Renn led our meeting – and it was his first time being Toastmaster! He did and excellent job in preparing, managing time, and providing meaningful theme: Stress Relieving Techniques.
Renn covered several stress relieving techniques including:
- Exercise – benefits of regular exercise are proven to help relieve stress and tension. Releases endorphins, reduces cortisol levels, promotes healthy sleep which is key to a happier and healthier mind and body.
- Hold a Smile – if you hold a smile, then you become happy afterwards. If you test it out, it works.
- Deep Breathing – a form of mindfulness. 7-11 breath: inhale for 7 seconds and exhale for 11 seconds.
- Meditation – another deeper form of mindfulness. Helps to anchor in the present moment. Most standard form is to focus on each and every breath and being aware of shallow vs deep breaths.
- Chew Gum – super easy stress reliever. At least one study has shown a great sense of well-being and lower stress. There is also a theory that chewing gum results in increased blood flow to your brain.
- Supplements – omega-3 fatty acids, CBD products, Ashwagandha.
- Reduce Caffeine Intake – improves sleep and reduces anxiety.
- Light Candles – use a scent that you find pleasant and relaxing.
- Keep a Journal – daily thoughts, challenges, successes, fears.
Bill gave a great speech about Communication Styles. His speech was for one of his Pathways projects. His speech outlined several styles of communication and how he ranked for each of the styles.
- Analytical – precise and exact, analytical, logical, task-oriented, self-reliant, presents “devil’s advocate” pov,
Downside: can be perceived to be less approachable, slow/cautious, not offer too many opinions.
- Direct – results-oriented, competitive, independent and confident
Downside: seem impatient and demanding,
- Initiating – more relaxed approach, small talk, intorducing stories, feels comfortable walking up and talking to people, sociable, charismatic,
Downside: can seem overly talkative
- Supportive – sympathetic listeners, ask questions, not afraid to ask if they are unclear on something,
Downside: can seem indecisive
Kathrine led our debate with two teams of 3 people on each team. Each person had 30-45 seconds to argue for their team’s position. Team A argued that a little stress can be a good thing. Team B argued that any level of stress is negative.
Tim led our Table Topics session where he asked a question and then assigned a person to answer. That person had 1-2 minutes to answer the question. Table Topics is a great opportunity to practice impromptu speaking skills. Tim’s questions included:
- What do you do to help relieve stress?
- Have you discovered a new skill or hobby during quarantine?
- What is a new skill that you would like to learn?
- Who was your favorite teacher?
- What is one of Renn’s suggested stress reduction techniques that you think you will try?
Harry made two announcements during our business meeting:
- The theme for next week’s meeting is “2021 Goals”. Harry suggested that people start thinking about their goals and resolutions for hte new year in preparation for our Dec 15th meeting
- We will be welcoming a guest speaker during our Jan 12th meeting. Patrice Tabor, a multi-decade Toastmasters member and leader, will be joining us to talk about Toastmasters competition. Patrice is a wealth of knowledge on Toastmasters and facilitation and we are excited to have her join as a guest speaker!
Vinod, our Area Director and many-year member, supported the meeting at General Evaluator. He always gives positive and encouraging feedback. His team included
- Kevin – as the Speech Evaluator for Bill’s speech about communication styles
- Chloe – as our Timer.
- Heather – as our Ah & Mute Counter
- Harry – as our Word of the Day & Grammarian Master. His word was “mindful” and we had at least 9 uses of the word during our meeting. Definitions: conscious or aware of something. focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, especially as part of a therapeutic or meditative technique.
We had 16 attendees with 3 guests. Thank you all for attending and participating!