Saturday, February 16, 2019

Feb 16, 2019 Toastmasters Meeting - Manage Projects Successfully, Second Speech

After being absent in the last meeting to attend my High School's 40th Year Anniversary reunion, I attended today's meeting ready to deliver my second speech entitled, "By the Book", to complete my Level 4 of Innovative Planning.

Attending today's club meeting were (L-R), Seated: Me, Glendy Artes, Rema Manzano, Ching Bognot, Leah Catapia, Cristina Yung and Ellen de Guzman. Standing: Jude Ola, Gigi Santos, Julie Ann Lumaban, Mark Nuqui, Alvin Panghulan, Marlon Sanchez, Raul de la Vega, Chloe de Guzman, Ed Ramirez and Russell Santos.

(photo credits: Cristina Yung)

Missing in the photo are Bea Indonto and Lita Hidalgo. The photo above was taken outside the "aquarium" where we usually hold club meetings. Why outside? For a change! We also felt that there were too many of us in the meeting today.

As usual, it was Pres. Ching who opened the meeting, and as usual, right on the dot at 2 pm. With some of the members still out, especially those with immediate roles to fill, Ching gave the floor to the lone guest, Julie Ann Lumaban to introduce herself.

Ching also gave some interesting trivia about the history of Toastmasters. I didn't know, for instance, that the first lady Toastmaster member, Helen Blanchard used an alias, "Howard Blanchard", so as not to be detected as a female in an organization that only allowed men.

(photo credits: Bea Indonto)

Taking over as Toastmaster of the Day was Russell Santos. A veteran of the Table Topics portion where he excels, it was his first as TOD. And what a performance he gave!

You wouldn't think a bit that it was his first time as Toastmaster of the Day. Good job, Russell. Next to me at the front end of the table was Mark Nuqui who was the Timer, and then Cristina, a prepared speech evaluator.

DTM Rema Manzano was there as a guest evaluator as well as the Grammarian. In the photo below, she explains the word of the day which was "abstruse".

Shown intently listening below are: Jude Ola, guest Julie Ann Lumaban, Glendy Artes and Raul de la Vega. Shown taking down notes is Rema Manzano.

This must be the time when I was delivering my second speech in Manage Projects Successfully of Level 4 in Innovative Planning, entitled "By the Book". DTM Rema was my evaluator for this speech.

I was the last among the prepared speakers in the Educational Portion. This was followed by a long break (before the Evaluation Portion).

During the break, Beef Salpicao and Crispy Chicken Ala King with rice was served!

Why Clubs Lose Momentum

Over during the snack/lunch break, Leah and I had an interesting discussion about some clubs losing their steam or momentum. The most common symptom is when meetings are canceled frequently. More serious concerns are when members start quitting their posts as officers or quit the club entirely.

I often said before, and adamantly at that, that meetings don't need to be well-attended every time. Officers shouldn't feel slighted when some members are unable to attend. This happens even to the best clubs. Make the best with what you do have - those who are able to attend.

There's No Perfect Meeting

So officers shouldn't expect "perfect" meetings. However, officers need to be worried if meetings are too few and far between. This scenario needs to be AVOIDED. Period.

Be vigilant with meetings - that they push through, even with few attendees. I've attended a three-person club meeting before. Even with just three, we still had table topics and two prepared speeches.

You only have one prepared speaker? Then extend Table Topics! Eventually, this will give the message to those absent that they will feel left out if they don't attend!

Start on Time

Taking one step further, be vigilant with meeting start times. Ensure meetings start ON TIME. Is the prepared speaker late? Then start with Table Topics first!

There are other creative ways to utilize time wisely. If there are new guests, have them introduce themselves! Then go around the table and have members introduce themselves to guests.

Give an extensive background of Toastmasters (program and organization) to guests and new members. This is what our Club President Ching did exactly just today.

Those who are consistently tardy will soon find out that meetings do start even without them. Then they feel left out by being late. And who wants to be left out?

What does all of this mean for club officers? Don't wait or expect for a PERFECT meeting. In the tradition of the Nike motto, "Just do it", JUST MEET! But always encourage punctuality.

Delivering Speeches Consistently

Later after the meeting, while driving home, I was musing the effects of prepared speakers on members, in general. In our club, we always have prepared speakers. There are back outs, but seldom. I, myself, deliver speeches as often as I can.

Here's what I was thinking. When those who excuse to be absent see that others get ahead with their speeches, get awards and even get recognized in the group chat, wouldn't absentees have second thoughts? I think they would! Who wouldn't want to jump in the bandwagon of success?

They'd probably feel that "hey, others are getting credit and benefiting from Toastmasters, why can't I?" And when they do decide to prepare speeches, they start committing themselves to meetings. So after they write their speeches, they will NEED to attend to deliver the speeches.

There's No Perfect Speech

There's no perfect meeting. For officers and members, it isn't realistic to expect meetings to have a perfect attendance, venue or program every single time. But of course, that's the goal.

Individually, the same is true for speeches. There is no perfect speech. As a speaker, if you're waiting for such, then you'll NEVER deliver a speech. This is the same spiel I gave in my 2nd Club Visit to Continental Manila TMC.

Founder's Award Ribbons

Towards the end of the program, during Announcements, Pres. Ching called DTM Rema Manzano. Rema, as Club Founder, presented to the group two ribbons that were mailed to her residence. The BF Community Toastmasters Club uses her residence as the club's mailing address.

(photo credits: Cristina Yung)

The ribbons represent BF Community TMC members sponsoring two clubs: Convey TMC (Area 74) and First Balfour TMC (Area 71). I was part of the demo meeting at Convey TMC and the demo meeting at First Balfour TMC.

I also attended First Balfour's Club Charter Installation where I inducted the new Club Officers.

Book Raffle

Later in the Announcements, a book was raffled off by Ed. A freebie! The book, entitled, "Motivate! 8 Secrets of Successful Parenting", was courtesy of Ed's boss.

Everyone, with bated breath, waited in anticipation on whose name will be picked from the raffle drum. And... it was new club member, Gigi Santos, who won the book as shown below. Wow!

(photo credits: Marlon Sanchez & Ed Ramirez)

Here's a scanned copy of today's meeting program.

And that's... a wrap!