No rodents joined in Tuesday’s Groundhog Day meeting, but we had great variety of themed zoom backgrounds, including Sonny & Cher.
Our new member Laura took the timekeeper role with less than 2 hours notice, and did a great job. Thank you for stepping up!
Margaryta was an exemplary grammarian with Serendipity as word of the day. We learned that it goes back to Ceylon and The Tree princes of Serendip (1754), whose heroes were always making discoveries, by accident, of things they were not in quest of.
Caroline kicked off our speeches with her Icebreaker, Caroline’s Icebreaker! The Icebreaker is the first speech every member holds. Straightforward and fuss free she started by telling us a few facts about her, she likes long walks, she grew up with 5 siblings and her dream was to fight crime. However in the crown prosecution service she fought only paperwork. Now she is a trading law specialist in investment banking. The reason she joined Toastmasters is to become a better bearer of bad news and getting rid of a few bad habits, such as her nervous laugh at the end of speaking parts and pacing. No doubt that she will get there.
Nicki told us in her third speech Networking about the importance of networking, which she experiences as an artwork and found it daunting to begin with. Everything can be learned and investing in relationships is key. First and foremost this is important in a professional setting, 85% of positions are filled with connections from one’s network. But networking shouldn’t end there. Thinking about investing in people and being genuinely curious not just in a formal setting will create strong bonds. Something more important than ever.
Anna ended our speeches session with Communication 101. Accompanied by carefully curated slides she explained that communication is a two way process marked by speaking and listening, sending and receiving a message. How wrong it can go was demonstrated by a case study about the bp Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The apologies of bp were undermined by insensible statements from CEO Tony Hayward who subsequently lost his job. She concluded by giving a short insight in her own communication style, which is analytical and closed with how she most certainly would have done a better job than Tony. Agreed!
Steve Campion facilitated a Groundhog Day inspired table topics session. Paul, Kartik, Rebecca, Nina P, Stuart L. and Laura rose to the challenge of impromptu speaking. Which day would you choose to repeat over and over again?
Our winners of the night *drum rolls:
Paul won the badge best table topics (answering the question above), Nina M won best evaluator for evaluating Anna’s speech. The best speech was delivered by Caroline.