Speaking our Minds with Passion, Respect, and Confidence!

Welcome visitors and members! Listed below our Club Announcements is our latest weekly meeting snapshot to give you a flavor of the challenging, thought-provoking, and FUN times to be had at a Contrarians Toastmasters meeting.


April 22th, 2015
Theme: Suburban Sprawl


April 15th, 2015
Theme: Haves and Have Nots


April 8th, 2015
Theme: Food Deserts In America

The theme of this week's meeting was Food Deserts. There was a great deal of amusing confusion over whether it was Food Deserts or Food Desserts. Many of the more contrarian members went with their own take on this issue. Joe provided the opening thought, explaining the desert concept to many who had not heard of it before. Desserters remained unphased.

We had a brief induction ceremony for Alex, our newest Contrarian, but no stranger to Toastmasters. Knowing the drill, he immediately leaped in as our timer.

Toastmaster Ramesh provided fantastic introductions for both of our speakers tonight: Karolina and Daniel. Karolina related a personal tale about her lifelonging struggle with perfectionism and the problems that it causes in her speech, "Imperfection". Daniel delivered his icebreaker, "Here, Then There", describing his history with Toastmasters and his determination to use it to overcome his own fears and challenges in speaking.

Tonight's Table Topics Master was Jeremiah, his first time at the role. He asked a mixture of questions, touching on both Food Desert and Dessert related topics. Several guests participated, and perhaps the meeting highlight came in the form of a debate between Ray and his brother Ben: Which is better, cookies or ice cream? Both delivered fantastic arguments, and so the question remains perhaps unresolved.

Sean was the evening's general evaluator, introducing tonight's duo of speech evaluators: Bob for Karolina, and Alicia for Daniel, both of whom did a fantastic job. The meeting's Ahs were then recounted by Fernando, and Melodee delivered an extremely thorough Grammarian report. Sean's meeting evaluation followed, praising and critiquing many aspects of what had been a delightful meeting. He went over time.

Toastmaster and President Ramesh then announced the evening's winners: Karolina took Best Speaker, Alicia best Evaluator, and the newly inducted Alex won Best Table Topics for his take on "If you were a vegan NASCAR driver, which unhealthy food company would you have as your sponsor?". Several guests provided their feedback that they had enjoyed the meeting, and then things were brought to a swift and timely close. I for one am certainly looking forward to the next one!



April 1st, 2015
Theme: April Fools

If you’re contrarian, you couldn’t ask for a better meeting theme than April Fools Day, and since our meeting happened to land on the first day of April, the timing was just right.

Before our meeting got under way, we were very excited to induct two new members into our club. Welcome Sara and Ray! 

Our opening thought was led by Mitra who wished us a very happy new year. It was not an April Fools joke but actually the Persian New Year. She explained how it begins the first of spring and lasts for 13 days. We were on day 11 at the time of our meeting. 

Bob was our Toastmaster for the evening and introduced our one and only speaker for the night. New member, Joe, gave us his icebreaker speech and grabbed our attention with his already impressive speaking skills. Joe was entertaining and funny, expressing his desire to become a better speaker, not just for business and life in general but because he sees the majority of his friends getting engaged, and it’s inevitable he will be asked to be the best man and the best man is required to give a speech about the groom. Toastmasters is a great way to get prepared for that speech, Joe! Great job!

Table Topics is the segment of our meeting we love the most, and our Table Topics Master was Ramesh who knocked it out of the park tonight. He brought a bunch of items, many from his daughter’s play room and asked participants to choose an item. From there he made up a story about the item and the participant had to convince us, April Fools style, that the item was in fact what Ramesh claimed it to be.

The cowboy hat that makes you disappear

The battery that could run the Tesla car for thousands of miles

The elephant that talks to you when no one is around

The iPhone-like teleporting device

The ping pong size official NBA basketball

The magical $5 bill that could buy you a Lamborghini 

The anti aging pill that allows you to live 500 years

The alien spotting binoculars

The dinosaur t-rex puppy

The time traveling chess knight piece

The pinecone ice cream

The headphone “deadphones" that allow you to hear dead people

The responses were surprising, witty and fun!

Our Evaluation segment was run by Alicia who invited Marlene up to evaluate Joe’s speech. She did an excellent job giving Joe feedback about all the things he did well, and included a few tips on how he can make his next speech even better.

