Here’s yet another panegyric about our Silicon Speech meeting last night. Luckily, we have a great group that constantly puts in the work to make our meetings productive, constructive and instructive so it’s hard not to heap praise on the previous night’s proceedings.
After a joke by new member Alex Bello and a thought by Karan Bavandi, Li Xin took charge as our Toastmaster. He masterfully conducted the meeting, introducing the first of our two speakers, Blake Bolger who delivered her Ice Breaker. Blake’s speech was well written, funny and she was quite candid about why she finally decided to join Toastmasters. As Blake put it, “Goal # 1 is to gain confidence so I don’t freak out when I have to talk in a meeting.” Toastmasters seemed to be the best way to do it. It’s like the tourist in New York asking a local for the best way to get to Carnegie Hall. Practice, practice, practice was the reply. That’s why she’s here. That’s why we’re all here, Blake. Great job!
Next up was Armando Yee with the latest from his extensive reading list. Last night, we learned about Henry Ford complete with some beautiful B&W, historical visuals. Henry was, of course, a pioneer in the burgeoning auto industry and a man of conviction and purpose. One of his beliefs applies to our work at Silicon Speech, “Everything which is done, can and ought to be done better”. That’s why we’re all here, right?
Here’s another Henry Fordism:
Next up, were evaluations by Alex Schams and Len Kung. Not simply, panegyrics, both Alex and Len offered insights into how Blake and Armando could be more effective in their next effort. Constructive and supportive evaluations continue to be one of the most valuable parts of the Toastmasters experience.
Genevieve Kelly then made her debut as Table Topics Master asking some terrific questions and eliciting some interesting, revealing answers. Here are a few things we learned:
Alex Schams not only answered his question but also gave us a visual tour of the view from his rooftop including a beautiful sunset. A picture speaks a thousand words and, in this case, the added visual allowed him to fill some time and qualify after Luis forgot to start the clock.
Alex Bello revealed his first Table Topics question was so stressful his fit-bit thought he was on a run. Who knew public speaking was such great aerobic exercise?
Kenzi Rose told us about an acquaintance she thought was “ditsy” and later became one of her best friends. First impressions can be misleading.
Sam Nazarian revealed his battle with staying in bed and going for a morning run.
Karan Bavandi told us about his hobby. Sports are big in Karan’s life. He loves soccer and also managed to slip in that he’s a regular in the Saturday volleyball games at the beach.
I heard myself saying that the secret to a good life is a great funeral. That wasn’t quite the gist of my remarks. The idea was that it’s always a good idea to try to get good reviews as you take your final bow.
Luis Hurtado introduced us to the intoxicating world of cockpit videos.
Finally, Li Xin let us in on the time he was a would-be tour guide in Beverly Hills. The experience got him involved in a weird paternity matter between a father and son. Sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer, “Who’s the Daddy?”
- Toastmaster – Steve Evans
- Table Topics Master – Karan Bavandi
- Speaker #1 – Genevieve Kelly (Ice Breaker)
- Speaker #2 – TBD
- Chief Evaluator – Li Xin
- Evaluator #1 – Kenzi Rose
- Evaluator #2 – Blake Bolger
- Timer – Armando Yee
- Grammarian – Sam Nazarian
- Ah Counter – Len Kung
- Thought for the Day – Tricia Lee
- Joke Master – Karan Bavandi