Thursday, March 18, 2010

Simply Your Best Speaking Begins Here

Simply Your Best
Speaking Begins Here

Congratulations to all of the participants and winners of Simply Speaking Toastmaster's 2010 International Speech and Table Topics Contest.

International Speech Contest
Ist Place: Ian Humphrey
2nd Place: Connie Akins
3rd Place: Cindy Thomas

Table Topics Contest
Ist Place: Connie Akins
2nd Place: Darryle Brown
3rd Place: Heidi Williams

Tonight, I felt like a proud mother just watching everybody doing their best. It was very organized and executed smoothly and with enthusiasm and energy. I counted 35 people and felt a special spirit in the room as we watched and listened to members who believed and celebrated their own possibilities.

Can I tell you how it feels to be a president of a Toastmasters club whose members will do their best? Let me tell feels great! As I sat back and enjoyed the evening, I recognized the careful planning, follow-up, educating, supporting and working together to make this contest successful.
  • I saw the influence of our VP of ED Neisha Balleck in all aspects of tonights contest. I fully trust her to do a great job every single time. She does her tasks with grace and her trademark Balleck smile that warms our hearts.
  • I admire how Contest Chairwoman Abigail Smucker executed an organized plan and learned the value of effective delegation. As soon as the contest started, she sat and allowed the others to perform their tasks. As VP of PR, I saw her personally taking our guests to the 2nd floor to show them our meeting room. where did she find the time?
  • Madame Toastmaster Marcy Brack looked great and was the charming host and effective leader during the contest. She just took charge and gave us a great contest. We just love her so. Congratulations for a job well done!
  • David Bounds was a revelation. He was our awesome Chief Judge. He also served as the Creative Director who came up not just with a great look and feel for the meeting, but a new branding for Simply Speaking. He designed and created the program, composed the rallying cry that was on the back of the program and made me wear a bomber jacket.

The club contest can't simply work without the help of the following members.

  • Margaret Sayer, Abigail Marrs and Rachel Davis = Sgt of Arms
  • Kumu Kandaswamy and Judd = Counters
  • Gigi de Gala, Carol Harris, Cybele Antonow and Michelle Bires = Judges
  • Felicia Arambula and Louis Kamga-Ngameni= Timers
  • Pete Hazlet = Foodmaster
  • Betty and Elinora, Darryle, Paula, Ian, and Neisha, Kumu, Connie and Alan ( famous homemade salsa) who brought drinks and refreshments. Forgive me if I missed anyone.

Contestants always get energy from the audience. I'm very grateful for those of you who were able to make it tonight. Your support is priceless.

Neisha, thank you so much for the birthday cake and for making me 29 years old...again. If you allow me, I'll consider tonight one of the best birthday gift I have ever received.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Movie Night

February 18, 2010

On a cold, snowy day we had a very educational evening. Julia Davis, who is the Lieutenant Governor of Education and Training presented "Movie Night." She showed us different DVDs of some of the winners of the International Speech Contest at the highest level of competition. She provided us with opportunities to discuss what we have seen and heard. She is such a smart lady! We learned not just from listening to her, but also from the discussion. Most of all, we learned from watching the best of the best speak. It became very transparent to us why the winners won. All of the winners shared a very special, but unique quality.... they made us FELT something.

Our VP of ED Neisha Balleck made it all possible. She even arranged the room with chairs facing the huge projector. We had popcorn, soda, vegetables and dip and even comfortable pillows on the floor. Only one brave member attempted to use the pillows and that is Abigail Smucker. Most of us can't get up from sitting on the floor without a lot of pain so we stayed on our chairs. On the "balcony" sections were Cindy Thomas, Cybele Antonow and Neisha.

President Barack Obama was visiting Denver and was causing a traffic jam, but it did not stop our Immediate Past President Darryle Brown from coming to the meeting. It is simply not the same without him in our meetings. We had some technical difficulties, but Tom Marrs made things work. :-) I always admire people who can figure out other people's DVD players. It took me along time to figure out mine. Thank goodness for Abby Marrs who looked very comfortable in her fuzzy slippers. She was the assistant techie for the evening.

Rachel had a smile that can light up a room. Betty Funderburke came looking very chic with her beret. Elinora brought her usual energy and was very generous in sharing the pictures that she took during our "Love Connection" meeting. David Bounds asked really good questions and shared with us unique observations about the winning speakers and speeches. I think, sitting with Marcy Bracks inspired him.

Christin Roberts was paying special attention to the movies and I'm sure she is going to be a winner someday too. The evening inspired Lois Kamga-Ngameni as he prepared for his Ice Breaker speech for the following week. I went home feeling grateful for people like Julia, who drove all the way from the other side of town to help a club and its members be the best they can be. As my head touched my pillow that night, I thought of Simply Speaking Toastmasters club and its members who believe and support each other's potential and possibilities.