Toastmasters – 3/25/13

Our Sergeant at Arms, Ann, started the meeting on time. After April led us in the Invocation and Pledge, the club’s president, Susan was called to the podium. As part of Susan’s run through club business, she mentioned Stan and Ann received recognition at the Area 02 contest that took place over the weekend. Stan presented the best Table Topics speech at the contest, and Ann gave the best speech. Congratulations to the both of them for their accomplishments.

Ann started off her duties as Toastmaster, by introducing the various contributors for the evening. Tammy was the Poet/Humorist, and she read a poem about Easter, which I believe was chosen by Ann. I played the part of the Word Master and Grammarian/Ah Counter. Nam was in charge of monitoring the time everyone spoke, and Hyacinthe was the general evaluator.

There was only one speaker for this particular meeting. Mark was giving his first speech, the Ice Breaker. Mark did a great job taking us on a journey through his life. I can’t speak for everyone, but he did a great job of instilling emotion in me with his speech. From an emotional standpoint, his speech had its highs and its lows. I personally enjoyed how Mark ended his speech. All of the different experiences Mark has encountered in his life has brought him a singular calling: make crosses and give them to people. He has been doing this for 7 years and estimates he has given away one-thousand of his hand-made crosses. His reason for joining Toastmasters was not because he wants to be a better public speaker. He spends many nights at the church doing Bible study and Knights of Columbus. He simply loves the church.

Toby was the Table Topics Master, and brought a very fun twist to the Table Topics portion of the meeting. Instead of just asking a series of questions, Toby decided to mimic the game Balderdash. Toby would go from person to person and ask them to give the definition of a specific phobia. The twist was if the person did not know the definition of the word, they would have to make one up on the spot. Since we only had one speaker, we had more time for Table Topics, and I must say it was pretty fun.

Bud was the first person to face Toby’s gauntlet of phobias. Bud was given the word, glossophobia, which is the fear of public speaking. Bud, from my memory, did not give a definition of the word glossophobia, but he was entertaining none the less. Bud gave his entire response with his daughter draped around his neck. He made mentions of how he was starting to get involved in politics, mostly to benefit his two young children, and how Toastmasters has helped him along the way.

Kyle was the next person Toby picked out of the crowd. Kyle was given the word, nomophobia, which is the fear of being out of contact with a mobile phone. Kyle did not know this definition, so he launched into a talk about how nomophobia was the fear of all things relating to water. I felt he was bluffing because at one meeting Kyle spoke about how much he enjoyed wake boarding.

Fresh off his victory in Table Topics at the Area 02 contest, Stan was given the challenge of providing a definition for oikophobia. Oikophobia is the fear of home surroundings, but Stan cleverly said that “oik” was Latin for “pig.” Therefore, Stan confidently concluded, oikophobia was simply the fear of pigs. Oikophobia, according to Stan, is closely related to similar phobias, cat-aphobia and canine-aphobia. One way to over come oikophobia is to be gradually exposed to bacon. I can see why he is a champion; I was convinced he knew what he was talking about.

Some of our newer members and guests got in on the fun. Martin was asked for the definition of achluophobia, which is the fear of darkness. Martin tried convincing us that this phobia describes an irrational fear of the letter “A.” He said that people suffering from this phobia would not give their children a name starting with the letter A. They certainly wouldn’t be the owner of a vehicle manufactured by Acura. People suffering from this phobia wouldn’t even want to breathe AIR! The only reason they are able to survive is because they can breathe oxygen! According to Martin, this is a very serious phobia indeed.

Michael, a visiting guest, was required to give the definition of hylephobia. Hylephobia is the fear of wood and wooded areas. Michael told us that “high-lephobia” was a fear of heights. He told us that a person with this phobia would avoid places that are high up. I personally enjoyed Michael’s speech because of the attention paid to the Timer, Nam. Once Nam held up the green piece of paper indicating his time was up, Michael let out a sigh of relief and simply said, “Thank you.”

Tetraphobia is the fear of the number 4. Christian was given the final task of giving us the definition of this tricky phobia. Christian cleverly said that “tetra” relates to earth, so this is a fear of all things relating to the earth. This person could only seek refuge by living on a boat.

After the fun of Table Topics with Toby, the general evaluator game to podium. Hyacinthe called up Susan who was the evaluator of Mark’s speech. Susan particularly enjoyed Mark’s voice and how he inspired emotion in the audience. She felt he was well prepared and should learn to use pauses instead of apologizing.

Once Susan was finished with her evaluation, Hyacinthe called for the reports from the Timer, Word Master, and Grammarian/Ah Counter. The meeting adjourned after positions were filled for next week. I don’t have all the details of this in my notes, but I do know there will be 3 speakers, so that will be exciting!