This Week in Toastmasters: It’s a Small World After All

Everybody stand out in the 100 degree Florida heat dressed in a Mickey Mouse Suit and try to dodge little kids kicking you in the shins for a couple of hours! It’s…


Nothing salves the soul like donning a pair of mouse ears and screaming your head off.

I don’t care if it’s actually called “The Barnstormer.” Goofini sounds much more dignified.

At least, that’s what I learned last week while y’all were giving speeches and reminding each other not to say “um” so much.  My oldest son Eliott and I were in line for “The Great Goofini,” a roller coaster at Disney World in Orlando, right about the time the first speaker likely stood to deliver his/her speech last week.

“What’s a rolley-coater, daddy?” he asked.

“You’re about to find out,” I said. “Give me your mouse ears. I don’t want you to lose them.”

We’re all busy, but taking a few moments to relax, breathe deep, and enjoy life is a great way to gain perspective. Or, at the very least, it’s a great way to forget, if just for a moment, all those meetings and deadlines that seem so oddly important from the crippled confines of your cubicle.

“This is Crazy! This is Crazy!” he said as the rolley coater slipped down the first hill and around the corner. The ride was short but fun, and Eliott screamed his head off in pure, exultant joy the whole way. When it was over, he smiled big.

“Can we do it again?”


And why not? I didn’t have anywhere else to be just then, and the lines were mercifully short.

A big thanks to everyone for running what I hear was an awesome meeting last week. I’m sorry I missed it (but only slightly sorry). Someone – anyone – fill me in on what happened. It’s only fair for each of you to inundate my computer box with far-too-long Toastmasters e-mails after all that I’ve done to you this year.

But, please. Be gentle.


We have some speakers on the agenda, but it looks like we still need a Toastmaster, one more speaker and probably a timer or something. I’m not sure, though. I’m not “in the loop” yet, as they say. Why don’t you contact Yingbi Zheng and sing up for something?


If you don’t pay Liz your dues, you won’t be a Toastmaster anymore. This is not a joke. The time for dues-paying has come and gone and some of you are dancing dangerously close to the edge.

Immediately after this photo was taken, the dancer fell off a nearby cliff. Don’t be like the cast of “Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo.” Pay your dues today.

If you don’t pay your dues, not only will you miss participating in the weekly joy-fest of speeches and evaluations and timing and um-counting, you’ll also miss this fine e-mail newsletter (don’t worry. If you fall of the list, I’ll show up at your cube and read it to you. I might even read it in my bad attempt at a Scottish accent which, according to my wife and my neighbors, sounds a bit like “a chicken in a cage with a ferret.” You don’t want to hear that. Trust me).
Nobody wants that.

We’re not kidding this time. If you’ve been waiting for the last minute, the last minute is here. Give Liz your money or resign yourself to making speeches in the parking lot across the street next to Kroger, where the only evaluation you’ll get will be from people in white coats carting you off to a padded room at a psych hospital somewhere.

The food is good, though. So at least you’ll have that!


Ashlee Ralph from Gahanna Toastmasters is planning a Tall Tales/scary story Toastmasters event this weekend in Blendon Woods. This might sound exactly like the Tall Tales/Scary Story event we planned to have and then canceled at the last minute. That’s because it IS almost exactly like the event we planned and then canceled at the last minute. The difference being Ashley’s done this kind of thing before and she’s organized, whereas I have never planned something like that and I’m about as organized as a daycare facility after the caretakers messed up and fed the kids caffeine.

That’s a bad metaphor, I know. I’m just getting back from vacation. Give me a break, will ya?
Contact Ashlee ( if you need more info or would like to help out.

MORE STUFF (The “I’ve Run Out Of Creative Headlines” section)

Here’s some upcoming stuff in Toastmasters:

  • The Division Contest is October 20. Come support Shirley McPherson in the humorous speech contest and Steve Nasdeo from Toast What Matters in the Table Topics Contest!
  • The Fall Conference is November 2-4. Check it out here:

Have a great week, everyone!

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