Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Meet the Vice President of PR

My name is Lauralee Norris, and I am a college student at Oregon Coast Community College. For school, I am completing my associates so I can go to Oregon State to become a dietitian. I work as a funeral assistant, and webmaster for Bateman and Affordable Burial and Cremation funeral homes. Last winter I joined Toastmasters when I was taking a communications class. We needed to speak in front of an audience of five or more people, and my dad said I could come to Toastmasters meetings with him. After being able to give my speeches at Toastmasters, I decided to stay on as a member.

I enjoy going to Toastmasters and giving speeches. It helps me get used to being before an audience, and be more confident. Being in Toastmasters also has helped me think faster on my feet, which has been useful for scholarships, daily life, and work. My favorite thing about Toastmasters is being able to go through the manuals and track my growth. The group is really supportive, and friendly. If you are thinking about joining us, there are several new members who are going through their competent communicator as well, so you won't be alone in learning about your speaking habits, or in your attempt to stop saying umm. At Yaquina Newport Toastmasters, we have a variety of people, from NOAA scientists, to people who are retired, to a writer and a teacher, so you are likely to find someone you can relate to.

September 27th review

Lauralee was the Toastmaster of the day, and her theme was the Roman Colosseum, inspired by the presidential debate. To evaluate her was Marisa, who said that Lauralee needed longer introductions and to be confident in what she was saying.
Brian went first to go through his revised version of his humorous speech Confessions of a Funeral Director. His focus today was on making sure the speech was not offensive in any way, and that the ending was more complete. Laimons was evaluating him, and said that the organization and humor was good, but that he might want to make the identity of the family even more vague.
Our second speaker was Pen, who gave a five to ten minute speech called Awe-Full. The topic was her vacation, where nature inspired her, especially the birds. Peter was the evaluator for Pen, who complimented her on humor and bringing elaborate word pictures.
The word of the day, given to us by Dave, was shenanigator. Christa was the table topics master of the day, who talked about the shenanigans of growing up. Everyone loved her questions, so much so three people stood up to talk about what it meant to them to be a grown up. Answers ranged from hearing your baby cry for the first time, to being an adult by age but never a grown up who does not remember how to have fun. Dave was the table topics winner after he was asked about his greatest achievement. To this he said that becoming half the man he used to be was how he achieved what he believed to be impossible.
Have a good day!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Meet the Treasurer


My name is Laurie Weitkamp, a member of Yaquina Toastmasters since 2006ish.  Professionally, I'm a fish biologist. Back in the mid 1990s I did a leadership program, which identified public speaking as a skill I needed to improve, so I joined a toastmasters club and the rest is history. Compared to any other commercial program that teaches public speaking, Toastmasters is a bargain.
As a scientist, I have to give a lot of talks, such as at scientific meetings to my peers, and in a variety of venues to the public. I find attending toastmasters keeps my speaking skills sharp, so I'm effective in my presentations. It gives me the confidence to stand in front of a crowd and know "I can do this!". I've also also learned a lot about giving good evaluations, pointing out what was done well with how the speaker can improve. This skill is directly applicable to my work, since I often have to evaluate the work and writing students and my peers.
I've been a member of Toastmasters since 1996. I stay because it keeps my speaking skills sharp, but also because I enjoy getting to know my fellow toastmasters and we have a lot of fun at meetings.

Speech contest awards

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Upcoming dates:

Money due- October 1st
Division Contest- October 1-31st
Fall Conference- November 5th

