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.