After Alicia gave a brief review of the meeting and the votes were tallied. Bob handed out ribbons for best speaker, best evaluator and best table topics speaker. 

Our area governor, Robert Lee, graced us with his presence and we got to hear from him about the value of being a Toastmaster and the upcoming international contest. 

No one can deny the fun we have in the Contrarians Toastmasters club. We hope you will join us and see for yourself how beneficial and entertaining it actually is here at the Northpark Community Center, every Wednesday night at 6:30 PM. 

~ Alicia

March 25th, 2015
Theme: The Chance That Got Away

Snapshot coming soon...

March 18th, 2015
Theme: Fast Food

The theme for this meeting was fast food. Mcdonalds, In-N-Out, Papa Johns, and  Burger King were all part of our table topics.

Max provided the opening thought and he shared one of his childhood memories of McDonalds. When he was a kid he thought their food was “the salt of the earth”, but what he really wanted was the toy in his Happy Meal box!

Mellodee gave her first speech tonight and she spoke about how she felt privileged because she had the ability take a break from her studies and work.  She had started  her speech months ago and finished it this afternoon.

The next segment of our meeting was table topics and Fernando was the  table topics master. As an incentive for volunteers he offered fast food coupons.Several guests bravely volunteered for table topics; Alex was the first to come up and answered the question if Ronald McDonald and Burger King had a fight to the death which weapons would they use. His response was Ronald would most likely throw burgers to use as weapons (good one Alex!) and Burger King would use a sword. Bob had a unique response when asked what food has been left out of the fast food menu and he responded with insects; they’re 80 percent protein and sees this as the food of the future. Jeremiah had to pitch chili from Wendy’s and he recommended eating chili to help relive your constipation.

The last portion of our meeting was evaluation. Alicia evaluated  Mellodees’s speech and  gave her tips to help  improve future speeches and shared areas she did well. Marlene was the general evaluator and summed up the meeting.

To end our evening the votes were tallied for best speaker, best evaluator, and best table topics.  Mellodee won  best speaker, Alicia won best evaluator, and Jeremiah won best table topics. Sean, our toastmaster for the evening helped run a smooth meeting. And a big thank you to all the members who helped during the meeting.


March 11th, 2015
Theme: Club Contest
Snapshot coming soon...

March 4th, 2015
Theme: Emigration

Tonight’s theme on Emigration was a topic we haven’t discussed much before and it paved the way for an interesting and informative evening.

Before the meeting began, we were thrilled to induct Angela as our newest Contrarian member. 

Lynn stepped up at the last moment to give us her thoughts on Emigration for our opening thought, setting the stage for our lively meeting to begin.

With only one prepared speaker present at the meeting, our toastmaster and long time member, Niem, asked our members if they would like to give an impromptu speech. To our surprise, our guest, Sarah, volunteered to be a guest speaker and Niem accepted her brave offer. One of our newest members, Max, spoke first, giving his ice breaker speech. He shared the story of how one fateful night, changed the course of his life forever. He really had us on the edge of our seats. After only a few short minutes to prepare, Sarah got up and gave a wonderful speech on emigration and what life was like for her emigrating from Puerto Rico to the U.S. She provided many facts and figures and impressed us with her knowledge on the subject. 

Our table topics master for the night, Sean, had three prepared questions, which he offered to the group up front, letting everyone know they would get one of those questions at random. We heard from a wide variety of members and guests, including Sarah, on what changes it would take to drive them out of the U.S., if they could choose any country what would it be and why, and what are the benefits other countries offer that would motivate them to leave their homeland?

In our final segment of the evening, we heard from Karolina and Marlene who evaluated Max and Sarah respectively. Each evaluator gave their intended speaker valuable feedback to help them improve for future speeches. To sum up the night, our general evaluator, Alicia, gave her overall take on the meeting. 

Once the votes were tallied, Niem handed out ribbons to the best speaker in each of our three categories: speech, table topics and evaluation. 

If you want to know who won, you’ll just have to come to a meeting and find out in person. Not just because it’s fun to find out on the spot, but because we have a blast at our meetings and we’d love for you to experience our unique club!

~ Alicia

For past meeting snapshots, please re-visit our 'Meeting Snapshot Archives' page