The speech contest

September 17th was the humorous speech contest, and table topics in Florence, Oregon. Three members went to the contest from Newport, Dave, Lauralee, and Brian. For the contest, our president Brian competed in both the table topics contest, as well as the humorous speech contest. Our vice president of education, Dave, was one of the timers. Lauralee was the representative judge for Newport, one of four judges for both contests.
Brian gave his speech, Confessions of a funeral director, for the humorous speech contest. There were four judges for the speech from different clubs in area 31. He gave us the story of his first funeral he ever did, and how it was not a simple one that a new funeral director usually gets. For the contest, he used the podium to emphasize what it was like to listen to Reverend Johny Pack preach. The audience really enjoyed his story about how the Reverend "raised the dead" as he watched a pair of legs levitate into the foyer, since one of the audience member's had run out of oxygen in her oxygen tank. He was up against Paul, from the Siuslaw club, and another speaker who did not show. Paul spoke on how integrity was important, but after telling his nieces and nephews about being moral, he himself decided to shirk responsibility. This occurred on a day when someone had left their pants in front of his workplace after having an accident.
The results of the contest were Paul placing first, and Brian placing second. Both of them will be moving on to the division humorous speech contest on October 22nd 2016.
Brian also competed in the table topics contest, which were held today, and judged by the same judges as the speech contest. The question given to the contestants was how they would ask for a promotion at work? Brian said he would ask himself as the co-owner of Bateman. To do so, he would write himself a letter of recommendation, and leave it on his desk to discover the next day. He also pretended to have a conversation with himself about how he deserves a promotion for all his hard work. Vickie also competed from another club, and asked the same question. She said that she would attempt to make herself invaluable and do extra work, so that she would be favored as a candidate for promotion.
Brian took first place in the table topics contest, and Vickie placed second. They both will move on to the division contest in October. The third contestant did not show for the competition.
I hope you have a great day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 20th review

The Toastmaster of the day was Lee, whose theme was pirates, after the holiday Talk like a pirate day, which was September 19th. To evaluate Lee, Anjanette was the general evaluator for her first time ever. She gave a very thorough evaluation of meeting, reminding us that not everyone knows acronyms like CTM (competent manual).
There were two speakers today, Lauralee and Laurie. The first speaker was Lauralee who spoke on Leaving Stress Behind. She gave us "tools" to fill our "toolbox" to help combat stress. Her three tools were guided imagery, exercise, and progressive muscle relaxation. To complete her last speech of the competent communicator, Lauralee both showed us the benefits of each tool, and how to use them to combat stress. Christa was the evaluator for Lauralee, and suggested that she put less on her slides since the audience wanted to listen to her, not read. She also mentioned that the speech was really well organized, and she would try some of the techniques to help with her speech.
Laurie was the second speaker, giving her speech In Denial, in order to complete speech three of the competent communicator. This was about getting to the point, and she is doing it as a refresher course. For her speech, she talked about how she is in denial of the seasons changing, and winter getting closer. She said that summer was a great time of year, and spring brought the promise that winter was over. However, she said she did not like winter because she doesn't like going to work and coming home in the dark. Laurie also said she did not like that she has to walk her dog in the dark and rain.
Paul was in charge of table topics, who gave Laimons, Peter and Pen slips of paper with advice on them and asked whether it was wise or foolish. Laimons said that being informed was wise but reading the comments on social media was not. Peter said that laughing was good advice, and that his age they can't worry all the time. Pen talked about how she would have been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder and how did they know if she had good or bad memories. In the end, Pen won the table topics award!
Our grammarian was Brian, who liked the use of "leaving stress behind, ten minutes at a time" saying it sounded like a business tagline. His word of the day was quidnunc, which means someone who likes gossip. 
Have a great day.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Meet the Secretary

Marisa pictured on far left

My name is Marisa Litz. I am a PhD candidate in Fisheries Science at Oregon State University studying salmon ocean ecology at the Hatfield Marine Science Center with collaborators from NOAA Fisheries. My work is aimed at understanding how environmental variability impacts interactions between juvenile salmon and their prey in the nearshore ocean. When I'm not studying, I enjoy surfing and spending time with my husband Greg and my two dogs Gilbert and McKenzie.
I joined Toastmasters to improve my public speaking and to be better equipped to think on my feet and respond to questions in a thoughtful and precise manner. In Toastmasters, I like interacting with and getting to know members of the community with whom I otherwise wouldn't have a chance to meet.I always enjoy our holiday meeting in December when we exchange interesting gifts in a white elephant gift exchange, and develop table topics around the weird and wonderful gifts that are opened.
I would encourage new members to set a goal for themselves to finish the Competent Communicator manual before giving up. I would also like to remind them what a great sense of accomplishment it is to complete the manual. And I know 7 am is early in the morning, but it is a wonderful feeling to know that you have already been productive and learned something, helped someone, or honed your own skills by 8 am on a Tuesday morning before most people have even started their day.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Table topics awards

Donna (left) awarding Vikie (right) with second place
Brian being awarded first place by Donna

Table topics contest

Brian and Teo 
 Our president, Brian, pictured on the left, talking to the area governor Teo in the interview after the contest. Brian said that he would leave a letter of recommendation for himself in order to get a promotion from himself, as the co-owner of his company Bateman funeral home.
Brian and Teo

