST "Are You Scared?", I Asked My Friend Yesterday, I called a close friend to invite her out for dinner and drinks. She told me that she couldn't join me, as she was having surgery the next day. "Is everything okay? Is there anything I can do for you? Do you feel like talking? What's going on?" I asked in rapid succession. <BR> <BR> "Well, I am a bit scared," she admitted, "but in reality, it's elective surgery. It's not life threatening...or anything like that". <BR> <BR> "That's great," I enthused. "Do you want to ela... Wed, 22 Apr 2009 08:49:55 EST Todays Promise It was so hot in Los Angeles yesterday, that I decided not to run. I was at a fitness center in Culver City commiserating with the staff about the air conditioning not working, when a group of college students jetted past the center. My trainer looked at them and muttered, "crazy kids"... <BR> <BR> When I saw them running, I applauded the fact that they were out there, doing their thing. It didn't matter if they were running for a class or to keep in shape, the thing was that they didn't... Tue, 21 Apr 2009 08:21:19 EST It's a Beautiful Day to Be in L.A. Greetings Sparkers <BR> <BR> As I was driving to work this morning (4:30am), I was tempted to put down the top and enjoy the beautiful morning. Although it's early in the morning, I wanted to feel the breeze against my skin as I headed into the office. Then I began to think of the many things I could be doing if I took the day off. Perhaps the first thing on my list would be to go for a early morning run. Although I love running any time of day (or night for that matter), the truth of th... Mon, 20 Apr 2009 08:30:07 EST National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive Greetings fellow Sparkers <BR> <BR> I'm wondering if this years NALC Food Drive on Saturday, May 9th (always the Saturday before Mother's Day)will net better poundage for Food Banks across the country. <BR> <BR> With the high rates of unemployment, coupled with increasing home foreclosures, I would think that many people would take the opportunity to put a bag of non-perishable products out for the letter carriers to pick up when they deliver the mail. <BR> <BR> Over the last few years, it... Thu, 16 Apr 2009 09:17:37 EST Hello fellow Toasties! Hi everyone! My name is Amelie and I'm new to Sparks. I've been a member of Toastmasters for about 3.5 years now. I've been Sergeant at Arms, President and VP Education. I am currenty a member of Club Montcalm in Gatineau, Quebec (Canada). I LOVE being in TM, I find it so encouraging and uplifting. I have my CC, CL Silver and am 2 speeches away from completing my ACB. <BR> <BR> I really wish I could attack losing weight the way I attack my TM designations! Hopefully Sparks will help me do j... Wed, 15 Apr 2009 21:28:54 EST Is It Tax Day Already? Why is it that when we're kids, there seem to be 3 times of the year that take forever to arrive: <BR> 1. Summer Vacation <BR> 2. Christmas <BR> 3. 10th Birthday (finally in double digits) <BR> <BR> Yet when we become adults, those 3 events seem to roll around on a regular basis. When my children were younger, it seemed that it was always summer vacation, time to shop of Christmas, or someone's birthday. <BR> <BR> Don't get me wrong, I love my children and cherish the time we spend to... Wed, 15 Apr 2009 09:02:12 EST Hi! Is this group still active? Hello fellow Toastmasters (and guests <em>30</em> ), <BR> I'm Martha and I joined SP yesterday. I've been a member of Toastmasters since November of 2007, and I am currently a dual member. I'm a member of the Speakeasy club in Northampton, MA and the President of my company's corporate club. I don't see a lot of recent posts in this group but I'm hoping this is still a group that is active. Is it? <BR> -Martha Mon, 30 Mar 2009 20:02:51 EST New Toastmaster Hello everyone! <BR> <BR> We just started a Toastmasters club in January '09 at my job and I volunteered to be the VP of Public Relations. I have given my Ice Breaker speech as well has performed some roles at our weekly meetings. So far evaluator has been my toughest role. <BR> <BR> Losing weight has given me confidence to try new things. Toastmasters has given me confidence to speak in front of people. <BR> Sun, 22 Feb 2009 18:55:07 EST I Love Me...Do You Love You? Greetings <BR> <BR> As we get closer to Valentine's Day, I was thinking about the numerous people who won't hear "I Love You", or receive flowers or candy. Perhaps that's why I was moved to write a few lines about love. <BR> <BR> Love begins within...if we don't (or can't) love ourselves...who will be able to love us? <BR> <BR> Many times, I've heard people say, "if only... (fill in the blank), my thighs were thinner, my nose was keener, my hair was straighter...etc then I would...