[Review] #701# Humor 2017-12-19

(The meeting review was written by Kathy Wang)

1. Why talking about humor?

Humor is a considerable element for wonderful public speeches. It not only simply brings laughter to the audience, but also special perspectives to see the world. For toastmasters, learning, discussing and practicing skills of using humor consciously is necessary. More than a skill, humor is as well a valuable life attitude. It is just like a mirror reflecting each speaker’s optimism, courage, power and more deep insights. In style, public speech may be entertaining, but the core strength is always “influence” by authentic information, logical inference and positive attitude. Humor, integrated wisely, will make speeches more comprehensible and impressive.

 2. Special Sharing: Natural Body Language — Chloe Xu

A passionate headhunter and toastmaster as ACB/ALB, was invited to stand on the stage of PSTMC again. This time she talked about natural body language, especially for women toastmasters. It has nothing to do with gender equality but the female speakers’ characteristics. Based on coaching some female speech contestants, Chloe sum up the objective features of women speakers such as height, volume, personality and dressing, etc. She even mentioned the detail about the potential influence between high-heel shoes and stage movement. Her frank and humorous opening convinced the audience to listen to her tips carefully.

2.1 Eye contact.

Chloe observed that many speakers tend to face some audience. Maybe it is subconsciously or looking at acquaintances can be comfortable. Her tip is moving eye contact along “Z” or “N” course to cover the whole room. In order to make the personal eye communication more natural, she shared her experience to practice speech in front of mirror. Keep focusing on yourself and rehearsal the full script.

2.2 Stage movement.

Chloe didn’t think it is good for women speakers trying to use the whole large stage. She thought two-step movement is enough. Move to another area until having finished a story or a topic. When showing a dialogue, keeping feet still but designing identifiable postures for each character is better than turning body mechanically. She also reminded that smiling while appearing at the stage is important to make a good first impression. Stick for 1-2 seconds and then step forward to begin speech.

2.3 Facial expression.

Chloe invited three listeners to imitate some emojies and felt facial expression. She encouraged speakers to get rid of the idol burden. Taking selfie of various close-up and self-practicing in mirror are both good ways to make facial expression natural.

All in all, Chloe emphasized that avoiding stiffness and affectation is the priority. Behind each successful speaker, it is the meticulous design and repeated rehearsals that pave the smooth and natural body language.

 

3. Table Topic Session

Focusing on the meeting theme of “humor”, five toastmaster members and guests grabbed the opportunities to deliver interesting impromptu speeches.

    Wendy drew the slot to introduce someone who really has sense of humor in her life. She shared some warm stories about her father. As a humorous person, her father often created games such as role-play while entering a gate, and imitating her English pronunciation even knowing nothing about English. All these brought laughter to Wendy’s childhood, encouraged her to study hard, and cultivated her to be positive person. Actually, Wendy learned from her humorous father that humor is not a joke but seeking happiness together in daily life.

    Yolanda was asked to rate herself of humor sense on scale of 1-10. She frankly said that she only gave herself 2-3 points. She thought humorous person should good at finding something interesting and expressing them in a humorous way. But for her, even trying to share some funny things, she couldn’t help laughing to tears before telling a single word. As for a listener, she said that she really lacked humor sense. When people shared a humor story, she always asked “Why” and “How” questions to finally frustrate the joke tellers. At last, Yolanda named herself “Humor killer”, but this humorous nickname brought down the house humorously.

    Jewel raised up hand eagerly to take the third CC chance. The question to her was a little bit serious. “Beside laughter, what else do you think humor can bring to us?” Jewel agreed that laughter might be the first keyword for most people while talking about humor. However, in her brainstorm, “atmosphere” and “warm hearted” were included. She also shared the communication between her and the Champion of humor speech at Nanjing Conference. She got the sparkling point that self-mockery was also very important. It was not about laughter but being openness. A good speaker should open heart and arms, and to connect people more actively.

    Different from the previous three interview style questions, Steven and Jeff faced more challenges in CC session. They first drew lots to select a character and a gift, and then were asked to do a role-play respectively. They must try adding some humor sense while showing the role-play.

    For Steven, he needed to send a lipstick to his father as the Christmas gift. As a CC veteran, Steven immediately created the story of a lipstick to father but actually a father-to-mother gift. He wisely added humorous shining points in the story. For example, the father wanted to blame the ridiculous gift but was blamed by the son for never sending a gift to mother; the father thought mother should be happy for the brand-name lipstick but was rebuked by mother for being extravagant. The mother was even suspicious that how her husband could afford the lipstick by his limited pocket money.

