Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Do YOUR Table Topics openings have Sudden Impact?

In Table Topics on June 30, 2009 at 10:48 pm


Ordinarily July meetings can be sort of blah.  Members are out on vacation and attendance is in the dumps.   Today we had 1/3 of our normal crowd.  All the makings of a so-so meeting were in place, a shave away from being realized.  But this is CHAMBER CHATTERS and we are happy to speak out of the box.  And so we did.

We nixed the regular meeting format and devoted the entire hour to Table Topics practice.  EVERYONE at the meeting got to speak FOUR times during the hour.  First, we each completed two rounds of delivering a compelling opening statement. That’s it.  Practicing just the opening statement reminded us how important an opening statement is to public speaking.   Stephen Richardson, our resident DTM,  pointed out different flavors of openings (techniques) and we tried them on.  We all got out of our comfort zones and tried hardDug deepTrusted each other.  Let it rip.

After two rounds, we then incorporated what we learned as a group about compelling openings and did TWO MORE rounds of start-to-finish Table Topics.  The Full Monty.  And let it be said that the QUALITY of the final two rounds was highly indicative of the directed practice that we had just put in as a group.  I have NEVER heard a meeting with better Table Topics responses in my entire Toastmasters experience.

After the meeting we all lingered, knowing that a special meeting had just taken place.

This *speak out of the box* meeting style is precisely why Chamber Chatters has such a robust club.  We get the job done.

  • Visit Us.
  • Join Us.
  • Practice with Us.
  • Speak out of the box with Us.
  • Grow with Us.


-Wendy Goody


From my speech “Expert advice from a Mother of Twin Boys”

In Speeches on June 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm


When we become parents there are plenty of advice books, yet most of parenting is just on-the-job-training.  But with twins, you don’t have the experience from your first to do the second one better!  It’s definitely a double-whammy!

What I learned along the way is different from what I expected;  here are a few things I learned:

  • Kids have feelings too
  • When your kid does something really dumb, it’s important to not embarrass them in front of friends or family
  • Listening is one of the most important things an adult can do.
  • Don’t try to fix everything.  (that was the hardest one for me)
  • Speak TO your child, not AT them.
  • The right tools matter.  (this basically means match the things you buy for your kids to THEIR wants and needs…it’s amazing what they can accomplish if they have the right tools….for THEM!)

We adults have an obligation to teach and help them grow – not to treat them as friends, but to treat them with respect and love so they know how to show respect and love.

Happy Parenting Fellow Toastmasters!  And please, speak about it!  🙂

-Joey Minahan

Lemons >>> Lemonade. That’s the way, aha, aha, I like it, aha, aha!

In General Meeting Commentary, Speeches, Themes, Toastmaster Roles on June 28, 2009 at 9:59 pm


Our June 24th gathering to celebrate summer was a dooooooooooozy!  Kate not only brought in an Oreo kite, beach towels, and sunflowers…but she supplied homemade lemonade in her grandmother’s antique glass pitcher!  Now THAT’S a Toastmaster!!   Talk about a thorough spoiling of us members.  THANK YOU, KATE!  K.C. and the Sunshine Band would be proud!  🙂

And there’s something else on my mind.  Rachel spoke to us about the primary cause of our results in life, which is of course our attitude!!  She reminded us in her speech that attitude is comprised of our thoughts, feelings, and actions, which make up our circle of responsibility.  Great speech with awesome content!


And then Pat came up speaking about the curious life-role of being a grandparent – and how things have evolved over the years since she was a young parent.  Bottom line, some rules have changed!  BTW, ask her sometime about exactly how many grandchildren she has….I guarantee there’s a good story there!

Chamber Chatters, we just keep getting better and better!  Keep it up!

-Wendy Goody

P.S.  And here’s a reward for us all…

Kate’s Homemade Lemonade:

I first make a lemonade syrup, which is very handy to make lemonade by the glass.

For the syrup:

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 cup lemon juice

Boil the sugar in the water for 5 minutes. Cool, then add the lemon juice. Store in the frig.  To make a glass of lemonade, use approximately 2T. syrup to 8 oz. water. So, to make a pitcher, I just wing it. A little syrup…a bit of water…then taste! (It’s more like a cup of syrup to a pitcher of water). I think the mint sprig in the glass jazzes things up! – Kate


Wendy Waxed Presidential

In Toastmaster Roles on June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm

We are approaching the end of our club leadership term. That president of ours, Wendy Goody, sure embraced her role and “became” so, well, presidential during her term of office. She led our club with clear communication and great confidence. She gathered the input of her team and the club membership, she listened and adjusted her plans to lead where the members wanted and needed to go.

