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.
July 29th, 2015
Theme: Orange County Vanity
July 22nd, 2015
Theme: Reality Shows
July 15th, 2015
Theme: The Death Penalty
July 8th, 2015
Theme: Secrets and Lies
At the Contrarians, you quickly grow appreciation for the effort our members give towards our meetings. Angela’s research on the five most common told secrets and lies was not only informative but engaging and funny. I uproariously laughed when she told us that the most common lie is “I don’t lies.” Why? Because I am definitely one of those people! Shhh, don’t tell anyone!
Our Toastmaster Alicia ran a well-organized and smooth meeting. She remembered to tell our guests that our meetings are separated into three segments (prepared speeches, impromptu speeches, evaluations) and gave short but sweet introductions for our prepared speakers.
Ray, our first speaker, gave an impromptu speech titled “What I think about thinking.” How do you know that you know something? Well... Ray came to the conclusion that actually, we can never know! We can never be 100% certain about anything! Therefore, it behooves us to ask questions, explore, and experiment.
Our second speaker, Nayan, used his storytelling skills to discuss “Social Norms and Arranged Marriage.” An interesting topic, one that got my ears piqued, he requested that we all look into our lives for the moments in which we rely on social norms. For his efforts, he won best speaker. Fantastic, Nayan!
Our last prepared speaker, Karolina, shared a deep, personal story involving a friend of hers who asked for her support during a dark period. She wanted to make clear that we have a “Right to Be Unhappy.” We have a choice. We don’t have to follow the pervasive advice “Be happy.” She ended her speech by gracefully reciting W.H. Auden’s poem “Funeral Blues.”
After the prepared speeches segment, Jeremiah re-energized our members with a hilarious reminder that never do we need to tell truth, especially during Table Topics. However, with questions on topics like infidelity, Edward Snowden, murder, and farting, members chose to answer honestly. Or...did they? We’ll never know, will we?
Our evaluators, Joe, Sean, and Wayne, respectively, gave intriguing and balanced evaluations of our speakers. I always enjoy hearing evaluations; they not only help improve my skills as an evaluator but as a speaker.
Finally, our Toastmaster Alicia handed out the ribbons to best speaker, best table topics, and best evaluator.
If you’re on the fence about coming as a guest, don’t hesitate! Fun times await you!
July 1st, 2015
Theme: Police Brutality
June 24th, 2015
Tonight our current officers’ term ended and we thanked our outgoing president Ramesh for his wonderful job and leadership he has given to our club over the past 6 months. He received a big hug and a tie around his neck from many of us. We just like to improvise and have fun.
Tonight 4 guests visited our club and followed our meeting.
We had two prepared speeches, one of which was Paula’s Icebreaker. She gave a powerful and engaging speech about who she is. She emphasized how much she feels supported by our club, so that she can grow her confidence and evolve as a person and as a speaker.
Sara was our second speaker. In “What animal area you?” she pointed out the characteristics of zoo animals as a comparison to us people in our work environment, and what we need to be balanced. Also, what a leader needs to know in order to work well with all the different “animals” and their traits. Her speech was entertaining and interesting, and her props were the cherry on the cake. Some of our members wore Sara’s animal hats all through the meeting.
Joe did a great job leading his Table Topics segment about socialism, and we heard some interesting impromptu answers. If you don’t know anything about a topic it’s a great challenge to smoothly switch to a different topic.
Mellodee and Fernando were our speech evaluators today, both delivered valuable feedback for our main speakers.
At the end of our meeting we welcomed a new member into the club.
Our president Ramesh then called all outgoing officers to the podium to give a short speech about their work during the last term, making way to the new officers and wishing them well.
After acknowledging our guests we ended the meeting at 8:15 PM.
See you all next time!
June 17th, 2015
Pornography? Really? We need to be really bold to speak about this subject. And you were not disappointed. Because at The Contrarians, no topic is taboo. Our Opening Thought Speaker, took us into a trip of where Pornography was originated, the revenue of 3 billion annually online and as a whole 13-14 billion annually and what happens after your 1st exposure to it. Also, how it has affected men and women in many ways, including of course, their relationships.