    For Jeff, his problem was more challenging because he had to send a credit card as a gift to his ex-girlfriend. Jeff’s script seemed to be not dramatic. He just wanted to release the ex-girlfriend’s financial burden to buy an apartment. However, Jeff used some cold humor sense in tone and facial expression. This brought the audience understanding laugh because they all could feel the boy still loved the girl deeply.

4. Prepared Speech

    Mandi discussed a tough, seemingly insoluble but very meaningful a topic. It was about gender equality. She shared true stories about her childhood and romantic relationship. She led the audience into three very typical examples: choosing toys for kids by genders, views on women reproductive behavior, and gender responsibility on buying a property. She analyzed the gender stereotypes from two sides objectively. Her empathy both for men and women resonated with the audience and raised much laughter. Mandi expressed her expectation for true gender equality on emotion, opportunities and rights.

  Ashlee praised Mandi to have caused at least six times big laughter in audience because of her humorous sharing. She commended three shining points of the speech. Well-selected topic related to the meeting theme, clear and powerful parallel sentences, and natural body languages. She suggested that Mandi could have tried discussed some insights on “How” questions. It would be helpful to inspire actions to realize true equality both in individual and social levels.

    Zero posed an interesting but profound question. Can nature be changed? She shared two stories. One is “Venus and the cat” from Aesop’s Fables, the other is the classic Chinese folklore of “Legend of white snake”. The two stories are generated from western and oriental culture respectively, with similar beginnings but different endings. They are both romantic story between animal and man. They were both about the amazing magic power. However, the endings were disparate because the cat could still see the mouse but the snake had already devoted to love with heart and soul. Zero’s answer to the question was that it depends on the definition of love. True love doesn’t simply means marriage, and it means giving self to others. With true love, nothing is impossible, including deep-rooted nature.

    Landy applauded Zero’s speech with three keywords: interesting, creative and insightful. The good points included confident movements while narrating different stories, appropriate eye contact to cover the whole room, and clear key messages such as specific definition of true love and core force to change natural instincts. Landy suggested Zero could pay attention to facial expression. It would make the characters more vivid and build better connection with audience.

    Donica opened speech by her husband’s two news. While being satisfied with his career promotion, she didn’t take his decision to learn driving seriously. In her eyes, her darling was just a giant of words. But to her surprise, this time, her husband really went to the driving school formally and told her “Don’t Think Too Much. Just do it”. Another inspiration was from her colleague. When Donica was almost unbearable about the endless mistakes of the co-worker, the frank lady just said that her principle was “Don’t Think Too Much. Just do it. I’ll correct and make progress”. Encouraged by their DTTM, Donica overcame her perfectionism and came back to P9 actively. Focusing on P9 objective, she sincerely persuaded the audience to improve by doing, and always remember that success is built on mistakes.

    Joan appreciated Donica’s opening story. The vivid daily life episode grabbed audience’s attention successfully. She was also sure that Donica had reached the P9 objective because of the well-designed DTTM. It was clear, short, and easy to be repeatable. However, she suggested two points. First, comparing with unveiling at the end, maybe it’s better to explain DTTM first and then date back to the two stories. Second, regarding DTTM, if giving some opposite examples, it will be more powerful to advocate being an active doer.

   Steven made his efforts to inspire audience to identify and get out of comfort zone.  He shared three experiences of his own. The first was about changing the bad habit of sleeping in and being late to work. The second was how he confronted the fear of delivering impromptu speech. The third was his decision not to repeat the topic of his “tiger wife” any more. He used dramatic body language and varied tones to present the embarrassment before his boss, the conflict with his subordinate, and the hesitation to raise up for CC. Based on introspection and actions to step out of different comfort zones, Steven called for the audience to stimulate comfort zone, to keep commitments, and set up specific objectives.

    Rocky kicked off his evaluation in a humorous way. As old friend, he praised Steven had successfully convinced him to step out of comfort zone to be Steven’s IE again. First, he highly appreciated Steven’s personal zealous style. It can always uplift the atmosphere and affect audience. Second, the opening of imitating alarm sound attracted people immediately. However, Rocky thought that three stories were a bit too much. He suggested to narrow down the materials or try linking the stories by reasonable logic. He also reminded Steven of never losing eye contact, especially not giving his whole back to audience. When Rocky repeated the keywords of zealous, opening, narrow down, and eye contact, he got big applause because the acronym of ZONE was presented on the white board clearly.

