Author Archives: Michael Pascual

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“I’m Really Going to Have to Do This!”—Lauren Miranda shares her journey to being Toastmaster at a club meeting for the first time

My first experience at Speak Out! Toastmasters was like a dream. I remember being in awe of the talented speakers, but most impressed by the one who seemed to be leading the meeting. Being as it was my first time at a Toastmasters meeting, I had no idea the flow of the meeting or even what was going on! However, I did catch on, rather quickly, that there was a leader guiding the club flawlessly through the agenda. This leader, as I came to find out later on, was the Toastmaster. Fast forward months later, I found myself preparing for my first time role as Toastmaster.

I had put off taking the role for almost six months but had no problem diving into speaking roles, functionary positions and individual evaluations.  I had even stepped up to the role of Vice President of Education! With all this under my belt, I still would not take on being Toastmaster of a meeting. One day, my ducking and dodging finally caught up to me when Club President Andrew Palomino personally asked me to the Toastmaster for a meeting in two weeks. I gave a meek smile and nodded yes. As the weeks built up to my big role, I tried to sneak out of it by telling Andrew I was way too busy with school to follow through. However, he quickly countered that he would be a resource for anything that I needed. “Dang,” I thought, “I’m really going to have to do this thing.”

The week was upon me and I was feeling more confident about the upcoming meeting on Saturday. I had a boost of confidence because Andrew had contacted me throughout the process to go through the flow of the meeting and Ryan, a member of Speak Out!, had reached out to me to offer a guiding hand. Ryan was signed up to be the General Evaluator for the same meeting and promised he would help me along the way.

The day finally came.  I was introduced as Toastmaster for the day, and there was no turning back. As I stood at the lectern, looking out upon the encouraging faces of my fellow members, I felt a calmness wash over me as I uttered my opening sentence. The meeting progressed, each portion of the meeting going off without a hitch, and I looked out into the audience once again and realized there was a team of beaming smiling faces looking back at me. I felt confident.

I do not always take the time to look back at my speeches or my other roles. As I write this blog, I have a unique opportunity to ruminate about my first time as Toastmaster. My first impression of the Toastmaster was that she led the meeting, like a noble warrior leading her troupes. Now, I realize that the role of Toastmaster (or any role for that matter) is a group effort. I was not alone in the process; Andrew and Ryan reached out to me and offered their time and experience and members gave me encouraging eye contact and smiles.

In the end, I know that my experience in Speak Out! Toastmasters will be one of individual growth. However, the encouragement, challenges, constructive evaluation, and positivity I receive from my fellow Toastmasters lets me know that I am not on this journey alone.  And where will my journey take me next? Table Topics Master, General Evaluator….

 

Speak Out! Toastmasters 10th Anniversary Gala

In September, Speak Out! Toastmasters ended its year-long celebration of 10 years being a chartered Toastmasters club with a Gala Party at The Grand in Long Beach, Calif. Check out the highlights in the video below.

Highlights include:

  • Club awards
  • Recognition of past and present club presidents
  • Fun and dancing

and more!

Speak Out! makes its presence known at the Division E Picnic

Speak Out! had a strong presence at the Division E Picnic today. “Thanks to all members who showed up for helping make the first annual picnic a success,” said Carma Spence, Area E2 Governor. “It can only better from here!”

The picnic was the brain child of Speak Out! member and Area E5 Governor Susan Cameron. “There was a good turn out,” she said. “I think it was a success.”

Fun food, from traditional hot dogs to pesto pasta, hummus and crackers, fresh fruit and chocolate chip cookies, was served. There was a lively Table Topics session and everyone had the opportunity to stand up and introduce themselves to the group.

Members from a variety of Division E clubs attended, including Speak Out!, Gavel Club, Praise Masters and Shoreline. Below are a few highlights from Speak Out! members. For the full gallery of 45 pictures, click here.

Youth Leaderhip Alumnus King Chan Speaks at 10th Anniversary Celebration

Speak Out! Toastmasters has contributed to the community numerous times. One way in which the club contributes is through hosting Youth Leadership groups. At the 10th Anniversary Meeting and Club Reunion, held July 15, 2013, King Chan, a participant in Speak Out!’s very first Youth Leadership group spoke about how Toastmasters has helped him build his confidence, communication skills and leadership abilities.

Chartered by Toastmasters International on June 12, 2003, Speak Out! Toastmasters was the first openly gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered specialty Toastmasters Club in Southern California. Founders Dana and Heidee envisioned creating a Toastmasters Club with an open and supportive environment for others, including all genders and sexual orientation, to empower them to overcome the fear of public speaking and to develop leadership skills.

Speak Out! meets every Saturday in Long Beach, California. For more information, visit http://www.speakouttoastmasters.org.

How Speak Out! Toastmasters came to be

At the 10th Anniversary Meeting and Club Reunion, held July 15, 2013, founders Dana Runge and Heidee Sinowitz Stoica talked about why they started Speak Out! Toastmasters and the challenges they faced in doing so.

Chartered by Toastmasters International on June 12, 2003, Speak Out! Toastmasters was the first openly gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered specialty Toastmasters Club in Southern California. Founders Dana and Heidee envisioned creating a Toastmasters Club with an open and supportive environment for others, including all genders and sexual orientation, to empower them to overcome the fear of public speaking and to develop leadership skills.