Featured Member

Christine Takes Second!

Christine wins

Christine and her hardware

On Saturday evening, November 15, our Christine Klimkowski competed in the District 2 Table Topics contest. The question each of the seven contestants had to answer was, You’re on the Vegas strip and suddenly you are surrounded by a bunch of bad Elvis impersonators all singing a different song. What happens next in the story? Christine wove a tale of her sailor buddies joining her to sing Elvis songs back at the impersonators, just louder and more out of tune. They eventually drowned out and defeated the bad Elvises — or is it Elvii?

When the voting was announced, Christine had take second place. This puts her in the top 2 (or top 0.053 %) of the more than 3800 members in ~185 clubs in District 2. Well done!

Christine had her own rooting section at the conference: Phil, Amie, Emily, Franni, Laura, Valorie, and Mark were in attendance to cheer her on. Next time you see her, give Christine a big congratulations on her success.

The West Seattle Club 832 contingent, l to r: Phil, Amie, Emily, Christine, Franni, Laura, Valorie, Mark

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

Written March 5th, 2013
Categories: Featured Member, Public Speaking, Toastmasters International

121106amie01cropIntroducing…

Amie Pease

Member since 2008, Awarded the Toastmaster Triple Crown
Area 43 Governor 2012-2013

What surprised you about your Toastmasters club?

I joined Toastmasters for professional reasons. I had planned to suffer my way through a month or two, get my continuing education credits then do my best to pretend it never happened. I never expected I would find such a great group of fun loving folks, or that I would actually enjoy having my speeches evaluated, out loud, in front of the group.

What are you reading/listening to/watching that you would recommend?

I highly recommend Coursera, the website where you can take classes from major Universities for free. I’ve been watching classroom lectures on line and reading up on factoids that interest me. I’ve picked up several interesting tidbits that can be crafted into Toastmasters speeches.

Do you still get nervous when you speak?

Yes. Every time. I hope that I continue to get nervous too. I use my nerves to identify areas that I need to focus on and improve. It’s important to remember that those butterflies in your stomach aren’t going to be released in a flutter, but set free one at a time.

Amie is pictured above presenting an entertaining speech. Photo courtesy Ed Plikaytis.

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

Written January 11th, 2013
Categories: Featured Member, Public Speaking, Toastmasters International

121030Jeff

Introducing…

Jeff

Member for 7 months

What do you like best about Toastmasters? My favorite thing about Toastmasters is the people that make it up. I know we’re all there to learn how to be better public speakers, but really I think we also come for the socializing that just naturally happens.

What surprised you about Your Toastmasters club?
The thing that surprised me was the kind of people that attend. Without a doubt, they are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

Do you have a toastamonial you would like to share?
I won a Table Topics award the first time I went to a meeting. Then shortly after this meeting I had a job interview. I believe the part of the reason I was hired, was the confidence I gained from that award.

What are you reading/listening to/watching that you would recommend?
I’ve been listening to a lot of comedians lately, and a few that I would recommend would be Patrice O’Neal, Bill Burr and Doug Stanhope. They use a lot of adult language though, so if a person was looking for something less offensive I’d recommend Brian Regan who is extremely funny but doesn’t use any curse words. I’ve also been going to some open mic nights and would recommend “Comedy Underground” in Seattle on Mondays at 8pm.

Do you still get nervous when you speak?
I’m much less nervous if I’m prepared. I’ve only given a couple of speeches, but the first one (the “Ice Breaker”) I was much less prepared and it killed me. The second one I actually practiced a few times and it felt more natural. But even if I get to where I’m comfortable speaking in front of a group, I think I’d like to have a topic that puts a lump in my throat because I enjoy overcoming nervousness.

Jeff is pictured above at a club potluck. Photo courtesy Ed Plikaytis.

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

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

Introducing…

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.

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