Outside Today’s Lugubrious News…

Today at Toasting Excellence Toastmasters, we reviewed the “Moments of Truth” This is a great yearly review we do as a club to check in with how we are doing in key areas that help keep our club healthy. It is hard to face the truth of where we fall short sometimes, but when we know what areas need bolstered up, it helps us each become stronger. Adele did a wonderful job at leading us through the process.

Thank you, Willie, for your great service as toastmaster, well done. Mark used his new stop light backgrounds as timing lights, and the Word of the day was Lugubrious meaning mournful, sad or gloomy. We enjoy having themed meetings and today’s theme was “The News”

We are looking forward to next week’s open house with special guest speaker, PJ Kleffner, DTM. He is one of my favorite speakers and leaders, recently stepping down after successful service as District 7 Director through the first year of Covid times! Let’s Welcome PJ to our Toasting Excellence Online Event, Wednesday October 27 at Noon:05!

Backwards Meeting:

Come see what a “Backwards Meeting” or a “gniteeM sdrawkcaB” is!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at Noon:05, led by Lisa Davis…

This WILL be fun!! I am instructed to send you the Toastmasters meeting link along with a brief explanation and example of what to expect in the meeting. It should be really fun and help us develop our listening skills as well as just shake up any monotony we may or may not be feeling.

Join Our Zoom Toasting Excellence Meeting Wednesdays at Noon:05–Link below:

“Backward Meeting:Run the meeting in reverse! Presiding officer or toastmaster begins by thanking everyone for a great meeting and then introduces the general evaluator. The general evaluator gives the evaluation, introduces whoever would normally have been on the agenda prior to the evaluator. (General Evaluator, Timer’s report, grammarian’s report, speech evaluator). The trick is that the speakers must replicate whatever was given as an evaluation, even though they did not speak yet. For instance: the evaluator says TM Williams, normally your gestures are very effective, but today, I notice that you must have been a bit unprepared as you were fiddling a lot with your ring. Then speaker Williams would try to fiddle with his ring and not use as many gestures as usual.
The Table Topic (TM) speakers speak on whatever they choose and the topics master must listen carefully to know what topic to give when presenting the topic after the speaker speaks. This type of meeting requires excellent listening skills and then implementation in an impromptu way.” (from Zing! Zest! Bang! How to Create Meetings Members Never Want to Miss! A Compilation of Ideas to Change Meeting Format, Create themed Meetings, and Interesting Table Topics (TM). By Sandy Bell D7 Area 32 Governor and Jim Wolak D7 Area 34 Governor.


32 Common Hand Gestures

Here is a list of hand gestures that were gathered from various sources (links at the end). I hope these help you to become more expressive in your communications.

1. Listing: Whenever you list or count something, use a hand gesture to make the point. It helps structure your message and creates some curiosity. People will want to hear your second, third, etc. point when you count along with your hands

2. Backhand Slap. Slap dominant hand into non-dominant hand. – use to drive in a point.

3. Contrasting: Reference to the left and to the right with you hands when talking about different ideas. This or that, here or there, Democrat or Republican, Your get the idea..

4. Critical Whirl: Circle hand clockwise in a small but rapid motion towards the audience. Use this to talk about cycles and processes. Accelerate and repeat until idea is unpacked,

5. The point – Extend forefinger in a controlled but emphatic manner. – “Use it to focus or direct gaze toward an individual or object” Finger pointing and wagging are parental gestures of scolding, and I’ve often seen politicians and executives, in particular, use this gesture in meetings, negotiations or interviews for emphasis or to show dominance. The problem is, that rather than being a sign of authority, aggressive finger pointing suggests that the leader is losing control of the situation-and the gesture smacks of playground bullying.

6. Small, Medium, Large . This is a really easy one and can be used literally to show someone what level something is. You can use this to indicate how big or small something is or where someone stands. For example, you can use the high version along with “It’s a pretty big deal” or the low version with “He’s low man on the totem pole.”. You can also use this to talk about different stages of a process.. start low, move higher with each stage.

7. The Shelf Sweep – Begin with both hands at right hand shoulder. Sweep across the top shelf of imaginary bookcase. When level with left shoulder, make sharp rotation of wrists and sweep across lower shelf. – Use when explaining hierarchies or in clearing out something.

8. Picking Up Small Ideas. Bounce from side to side on imaginary hand trampolines. – Use when taking idea out of original context and placing it somewhere else.

9. The Dialectic. Grip imaginary six centimeter object between thumb and forefinger. Rotate wrist ninety degrees, snapping into end position. Smoothly rotate back to start. Repeat up to three times depending on conviction. – Use when expressing a shift from one thing to another. Highly infectious.

