July 29th Meeting Report

Thursday was a night of “firsts” at the Sierra Speakers meeting – a theme chosen by Amanda Andriesz, who took on the role of Toastmaster for the first time and did a terrific job!

Before the meeting, Amanda collected “firsts” from everyone with a role and used the information to introduce those people, including a humorous description of the first time general evaluator Helen Chao went rock climbing. Amanda looked very comfortable in her role and kept the meeting fun and lively.

Our first speaker was Anna Lien, who told the story of her dinner at Opaque, a San Francisco restaurant where food is served in pitch-black darkness. Anna set out to give a humorous speech and she delivered, describing the pitfalls of eating in the dark – which for her included accidentally swallowing a large chunk of butter. She even managed to include the word of the day, “maiden.”

Steve Aitkins gave the second and final speech, a thoughtful look at how to offer someone services without turning into a stereotypical salesperson. Elizabeth Cruz participated in the speech, playing the role of a homeowner deciding whether to accept the services Steve was offering. Afterward, he dissected the interaction and explained his tactful, no-pressure approach.

I was the evaluator for Anna’s speech, and Keith Hoang evaluated Steve’s speech. Helen Chao added some helpful suggestions for the speakers and gave a strong overview of the meeting.

John Angelico led a great Table Topics session in which brave newcomer Dominique Jones fielded a question about “firsts” in travel, and used it to lead into a story about the time she moved to East New York, Brooklyn.

Our two other guests, Mayank Johri and Aida Shoydokova, shared their stories of how they ended up at a Toastmasters meeting.

Magnus Johannson kept us all on track as timer; Willerie Razote monitored our use of the English language as grammarian; and Vicky Cheng thoroughly logged our crutch words as “ah” counter.

Great job, everyone!

Melissa McRobbie, Club Secretary

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