Friday, March 30, 2018

A Perfect Launch by Avital Miller

While I may live in a small coastal town in Oregon, it seems we have almost all I need to launch a successful career. A year ago I moved just outside of Newport, Oregon feeling this would be a quiet place to work on my book, Healing Happens: Stories of Healing Against All Odds, and prepare for my book tour launching in April 2018. In the beginning the only time I went to town was to buy groceries or attend a Yaquina Toastmasters meeting on Tuesday mornings at the restaurant Pig ‘N Pancake. To my surprise Toastmasters provided all I needed; connection to community, refined preparation for my speaking tour, and an excellent breakfast catered to my special dietary requirements! Whether a new member or long-time member, there is always a friendly face to greet you at the meetings. Every meeting is filled with laughter as many people in the club have a great sense of humor. Our president Brian Norris is very tactful at keeping a great sense of harmony among the members. I have made friends, been given opportunities all over this region to speak about my miracle healing stories and success strategies. I see familiar faces in town that make me feel like a welcome member of this community. They have also encouraged me to take on bigger roles within Toastmasters to step out of my shell. Not only have those roles helped me as a public speaker, but also as a leader, and in my ability to communicate in everyday conversations.
People say public speaking is one of their biggest fears. To overcome fears, I find it helpful to establish a supportive environment, find a well-developed training system, and obtain constructive feedback from people more experienced than me. It takes courage to take on a leadership role or stand in front of a room. When I do so the Toastmasters members are always supportive. The energy of the group feels so inclusive they even added the ability to join the meetings online for people like me who travel a lot to be able to stay involved. Now we are a hybrid club and have members from around the world! With a program that started almost one hundred years ago, I really feel Toastmasters has polished our training manuals to offer clear guidance every step of the way. I even got to be part of helping roll out the new Pathways program, which I feel is even more tailored to each individual’s goals. Whether you want to focus on speaking, coaching, leading, communicating, negotiating, networking, project planning, motivating others, or mentoring, it seems there is a path for you.
At a recent training with Brendon Burchard, known as “the world’s leading high performance coach,” he shared perfection can’t be achieved until we launch our product or service and see how people respond to it. Yet at Toastmasters we can practice launching our work over and over again until our message is honed. We have members who have been involved for over twenty years who offer feedback I never would have thought about on my own. The members are supportive and articulate with their feedback so I always feel great about my accomplishments and inspired to grow. Now I feel ready to step out into the world, share the inspiration I have gathered from my research and experiences on healing and success, and my tummy has been filled with yummy food!
Please join us at Yaquina Toastmasters on Tuesdays at 7:00am Pacific time online at or in person at Pig ‘N Pancake, Newport, Oregon. Visit our blog at And, get a free gift when you visit my website at
Avital joined Yaquina Toastmasters in 2017. She has achieved her Advance Communicator Bronze, Her book is available on

As Seen On Voices!

Seven??? by Brinn Hemmingson

Michelle said, “I started my Toastmasters journey in an unusual way. In 1996, I owed a major debt of
gratitude to a friend who helped me in my hour of need. When I asked her how I could repay her, she said “Attend a Toastmasters meeting.” I did, and I fell in love with Toastmasters.” Currently, Michelle belongs to seven clubs:
Undistricted 100% Online Clubs
• Witty Storytellers Online, #05618837 - District U, Area 01
• Global Trainers Online, #06650465 - District U, Area 01
• Competitive Communicators, #06621765 - District U, Area 01
Onsite with online attendance
• Transtoasters Toastmasters, #003548 - District 7, Area 41
• Making Better Consultants (MBC) Speak EZ, #03287370 - District 27, Area 14
• Emperor Mandarin Toastmasters Club, #0707197 - District 75, Area 3
• Yaquina Toastmasters, #003880 District 7, Area 33
Michelle has held all club officer roles, and served as Area Governor in District 75 and District 7, and Lt. Governor Marketing (LGM), Lt. Governor Education and Training (LGET), and District Director.
Michelle said, “I’ve participated in contests in three districts (D7, D75, and Founders District). I’ve placed 2nd at District 75 Table Topics and Evaluation Contests, and 2nd at Founders District Table Topics Contest.” “Through Toastmasters, I’ve made friends all over the world. Toastmasters has also impacted my life in a way that very few people know because I’ve kept it secret until now. Twelve years ago while visiting the East Coast, I experienced a devastating personal betrayal. I came precariously close to literally ending it all and jumping off the 3rd floor of the New York City Hall. The thought that I was coordinating a new Toastmasters Club Open House/Demo Meeting in Irvine (California) in a week, and that none of my club mates knew I was on the East Coast, made me pause. If I didn’t show up at the Toastmasters event they’d think I was a flake! That few seconds pause was all I needed to realize that I shouldn’t give up on living. So I can say that Toastmasters literally saved my life!” Michelle has discovered the joys and benefits of online attendance. “Since last year, I’ve been helping clubs to add an online attendance option. I would be honored to help any D7 member who would like to explore online attendance for their club(s).”
Contact her at or