Vickie competing in table topics
 Vickie competed in the table topics contest with Brian. The table topics question was how would she try to get a promotion. She said she would make herself as valuable as she could in order to receive a promotion.
Brian, Teo and Vickie (left to right)

Speech contest in Florence

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Meet the Vice President of Education

My name is Dave Coffman, and for Newport Yaquina Toastmasters, I am the Vice President of Education. During my time as a Toastmaster, I have competed in in speech contests, and finished many of the advanced manuals. I've found Toastmasters to be rewarding in so many ways, it's hard to decide the number one thing I've gotten out of Toastmasters. If I have to choose one thing, I suppose it's the self confidence I've achieved in my ability to speak in public. 
When I first joined Toastmasters I was a Youth Minister at my church which involved frequent speaking in front of many diverse groups of people. This is why I decided to join Toastmasters in the first place.
My advice to anyone considering joining Toastmasters is that there is no better place to develop public speaking skills in a supportive environment full of people whose one commonality is that they all want to help one another improve their speaking skills.Yaquina Toastmasters tends to be a little less formal than many other clubs and our meetings, at least to me, are a little more fun because of it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 13th meeting review


Today's Toastmaster of the day was Dave, being evaluated by Lauralee. Instead of a normal meeting, today was the Table Topics contest. Because of this, we had extra long "open" table topics, instead of a second speaker. Since this was a contest, we had a Table topic question of the day, which was "Flozy". 
Marisa was the only speaker, being evaluated by Peter. She spoke on how we all have some bias in our judgement. To start out her speech, Marisa told a story of a boy who was in a car accident with his father who died instantly. The boy was rushed to the hospital where the surgeon walked into the operating room, and then exclaimed "I cant operate on that boy. He's my son!" She then asked if we were confused, and we raised our hand if we thought the surgeon was his mother, or second father. Peter talked about how she made everyone think about their own views on life, and was sneaky with her ending being so quiet. 
Christa led table topics asking us to define "Flozy" in some way. There was a race to the lectern by the end of the meeting, with all but three of us talking about what "Flozy" meant. The word was defined as a teenager finding their way, by Anjanette and the feeling of jazz music by Laura. Flozy meant that you were in the zone by Laurie; floating on the river by Peter; and had to do with alcohol by Dave and Marisa. The original meaning of this word made up by Christa was feeling cozy in the fall. Brian was the winner for the table topics contest, making up a story of his "aunt flozy" who walked with a flow in her step.
Our word of the day was empathy, provided to us by Laimons. Brian was the timer of the day, who helped to make sure everyone qualified for the table topics contest. Lauralee reminded everyone to not abandon the lecturn, and said that Dave did well with transitioning between the speaker and the contest.
We would like to welcome back Laura, and loved her story of the jazz music in the woods. Schedules will be posted soon.

Have a good week!

Monday, September 12, 2016

New officers

These are our Yaquina Newport Toastmasters new bout of officers. Left to right pictured are Marisa, our secretary, Dave the Vice President of Education, Brian our President, Lauralee our Vice President of PR, Paul our Sergeant At Arms, Laurie our Treasurer, and Lee our Vice President of Membership.

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Letter from the Sergeant At Arms

Hi Lauralee and all,

I am Paul Brookhyser, the retired engineering technician, husband of 48 years, father of three adults ages 40, 36 and 34 and now part time youth minister of 24 students in the 7th and 8th grades Wednesday nights at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Newport. I joined Toastmasters in 1983 to organize my competing thoughts and ideas and to help the then young and upcoming engineers I worked with to gain confidence and self esteem in all social communications.
My favorite thing about Yaquina Bay Toastmasters is its humor and spontaneity.  The club members are genuinely concerned about the success and satisfaction of its newest members of any age. We all needed training wheels at one time and we all learned from our successes and our stumblings too. It is truly a thrill for me to see shy new members progress in their assignments and transform and learn to forgive themselves and others for their uniqueness.
My greatest personal reward for continuing in Toastmasters is the freedom it gives me to boldly try new things that my shyness has prevented in the past. I have gained freedom of expression. I have taught, acted on stage, song solos, and danced. Now when I meet new people I am enthusiastic about their lives and their learning.