We also had two inductions into our club...Congratulations Jurgen and Sasha, welcome to our Club!!
Our first speaker of the night was Fernando. It was great speech were he used metaphors in order for us to understand how can we feel based on our surroundings. He even delivered part of his speech in Spanish, and it seems that only Sara understood that part. But the best part was the word he invented... "metamorphicly speaking"
Then, we had our 2nd Speaker Rick, that not only he said he was delivering his last speech with us, he talked about the 3 things he has learn by doing Toast Masters.
Back to our Table Topics, Mellodee, our Table Topic Masters, touched again on our Theme of the night...And what a way to get us all out of our comfort zone with questions like... (I better not) you should have been there!! The word of the day was "flaccid" that might give you an idea.
Our evaluators Niemn and Bob did a great job evaluating our speakers. They showed their perspective and provided feedback on what our speakers did great, what they needed to work on, and what other things were a highlight in their speech.
In the final segment, we got the time report by Ray, the ah counter report by Joe and the grammar report by Jeremiah.
Finally, we did a drum roll to choose our best speaker, best table topic speaker and best evaluator and given a ribbon by our President and Toastmaster of the night Sean...Rick, Joe and Niemn respectively. Then he welcome our new guests...it is always great to see new guest visiting us.
So what are you waiting for to visit us? See you next time...Sara
June 10th, 2015
Theme: How much is too much?
With a theme such as How Much
is Too Much? so many things come to mind that, really, anything could
happen. Boy was I in for a treat.
The meeting started with an insightful opening thought from
Sara on How Much is Too Much?
reminding us that things such as water and exercise can be harmful in extreme uses
thus moderation should always be taken in consideration.
Mellodee graciously welcomed the audience with explanation
of what to expected for the evening asked members to explain their roles.
Our first speaker, Niem, shared insight on our brain’s
amygdalae and cortex, how they overlap and compensate in fear and distress.
Niem was courageous to answer questions potentially leaving him open to running
out of time.
Sean shared his experience with his loss of a parent and the
subsequent question of satisfaction/enjoyment in life. All of which left some
of us to reconsider our choices and pursue of happiness.
Joe took the podium
with a simple statement; A, B, C. Always Be Closing. This astute acronym stuck
with Joe after watching the film Glengarry
Glen Ross. Joe shared how any situation in life can be conducted as a sales
deal and how these skills can improve the desired outcome of such situation.
Mellodee spontaneously introduced Ramesh to fill in as Table
Topics Master who generously took on the role at an instant and cleverly
created table topics by asking the audience to fill the blank in “How
much is too much of__________” while randomly choosing members
for an impromptu speech.
As you can imagine, we heard speeches about:
How much is too much dessert?
How much is too much money?
How much is too much word-of-the-day?
How much is too much sex?
How many is too many kids?
You can probably imagine laughter in the audience.
The General Evaluator followed by inviting each evaluator to
share their observations on what the speakers did well and offered great insight
on how to improve further speaking skills.
After the General Evaluator shared his observations about
how the meeting was conducted and what could be improved upon, the Toastmaster
returned to the floor for the awaited segment of Ribbon Winners!
The winners were: Joe for Best Prepared Speech, Marlene for Best Table Topics, Karolina for Best Evaluator
Looking forward next week's meeting as always : )
June 3rd, 2015
Theme: I Love You
May 27th, 2015
Theme: Drought In California
May 20th, 2015
Theme: Club Elections
May 13th, 2015
Theme: Music Through The Decades
Who says that it would be stressful to speak before a big
group, especially after a long working day?
Our Toastmaster members and guests once again prove that notion does not
apply to Contrarians.
