Meeting Minutes – 11.05.2020

It was our first meeting in November and it was an hour full of verity and inspiration! It was also a welcome respite from all of the election madness. The evening included two terrific speeches and a great Table Topics session conducted by first time TTM, Evan Pawelk. All that’s coming up but first, I want to give a shout out to our new members, Evan Pawelk, Jaclyn Lineback and Maryam Ashouri. Welcome to Silicon Speech!

Toastmaster, Sam Nazarian began the night by introducing our functionaries including first time Grammarian Jaclyn Lineback who did a terrific job as our grammar police person. Then Sam, introduced our first speaker, Lauren Clayton with her speech entitled, “How to See What You Can’t See”. The speech began with a story about a time when she was working with one of the nation’s biggest cocaine dealers. What? Lauren working with a cocaine dealer? Not to worry, she was actually his counselor after his stint in the big house. It was a great way to begin this speech about how working with this person led to an exploration of the unconscious biases we all have. It was a very timely message with great insights that left us all doing a little soul searching. Great job Lauren!

Next up, it was our special guest speaker for the evening, Division A Director, Ed Coffey. Ed is an experienced pro and it was a real treat to have him join us. His speech was an eloquently stated, inspirational look into why we are Toastmasters. This is something that should be posted to the TM website. Thanks, Ed!

Evaluations followed. Blake Bolger took us through Lauren Clayton’s speech and had one of the more memorable lines of the night. According to Blake, her big takeaway from Lauren’s speech was about how, among other things, you should always, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself”. Words to live by in these tumultuous times! Next, Len Kung had the difficult task of evaluating Ed Coffey’s speech. Like a pro, she was able to find a few ways that even the really good can get even better.

Then, the aforementioned Evan Pawelk took to the virtual stage as TTM, asking some great questions about US Presidents, elections and leadership (we all knew it would work its way into the conversation one way or another). He got some great answers and, as usual, we learned a few things…

Alex Bello’s favorite President is Barack Obama because he’s a great speaker with a personal touch. Something every Toastmaster can aspire to be.

Laila Aitken is, even now, surprised at just how divided the country is. I think we all share that feeling.

Alex Schams like everybody else is feeling the stress of the political season, even his anxiety has anxiety.

Maryam Ashouri would if given the choice, run for a local office. She has my vote. Maryam for (fill in the blank)!

Rafael Macho would nominate his kid’s school principal, a great, unifying leader for the highest office in the land. Sounds like just what we need.

Jaclyn Lineback looks to CNN for her latest news and likes to keep it on 24/7.

Ed Coffey talked about what political parties would look like if he ruled the world. I’m in. Let’s hear it for The Ed Party!

Kenzi Rose would also look to the education system for our future leaders citing a former teacher as the perfect model of a great President.

And, once again, Karan Bavandi gave us words of wisdom for these troubled times.

Now, here’s the list for next week:
  • Toastmaster – Lauren Clayton
  • Table Topics Master – Sam Nazarian
  • Speaker #1 – Shar McBee
  • Speaker #2 – Maryam Ashouri
  • Chief Evaluator – Len Kung
  • Evaluator #1 – Karan Bavandi
  • Evaluator #2 – Li Xin
  • Timer – Alex Bello
  • Grammarian – Evan Pawelk
  • Ah Counter – Laila Aitken
  • Thought for the Day – Evan Pawelk
  • Joke Master – Jaclyn Lineback
Steve Evans
Secretary / VP Education