Evaluation is necessary for improvement. It is also a natural inclination of humanity to discern and interpret (i.e. evaluate) all aspects of communication. This is because evaluation is the means by which we understand what we understand. In her speech on how to give an evaluation, Jennifer explains how to use the W.I.S.E.
Fear is false evidence appearing real. It is the daily itch of overactive doubt that scratching at our insecurities. Audrey reminds us to rebuke our fears as little pieces of death that refuse to allow us to bask in life. The theme of overcoming fear is further echoed in Patrick's speech, "The Speaker in You," as he reminds us that we all have a story to tell and therefore we all have a speech to give.
Personal narratives are the essence of how we both share our journey and empower other people on their pathway. Jennifer and David reminded us that life is not merely about the destination; it is also about the process. Whether learning life lessons from our children, traveling the world, or living life on a different patch of the planet, we are all "making haste, slowly."
Goals and dreams are not merely wishful thinking. They provide direction in life, a map for prioritizing time, and a tangible mile marker for both where we are in life and where we hope to end up. Goals are the GPS so that we don't "live lives of quiet desperation" and dreams are the fuel that prevent us from "dying with the song still in us."
Mindset is a major part of every struggle and every victory. As Toastmaster, Jennifer reminded every person to (re)set his/her mindset at the beginning of each day. Using Hal Elrod's acronym SAVERS, Jennifer provided a heuristic for beginner every day with structure, poise, and purpose.
It was November 5th, 1977... This is how Bob began his speech, recalling a day that is indelibly embedded upon his memory - the day that he gave the keynote address to a group of men and women who would soon become citizens of the United States of America.
Life is a melding of joy, opportunity, and stress. In the spirit of life, Darnell, Sherry, Bob, and Abdul remind us all of these different ingredients.
Darnell provides valuable insights concerning how to influence people, sprinkling these six insights throughout the meeting as the Toastmaster for the evening.
It is important to "get out and smell the roses." It may be equally important to get out and see the waterfalls in North Carolina. Randy explains that there are numerous waterfalls in North Carolina to be enjoyed. He even provides a concealed "dare" - it may be possible to see all of the waterfalls in one day.
Hearing and listening are two different states of mind and two different states of being. One is passive while the other is active, one is distracted while the other is focused, and one is inconsiderate while the other considers every nuanced word, action, and deed.
Everyone needs an occasional reminder to seize the day. In both table topics and the personal speeches, we were reminded of how a little thankfulness goes a long way. It reminds us of the good in the people around us, the great opportunities that surround us, and the blessings of everything in between the inevitable highs and lows of this life.