5. Awards

Impressive prepared speaker: Steven Shen

Best TT speaker: Wendy Ma

Best evaluator: Rocky Shen

Best role taker: Alice Chen

[Review] #628# Summer Holiday 2016/8/2

The meeting review was written by our beautiful girl Jessie Lee.

This summer is hot while our meetings are cool!
Hours before the meeting, our beautiful SAA had sent pictures of delicious food and fruits which were also beautiful in the wechat group. You see~ People can’t wait to join in yeah.
“Is there anyone who has never made mistakes?”“No.”Most people answered, while there was someone said :“My wife.” Haha~ He must be a good husband. Our president, Williem emphasized that Toastmasters is a safe place to make mistakes. We can’t agree more, people here ‘help each other, achieve excellence!’
Who was that girl in summer? Yes, in summer. The TME girl, Mavis, she just came back from Israil, she was wearing a summer T-shirt with ‘summer’ on it. She invited us to have a taste on “summer holiday.” To plan a summer holiday, we need budget controller, good manner helper and an expert, they were our timer Janet, ah-counter Karla, and grammarian Williem. The grammarian brought us an idiom——“rain-check”.Do you know what does it mean? The baseball game will be cancelled if there is a rain, so it takes a rain-check.
After planning, our TTM Semy brought us to enjoy the summer holiday together. People enjoyed it, I think that’s why she got the best role taker of the meeting. What’s your most unforgettable summer holiday? What’s your favorite sports in summer? If you have a one-month summer holiday with salary, what will you do? What do you like to eat in summer holiday?……Weren’t these questions luring you? Having happy~ holidays with high~ salary…… The answers were more attractive. Rocky shared his relax summer holiday before the college entrance, playing with friends, travelling, and with good news of “high score”. This time, the German guy Markus, also learned “calm heart keeps you cool”——“心静自然凉”. He is serving a company which provides delicious food, he always takes food with him, he looks healthy and he eats healthy. Starry, our coming new member, he is an active guy who likes all kinds of sports. Especially, he shared his favorite sports in summer——rock climbing, though he felt frustrated at the beginning, he didn’t give up. After learning and practicing, he finally got to the top of the wall. His experience also inspired us, Toastmasters, what you need is just learning, practice and some patience. Congratulations to him winning the best table topic speaker.
In the prepared speeches, Pretty girl Jessica took us back to the time of her school, from a naughty girl who could make her teacher angry, lost weight for a boy to a grown-up, she still thought these days happy and cherished them.
Evaluator Lynn compared a good speech with the body of a person, opening, body and conclusion. She confirmed that the speech has complete structure. If the speech could focus on one story and make the conclusion stronger, it would be better.
Jevon told us the stories when he was always running and late for the train, for the plane. That time he blamed traffic jam and others, and took tardiness acceptable. It’s part of his life. After being laughed at in the gathering, he began to think of the problem and he realized the key was his own attitude. He determined to be an organized man. When your attitude change, your action becomes to change. Now he gets things ready the day before, how about you? Let’s say goodbye to tardiness.
Evaluator Ethan liked Jevon’s speech, the message was clear and he had various facial expressions, gestures and movements on the stage. He also gave some tips for the improvement.
Katrina shared us the stories of her childhood. She even called back home to check the existence of her childhood. Her experience in childhood like she liked eating candies and had a big mouth linked to her current state like her vocation.
Evaluator Roye gave a general critical evaluation. She mentioned that speakers need pay attention to the objective and the rehearsal. As in the high level speech, speakers need also present the professionalism.
Daniel delivered his advanced speech——a meaningful story. In the ancient time, there was no electricity. The blind monk used torch to give light for others, so he had never get himself hurt from bumping into others, while the smart guy did not want to share light, he was nearly eaten by animals. See~ Help others thus help yourself at the same time.
Evaluator Steven admitted that Daniel had real confidence and the vocal variety. He suggested that moving for purpose on the stage and using some imitation to amuse the audience.
Handsome GE Yajun, he encouraged a lot of role takers and led the audience to give them big hands. He also mentioned that some suggestions may frustrate you but help you see something you may ignore and provide the chance to improve.
Toastmasters is a safe place to make mistakes and to grow. Thank you for people who made the meeting successful, also like speakers didn’t mentioned above, our Greeter Anny Xing. Let’s help each other, achieve excellence and witness more and more DTMs. Guests, if you also like this place, come and join us then.

