Can’t Get No Satisfaction

A giant mouth saying um, ah, so filler wordsThe General Evaluator recently remarked on my “uhms” and “ahs” and “sos.”

Damn. Me! A Morningstar for nine years. I should know better.

I thought I had un-uhm-ed myself. I thought I had licked those waffle words right out of my mouth. But bad habits have crept back into my speechcraft. Which reminds me what Toastmasters is all about—it’s a training.

Every Wednesday morning we show up in training mode. It’s built into the ethos of the program that we can always improve. We should never allow ourselves to think we’ve mastered the art of public speaking.

To quote Mick Jagger, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” and that’s okay, even if my speech evaluations are causing me my 19th Nervous Breakdown.

Speaking of the Rolling Stones, I joined Toastmasters in part because I aspired to strut the stage like Jagger. (I’m not kidding.) It was never going to happen, of course, but speaking on a stage seemed like a do-able option. I quickly forgot about rock stardom, because the speakers I heard blew me away.

One of the biggest challenges I discovered was weeding out those weed-words. The very ones that have crept back into my presentations. It makes me wonder if I’ve been coasting on my laurels (CC. CL, ACB. ALB). Am I guilty of treating Morningstars as a social club and not the training program it’s meant to be?

Have I forgotten that improvement is the name of the game?

Come to think of it—many rock stars could benefit from a visit to Morningstars.

Rock stars are always mumbling. For the longest time I thought the Beatles were singing: “I want to hold your ham.” And the Eurhymics were saying: “Sweet dreams are made of cheese.”

And for sure Dylan’s famous song went: “The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind.” And what group was it who sang: “Hey, you, get off of my cow…”?

If you see a rock star before next Wednesday, invite them to our meeting.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on un-ah-ing myself.

Don’t Wait

Written by PJ, Morningstars Past President

From where I stood at the lectern, Wednesday’s gathering of Morningstars looked like another megawatt meeting.

Standing room only, it’s the new normal at Harmony Hall with so many energetic new members changing the face of Club 1248.

And five more guests!

And a guest speaker.

Reg Boaler from Richmond dropped in on his way to Las Vegas where he’ll represent District 96 in the International Speech Championships. He needs the practice, he says, although you could have fooled me. He blew us away with a speech titled, “Don’t Wait.”

As in, don’t wait to tell the people you love that you love them.

When Reg handed the lectern back to me (as Chairperson) I was so choked up I couldn’t thank him properly.

It’s a gift to be exposed to this calibre of speech craft, and I was especially glad to see so many new members experience first-hand how it’s done.

There’s a critical time in the orientation of a new member when they’ll either be positively infected with the club culture, or they will decide Toastmasters is not for them. I wish I knew why we fail some members. I’m going to address this mystery in a couple of weeks with an educational presentation about the dynamics of a member’s first few meetings.

Our newest Morningstars, like Shannon and Sarah and Margot and Mike and Sharon and Andrea and Weegee got to experience the changing of guard on Wednesday morning—a new executive elected for the term starting July 1.

Here’s the committee, starting with our brand new President:

  • President — Sharon L
  • VP-Education — Katherine S
  • VP-Public Relations — Johanna R
  • Secretary — Ben R
  • Treasurer — Larry B
  • Sergeant at Arms — Liam B

We’re still looking for a VP-Membership. If you see her, tell her she can run but she can’t hide. And why would you? In the words of Reg Boaler: “Don’t wait.”

While Toastmasters has always presented speaking opportunities, our new mission is to help members apply their communication skills to becoming leaders. The executive committee, which meets roughly once every two months, is a no-stress opportunity to practice leadership.

I mean, how hard can it be to run a megawatt club with standing room only?

And finally, “Don’t Wait” to log on to TurboBase and sign up for a role in next week’s meeting.

See you there.

Don't Wait

Written by PJ, Morningstars Past President

From where I stood at the lectern, Wednesday’s gathering of Morningstars looked like another megawatt meeting.

Standing room only, it’s the new normal at Harmony Hall with so many energetic new members changing the face of Club 1248.

And five more guests!

And a guest speaker.

Reg Boaler from Richmond dropped in on his way to Las Vegas where he’ll represent District 96 in the International Speech Championships. He needs the practice, he says, although you could have fooled me. He blew us away with a speech titled, “Don’t Wait.”

As in, don’t wait to tell the people you love that you love them.

When Reg handed the lectern back to me (as Chairperson) I was so choked up I couldn’t thank him properly.

It’s a gift to be exposed to this calibre of speech craft, and I was especially glad to see so many new members experience first-hand how it’s done.

There’s a critical time in the orientation of a new member when they’ll either be positively infected with the club culture, or they will decide Toastmasters is not for them. I wish I knew why we fail some members. I’m going to address this mystery in a couple of weeks with an educational presentation about the dynamics of a member’s first few meetings.

Our newest Morningstars, like Shannon and Sarah and Margot and Mike and Sharon and Andrea and Weegee got to experience the changing of guard on Wednesday morning—a new executive elected for the term starting July 1.

Here’s the committee, starting with our brand new President:

  • President — Sharon L
  • VP-Education — Katherine S
  • VP-Public Relations — Johanna R
  • Secretary — Ben R
  • Treasurer — Larry B
  • Sergeant at Arms — Liam B

We’re still looking for a VP-Membership. If you see her, tell her she can run but she can’t hide. And why would you? In the words of Reg Boaler: “Don’t wait.”

While Toastmasters has always presented speaking opportunities, our new mission is to help members apply their communication skills to becoming leaders. The executive committee, which meets roughly once every two months, is a no-stress opportunity to practice leadership.

I mean, how hard can it be to run a megawatt club with standing room only?

And finally, “Don’t Wait” to log on to TurboBase and sign up for a role in next week’s meeting.

See you there.