Sunday, December 12, 2010

Recap of our Saturday, December 11 Meeting

We had a wonderful meeting last Saturday. Our guest speaker, Julia Taylor spoke about Three Collaboration Principles and gave a great example of its use on how they designed the Boeing 777. We also got to interview a long-time member of our club, Irina. The word of the day was very unique. In fact, the word was unheard of by many of our attendees. The word was Spizerinctum (noun) which meant a person filled with vim, vigor and vitality. The theme was equally unique, we talked about dangerous neighborhoods. The theme came up because of the event in Escondido in which the authorities had to destroy the "bomb house" this week. Next week, Saturday Savants will have a potluck and our theme is breakfast. So bring a guest and your appetite.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Table Topics- Picking a Topic

By Jennifer Boyd

Table Topics is a great way to practice thinking on your feet. It takes a lot of creative thinking and that topic of the moment can spark lots of thoughts or no thoughts at all. I have been stumped many of times. That is the beauty of a Toastmaster's meeting- to practice in a supportive environment where you can have fun and get rid of those nerves. Here a few resources that I've found useful for conducting Table Topics at Saturday Savants:

Northrise Toastmasters compiled a list of 50 topics.

101 Ideas for Great Table Topics (PDF Format)- Compiled by Mark LaVergne, DTM, Past International Director of Toastmasters International

Variety in Table Topics (PDF Format)- Compiled by Sherrin Ross Ingram

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ignite San Diego- A new way to give a speech

By: Jennifer Boyd, Saturday Savants, VP of PR

What is Ignite? Ignite is an event held in various cities that encourages thinking and speaking on your feet. Imagine if you had five minutes on stage, what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically every 15 seconds? This is Ignite. This happened last night and I look forward to the next event.

My thoughts from this event were inspiring. I learned that practice and knowledge were big keys in giving presentations. But also having lots of fun and being relaxed made the audience at ease. The topics ranged from Waffles to the End of the World. One person even talked about how sitting wasn't healthy for you. This is a different way to give a speech but it is worth a try. If you want to slow it down you can try Pecha Kucha (20 slides, 20 seconds).

That’s what happens at Ignite San Diego. Giving a speech like this is a challenge. Challenge a fellow toastmaster today.

Here are
slides from past Ignites.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 22 Recap of Saturday Savants Toastmasters Meeting

By: Ernie Pallares, Saturday Savants President

The Prelude

Could it be that I do more before 9:00 a.m. than a U.S. Marine recruit?

Probably. Though I think most of what I do might be interpreted as counterproductive a’la Dennis the Menace.

Why you ask?

Let’s see, I successfully set off the church alarm and spilled coffee on my dress shirt -all before our 8:30 a.m. meeting last Saturday. That beats my prior week record! Top that Captain Paco. I dare you.

As I walk outside to grab my sports coat, I run into Judy - the visible accident on my shirt blatantly announcing to the world that “I” have everything under control.

Smooth. Very smooth.

But hey! I drew from my table topics experience and opted for a preemptive evasive maneuver. “Hi Judy. I’ll be right back, I have to grab my coat…”

Yes! That was easy.

On cue, she responds: “You know, when you get older, it’s very common to always be spilling something on yourself.”

Foiled again!

The Meeting

This past Saturday Savants meeting began with an exercise. We began by congratulating each other. For what you ask? For showing up. Showing up in life isn’t always easy. And I couldn’t be more proud of our members and guests.

Besides, the exercise got the juices flowing for the induction of our newest member of the Savants family - Rafiaa Balkir. Welcome aboard Rafiaa. We are very excited to have you be a part of the Savants team.

The Theme

Self introductions began with the theme: Taking a Stand! Let’s just say this was a great grounding experience. It really “primed the pump” so to speak on what transpired next.

The Speeches

1. “Lessons Learned” by Jennifer Boyd–What do you do when you’re caught between making a living (and getting by) vs. doing something you really Love? You get a sincere and authentic speech such as this. “Love your work. Work your Love.” – Indeed. This is by far, Jennifer’s most personal speech to date. Thank you Jennifer for delivering this message to us last week.

2. “My Fathers Love” by Jill Eastman –Leaving home at 17. A fast and early departure for college. because she couldn’t see that her father cared. Years later, she learns to look at “the little things that let us know that people care.” Her father’s love was always there all the time but she couldn’t see it.” Life IS our greatest teacher. With this, Jill attains her Competent Communicator Designation! 10 speeches.

Table Topics.

Now, you might be thinking, “Are the table topics that good? Isn’t this all just a bunch a hoopla?”


A good barometer to use is the timer. I know our speeches and table topics are on fire when the timer is so engrossed with what’s in front of him/her that they forget to take time! It happened. This means good material. Don’t believe me? Read on…and show up! The following are some of the more memorable high impact quotes that delivered a punch.

Brand Identity.

“What’s your brand? What do you aspire it to be?”

Jubilee Judy: “Freedom. The Spirit of Grace.”

Aaron Friedman: “Honest. Hard working but easy going is the way to go…”

Rafiaa: “Honesty, Integrity, and Freedom. I am my own decision maker”

Peter: “I want to be a man that is known for deep understanding of people - especially the mentally ill.”

Dora: “Taking a stand is the only way to move forward.”

Jennifer: Love your work. Work your love.

Ernie: Leaders learn to manage disappointment.

Word of the day

Feral (adj.) of or characteristic of wild animals; ferocious; brutal.

We try to keep things civilized, but every once in a while there’s a feral “Aahh…” that slips into our meetings.