It worked. The club followed and we are now at an amazingly energetic phase of club existence.

I call that good leadership. Thanks Wendy for a great job!

Amy Sluss, ACB, Chamber Chatters VP Education

Wendy Goody, ACB, CLWendy Goody, ACB, CL

I Choose!

In Personal Growth on June 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I Choose_BnW

I drove over a nail on the freeway yesterday… on my way to give an important presentation.  Here is how I chose to feel about what happened to me:

  • I felt lucky that my tire did not go flat on the freeway… (I made it to my destination in time for my special event).
  • I felt fortunate that I discovered my flat during an unplanned quick trip to put something in my car.
  • I felt thankful that everything took place during broad daylight… instead of in the darkness of night (when I was scheduled to use my car to get home).
  • I felt happy to have a working spare tire.
  • I felt relieved to have emergency roadside service (but chose not to use it).
  • I felt capable to know how to fix a flat tire (and I quickly did so because that was my desired option).
  • I felt Blessed that the flat happened to me instead of my son (who traveled in a separate car to the same event).
  • I felt prepared that I had my camera with me to capture the event.

No situation or person can make me feel anything… I choose how to feel!


Stephen V. Richardson

small fish – BIG OCEAN

In 1 on June 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Shark Infested Waters_BnW
We have all experienced what I call the ‘small fish – BIG OCEAN effect’. It’s the situation where your once relatively high status (‘BIG FISH – small pond’) has been knocked down a few notches… or all the way to the bottom after entering a larger playing field.

Just because you are currently the ‘Best of the Best’ in your family, class, position, company, market or industry… does not mean that you won’t end up ‘average’ tomorrow… when other players enter your Game… or you enter theirs. Assuming that Seth Godin is correct, and that “being average is for Losers”, we only have two choices: 1) Continue to improve the skills necessary to be the Best of the Best… or 2) ‘Shrink the ocean’. Which are you doing?

(Bonus points to those who realize that you really need to be doing both.)

Great Productivity Podcast and Web Site – ‘Get It Done Guy’

In Personal Growth on June 7, 2009 at 1:54 am

How many of you listen to podcasts?

Recently, I have revived the use of my IPOD and become addicted to Podcasts. Now, when my wife asks me to do some laundry or yard work, I happily oblige and grab my IPOD and get right to work!

One of my favorites is Stever Robbins “Get It Done Guy”. Stever delivers his message with a touch of sarcasm and a dash or more of ‘cheeky fun’. Each week there is a five minute or so segment on subjects such as managing email, or handling difficult situations at work (home, or with relationships).

So next time you have some time to listen to your latest podcasts… urr ahh I mean are performing your household chores, download Stever and watch how quickly the painful… ahhh, I meant… chores are even more enjoyable and educational. Honey… Did you need these dishes done?

Oh yea, note that filling your IPOD full of podcasts usually prevents others in the family from “borrowing” your IPOD, as they soon discover that you don’t have much music… only as my daughter would say “boring podcast stuff”…

Stay tuned for more on fun and interesting podcasts, and other ways to fill your IPOD full of boring nonsense that children and teenagers will find no use for 😉

Twitter: @terribleted66

Oh Toastmasters Just Want to Have Fun!

In General Meeting Commentary on June 5, 2009 at 2:15 pm


We confess, it’s true!  We’re a sucker for the Reds!

In honor of our two newish members with British accents, Chamber Chatters held its semi-annual social lunch on June 3rd, 2009 at the Redcoats British Pub & Restaurant.


Redcoats gave us the room upstairs and Toastmasters simply followed the noise as they arrived.  No hostess needed!

Gary C. Smith, a guest Toastmaster, gave us a *Wonderful* presentation on “Stinkin Thinkin” and how to avoid it!

Gary’s recommended deodorant for STINKIN-THINKIN comes from the very wise Bear, Winnie the Pooh.

  • How can you get very far if you don’t know who you are?
  • How can you get what you want, if you don’t know what you got?
  • And if you don’t know which to do of all the things in front of you,

then what you’ll have when you are through is just a mess without a clue.

  • Of all the best that can come true if you know what and which and who.

Of course, if you want to hear the rest of it, you’ll have to ask him yourself!


