Choices, Chances & Changes: The Morning Tide of Toastmasters

Three Cs of Life: Choices Chances and Change

This week’s Toastmasters Summer morning series had the perfect backdrop for the theme — speeches from the CC manuals.  One could hear the gentle lap of waves as three people took center stage in Sharon’s backyard to deliver their speech. The ocean waters repetitive, hypnotic beat was the perfect complimentary background noise to our speeches of choices, chances and changes.

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”

I (Weegee S.) gave my second speech (but the third in the CC manual) about how CHANCE played a role in my life. After a series of misfortunes, I was given the chance to learn to call for a dragonboat. While I was filling in for a short time, the promotion taught me a valuable lesson in how to handle CHANGE and using my voice effectively to communicate with my support group.

“Destiny is all about the choices we make and the chances we take.”

Sharon K. eloquently delivered her Ice Breaker speech where she talked about the three CHOICES that brought her back to Gibsons, BC time and again. Her tale, told from her own backyard, was about the houses and the property we were sitting in with a filter that gave us a view into how it looked to her as a child. We saw how it changed since then and how it has changed her. She said she initially agreed with her parent’s choice to purchase the waterfront property because it had a tree swing, something that made her happy. It was that feeling that led her to make the two other choices to return to Gibsons — to stay.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” — John C. Maxwell, public speaker and leadership expert

One of the things each of us does daily without putting much thought into it is communicate with others. Conversation is a fine art that many of us overlook, neglect or have let our skills fall to the wayside. However, it is a necessary skill to take a chance encounter and change it into a lifelong friendship. Sheila C., in a speech from the Advanced Interpersonal Communications manual, showed identified techniques to use when conversing with strangers and the different levels of conversation (small talk, fact disclosure, viewpoints and opinions and personal feelings). She offered us a way to CHANGE how we interact with fellow Toastmasters, the grocery store clerk and even people in our lives who could use a promotion in how we classify them.

The morning meeting was topped off by a round of Table Topics, random questions picked out of an envelope for those willing to be put on the spot. It is no wonder that each participate picked the one question best suited for them. Lucky choice? By chance?

The overall theme here is that each of us have signed up for change. Change in how we communicate. Change in our confidence. Change in how we present ourselves professionally and in small talk scenarios.  Each of us have made a choice and taken a chance on each other in Toastmasters to make that change. A process that is one step closer with every speech, evaluation or Table Topic discussion.

We are changing. And it only gets better from here!

Contributed by Weegee S.

NOTE: Special thank you to Sharon K. for hosting the morning meeting and offering a fantastic location for our speeches.

Next meeting will be on August 26th, hosted by Katherine. Check TurboBase and your emails for details!

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.