With Whom Would You Have Dinner? Toastmasters Meeting 4/25/12

Aloha DBA TMs,

This past week Toastmaster Zachary Lee asked us “With whom would you have dinner, past or present?” Zach said his choices would be: Bobbie Fischer, because he himself is an avid chess player; Bill Cosby, because he can make people laugh with clean jokes/no swearing; and with his dad, who had a million stories to tell, of which he never tired of hearing.

We were privileged to hear Laron Tamaye as he completed the last project of the Competent Communicator manual. Laronʻs inspirational speech was entitled “Be Skeptical. Be Optimistic. Have Faith.” He said itʻs all too common to just hear bad news: the world is coming to an end, natural disasters are happening more often, and poverty and the cost of living are increasing. Pessimism “sells,” but Laron challenged us to be skeptical and to become better informed, rather than have a dire outlook on the worldʻs future. For instance, he said, over the past century, the incidence of natural disasters has actually decreased, along with a 99% decrease in deaths, due to advancements in building construction. Regarding the cost of living, he said, in 1800 you would have to work 6 hours to pay for an hour of candlelight; today, you can turn on the lights in your house for less than a secondʻs worth of work. Have faith, he said, in humankindʻs ability to problem-solve, to be creative and ingenious. He dared us to be an optimist.

Our second speaker, Kenneth Mansfield, chose an apt subject for project 5 which focuses on body language. Ken told us stories of fishing with his father when he was growing up, demonstrating how he threw the line, tied knots, scooped up fish, and drove a boat—all of which leant itself well to the project objectives. Although in truth his father was not a good fisherman and there were other sports his father enjoyed more, Ken said he never said “No” to his sonʻs request to go fishing. The lesson Kenʻs dad taught him was that the time spent with him was more important than actually catching any fish. He concluded by saying that if there was anyone he would like to have dinner with, it would be his father.

Both our speakers did a stupendous job on their speeches this week. (“Stupendous” was the word of the day, meaning “impressive, astounding, wonderful.”)


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