The Contrarians

Next Meeting

Social Network

Speaking our Minds with Passion, Respect, and Confidence!

Welcome visitors and members! Listed below our Club Announcements is our latest weekly meeting snapshot to give you a flavor of the challenging, thought-provoking, and FUN times to be had at a Contrarians Toastmasters meeting


July 30th, 2014
Theme: US Military Budget


July 23rd, 2014
Theme: Your Privacy (vs the NSA)

July 16th, 2014
Theme: Lower Birth Rates

July 9th, 2014
Theme: Failure of Technology

We kick off this Toastmasters Club meeting at the beautiful NEW location at Northwood Community Park!  Our Sergeant at Arms, Sean M2 fattened us up bringing his mom's wonderful baked goods, chocolate pistachio salt cookies, sugar cookies and salt brownies!  Did I tell you she is a professional pastry chef?  

Sean M2 started out the speaking segment with his second speech "Sean and the Dodecahedron of Destiny".  Turns out the most popular game in the world is not FIFA soccer, but using your imagination in aspects of life.  He lead us through a D&D tale of fantasy of Sanjay the Bold, and Alicia the Fairy.  Unfortunately Sanjay rolled a low number on the dodecahedron dice and failed to escape the dungeon!

Our table topics section was extended with only one speaker tonight - we covered 11 table topics with 2 debates.  Bob and Sanjay hotly debated the topic of Edward Snowden vs the NSA, national security over the right to privacy.  Sean M2 and Lani argued over a defective product launch, one looking to release the product knowing it will fail, and the other willing to lose market share to take the time to fix the bugs.  Lots of oohs and aahs from the audience.  

One first time guest, Laurie bravely got up and told us a story of encouraging herself to be a better public speaker, by attending and joining two other Toastmasters clubs this week, and potentially joining the Contrarians club!  That is showing some gumption!

Our repeat guest, the maid of honor, Nicole stepped up and vividly told us a personal story of how Karolina's Toastmaster speech inspired her to make plans to move to Europe next year, AND volunteer to talk in front of hundreds of people at a conference in NYC.

A last shout out to Denny who took his first step, and gave a table topics speech.  The first step of many to his goal of giving a Father of the Bride speech.

There were a number of last minute cancellations, which allowed other members to step up to the plate and take over roles.  Thank you Sanjay and Steven.

Thank you Alicia for taking the initiative to improve and create new voting ballots.

Applause to Lani for the Best Table Topic, and Alicia for Best Evaluator.

Thank you all for making this a memorable Contrarians TM meeting!!!

Be sure to attend Next Week:

Theme: Lower Birth Rates
Vote for Outstanding Toastmasters Award
What other goodies is Sean M2's mom baking?!?!  Wear your fat pants.
and Club Executive Committee meeting, after the regular club meeting.

~ Wayne

July 2nd, 2014
Theme: Speech Therapy

The theme this week was Speech Therapy, and Sean M2 gave us our opening thought on how speech impairments and disabilities are really important things to keep in mind.

We kicked off a new Toastmasters year by having CJ introduce Robert L., our district area governor, to Contrarians and honored guests. Robert graciously dismissed our previous officers and installed new officers by passing down the gavel.

Niem had signed up for an impromptu 5Ws speech, so our Toastmaster Wayne shuffled the agenda a bit. The 5W challenge was to give a speech on

Who: Madonna
What: Eating
Where: Underground
When: on the 4th of July
Why: because she was (our word of the day) neurotic!

To give Niem some time to think, Sean M2 started an interesting Table Topics section by asking really intriguing questions on how speech impairments might change someone's life. How would you communicate if you couldn't speak? What if you were deaf? What would happen to Deaf Culture if technology gave you the chance to regain your hearing?

After Table Topics, Sanjay went up to give his speech on How to be a Distinguished Club, which was informative and quite fitting for the new term. Niem followed after, telling an engaging and entertaining story from the 5Ws we presented him.

CJ led the evaluation section, with Sharon evaluating Sanjay and Mahdi evaluating Niem.

Alicia, our new President, adjourned our meeting after hearing some wonderful commentary from our guests.

Happy New (toastmaster) Year! :)

~ Lani

June 25th, 2014
Theme: Solar Energy

It was a full house in the Contrarians meeting room tonight. What a great time to have an abundance of guests since we had 3 great speeches, evaluations and an entertaining table topics debate.

The evening started out with an intriguing Opening Thought about solar energy by Bob. 

We quickly moved into the first major segment of the meeting, led by first time Toastmaster, Sharon, who executed the role like an absolute pro! 

The first of our three speakers was Lani, with her Ice Breaker speech titled “How I Deal With Fear.” Lani shared an extremely scary story of surviving a plane crash and how she handled the situation. 

Next up was Niem, who encouraged us to fill out the very important form, POLST, which was also his speech title, and stands for “Physician Orders For Sustaining Treatment.” POLST is a way for patients to decide and dictate what procedures they’d like to have to improve their end-of-life care. 

Our third speaker was Amir, who’s speech title was appropriately a question mark (?). His compelling speech had us questioning everything. Just because someone says something is so or because you think something is so, doesn’t mean it’s true. 

Congratulations to both Niem and Amir for completing their competent communication manuals tonight with their final speech projects. Way to go!

Our Table Topics segment was a quick one with Sean stepping in at the last moment to fill in. Lani volunteered to go first and Sanjay and Niem volunteered second for a fun debate on solar energy. 

Before we knew it, it was time for our speakers to get some valuable feedback on their speeches. Led by our General Evaluator, Alicia, our evaluators, Wayne, Sanjay and Fernando gave very effective and beneficial information to our speakers, Lani, Niem and Amir, respectively, to help them improve beyond their current greatness. 

During our closing ceremony, Sharon handed out ribbons to the winners. Best Table Topics went to Niem, Best Speaker went to both Amir & Niem in a rare contrarians tie, and Best Evaluator was awarded to Fernando. Congratulations to all!

Amir graciously stood at the podium to honor our outgoing club officers for their hard work and dedication to club.

Next week begins the new term for our club. Come and join us to see the exciting changes taking place with the Contrarians and enjoy an entertaining evening on us!

~ Alicia

June 18th, 2014
Theme: Financial Intelligence

Financial Intelligence had been the theme of the evening. As key word intelligence, I was concerned of a personal disconnect but turned out to be entertaining and insightful.

We heard Sharon’s insightful speech, which painted a picture of how her parents communicate, their influence in her communication growth, and clear communication necessary in her career.

Steve’s entertaining speech; Improv, shared his previous experience with an improv stage group and the benefits gained through improv exercises.

Sean M’s profound speech shared insight of a previous little Sean who aspired to be a hero and how later in his life the opportunity came to be that hero through his desire to help and be heard.

Soon prompted everyone's favorite segment; Table Topics lead by Karolina with the theme: Financial Intelligence. Our members answered challenging and defiant questions. Some of which prompted us to consider the benefits of Sex Shops and such.

Following the table topics, we heard insightful speech evaluations conducted by Alicia, Amir and Lynn with constructive feedback for Sharon’s, Steve’s and Sean M’s speeches. 

After the General Meeting Evaluation conducted by Fernando, all votes of the evening were counted for the coveted Toastmaster Ribbons presented for best table topic, best speech & best speech evaluation. The evening winners were:

Merlene for Best Table Topic

Sharon for Best Speech

Lynn for Best Speech Evaluation

Special thanks to Marlene for being a wonderful Toastmaster and to Karolina for challenging us with off-hip Table Topics.

~ Fernando

For past meeting snapshots, please re-visit our 'Meeting Snapshot Archives' page