That's the honest truth.

This Saturday, we have a 3fer !

Cesar Rendon will be taking center stage. Followed by Author and Speaker Dora Klinova, and our very own District 5, Eastern Division Governor Bryan Lubic will be visiting our club for the very 1st time. Oh boy. It’s going to be wild!

Until Saturday...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What your missing

by: Ernie Pallares, Saturday Savants President

The Drama

I could count the beads of sweat building on my forehead as I frantically punched in the security code to our building over and over again. It was all I could do to to stave off the possibility of a pesky security alarm howling at law enforcement that a fumbling Toastmaster (yours truly) was just trying to get in the door to begin Saturday’s meeting!

I know, I know… why would anyone entrust the Prez with this cerebral task of monumental proportions?

Well our usual and more competent team of Leo and Irina normally would do this without a hitch, but alas, they were seated on a plane soaking up rays of sunshine in their mind – heading into vacation bliss.


But wait. Yes! 3rd time is the charm.

As I setup some of the chairs and opened the door to the front, I was greeted by a guest that day – Rafiaa. Right away she offered to help setup just before show time.

Once things got under way, we realized that quite a few of our crew were away (also on vacation – geez).

The show must go on! After all, the word of the day is Valiant (remember this), our theme - Armed Forces Day and our Toastmaster - Judy Toneck.

That’s all a Toastmaster needs to make something happen…

The Speeches

Remember the guest I mentioned earlier? It turns out she was a Toastmaster in a previous lifetime. She volunteered to speak and give her ice breaker. Talk about embodying being valiant. When she did this, I quickly realized that using the word of the day now takes on a whole new meaning. Here she was living it. As Howie mentioned in his evaluation. It’s one thing to speak in front of group of people that you know. It’s completely another to do it in front of strangers. She is extremely creative as she likes to write, read, and create poetry. And as of that day is a public speaker again!

Former President Aaron Friedman showed up ready to play as he presented “4 steps to overcoming nervousness”. He showed great theatrics in the beginning by pretending he was nervous. Excellent voice projection. Way to go Aaron. Great to have you back.

The Topics

Just a sample of what our members and guest took on …Welcome to
Table Topics Yoga

1. As the shaman for an indigenous tribe in Peru consisting of 250 people. Your eco-habitat has been disrupted by urban sprawl and pretty soon your civilization will be left with no home. What do you as the wise spiritual leader?

2. You are the newly appointed “Ambassador for Peace”. A position created by the white house foreign relations committee. As such, you are to deliver your idea to promote world peace at tomorrow’s UN conference. What will you outline to promote world peace?

3. You are the new mayor of Temecula. The slogan for your city is “Old Traditions. New Opportunities.” Please explain how you plan to maintain the two under your new role?

4. Describe the best advice you ever received and give an example of how that has helped you.

5. You’ve had a successful career as a city planner. On your last day, you are interviewed and asked, what the city of tomorrow looks like? What is your answer?

6. You are the future President of Saturday Savants. How do you go about creating a vision for the club and grow its membership successfully?

Anytime I’m in the presence of those that don’t shy away from deep questions such as these, but rather take them on in the spirit of Toastmasters AND as Leaders in life, I remember that I am truly blessed. Thank you all for participating.

If you or someone you know is still “sitting on the fence” about where to invest your time to raise your personal growth…then come on home this Saturday.

We welcome you here whether you’re a guest or are simply returning.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Saturday Savants Represented at Area 15 Evaluation and International Speech Contest.

Last Saturday, Ernie and Jeff represented our club in Area 15 Evaluation and International Speech Contest. They both did exceptionally well! Ernie won evaluation contest and will represent our area on May 8th (2 pm - 5 pm ) at the Eastern Division Contest. Jeff had a very tough competition in Kristin Halvin who won this contest (she previously won District 5 contest). Thanks to both Ernie and Jef!

Cesar and Jill did an excellent job as a Sergeant-at-Arms and an opportunity drawing master! Leo was a timer and I was at the registration table.
Jennifer, Dora, and Peter came to support our contestants.

Friday, March 19, 2010

International Speech & Evaluation Contest

Saturday Savants is proud to be having the International Speech & Evaluation Contest at our meeting place on Saturday, April 24th at 9 am.

Admission is $5 and includes refreshments and speeches. There is an opportunity drawing as well (not included in price of admission). Details are listed on the flyer.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our Meeting on February 20th, 2010

By: Ernie Pallares, Saturday Savants President

Despite the rain, Saturday Savants Toastmasters and guests showed up ready to play last Saturday morning! Here's a quick download of what took place.

The theme-"Finding Courage."
Judy Toneck (Toastmaster) took us through a very profound round of introductions with this theme. Judy will be missed as she will be visiting family for a while.

We had 2 competent speakers in Ryan Nessen and Jill Eastman. Congratulations to Ryan for delivering a very successful board meeting the week prior.

Table Topics

Dora Klinoa gave us one of the most challenging yet entertaining table topics sessions we've had. Here's a taste of what we had. Enjoy!

Why do some people who go to McDonalds order a Big Mac, super sized frys and a Diet Coke?

Or try this one -

Why do women put on mascara with their mouths open?

We couldn't contain ourselves with some of the answers that were given. Very creative and very funny.

Our word of the day was...

Pronunciation: \kän-tü-mā-shəs, -
: stubbornly disobedient : rebellious

Special thanks to Howard for bringing us a "legalese" tongue twister. We had fun putting it to use in our talks.

A very entertaining meeting for sure...