Greetings Coastmasters,

Today’s meeting was commandeered by the always vibrant Brenda Johnson. As Toastmaster she led us on a journey through the past, present and future. She encouraged us not to dwell on the past, or get lost in the future, but to stay focused and live in the present as much as we can.

Our Table Topics Master today was John Odland, who handled the role with panache and gave each volunteer a question that called upon their past experience and future plans. For his excellent effort as a first time, Alexander Warner was awarded best Table Topics.

Our three speakers today were Leonard Szymczak, Greg White and CW Gruenig. Leonard shared with us his philosophy on climbing mountains and navigating the valleys in our lives. Greg gave us his childhood history as a Christmas card peddler, and his development into a first class salesman. And finally CW gave us an insightful lesson on empathetic listening. For actually making us listen to what he had to say, CW was awarded Best Speaker.

Our three evaluators today were Louis D’Angelo, Michele Reed and Dr Brad Shapero. Each gave our speakers encouragement and feedback into how they can keep improving their skills. For her insightful feedback, Michele was awarded Best Evaluator.

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I’d also like to acknowledge the winners of the past two meetings as well, as I have been a little lax in reporting the latest Coasties news…

On January 16th, our winners were:

Linda Denton – Best Speaker
Ryan Foland – Best Evaluator
Don Benton – Sparkplug
Dave DuRee – Best Table Topics

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On January 23rd, our winners were:

Lisa Williams – Best Speaker
CW Gruenig – Best Evaluator
Michael Hoffman – Best Table Topics

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Wow, we have some pretty sharp lookin’ members now… don’t we?

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Lance Miller event last week on Thursday. I was honored and excited to be able to be a part of the event, and be evaluated on stage. I took a lot of excellent ideas away, as did Linda Denton who mentioned she made some notes if anyone would like them.

Finally today, Don Benton mentioned a free downloadable book called The Precious Present, for us all to take a look at. Here is the link if you would like to download a copy:

It’s wonderful to have so many new members with us lately, and we hope that you are enjoying being a part of our community of aspiring speakers. Each of us is here to support one another, and Coastmasters is a great place to meet positive, like-minded individuals who can help you succeed at becoming a better speaker.

Till next week, remember as Alexander said today… being present is a gift, that’s why it’s called the Present.

Daniel Midson-Short
Coastmasters Club President
2013-2014