Toastmasters International

February 18 – And the Winners are…

ContestantsLook out Ellen D – it may not be the Oscars, but Toastmaster Valorie kept our International Speech and Evaluation contest rolling in her funny and sophisticated way.  Or is it her sophisticated and funny way?  It was a great night.  The speeches were intense and the evaluations invaluable.

Thanks to our talented contestants and all who contributed by filling roles and simply attending! Not to mention our chair Sandra who pulled it all together.

Winners Franni, Christine, Amie and John will be going on to the Area Contest on April 4th.  Congratulations!


Our intrepid contestants Lisa, Amie, Franni, Christine, John, and Judy

October 29 – Tales from the Hearth

Written December 10th, 2013
Categories: Meetings, Public Speaking, Special Events, Toastmasters International

TomPhilBugHatThe end of October brings with it the scary, weird and wonderful.  Toastmaster Bruce got us started in the right direction with that overview of what Tales from the Hearth is all about.

Karen brought her rational and irrational fears to life with her speech #5 “What are YOU afraid of?”, as she asked the audience to consider their own fears.

Inspiring all of us, Tom talked about what inspires him with his speaking in his speech #3 “Two Hours and Two + Minutes” and the magic of getting to the point.

Sherry rounded out the evening with her speech from the Story Telling Manual (the folk tale) “The Cougar”. She had the audience’s full attention as she cautioned the BYU parents from the incoming class of the BYU cougar and her brush with fictional death.  OOO SCARY!

Table topics master Valorie kept us going with our “Tales” theme by asking her ‘volunteers’ about their Halloween memories.

We love our themes!  Come and experience our next one.

Just another night at 832 with Tom and Phil

October 15 – Oktoberfest!

Written October 24th, 2013
Categories: Meetings, Public Speaking, Toastmasters International

JohnSandra101513sIn October, beer is king and our own king, Toastmaster Don, got us thinking about the beer (or whatever) we were going to have after the meeting.

In her Icebreaker “Parts Unknown”, Christine spoke about her chosen adventurous career working on ships, the countless places she has traveled to and the good & bad cuisine she has tried.

Although Sandra isn’t much of a beer drinker, with her speech #5 “Vitamin B, Why Beer is Good for Health”, she made the case with 7 points of why beer is good for you.  If all else fails you can always pour it on your hair for strength and shine.

Last January Valorie had the great idea to transition into a runner. During her very entertaining  Entertaining Speech #1,  “See Valorie Run”, she talked about the process she went through to achieve her goals and the thrills of running a 10k and half marathon in Disney Land WITH HER MOM!

Table topics master Kristine challenged the ‘volunteers’ to tell a story based on random photos she picked out from the newspaper. We only had time for three, but wow – you just never know what will happen in Table Topics!

For our next meeting we are taking advantage of a fifth Tuesday with one of our favorite themes, “Tales from the Hearth”.  It will be hair-raising.  See you there!

Speaker Sandra and evaluator John

August 20th – Magic

Written August 29th, 2013
Categories: Meetings, Public Speaking, Toastmasters International

New inducteesToastmaster Valorie brought magic to our evening, swinging her magic wand.  Here’s what she wrought:

In “Bravery is in the Eye of the Beholder,” Amie spoke about one of the things she does that others regard as bravery.  In turn, she got our hands up and waving as she toasted three women that are truly brave.

For his second speech, “No Matter What We Are Never Going Back,” Thomas spoke about the level of anxiety everyone feels about the economy and the recovery. He presented economic indicators (men’s underwear?) and a historical context to the economic cycle.


Lisa J. with “Just do it and magic will happen,” described all of the great benefits you can get from volunteering. She referenced the animal rescue group that she volunteers with, and all of the opportunities available.

To round out the magic, three new members were inducted into our club.  Are you next?  Come find your own magic!

Happy New Inductees

July 16th – Summer Lovin’

Written August 8th, 2013
Categories: Meetings, Public Speaking, Toastmasters International

Emily on India Have you ever wanted to give someone advice, but unsure how to do it? One of our senior speakers gave a speech on just the topic! Bruce’s niece was just accepted to a prestigious business school. He wanted to offer her much more than a simple “Congratulations,” and he did just that. He offered valuable advice about what she will bring to the business world as well as what she can get out of it.

Giving her fourth speech, Emily spoke about the phases of culture shock and entertained us by using examples from her trip to India.

Also on her fourth speech, Sandra offered advice on trying to be an agent of change, and when in a heated situation always stay calm. She reminded us that trying to get someone to change their behavior is one of the hardest things to do.

Our Table Topics master, Judy, did something a little different:  she played 20 seconds of a song, her choices in line with our Summer Lovin’ theme. Participates responded with a memory, comment or keep singing!!

Our three guests enjoyed themselves, one of them even singing a song in table topics!

Why don’t you join us at our next meeting?  Don’t worry – we won’t make you sing.  Unless you want to!

Emily giving her fourth speech.  Photo courtesy Ed Plikaytis.