Even though the meeting started a bit late because of
unexpected parking issue, our ToastMaster, Nick, and Table Topic Master,
Mellodee, were able to run the meeting right on-schedule. Nick, with his unique fanciful story-telling
skill, did not leave any meeting moment unfilled. Our new member, Sara, impressed us all with
her moving ice-breaker speech, which won the best-speaker ribbon. Mellodee’s
evocative questions about music did get both members and guests to improvise
verbally and nonverbally – a guest showed off his hip-thrusting skill during
his impromptu speech.
Having fun while polishing public speaking skill – that’s
May 6th, 2015
Theme: Food Desserts in America
Each Contrarian meeting is different from the last, but definitely no less interesting or entertaining.
Tonight our meeting began with our president Ramesh, donning a faux mustache and then joining him on stage were Nick, John and Fernando, all four standing at the front of the room looking very suspicious in their faux mustaches looking at everyone in the room. With uproarious laughter from the galley, the men parted ways without a word and our evening was off to a very Contrarian start!
Our opening thought was brought to us by our VP of Membership, Karolina, who taught us how to properly zest a lemon. Very fitting since our theme for the evening was Food Desserts In America.
With a packed house and a full schedule, our Toastmaster, Rick, introduced us to our speakers for the evening.
Sean was up first with his speech titled “Why Nice Guys Finish Last.” He shared stories of his life as a self professed mamas boy and how he had lots of friends that were girls but no romantic interest from them. He was stuck in the “friend zone” for being such a nice guy. Many people are nice because they want something in return but he believes you can be altruistic in your kindness and still get the girl, which he has since proven, recently marrying his longtime sweetheart!
Our second speaker was one of our newest members, Nayan, who gave his icebreaker speech sharing his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. He shared the story of how he became hooked on this great NBA team and the excitement of his first game.
Mellodee was our final prepared speaker for the evening, driving home what a good fit she is for our Contrarian club by talking about pole dancing, hookers and masturbation. She expressed to the ladies in the room the importance of not needing a man to enjoy yourself. Way to keep us blushing, Mellodee!
Never a dull a moment during our fun meeting, as our Table Topics Master, Bob, had us salivating with his impromptu questions related to Desserts in America.
During our final segment, our three evaluators, Niem, Ramesh and Marlene, gave their respective speakers valuable feedback on what they did well during their speeches and a few tips on how they can improve in the future. General Evaluator, Alicia, followed up with a quick evaluation of the overall meeting.
And finally, our Toastmaster, Rick, handed out ribbons to the best voted in each segment. Congratulations to the winners!
If you want to have a crazy, fun time improving your speaking and leadership skills, don’t let another week go by without visiting us on Wednesday nights at 6:30 PM. You seriously won’t regret it.
April 29th, 2015
April 22nd, 2015
Theme: Suburban Sprawl
Today we had more guests than we have ever had before! We started our meeting with yet another new member induction. Our club has been growing steadily, and it is always exciting to observe how new members change the club’s dynamics.
Jeremiah started the meeting with his opening thought about suburban sprawl. Our Toastmaster Bob introduced our first speaker Roxanna, a brand new member. Her very first speech, the ice breaker was called “Working Title”. We club members love to listen to ice breakers because it gives us the opportunity to get to know our new members. And it was no different this time. Her speech was about her being a life long learner packed with interesting stories of her life.
Our second speaker was a guest speaker from another club. We had the honor to listen to Daniel's speech “Remote Control”. He was rehearsing it at our club before facing his competitors at the district speech contest in a few weeks. It was an inspiring and at the same time, humorous story about taking control of his own life. Since Daniel is a very experienced speaker, it was a great opportunity for us to learn from him.
Word of the day was “snollygoster”, and everyone who participated in table topics was reminded to use it in their improvised answer. Marlene was our table topics master and had prepared lots of great questions.
Rick then evaluated Speaker 1 and did a truly fantastic job. Instead of evaluating Speaker 2, Daniel himself came to the stage and gave us all tips on how to speak based on his project. After the business segment another fun and interesting evening ended right on time.
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!