As Seen On Voices!

Toastmasters Made the Difference by Leanna Lindquist

When I first met Lauralee Norris, I thought she was a high school student. That was about two years ago when I was a guest at Yaquina Toastmasters Club in Newport, Oregon. It was obvious Lauralee was an integral part of the club. She joined in 2015 while taking an online public speaking class. She was required to film her speeches and present them to an audience of five or more. Her dad, Brian, suggested she give her speeches at his Toastmasters club. This was a match made in heaven for Lauralee, and it turns out for her club too. She completed the first four speeches in her Competent Communicator Manual while taking the class.
Her father’s job took the family from Portland, Oregon to Newport in 2014. Lauralee is the youngest of four girls, and the only one still at home. She enjoys singing in her school* choir and
is taking private guitar lessons. She was part of the  NASA Team for the solar eclipse.And, she does
Toastmasters. A lot of Toastmasters. Lauralee received her Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree to go to Oregon State University from Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC). This program has allowed her to earn guaranteed transferable credits to Oregon State University (OSU). At the age of twenty, Lauralee is a junior in college. She is enrolled online with OSU for finance courses. She is also enrolled at OCCC for her electives. Between the two part-time enrollments, she is a
 full-time student. Her goal is a Business Marketing Degree. Passing the Series 66 exam (The Uniform Combined State Law Examination also called the Series 66 exam is designed to qualify candidates as both securities agents and investment adviser representatives) will allow her to register as an investment adviser representative. By enrolling in both programs and living at home, it makes college affordable. Clearly Lauralee is planning ahead for her financial security.
This is Lauralee’s second year as VP Public Relations. She keeps up the club’s Facebook Page which reaches 3000 through shares and likes. She posts regularly on the District 7 Facebook Group. She maintains the club website, YouTube channel, and Google+. Lauralee shared, “People from across the country come to our blog just for what we have about Pathways.”  Her efforts have been
responsible for club members being on the radio and write-ups in the newspaper (which required her to learn to write press releases). Lauralee has helped Yaquina Toastmasters be well known in Newport.
Yaquina has become a hybrid club thanks to Lauralee and her expertise with the Zoom online platform. The club currently has 5 online members. One is a wildland firefighter who has tried to find a permanent club for years. He is never in one location more than three months at a time. After visiting the club, he joined as an online member. The club has members from Wisconsin, Nebraska, and London. Some joined because of her YouTube videos. They wanted to start Pathways right away and not wait for it to roll out in their own Districts. The club uses a Google spreadsheet to sign up for roles. A local member travels for work and is able to stay active in the club using Zoom. Soon they will welcome a member from the Galapagos. Being a hybrid club has been a boost to the club’s membership numbers. Their lighthearted meetings, that help people get over the fear of public speaking, attract new members to the club. Professionals are joining to improve their speaking skills, to become better trainers, and to speak to the media. The club has a long history of coaching the Newport Loyalty Days & Sea Fair Festival princesses with their speeches. They are vying for scholarships based on the speeches they give. By the way, the club has earned 10 goals.
When Yaquina Toastmasters held a meeting for Rotary, Lauralee served as Topicsmaster. One of the attendees, a business owner, was impressed wth how she handled her portion of the meeting. After seeing all that Lauralee does as the VP Public Relations, she called her in for an interview. Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group hired her to manage their public relations and social media. Bateman Funeral Home, Affordable Burial and Cremation hired her to manage their website and social media. She credits Toastmasters as the reason for learning how. Toastmasters also helped with her role as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Club president. And, it helped her complete her communication classes. “I am confident talking to others.” she says. “I feel comfortable leading other people.” Lauralee believes in the education program and likes the variety of speeches she can give. Lauralee loves teaching. To help orient new members in her club, she created a 5-7 minute speech on how to fill out a Competent Leader Manual. Her love for teaching inspired her to become a Pathways Guide. She completed her Pathways training for clubs in District 7. She will be training online clubs. Members of her club have completed levels 1-5. She likes the relevancy of Pathways. Innovative Planning is her Path. She is in level 3. Lauralee is looking forward to other new paths, especially Storytelling, which is one she has heard will be coming in the future. Lauralee will finish her Advanced Communicator Gold before she goes further in Pathways. Her High Performance Leadership Project is a *public relations campaign that finishes this month. She will easily wrap up the three required speeches. Her last requirement to earn her DTM, in the traditional program, is to start a new club. She is already working on it. I don’t know for sure, but my guess is Lauralee is the youngest Toastmaster in District 7. I am sure she will be our youngest Distinguished Toastmaster. Lauralee wisely tapped into what Toastmasters has to offer. I predict when she graduates and applies for a job she will be head and shoulders above all her competitors. She is confident and articulate. She will go far.

