Wow, have I missed Toastmasters! I haven’t been able to make a meeting for several months due to my change in schedule. Luckily, I was able to go to the meeting today, since the college is still on break. I heard 2 really great speeches & had a great time.
- The word of the day today was cogitate, meaning to think hard, ponder, meditate. The word was bit new to me, but I recognized it from its Latin root. I was able to work it into my remarks, which is always a triumph.
My role at the meeting was Table Topics master. My duty was to lead a session of impromptu speaking by posing questions to the members. I’ve always really enjoyed Table Topics, even though I don’t always like being put on the spot. I think Table Topics has helped me a great deal, maybe even the most helpful segment of Toastmasters. I don’t actually give many prepared speeches in my line of work, but I think Table Topics has prepared me well for speaking with other people & given me the ability to be more confident when doing so. The meeting today happened to be the first meeting of the year, so I asked a somewhat predictable question of “Did you make any resolutions & what are they.” Member Kristy answered, saying that she did not make resolutions, because she likes to live day to day but she does have some areas in her life she would like to do more with. Next, I talked about recent attention our city has been getting because the Cake Boss came to our area, as well as the show American Pickers. My prompt to the speaker was, “Tell us about a celebrity encounter you experienced.” Visitor Rhonda looked excited to speak, so I called upon her. She told a story about a time she met a famous physicist who she was one of her idols. My next prompt followed the same theme & asked, “What do you love about Binghamton or where would you rather live?” Club President Elizabeth spoke about all the different & interesting birds she gets in her yard.
Overall, I had a really enjoyable Toastmasters meeting. I learned about the word cogitate & hope to use in conversation in the future.
Usually I write about my Toastmasters meeting right when I get home, but this week I’m a day late. Also, I normally just talk about the word of the day but this week I’m going to talk about table topics, too. So without any further delay:
- The word of the day is ubiquitous, meaning existing or being everywhere at the same time, constantly. This was not a new word to me, as I studied Latin in high school, but it was good to be reminded of it.
Yesterday’s meeting also marked my first time as Table Topics master. Table topics is one of my favorite parts of Toastmasters meetings. Participants give short 1-2 minute impromptu speeches on the topics given by the Table Topics master.
I had a great time coming up with topics for the meeting. We had a historic 3 ice breaker meeting, so I kept with the theme of firsts. I asked, “what was a memorable first job you had (or talk about your first day at your current job).” Our member gave a great, speech about working as a pianist at a Korean church & having trouble knowing which verse they were on because of the language barrier. He ended up winning the table topic speech ribbon of the night. I posed the next question to a veteran whose actual icebreaker I had missed. I asked her to recall some of her icebreaker speech & to give it in a shorter version. The last question I posed was not on the topic of firsts, but rather about “on this day in history.” July 17 was the day the Romanovs were murdered. I’ve always had a fascination about them. It could just be because I watched Anastasia a few too many times growing up but I think its more than that (I’m also fascinated by her younger brother & all the precautions they had to take because of his hemophilia, by Rasputin, about Anastasia herself, and just all the glitz of being members of a royal family). The question actually asked was, “Is there a historical era that particularly fascinates you & why.”
So dear readers, I encourage you to use the word ubiquitous more often & perhaps urge you to leave a comment answering the table topics of the day.
It really behooves me to tell you about today’s word of the day. As you may have guessed, it is behoove. According to Merriam-Webster.com, behoove means, to be necessary, proper, or advantageous for.
At Toastmasters, one of the objectives of the word of the day (besides expanding our vocabulary) is to use it throughout the meeting. I always find it a major triumph when I can work it in! Often enough, I get excited to use it when the word is first introduced, but then when its my turn to speak, I forget it. Anyway, I did manage to use behoove today (twice even!). My role today was that of evaluator & I said that, “as an evaluator, it behooves me to critique your speech. ” I found some other good uses of behoove in the comments on the dictionary site. Here’s one from a user called Advanced course English Words, Slang and expressions: “under the bad circumstances it behooves all of us to stay calm.” (that was one of my favorites because it reminds me of the “keep calm & carry on” posters). Another user, Shane Bales, said that, “it behooved me to look it up,” which gave me a little chuckle.
I’m glad I was reminded about the word behoove this week & hope to use it more often.
The word of the day at Toastmasters today was copious, meaning abundant in supply or quantity. Synonyms are abundant, plentiful, profuse, ample, rich, & generous. It was really great that this word was chosen today because I gave my third speech. I talked about letters & happy mail for just over seven minutes. It was a fun speech to give & a really easy topic to talk about. I should have been able to use “copious” several times in my speech, but I got nervous & forgot. Something to keep in mind for next time.
At Toastmasters, one of the roles that we have is that of WAG master. WAG stands for word of the day, ah counter, & grammarian. Some clubs break this job into 3 different roles, but as our club is on the small side, we have lumped them all together. The WAG master is responsible for coming up with a word of the day (which everyone then tries to use throughout the meeting), counting ums, ahs, “like, you knows” & other such filler words that tend to make us sound less intelligent than we really are, & also keeping track of times we don’t use proper grammar.
Today’s word of the day at Toastmasters was “colloquialism,” meaning: a word that is not a proper part of the language, but acceptable due to common use. An example given was “ain’t.” A favorite colloquialism of mine is “ya’ll.” Being from the North, I don’t actually hear it spoken very often (unless we are trying to imitate Southerners), so I always kindof enjoy hearing it seeing it in print. My pen pal Ann from Texas recently used ya’ll, asking “Do ya’ll have a Tuesday Morning store up there?” We do not, & from what she was telling me, I wish we did! Some other colloquialisms listed on a writing tips site include: conniption, reckon, ornery, ruckus, yonder & spell (as in “sit a spell”).
So, from tonight’s meeting, & from a little bit of research, I learned more about the word “colloquialism” & used it 4 times.