June 24th Meeting Report

Last Thursday’s meeting was a unique, unorthodox and hugely entertaining Sierra Speakers meeting at the Schwab building.

Our president, Steve Aitkins, went with an inspired format for the meeting where, instead of roles being assigned in advance, members drew roles from a hat! Those lucky enough to pick a speaking role then randomly picked speech titles from those suggested by the group, an approach that required imagination and creativity from all involved, and boy did everyone step up to task!

Vladimir Gostrer, just a week after his icebreaker speech, landed the role of Toast Master and did a superb job of running this exceptional meeting. Our Table Topics master for the evening, Iman Novin, kicked proceedings off with thought provoking and fun questions that managed to keep guests and members alike on their toes.

Then it was time for the main event of the evening, the organized (or is that impromptu?!) speeches.

Aaron McClay was up first with his philosophical pondering on why ‘Yellow is my favorite color’! Despite a tough speech title and just minutes to prepare, Aaron amused us all with stories about the yellow of cowardice, Twinkys and elusive timing signals.

Next up, we had Malani Pant with ‘Airport Experiences’. A very appropriate title for a consultant who travels frequently, Malani seemed well suited for this topic and talked on the perils of lost baggage and the resulting inappropriate attire.

Our third speaker was Shaun Abram who walked us through the upcoming California elections and pondered why so many candidates are so keen to take on the tough responsibilities that running California entails.

Our penultimate speaker was Angel Mata. Despite the ink having barely dried on Angel’s membership application and this being his first speech, Angel walked us through his goals in life and the fears that drive him, and us all. Angel hasn’t even given his ice breaker yet, but this was a great introduction of him to the club.

And finally, we had Willerie Razote, another very new member who took a gutsy step up to the speaking plate with her speech ‘Why I’m Awesome!’. She started by asking us about the last time we did something that made us think ‘Yes, I did a great job!’. Willerie’s achievements include no less than five (5!) completed marathons and she shared with us the pain and elation that comes with such accomplishments.

Overall, the standard of the speakers was very high, even ignoring the fact that each speaker had a minimum amount of time to prepare. A perfect example of how Toast Masters gets the best from everyone and prepares you for unexpected public speaking roles!

Michael Susko and Vicky Cheng made up the functionary evaluation team, supporting our General Evaluator, the always cool, calm and collected Jim Fox. The meeting was closed by our President Steve Atkins and as always, we adjourned to the local bar for the meeting after meeting.

Special thanks to our guests including Tua Palangyo, Sara Diamond and Michael Guerin. Thanks for coming and you are all welcome back any time!

Have a great week folks and keep an eye out for announcements about this week’s coming meeting…

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