This Week in Toastmasters: Zombies and Bad Weather

Batten down the hatches, hold fast the starboard bow … and do a bunch of other nautical things I don’t know about, it’s…


With Frankenstorm landing this week, I think it’s high time Hollywood releases the sequel to the 2001 “hit” movie, “The Perfect Storm.” That’s right folks, brace yourselves for “The Perfect Storm 2: The Swimming Dead,” featuring several groups of New Englanders, stranded at sea in the middle of a raging Hurricane Sandy, attempting to fight off hordes of sea-borne zombies lead by Zombie George Clooney and Zombie Marky Mark who you only thought died in the first movie (yes, you can refer to the nameless zombie horde as “The Funky Bunch”).

Then things get REALLY weird

The dramatic final scene will involve an intricate dance/fight scene between the survivors (lead by Bruce Willis, Will Smith and the fat guy from those Clerks movies) and the Zombie Funky bunch (set to the tune of “Good Vibrations” of course).  Just when you thought all was lost, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom show up in the Black Pearl from “Pirates of the

Carribbean” to save the day. Unfortunately, we learn that Keira Knightley has been turned into a Zombie by none other than the fat guy from those Clerks movies, who was the REAL zombie ringleader all along! They’ve captured the Black Pearl and are riding the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy towards Washington DC with a nuclear bomb in tow, and a dark and ancient crystal that will summon an Asteroid to destroy planet earth if they aren’t stopped.

This, of course, sets things up for “The Perfect Storm 3: WTF?”

This idea is full of win and you know it.


Last week was pretty cool if I do say so myself. I wish you could have been there.

Derek Downes spoke about running a marathon in his speech “4 hours,” George Hernandez told us about the battle to break away from Los Angeles and make it to Columbus (judging by today’s weather, chances are he’ll soon battle to go back), and Shafali Veeramallu told us about wonderful memories from summers at her Grandma’s house when she was younger. Laura ran a fun Table Topics, and Kalyan kept everything going smoothly as the Toastmaster.

This week we welcomed Danae Wassinger to the club. Danae is our current Area Governor, but she recently accepted a position at Polaris, and will participate in both clubs here. Welcome, Danae!


Crystal is the TM this week, so things are bound to be awesome. We’ve got some speakers and evaluators lined up, but we still need a few other roles filled. Make sure to bring your Competent Leader manual so you can get credit, even if all you do is speak at Table Topics.


If you ever get stuck trying to come up with ideas for your speeches, struggling with language or stylistic choices, or just how to go about giving an effective evaluation, here’s a new section just for you. It’s called “Resources for Toastmasters,” and here we’ll explore different ways to improve your speaking, leadership and communication skills even when the speaking slots are full.

Stunk & White’s Elements of Style:
If you want the Grammarian to stop pointing out your mistakes and, instead, point out your awesomeness, this is the book for you. “The Elements of Style” was published in 1918 by a professor at Cornell who was tired of his students making common, grammatical mistakes on their papers and essays. It’s an incredibly short read (it’s almost a pamphlet, really). He compiled a list of common mistakes in English grammar usage, composition, and form as well as discussions about how to do Stuff™ better. In his book “On Writing,” Stephen King referred to this as the resource that made him go from good to great (or bad to sort of okay, depending on your interpretation of his work). I bought a copy when I was 18 years old. I still have it. It’s dog-eared and coffee stained, but I still use it.

Six Minutes, a blog by Andrew Dlugan:
Andrew Dlugan is a Toastmaster from British Columbia. He’s been writing about speaking for years, and has pulled together a formidable overview of not only the Toastmasters program, but speaking in general. He’s got resources on how to be a better evaluator, how to write better speeches, and how to effectively employ visuals in your presentations. He regularly does critiques of well-known speakers and his weekly roundup of resources for speakers is often entertaining and always invaluable. Check him out!

Got a Resource you’d like to share? Pass it along to me and I’ll include it in the weekly e-mail. Or, better yet, send something out yourself. There’s no better way to become a better speaker or leader than by having everyone engaged in making everyone around them better.

If that last sentence made sense to you, you’re smarter than me.

Coming Soon in Toastmasters

  • The District 40 Fall Conference is this weekend. Go! Go! Go!
  • We’re planning a holiday/Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza/Winter/??? Party-ish-type-thing for the end of the year. It might be December 13. It might be December 20. What works best for you?
  • We need people to plan and also participate in the Winter Speech Contests in January. Anyone interested? Please let me know!

Have a good week, Everyone. Don’t Break anything!

Marky Mark? I thought this was a New Kids on the Block concert!

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