Greetings Coastmasters,

This week’s meeting was held on one of the few rainy days we see here in Dana Point. That didn’t deter many of our members from coming along, and joining the always energetic Don Benton as our Toastmaster for the week. His theme was No Brainer Day, which he felt was the best choice over Polar Bear Day (yes, both are actual days in the calendar!).

Table Topics today was led by Lisa Carrell, as she gave us thought provoking questions to get our brains moving in different directions. For his free-flowing thoughts on jazz, Iriving Katz was awarded Best Table Topics.

Our three speakers today were Paul Javahari, Jim McGarigle, and Paul Benavidez. Paul J gave us his life story, starting from just before he was born, up to the present day. Jim shared his love of Florence and the exhilarating experience of discovering new cutures. And Paul B gave us his philosophy of becoming a better speaker, based on his vast experience in martial arts. For his ninja-like skills at the lecturn, Paul Benavidez was awarded Best Speaker.

The evaluators this week’s speeches were Ryan Foland, CW Gruenig, and Leonard Szymczak. All three provided ideas to add the extra edge for our speakers. For his high kicks and excellent insights, Leonard was awarded Best Speaker.


On March 20th, we will be having our we will have our International Speech and Table Topics contest. We already have several members who have signed up to show their speaking talents and stretch their comfort zones. If you have an interest in competing, please be sure to sign up next week for a chance to represent our club at the Area level and beyond. Remember you must have completed 6 manual speeches to qualify to compete in the contest. Table Topics is open to everyone!

Also, this coming Saturday March 1st, Leonard and I will be competing in the Second Stage International Speech Contest up in Irvine. The meeting goes from 8:30-10:30am and will showcase some high quality speakers. If you’d like to come along as a guest, please email me for the address and details.

Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the east coast weather while it lasts!

Daniel Midson-Short
Coastmasters Club President