“A Celebration of Success” – Toastmasters Meeting 11/7/12

Aloha DBA TMs,

Last week’s Toastmaster Renee Thomas was the opposite of “feckless,” the word of the day, meaning ineffective and with no energy. Although we were all still a little shell-shocked from the election the day before, Renee energetically and efficiently led the meeting using the theme of “A Celebration of Success” as the thread. Like the victors celebrating their recent election, she encouraged us to think on something that we accomplished this past year that had personal meaning and to celebrate it. For her, it was doing the community service that she had set as her goal.

We were privileged to have two advanced speakers that day. In his speech “Using Your Sphere of Influence,” Edward Joseph asked us to pretend we were an audience of volunteers at a community action workshop. Community leaders, Eddie said, seek to improve the live of others. President Obama is an example of a community leader who started out in Chicago and became president by using his sphere of influence (SOI). The first step is to define your SOI by making a list of those you already know: family, friends, coworkers, and people you come into contact with daily. Second, expand your SOI by joining a club such as Toastmasters, go to church, join community groups, and also consider the professionals already in your life such as your accountant and attorney. Third, Eddie said learn how to use your SOI by keeping people in their comfort zone: Ask them for help only in their area of expertise. He reminded us to use our SOI not to better ourselves, but to help others.

We know of armed services such as the Army and Navy, but in his enlightening speech, “Pride of Service,” our second speaker Rich Sullivan disclosed that he is a reserve officer in another uniformed service that is always at war: the U.S. Public Health Service. Led by the Surgeon General, its officers are on the frontline protecting the nation from infectious disease, an enemy which he said is tenacious and changes its tactics at every opportunity, such as flu. The Public Health Service is responsible for hospitals on the Indian reservations, and disease control at airports and ports. Its officers also serve at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, conducting research. While some officers are medical professionals, others are engineers and architects such as Rich, because the Public Health Service has facilities which need to be managed.

Toastmasters International recently recognized our club with the Smedley Award for having added five new members between August 1 and September 30, so this was something to celebrate!

See you this week,


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