June 18 – Happy Endings, New Beginnings

Written July 3rd, 2013
Categories: Meetings, Public Speaking, Toastmasters International

chat_after_toastmastersThis was the last meeting for the 2012-13 officers and Sherry, our Toastmaster, celebrated every club member’s achievements throughout the year. We are once again a President’s Distinguished Club!

In addition to the recognition, 3 great speeches were presented. Emily shared her experience on volunteering for the world organization, Unite for Sight, an organization that combats preventable blindness in the world’s poorest countries.

Laura’s speech “Wandering on the Path of Career Change,” addressed her perseverance toward landing the job of her dreams. Along the way, she gained valuable skills that she keeps in her arsenal.

Phil spoke on how our freedom of religion may be at stake in a Washington State lawsuit against a flower shop owner.

So many members contributed to the growth of the club. It was a wonderful night to recognize individual and collective achievements-plus enjoy pizza and festive beverages. Congratulations to all and continued success to 832!

May 21 – Wildlife

Written June 6th, 2013
Categories: Meetings, Public Speaking, Toastmasters International

JohannesAs we usher in summer, our Toastmaster Kristine selected an appropriate theme—Wildlife. Kristine had just returned from a vacation in Mexico where she had several close encounters with exotic wildlife.

Our first speaker, Johannes, presented his Icebreaker entitled “What am I Doing Here?” We learned he is curbing his tendency to abandon goals. He is determined to improve his public speaking with Toastmasters.

Laura presented her ninth speech which fit in nicely with the meeting theme. In her presentation “Vitamin N,” Laura explained the need for the modern world to engage with nature as we evolve as high-tech creatures.

Tabletopics Master Franni asked participants to describe an animal without revealing its name. The group then guessed what the participant was describing. It was an entertaining session!

We were fortunate to welcome three guests. You are invited to visit West Seattle Toastmasters anytime—we don’t bite!

Johannes happily displays his Icebreaker ribbon.

We’ve Moved! Visit us at Emeritus Senior Living

New Meeting Location, Merrill Gardens

New Meeting Location, Merrill Gardens

We are no longer meeting at The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW., in West Seattle

We now meet at Emeritus Senior Living, 4611 35th Ave SW, in West Seattle

We must say goodbye to The Kenney and the wonderful people there. A change in their schedule means that our 1st and 3rd (and sometimes 5th) of the month Tuesday night 6:30 slot is no longer available. We have been lucky enough to be able to move our meeting location to Emeritus Senior Living. A very large thank you to the Kenney for the beautiful meeting space and all the help we have received there over the years. It’s been great! And thank you to Emeritus for a gracious welcome.



April 30 – Speech-a-thon!

RuchiIcebreakerWhat a terrific Speech-a-thon! We had five back to back speakers: 4 Icebreakers and 1 advanced speech. There was something for everyone and Toastmaster Don held the meeting together like a pro.

In our first Icebreaker, Dom presented ” A Never Ending Story” where we learned he met the Pope, moved to the U.S. from the Philippines and worked for Boeing.

Lisa presented her Icebreaker entitled “Learning Adventures” which explained her love of learning, from landscape architecture design to mushrooms.

Ruchi explained her upbringing as a “nice” child and how that led to workforce challenges in her Icebreaker entitled “When Being Nice is NOT so Nice.”

Mike’s Icebreaker, “The Chicken Whisperer,” told of his journey from Queens, New York to the country in Vermont.

Mark presented a speech from The Entertaining Manual, an advanced project manual. Entitled “Don’t Cheat the Beginning,” he explained Frank Lloyd Wright’s design process on the Fallingwater home.

The wonderful thing about Toastmasters is the diversity of the membership and the variety of speech topics. This Speech-a-thon illustrated it perfectly.

Ruchi, one of the four Icebreaker presenters, displays her ribbon above.

March 19 – Spring is Right Around the Corner

Written April 21st, 2013
Categories: Meetings, Public Speaking, Toastmasters International

KarenL02It’s hard not to get excited about Spring in Seattle and Toastmaster Ted made the meeting all about that excitement. Our guests were treated to a great meeting run by an expert Toastmaster.

New member Erin gave her first speech, her “Icebreaker.” She shared about her love to read and how  Joseph Campbell’s book The Power of Myth sparked her interest in philosophy. As a philosopher, Erin shared her that life is about putting effort in; to try and try hard.

Sandra dispelled some common myths about her home country, Columbia. She spoke on the beauty, typography, ethnic diversity and the many Columbian festivals. It is more than the bad news you hear from the media.

In a well-researched speech, Laura recounted the construction history of the current West Seattle bridge. Events involved an insider bid scandal that resulted in a federal investigation and conviction. There was even a petition of West Seattle residents to cede from Seattle!

Tabletopics Master Karen had us pull an item from her bag and reveal how we had found it during Spring Cleaning.

And we inducted four new members!

Karen is amazed by the Tabletopics responses. Photo courtesy Ed Plikaytis.

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