Gary C. Smith


The rest of the story:

  • The cabbage, potato, and pea appetizer was ummmm…..odoriferous and/but was REALLY TASTY!  On the menu it’s called “Bubble and Squeek.”
  • Our British authority, Gail, exclaimed that Redcoats is exactly the kind of place one could stroll into alone and have a drink (very inviting environs) and that the Fish and Chips were quite tasty. Others concurred.
  • And the quiche wasn’t bad either.
  • It was Wednesday, but everyone wore their Sunday best.  Who knew Toastmasters could be so undeniably handsome???  Anne Marie looked smashing in her green blouse, Amy donned a cool black wrap,  and Trouser Queen Gail showed us her softer side, looking ever so svelte in a dress.  Dan sported a new summer inspired do, Robb, Terry, and Brian shone sharp in their dress shirts, Libby wore *yet another* most excellent necklace, Andrea brought out the quintessential spring get-up, Kate channeled Miss Manners with her perfectly pressed white blouse and black sweater combo, and Joey, Lanette, and Pat showed us that patterns and spring colors pair beautifully on blonds!  I joined the gals in black and will stop pretending to be Liz Smith RIGHT NOW!
  • Save the fact that Jane Austen did not stop by for quick hello and that we were missing some members due to work conflicts, it was a great outing indeed!
  • All this fun for the price of a Toastmasters membership!



-Wendy Goody

Facilitating a Discussion

In Essence of Speaking, Panel Discussions, Resources on June 1, 2009 at 11:10 am


The Moderator musn’t let ONE panelist

hog other panelists’ allotted time!

I have been a participant in many panel discussions, but it is quite different to be the facilitator. Here are a couple of accounts of facilitating when you are not involved in planning – just asked to facilitate.

I was asked to help out on two different panel discussions. The first one was at the last minute. The facilitator canceled. The format and the questions were already established for this hour-long panel and no time to prep. Here are some do’s and don’ts I learned from my experience:

  • Do watch the time for each panelist
  • Do have strategies ready to go to encourage panelist to wrap up
  • Do consider what would be interesting for the audience to learn
  • Do check in with the panelist – make sure they know how much time they have and the format
  • Do make the best of the situation
  • Don’t have the questions at the end for all panelist – too boring
  • Don’t let all the panelist have the same questions – tailor the questions to each panelist’s  area of expertise

One of the panelists was very charismatic and chatty and was talking much too much – I could not get in to interject. I finally had to walk up close to the table and look him straight in the eye. He got the point and made a joke and wrapped up.

The second panel I facilitated,  I  had a bit of time to plan other than the group of panelist was already established. I had no knowledge ahead of time what was each of their presentations. All I knew was that it was a Sex Tech Conference. The 3 panelists were all from different organizations discussing their method of sex education for 90 minutes total.

Originally, they were told to speak for 25 minutes each with questions at the end. I felt it would be more interesting to have the questions after each panelist – people are more compelled to ask questions right away rather than having to wait.  The panelists were flexible and open to my suggestions and said they could keep to the suggested time and format.

But things always happen……the elevator was backed up and people could not get to the 5th floor…..people were trailing in for the first 20 minutes. I started 10 minutes late to accommodate the elevator back up.  The first group had planned an overview of their program and a relay race for the audience. They had seven wooden models (woodys) and folks had to race to un-package, put on and lube seven condoms!  I was worried about the time.

With starting late and the first panelist’s relay race the panel discussion went really well and finished on time. The questions after each panelist was the way to go. I got some great feedback.

I consulted with one of my fellow Toasties ahead of time and reviewed a TM “Facilitating Discussion” manual – a little prep and planning was a big help for a successful discussion.


Why I Love Toastmasters

In Essence of Speaking, Personal Growth on June 1, 2009 at 12:52 am

I have never been the type of person that shied away from speaking in front of people, but for whatever reason my nerves always got the best of me. I had a hard time thinking on my feet and often had a loss of words when speaking in front of a group of people. I knew that joining Toastmasters would help me overcome these barriers to being an effective public speaker.

What I found with Chamber Chatters is an environment where it is safe to get outside my comfort zone and practice my public speaking skills. I have given 5 speeches so far and with each speech I learn something new, gain new confidence and am more comfortable with speaking in front of a group.

Everyone in the group is supportive, encouraging and friendly…and we have a lot of fun!  We learn from each other not only about becoming better speakers but we also learn from the speeches that are given.

Toastmasters has given me a forum to stretch my comfort zone which has given me a new sense of confidence that goes beyond just public speaking. It is said that people who are confident do better in all areas of their lives and I couldn’t agree more!

Being a member of Toastmasters and in particular Chamber Chatters has been a very positive and beneficial experience that is helping me move to that next level of personal growth and accomplishment. I look forward to many more years of friendship, fun and laughter with my fellow Chamber Chatters as well as receiving all of the benefits I gain from being a member of such an awesome club!