*corrected for accuracy

As Seen On Voices!

Zoom Link

If you would like to attend one of our meetings, the link is provided above

March 27th Meeting

Lee was the Toastmaster of the day Tuesday, March 28th. His theme of the day was April Fools, and he played a trick on us with "dog treats" which were really sugar cookies. His evaluator was Lauralee, who said he did a great job adjusting to the time restraints. One suggestion she did have is to make sure he consistently leads the applause.
Svetlana was the first speaker of the day, giving her speech for Innovative Planning, where she had to adapt to the reactions of her audience. She talked about her experience as a guide in Uzbekistan, something she had not done for a long time, and was excited to be able to do it again. As an interpreter, she had lead tours for a long time, but with a job change, it was something Svetlana had not been able to do for awhile. She talked about how they went all different places on foot for their tour, and got to go shopping for souvenirs. One of the tourist asked whether they should buy certain items and Svetlana said that she should buy whatever she wants because she will not have this type of experience again.   Laimons was her evaluator who complimented Svetlana on her gestures as she was on camera. Since there were some issues with the lights, it was suggested that the online members have a timer they use on their end as a back up.
Avital gave a better speaker series speech about being nervous before giving a speech. She talked about how she has been nervous about a lot of the things that could happen before a speech, such as falling and being late. After giving speeches for several years, she has learned that your audience does not notice mistakes nearly as much as you do. To get rid of anxiety, she suggested practicing your speech at your Toastmasters club and in front of a mirror so that you can feel more comfortable giving your speech. Lakota was her evaluator who said she did a great job adding personality to the speech since it was written for her. One thing that he said could improve is that he really could not see her on his screen. As an online member, he watched her speech from his computer, and  since she was sharing her screen, her picture was very small making it hard to see her expression and gestures.
Since we had two long speeches, we did not do table topics, and there was no table topics winner.
A reminder was given to pay dues since membership ends March 31st if you have not renewed.
The link to attend our meeting via Zoom is attached above.
See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Our Guests

We would like to welcome our guests from our open house!

Douglas and Carmel Chandler
Keith Matteson
Reed Adams
Richard O'Hearn
Katelyn and Jasmine Carlson
Ean Ng
The Loyalty Days Court: Two chairmen, Dee, Princess Aramina, Princess Jennifer, and Princess Georgia.

Did you miss our Open House?

Monday, March 19, 2018


Are you coming to our event Tuesday? Check in here!

Zoom Link

Use this link for our meeting on Tuesday!

Princess Roles

The Princesses will be speaking this week! Brian N will be the Toastmaster of the day. Dina will be evaluated by Kristina, and Aramina will be evaluated by Lee. Jennifer will be evaluated by Avital, and Georgia will be evaluated by Lauralee. Diane will be the grammarian of the day. Svetlana will be the table topics master of the day. Jalene is the timer of the day. Julia will be the general evaluator.

Friday, March 9, 2018

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Avital was awarded her Advanced Communicator Bronze this week!