HubSpot Toastmasters Blog


Meeting Notes for Mar 7, 2013

Posted by Anand Rajaram

Mar 8, 2013, 10:19 AM

We had an amazing meeting yesterday. After Steve Haase welcomed the 17 attendees and kicked things off as Toastmaster, we had a great Thought for the day by Maggie quoting Voltaire : "Perfect is the enemy of good" . Excellent thought, and sage advice especially for Product Managers like me.

This was followed by the word of the day, by, Peter Scher. Exude : to display abundantly or conspicuously. (which was very well used by the Toastmaster and in the speeches).

We had three great Speeches for the night.

  • Anum Hussain's Icebreaker speech was about How the passions you have as a child translate to the man or woman you end up being. Excellent Icebreaker speech that gave us a peek into Anum's childhood adventures.
  • Lindsay Kirchoff's Second speech about "Awkwardness" had great references to current pop culture and painted contrasting pictures of individuals from the present generation who embraced their awkwardness and those that didn't. And for the record, no, there were no awkward pauses during the speech.
  • Amy Ullman's Fourth speech on "My first wine tasting", transported us to Colorado, where she was rubbing shoulders with the Who's Who of the restaurant industry and experienced her moment of truth about having an intuitive sense for wine and how it tasted. An excellent assortment of words used to describe all the different aspects of the wine (taste, smell, color, body) and it sure piqued my interest in wines.
The Toastpoints were the highlight for me, because it was something truly different. Maggie came up with a creative idea of an Improv inspired toastpoints. 8 of us stood in pairs, and each pair facing each other would have a conversation that follows the "YesAnd" style used in Improvs. Here’s how it works:

At the beginning of the scene, Character #1 will begin by establishing setting and plot.

  • Character #1: Today has been a great day.

Following the “Yes And” method, Character #2 will accept the premise and add onto the situation.

  • Character #2: Yes, and I especially enjoyed Science Fair.
  • Character #1: Yes, And I am proud to be part of the team that built those awesome products..

and so on. the Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and couldn't help tweeting it right after. 

Sarah Bedrick gave excellent takeaways for each of the speakers and interestingly, the length of her evaluation correlated with the length of the speeches themselves (thanks to Chris LoDolce, the timer, for that insight). Rouding out the evaluation part (MC-ed by Marc Amigone) were the Ah-um counter (Anna Siradze) and Grammarian (Nick Sal). 


  • We will always have a spot reserved for Speech 1, so if you are starting out, take advantage of the opportunity.
  • Please sign up for only one speech at a time. If you have signed up for multiple, please release some of the slots. Thanks!

I can't wait for the next meeting. What was your favorite part of the meeting?

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