10. The Tiny Dialectic: Follow directions for ‘The Dialectic’ but with thumb and forefinger one centimeter apart. Bring hand toward eyes for closer inspection – Use when unpicking specific detail, or when too self-conscious to use ‘The Dialectic’ gesture

11. Open palms at an angle. Gestures with palms showing (tilted to a 45-degree angle) signal candor and openness. When being truthful or forthcoming, people tend to use open gestures, showing their palms and wrists and spreading hands and arms away from their bodies, as if saying, “See, I have nothing to hide
12. Palms up. When palms are rotated straight up and fingers are spread, in a prototypical pleading position, it communicates the lack of something that the speaker needs or is requesting.

13. Hands up. “It wasn’t me” When you break something at a souvenir store, just put your hands up like this and say, “I didn’t touch it.”. It is a gesture to proclaim your innocence. “I would never drink Coors light..” “I didn’t suggest that you quit your job and take up public speaking..”

14. Clinton Thumb An emphatic, it does not exhibit the anger of the clenched fist or pointing finger, and so is thought to be less threatening. This gesture was likely adopted by Clinton from John F. Kennedy, who can be seen using it in many speeches and images from his political career

15. Hands on hips. Whether in a stubborn toddler or an aggressive CEO, hands on hips is one of the most common gestures used to communicate a defiant, super-confident or independent attitude.

16. The Facepalm. “I can’t believe this s*#%” Use the facepalm to emphasize just how baffled you really are!

17. Steepling gestures. It is common to see a speaker using a steepling gesture (palms separated slightly, fingers of both hands spread and finger tips touching) when feeling confident or comfortable about a subject she knows well. Politicians, executives, professors and attorneys are very fond of using these gestures when they speak. However, it’s one of those power-moves you should use carefully.

18. Fist pump. Use the fist pump to emphasize strength, encouragement, and intensity. Athletes often use the fist pump when they score or make a good play. So, it communicates success..

19. Hand gestures of composure. Arms held at waist height, and gestures within that horizontal plane, help you-and the audience-feel centered and composed. Arms at waist. “We need everyone to remain calm”

20. Air quotes . “I’m being sarcastic”. The three reasons to use “air quotes” when you talk (1) Sarcasm, Irony. (2)Euphemisms. (3) Slang

21. Karate Chop. “We are going to cut through the red tape!” “This is how it is going to be!” This should be your go to move for your strongest points.

22. Rubbing hands together. Great to use in humor. “Ohh this is going to be good!” Also shows excitement or anticipation. “I can’t wait to drive my new Mustang”, “That chocolate cake looks good!”. This can also be used to signify greed “I’ll be rich”.

23. Hand gestures of near heart. They mean it is personal, your sincere. Touching, pointing to, or placing fist over your heart lets the audience know it is meaningful for you.

24. The Come Hither Hand Sign Use the come-hither hand sign when you want someone to come over or to become involved. “Come and join us this Friday..”

25. Come Together: When you bring both of your hands together, it is a gesture of combining and is a great way to show two forces symbolically coming together as one. You even can mesh or fold your hands together to show complete togetherness.

26. Stop The hand gesture consists of extending a palm toward. “We need to STOP the polluting of our waterways! Wait! Hold On! You also can do this when asking a question–it’s a universal attention-grabber. Be careful using this, can be insulting as well “Talk to the hand”.

27. We This gesture can be used whenever you are speaking in a group or to an audience. You open up your arms as if you are wrapping them in a hug, making the ‘we’ gesture. You also can do this when standing next to someone and actually placing your hands behind them as if to indicate ‘you are in my inner circle.’ It is a lovely ‘come together’ gesture when used correctly.

28. Finger to chin. The thinking pose. “I think that…” or use it as part of a dramatic pause. To let your audience know this is something to think about. Use this hand sign to indicate that you’re deep in thought, or slightly perplexed about a situation.

29. Knocking on wood is a superstitious gesture used to ensure that a good thing will continue to occur after it has been acknowledged. However, it is sometimes used after speaking of a plausible unfortunate event, so that it does not actually occur.


30. Peace Sign. The WWII “V’ for victory was later adopted as a symbol of peace. but flip it around (back of hand towards person) and in many countries it is an obscene gesture like giving someone the finger.

31. Okay or A-ok sign. Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger is how to signal “OK” in the US. This is the perfect hand gesture to communicate all is well in your world. But make the same gesture to someone from Brazil, and you’re giving the equivalent to the middle finger — the gesture has “insulting and scatological connotations. Cross Fingers: In most cultures, crossing your fingers means you’re hoping for good luck. But in parts of Asia, the gesture is thought to resemble female genitals, and making it is similar to giving the middle finger.

