Archive for November, 2012

Speaker’s Corner: A Quick Conversation with a West Seattle Toastmaster

Written November 30th, 2012
Categories: Featured Member, Public Speaking


Kristine Ashcraft, CC

COO of Genelex Corporation
Member for 3 years

What surprised you about your Toastmasters club?
I was surprised that the meetings were so interesting. I was not expecting the high level of entertainment value. I am exposed to so many interesting topics, stories, and people that I would miss in my typical friend and work circle.

Do you have a “Toastamonial” you would like to share?
Is this radio interview a toastamonial? YOUSCRIPT – feature              One uh, but overall I thought I did well. My job requires me to do press conferences, to be interviewed by media, and to give presentations to groups of patients and healthcare providers. Participating in Toastmasters has definitely improved my ability to deliver a focused message in a compelling manner.

Do you still get nervous when you speak?
I still get a racing heart and other nervous symptoms, but I have learned that this is a normal response and not to be feared. Practice and realizing that has helped me to not fear presentations. Two weeks ago, I presented to 120 people. I could not have done that before Toastmasters because I was afraid of the “nervous” feeling. Now, I just accept it as par for the course.

Kristine is pictured above in her Halloween finery. Photo courtesy Ed Plikaytis.

October 30 – Tales from the Hearth

Written November 26th, 2012
Categories: Meetings, Public Speaking, Special Events, Toastmasters International

West Seattle Toastmasters Club 832 presented “Tales from the Hearth” our annual meeting to get us into the Halloween spirit. Our Toastmaster Bruce kept the evening fun and festive as he introduced the storytellers.

Our first storyteller Laura opened the evening with the tale of Hansel and Gretel. Laura reminded us to avoid eating someone’s house because it’s not polite and could be a trap. Storyteller Ted posed the question “What scares you?” and shared that fear from a though (of falling, failing, etc.) is based on what could happen. We are all fearful of something, as for Ted he is armed with a surplus of slurpee straw to take out any rabid monkeys. Storyteller Sue narrated the folklore of Bloody Mary; a sorceress said to have taken the blood of the living to attain her youth. Ritual states that one will summons the apparition of Mary by looking into a mirror and chanting the words Bloody Mary three times…if you dare.

Short Stories Master, Kristine asked our participants if they believe in the paranormal, and asked them to share an interesting account of their tale for the evening. Dave shared his account of a mansion off an old country road. Kathleen shared her experience and interview with a true wizard. Franni relayed an urban legend of a babysitter creeped out from the life-size clown in the house. Don quoted us with some curious introductions from a writer contest, based on Edward Bulwer-Lytton famous “it was a dark and stormy night” introduction.

Of course, there was a tasty holiday spread. Thanks to everyone for making this a memorable evening, especially our meeting organizers and participants! —Lisa, Club Secretary

Pictured above from right: Kathleen, Franni, Don and Karen. Photo courtesy Ed Plikaytis.


October 16 – Name that Month!

Written November 5th, 2012
Categories: Meetings, Public Speaking, Toastmasters International

Our Toastmaster, Amie, created “Name that Month” as the meeting theme. Amie was amazed that October was tied to so many causes. From Breast Cancer Awareness Month to National Squirrel Awareness Month, Amie assured us there was something for everyone. Judy (pictured at left) was our Grammarian and provided “germane” as the Word of the Day while listening for “ahs” and “ums”.

Ted’s speech was “Democracy and the Right to Vote.” Ted envisioned himself as the keynote speaker for the Presidential Election 2012. He explained that currently people don’t have enough time to learn about candidates, issues or even vote. But the right to vote is a gift people died for. Ted used the columns in the room as a timeline to illustrate voting benchmarks, from the Magna Carta to the Voting Rights Act. It was a great history of voting through the ages.

Franni shared tips on the preparation of a speech. Entitled “Practice Makes Perfect…Mostly,” the tips included: Review the physicality of the location. Look at the room ahead of time, the lighting, check the microphone, your attire and your visual aids. Rehearse. Write out your speech in longhand, then on the computer. Time it, break it into chunks and practice it. Do several run throughs and you’ll have success.

During the Table Topics portion of the meeting, Mike chose National Science Awareness Month as his category and asked volunteers to each answer a science question. Ed was impressed with the man that jumped from space. The club was impressed with his answer and he won Best Table Topic for the day.

We welcomed two guests.

Join us on Election Night for our next meeting, Nov. 6!

Photo courtesy Ed Plikaytis
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