Thanks for asking,

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Table Topics Contest

Table Topics Contest schedule:
Dave will be the Toastmaster of the day with Lauralee as his general evaluator. Marisa will be the first speaker, evaluated by Peter. After this first speech will be the Table Topics contest. All toastmasters and guests will evaluate the Table Topics speakers. To be challenging us with questions for Table Topics is Christa. Brian will be the timer for the contest.

Dates to remember

Please put these dates on your calendar if you want to attend, or stay a member.

Table Topics contest for Yaquina Newport Toastmasters is September 13th
Area contests are from September 17th- 30th
Division Contests are from October 1-31st
In order to be a member of Toastmasters, we need to pay our dues by October 1st.
Fall Conference is November 5th

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 6th review

September 6th review:

Today was the business meeting, and humorous speech contest. The business meeting was run by our president, Brian. We discussed dues, which will be $45 to be paid by the first of October. Our treasurer, Laurie, reminded us that she needs to know whether you will be renewing membership before October. For our Public Relations report, the Vice President said that the facebook page has almost reached 1,000 people in the last month, and the blog has received 286 views in the last two months. We proposed to host a speech contest in the spring, which was approved. Details for the speech contest will be worked out as we move closer to the date it will happen.
After our business meeting, we had our special meeting of a speech contest. Lori was the Toastmaster for the contest, assisted by Dave for instructions. We had two timers: Lee and Anjanette who helped make sure the time was correct for the speeches. Everyone had an evaluation sheet where they scored the speeches on four categories such as humor and content. Each area was scored out of ten, and totaled at the end. Our two contest speakers were Dave and Brian, speaking from 5 to 7 minutes.
Dave told his fish tales speech where he hooked us on his adventures of fishing across the country and overseas. He told us how when he caught his first fish, he threw his pole in the water. His grandfather rescued the pole for him, so he could reel in the fish, and from then on, he was as hooked as that fish was. As a suggestion for the audience, Lee mentioned that if he wore a fishing hat, he would be more convincing. Dave joked that he had planned to wear hip waders, but that wasn't acceptable attire for work.
Brian was the second speaker with his speech Confessions of a Funeral Director. He dug deep to tell us about how his first funeral was not the quick easy funeral most directors start off with. After making it to the chapel safely in a procession he thought the hard part was over, and then he saw a pair of feet levitating into the room, which ended up being a woman who did not have her oxygen, and emergency services came to help. After that, he told us of how resurrection of the dead seemed to happen with the EMT's and the experience of having casket divers. Lee suggested that the next time he gives that speech, he wear a black coat and top hat.
Both speeches qualified for time, and between the two speeches, Brian won the humorous speech contest. Good luck in Florence next week!

Have a good week

Monday, September 5, 2016

An article from Toastmasters magazine summary

*Taken from Toastmasters magazine from Be Confident When Called on by Matt Abrahams as a synopsis. I own nothing, and this is simply meant as a helpful tool.

There were three steps suggested that you can practice during table topics. Get out of your own way, then see the obstacle as an opportunity,  and then leverage the structure. The first suggestion was to get out of your own way. Matt said that When starting to speak out, we tend to judge what we are going to say and wanting to say the right thing in a meaningful way. While thinking before speaking if good, this judging can be a bad thing because it stops us from accomplishing the task of answering a question or providing feedback. Instead of trying to make things perfect, we need to just focus on accomplishing the task.
The second suggestion given by Matt was to see the speaking as an opportunity and not an obstacle. If you look at answering questions as a opportunity, you can embrace and expand on the situation. This keeps you open to possibilities in both life and speaking that you might not have been able to have seen or taken advantage of.
Lastly,  leverage the structure by responding in a structured manner. This manner can help the audience process the information. In the article, "Be Confident When Called On", Matt suggested two structures, problem-solution-benefit, and what? So what? Now what? With the problem solution structure, you start by addressing the problem, then talk about a way to solve it. It is persuasive and effective. At the end of it, you describe the benefits of adopting the same outlook on the solution. The second one was talking about the question, then discussing why the audience should care about what you are saying. Lastly you explain what to do about your answer.
When you do these three things, "you can become a more compelling, confident, and connected spontaneous speaker" says Matt.

Speech contest

We are having a speech contest this Tuesday at 7 am at Pig 'N Pancake!

This will be after the business meeting. Schedule to follow.