(fill i... Wed, 4 Feb 2009 10:15:01 EST Partying with Toastmasters Greetings Team <BR> <BR> After I posted yesterday, I was innundated with offers to attend Toastmaster parties (in addition) to my non-Toastmaster functions. <BR> <BR> This is definitely the season for partying. Perhaps the "operative word" is partying...not eating or imbibing <em>91</em> <BR> <BR> At a holiday luncheon yesterday with Laila Ali and her husband Curtis Conway, I noticed that they both ate very slowly and really seemed to enjoy the company at the table more than the food ... Thu, 11 Dec 2008 08:52:18 EST Holiday Happiness -- Not Holiday Madness Greetings Team Members <BR> <BR> I just wanted to take a few minutes to say "Happy Holidays" to all. My prayer is that 2009 will be the best year you've had -- and that every subsequent year will be better. <BR> <BR> During the holiday season, it's pretty difficult to remain on a sensible eating and exercise plan -- however, I've found that adding extra parties and other activites can help burn extra calories. <BR> <BR> For those who celebrate with a bit of libations, I recommend either w... Wed, 10 Dec 2008 09:40:50 EST new to the group. I am a member of Tumbleweed Toastmasters and lost as normal. LOL. Wed, 3 Dec 2008 14:11:50 EST Holiday Happiness A few days ago, I was in New York (on business) and began speaking with a participant at the conference I was speaking at. She began to bemoan the upcoming holidays and what the holidays typically do to her diet. <BR> <BR> After a few minutes of listening to her speak about the pies, cookies, and large plates of food she planned to devour, I gently suggested to her conscious mind that perhaps she should think of the holidays as a time to enjoy the company of family and friends as the prim... Tue, 18 Nov 2008 07:45:02 EST Hello there! I am relatively new to things here, however, I am always interested in developing my potential to the most high. I would like to think that healthy living, healthy thoughts and positive energy can go a longs ways in alleviating some of the fears that I have especially when asked to speak in front of large groups. Over the years, I have been rather nomadic, moving from one city to the next and as a consequence, I have very few friends so I am not able to get much practise talking or interac... Sun, 9 Nov 2008 01:13:58 EST Today is a great day to be alive Greetings <BR> <BR> Sometimes it may be challenging to do the things that we know we need to do to get or remain successful. I remember when I was a child, one of the things my Mother always said to me was, "if you do it right the first time, you won't have to redo it." Words of wisdom from Mom. <BR> <BR> I'm thankful that my Mother is still a big part of my life...she's one of my closest friends and confidantes. <BR> <BR> When I became 25 years old, my physician told me that it was ti... Wed, 22 Oct 2008 09:41:50 EST Releasing Pounds -- Increasing Energy Greetings <BR> <BR> Our health is vitally important to our physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. <BR> <BR> As we continue on this journey called life, one of our goals should be to make our journey as productive as possible. <BR> <BR> Over the years, I've found that eating (relatively) sensibly is not as difficult as it may seem. Personal experience has taught me that eating a protein based breakfast gives me a boost of energy that takes me a bit longer through the day. <BR>... Mon, 20 Oct 2008 09:14:39 EST A bit about me Greetings <BR> <BR> I'm a member of Dynamic 90 Toastmasters of Los Angeles, CA. We meet the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month at 9004 S. Normandie Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90047. <BR> <BR> It's been nearly 5 years since, I joined Dynamic 90's Toastmasters -- and I'm happy to say that it's one of the best (professional) life decisions I've made. <BR> <BR> Joining Toastmasters has allowed me to improve my speaking skills, provided an opportunity to connect with people, on a professional and... Mon, 20 Oct 2008 09:00:45 EST