32. Thumbs up: The thumbs-up gesture is a sign of approval in most countries. However, in several countries in West Africa and the Middle East, including Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the gesture has the connotation of “up yours!” It’s used the same way the middle finger is in the US

For more information on hand gestures and body language:
Wiki – List of gestures: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gestures
Science of People: https://www.scienceofpeople.com/hand-gestures/
Social Triggers: https://socialtriggers.com/21-hand-gestures-for-powerful-communication/

July 17th Guest Speaker Jennifer Thomas

Toasting Excellence Open House

Don’t Miss This Free Event! Visitors are always welcome!

Jennifer Thomas – Guest Speaker

July 17th, 2019 at 12:05 – 1:00 PM

Labor & Industries Building

Conference Room F (Basement)

Toasting Excellence Meets Wednesdays 12:05 P to 1:00 PM in Conference Room “F” (Basement Level) Labor & Industries Building. 350 Winter St NE, Salem, OR 97301

How will I benefit from joining Toastmasters?

  • Communication/Public Speaking
  • Presentation
  • Listening
  • Evaluation of Others
  • Leadership
  • Interview Better
  • Improved Confidence

If any of the above skills are important to you; then Toastmasters can benefit you.


10 Tips For Public Speaking

Toastmasters has dramatically helped me in my everyday life. Giving impromptu presentations at work is just as easy as when I receive a phone call. And being asked to give a speech at a conference is welcomed. Over the past decade I picked up a few helpful gems that I hope can be of use to you:

  1. Don’t start speaking right away, pause after you are introduced.
    This is a good set-up building some anticipation,  it also allows you to relax and take a breath. 
  2. Hook your audience at the very beginning with a question or a story.  Questions and stories engage your audience. There is a huge difference in telling someone the value of your speech and asking your audience what they value.. 
  3. Use the rule of 3: Introduction, body, conclusion. Have no more than 3 points to cover.
    Keep your presentation simple, that way you can go without a script. Sticking to three main points allows your audience to remember.
  4. Speak slowly and pause after each point.  Silence is a powerful tool, use it after you made a point to let it sink in and to build anticipation for your next point.
  5. Eye contact each member of your audience, one by one. Continue to make contact with those who are open to your message, avoid the trolls.  You can’t please everyone.    
  6. Speak with the intent to give your audience something of value, don’t try to sell.  Let your stories add value to their values.
  7. Know and honour your audience, target your message.  Your message will most likely be presented differently to Rotary International and Big Brother/Big Sister. 
  8. Confidence is key.  Know your material and practice, practice, practice…
  9. Be a unicorn. Offer something unique and be unique. 
  10. Smile.  A smile makes you more likeable and helps you convey a positive sense to your speech. Like public speaking, smiling while you talk takes practice. It may seem a bit awkward at first.  But it will not take long to get the hang of it.

The only person that can make you a better public speaker is you. Watching TED talks is a great way to pick up some ‘trade secrets’ on public speaking. Also speak whenever you get a chance; sign up for speeches, join in table topics, speak up at company meetings.

For more tips visit:
90 Tips From Toastmasters https://www.toastmasters.org/About/90th-Anniversary/90-Tips
TED Talks https://www.ted.com
40 Quick Tips for Speakers https://www.unmarketing.com/2011/11/23/30-quick-tips-for-speakers/

Testing video conferencing

We will be testing video conferencing for meeting over the next few months.  I have reviewed several products and Skype came out on top.  We are testing because I am not familiar with all the features for group.

Skype is one of the oldest and well know video conferencing platforms.  It provides a stable network and is available in most platforms, including mobile.
Link to our club skype account.

Skype advantages:
* It is Free
* Skype is preinstalled on many phones and computers.
* Up to 10 people in group video chat
* Available on multiple platforms
* No time limit.

Other products reviewed: 
*  Zoom – great product but limits conferences to 40 min
* ezTalks – another awesome product with a 40 min time limit.
* ooVoo – promising – loaded with features and pop-up ads.
* Google Hangouts – being replaced by Meet, requires Google account.
* Google Meet – Free – good reviews, requires G-suite account.
* GoToMeeting – Limited to 3 connections on free version.

Almost there!!

Welcome to our new in-progress website. WordPress for Toastmasters has a ton of features to help our members and officers. From meeting planning to path progression. I am currently the administrator of the site as we it is set-up to meet the needs of our club, this role will be turned over to and/or shared with the VP of Education.

I encourage you to do the same thing I am doing, exploring the features. You can’t really mess things up… and if you do make an error, it can be fixed.

We may have some changes to our officer roles/duties to make the most of the site. There are places to track attendance, does, auto generate agendas, mentorships, post photos, and ??? The new site appears to be a one-stop shop for our club.

I am still working on how to link to our social media accounts and have an RSS feed that would update our page as we post. We could also use someone that might be interested in posting to the blog once (or more) a week.

We are open to suggestions on how to improve our site & online experience so it supports our club.

Look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

Dan Tucker-Vice President of Public Relations
tuckerdd@gmail.com 503-588-9350