[Review] #626# Emotional Management2016/7/19

The theme of the meeting
Emotional Management
Word of the day
Tolerant, intolerant, tolerate, tolerance
SAA
The orange girl SAA, Katrina Guo kicked off the meeting and welcomed all audience, with her warm smile and delicious fruit.
TME and three helpers
TME Steven Shen warmed up by joking about his tiger wife. Dubbed as “talking machine” in the club, Steven used his unique style to introduce speakers and role takers. His excellent performance demonstrated the enthusiastic Toastmasters spirit. His three helpers, cute timer Rebecca Chen, elegant Ah-counter Ashlee Sun, and fresh super star Grammarian Jevon Sun, introduced their roles respectively.
Table Topic session
As TTM of the meeting, former VPM Jessie Lee explained the theme and told us her story about how she managed the emotions. What do you think about the Emotional Management? The emotional girl Roye explained how she was emotional in life and rational in work. Other table topic speakers Nicole, Gabriella, Lynn, Stephie shared their stories and opinions around emotional management. The Best TT award went to Roye, congratulations!
New member induction
In the first exciting new member induction held in this term, fresh VPM Jennifer Lee introduced three new members, Karla, a university student; Hansen, a young man whose zodiac sign is Cancer; and Nicole, an entrepreneur. At the same time, their mentors, Lois, Steven and Logan altogether witnessed the rite and gave their best wishes. Look forward to their brilliant toastmaster journey!
Sharing Session
Our superstar Lois presented a fantastic sharing about how to give effective feedback. She used a special visual aid–a note book with her vivid drawings to illustrate how to give feedback and what makes a feedback effective. An effective feedback can unleash potential and lead to high performance. Fabulous sharing!!
Prepared Speech session
Walking in the heavy rain P2 by Donnica Qing
Donnica Qing vividly described a story about walking in the heavy rain in a recent club outing. She encouraged the audience to do one thing a time, which is an effective method to boost efficiency. Her evaluator Katrina praised her vivid and detailed description of the story.
Speak up for yourself, P5 by Sonia
Some talented people have never become successful due to the lack of self-promotion. Sonia introduced this idea through her travel story, and then encouraged everyone to speak up for themselves. IE Logan praised her straight standing posture on the stage. He suggested that if she could pay more attention to eye contact and open hand gestures, the speech would be better.
I am emotional, P10 by Roye
I am emotional. During her P10 speech, Roye burst into tears a few time during her speech, and her touching love story brought tears to the eyes of the audience. Although the ending of the story is heart-breaking, she has never regretted to be emotional. Live now and be who you are. Thank you, Roye, your outstanding speech and natural style on the stage let us see another side of you, emotional and tender, resilient and brave! Also congratulations to you on finishing your CC journey!
Her IE Chelsi also became emotional when she evaluated Roye’s speech. She didn’t want to follow the manual to give feedback since Roye was a great public speaker of her own style, not typical Toastmasters style. She spoke highly of her talent to get the audience fully engaged into her story, and her uncarved and natural speech style. The only suggestion was to rehearse more to better control the emotions.
Imperfect perfection, A4 by Rocky
In his advanced speech, Toast Monster Rocky, dramatically shared his experience of applying the position of district contest chair in this spring. An excellent speaker delivered an amazing speech and basically he was playing the audience’ feeling, taking us ups and downs like a roller coaster, as his IE our president Williem said. When it came to suggestions, Williem told Rocky:” Rocky, your cry was unconvincing. When men get angry, instead of crying, they turn to furious physical movements such as hitting the table.” Steven commented that would look like KingKong. LOL 

What a wonderful evening with so many emotional speakers and their touching stories! Thank you all for your great efforts making this meeting so successful!!

[Review] #625# Be professional 2016/7/12

This meeting was kicked off by our beautiful elegant lady Paradee. Though it was also her last TM meeting in Shanghai, Paradee did a great job as TME and left us a professional and warm impression. To give her a surprise, we prepared a personalized gift – a notebook with our signatures and wishes to her. We hoped she would enjoy her life in Thailand.

Three Angels

Jessica Feng-first time to be timer
Mavis Fang- Ah Counter
Rebecca Chen- Grammarian, The word of the day “Uplifting”

Table Topic Master Joyce Qiao

As always, Joyce prepared some great questions for this meeting.
•Her first question is “Who do you like to cooperate with in your company?”
Ten years ago, Lin Zhang believed the person with same value, team spirit and always thinks for others could be the right person. But now, after he gained much more experience, he realized that life was not perfect and full of surprise. So now he believes all types of person would be okay, because he has become a better person. The speech was short but have deep thoughts, no wonder Lin won the best table topic speaker.

• Second question: What is the most important factor in your career development?
Our guest Helen thinks challenges are a must for her as a fresh new graduate. She wants to learn from her friends and colleagues to grow as much as possible.

• Third question: How do you define professionalism?
Our new member, also an awesome mother Sherry Xie, shared with us a mistake she did in a training due to lack of preparation. Therefore, in her eyes, being professional means getting well prepared.

• Fourth question:Do you thin we always need to be professional at work?
Our guest Yafeng is a doctor. So she always plays an professional image at work, which helped her a lot to be trusted.

• Fifth question: What do you think of personality and professionalism?
Our club’s sweet heart Ammie Jiang thought in work place, we should learn to get rid of some of our characters to be more professional.

• Sixth Question: When there is a conflict between flexibility and professionalism, what do you do? Guest Stephanie believed we learned to find the balance between them.

• Seventh Question: What’s your plan to be professional?
Donnica will set clear goal so that she would be more professional.

Prepared Speech:

Sherry recently read a book called “The little girl at the window”, she learned how to be a good parent. She shared with us about two stories in the book about the school headmaster and the little kid Toto. She also linked back to her own story about her little baby being put lots of milk powder in her face by her sister. Sherry was scared and angry at sister at first. But later on she found out that sister was just worried that the baby was hungry. Great story telling and aroused some deep thinking.

Katrina shared with us her drinking story with her colleague. She used great body languages and vocal variety to let us know the conversation with her drunk colleague. Through her colleagues’ bad behavior after drinking, she reminded all of us to be more careful with drinking.

Lois Lau briefed us a brilliant idea. On Sep 27, there would be special meeting organized by Lois and Logan. The meeting theme is about your last speech, imagine you will have the last speech in your life, what would that be. Everyone will be able to have the chance to speak, and take different roles. If you are interested, find them.

Steven Shen shared with us a heart-broken story about his best friend. His handsome, rich best friend Terry always takes care of him like his brother. So they are very close. But when Terry was sentenced due to corruption, Steven could not believe it. He went to the court hearing but the guard did not let him in. Through the hole in the wall, he saw his handsome, rich best friend was no longer have that stunning look but crying and regret. Steven wanna tell us your desire of power and money could be out of control,please learn to cherish your family and friends.

Evaluation:

Jessie praised Sherry’s confidence, body language and personal story on the stage, and she suggested Sherry to have a better time management. Jennifer evaluated Katrina’s pause, role play, and she believed it was a great P6 speech. Ethan Jiang liked Lois’ PPT and clear communication, and he suggested her to have more emphasis on giving the audience why. Chelsi gave Steven a new title “Drama King”, she felt complex emotions in Steven’s speech with climax and conflicts. She suggested Steven to use flashback skill to lift his speech.

[Review]#624#The Road You Want to Go 2016/7/5

This was the first meeting that new officers showed up.

The theme of the meeting is “the road you want to go”, which simply means making choices.

Toastmaster of the Evening Dingkang kicked off the meeting by quoting a famous saying “all roads lead to Rome”, which tells us the relationship between choice and purpose.

Our president Williem told us making a choice is all about choosing what you love and loving your choices.

Another distinguished guest shared his thought about this theme. Don’t regret and don’t look back when you finally make a decision.

 

Sharing Session

Special sharing was delivered by VPM Assistant Virginia who loves basketball.

She brought us about “your life purpose”

First purpose of life: be happy

Second purpose of life: the big question—why are you here

She also shared her story and some tips about how to achieve our life purpose.

 

Prepared speech session

Rebecca Chen told us an interesting story about her and her in-laws. She wanted us to know that we should balance our gains and losses.

Katrina Guo told us a funny story about her boss and colleagues to show that we should never get drunk.

Michael Lee shared with us about his personal story and his favorite idol in investment—Warren Buffett. It seems that he has got a lot of stuff from Buffett.

Finally it’s our big star Rocky Shen who briefly introduced his new education project. After his introduction, I believe a lot of people have been inspired and they would take action immediately.

 

Evaluation Session

In the evaluation session, evaluators gave some practical suggestions to our prepared speakers.

Jessie’s suggestion to Rebecca is to share more about herself in her first speech.

Steven suggested that Katrina had better made her point clear in her speech.

Semy suggested Michael to give more examples in his speech. It would be more attractive to the audience in that way.

Zunfeng advised rocky to make some highlights on his education program.

What a wonderful meeting we had!

 

—–This meeting review was written by Ethan Jiang and Jevon Sun—–