Last Word Toastmasters, Lenox, MA

Last Word Toastmasters, Lenox, MA Learn public speaking and leadership skills in a friendly, supportive environment.
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Learn both public speaking and leadership skills in our supportive, award winning club. No matter what your speaking/leadership experience is, you will practice these skills and receive supportive feedback in our meetings. Come have FUN, too!

Mission: The mission of a Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.

04/20/2020

April 14th meeting--We had another interesting meeting on WebEx last Tuesday. Area director Patti visited, and we had one guest, who attends the Columbia University Toastmasters Group.

Two speeches. Eric W detailed his two skydives with an instructor. We were right with him as he learned not to be afraid, something he said can apply to simple safety checks against the coronavirus.

Maya then persuaded us to nurture ourselves during the outbreak, keeping a good mind, good sleep, and self-love.

And our guest Glen won table topics! The subject was about being the best version of yourself, and most everyone had a few ideas. Stay tuned for the next meeting, April 28th! Best, David C

03/27/2020

March 24th meeting—We had our first virtual meeting Tuesday on Webex! Besides troubleshooting for future online meetings, we had a good time with a few table topics.

Curly started it off with the question of how to be grateful and kind while frustrated. Eric W said we're in the midst of a great challenge of humankind, hopefully with resilience and being successful with the tools we have.

Derek said it is good to remain kind when you're healthy, knowing that many are not so healthy.

Maya mentioned it is a time of chaos and frustration, where anger is easy, but that we all can be tolerant and understanding of each other's stories. And Curly said it's best to be supportive and not judgmental.

Another topic was about hard work. Derek mentioned it took Amazon about six years to really turn a profit, while Eric W revisited his story about his role in developing a more efficient solar panel. Not easy, but everyone is on board to get it done. “See” you next time, David C

03/12/2020

March 10th meeting--In lieu of a regular meeting, we had a productive executive meeting yesterday, so stay tuned! Best, David C

February 25th meeting--We had an interesting meeting yesterday, with one guest and a visit by area director Patti.Two sp...
02/27/2020

February 25th meeting--We had an interesting meeting yesterday, with one guest and a visit by area director Patti.

Two speeches. Kelsey said that she has had physical pain and verbal abuse, but that the words have hurt more than her body has. She guided us through quotes and music examples that have helped heal.

Maya then talked about the journey we take in life toward a higher purpose, noting the Camino Journey in Spain she learned about-- people go on a vision quest to Santiago.

And our guest Isis won table topics! It was about goals, and Isis said she has been in the Berkshires for about a year and looks forward to going back to school, having a career and kids too.

Afterwards we talked with Patti about things to do, one of them being a backwards meeting where you reverse the normal agenda, critiquing speeches before they're given, etc. See you next time (probably backwards!), David C

January 28th meeting--We decided on a special meeting yesterday to help our guest Derek, and then to work on upcoming pr...
01/29/2020

January 28th meeting--We decided on a special meeting yesterday to help our guest Derek, and then to work on upcoming projects for the club.

Derek is in the process of finding a job, and with one interview today we helped him prepare by staging a mock interview. Learning to present yourself well is one advantage Toastmasters offers.

But to be honest, Derek was quite impressive from the start, answering many questions with ease and poise. He talked about the skills of math and science, but also time management, self-motivation, and thinking outside the box.

Not always knowing every answer, of course, sometimes indecisive, he said, but able to formulate a plan and ask for help when needed. So we're all cheering him on!

Next we talked about our appearance on community radio in Pittsfield next Tuesday, with the important points to cover about our club, and a few other possibilities after that, including celebration of our club's 50th birthday this year. Stay tuned! See you next time, David C

January 14th meeting--We had an interesting meeting yesterday. Two guests (Derek visited again, and Mary found us in the...
01/15/2020

January 14th meeting--We had an interesting meeting yesterday. Two guests (Derek visited again, and Mary found us in the newspaper), and three speeches.

I did a speech from the storytelling manual about a dying man who sees interesting visions. Maya talked about humanitarianism, the importance of helping your fellow man.

And Kelsey said she had a good time visiting the Toastmasters club in Chicopee.

In table topics everyone agreed the three speeches were tied for best. The question was, what would you do if you had unlimited money?

Eric W said he tries to help kids and donates to an American Indian school in South Dakota; Derek said the best way to help people is to improve public schools, explaining climate change for one.

And Maya said one thing she would do is time warp back to ancient Egypt to learn more, and then switch to see Cleopatra. See you next time, David C

December 18th meeting--We had a fun and festive meeting yesterday. Our guest Derek came back, and everyone followed Maya...
12/19/2019

December 18th meeting--We had a fun and festive meeting yesterday. Our guest Derek came back, and everyone followed Maya's suggestion of telling tall tales of Christmas (or just true tales).

Five of us told a story, Lee evaluated them, and we all voted for the best--Eric W, Derek, and Curly were tied.

Eric W said that once in his childhood he crept downstairs near midnight on Christmas Eve, only to find green slime coming out of the fireplace and taking things under the tree.

Trembling, he went back to bed, and luckily everything was fine Christmas morning. He remembered thereafter his parents' rule: do not peek until the morning!

Derek was frustrated with his job at the morgue but had an idea when he saw a 1920s movie in the theater. He took coins he had, and many days jumped right through the movie screen to sell them.

The FBI got wind of it and hired him.

Curly said long ago when she was first married she became friends with a woman who celebrated Christmas. Curly was invited to the party, with fish on the menu, and found out the uncle of a distant friend had been in the mafia. They opened presents after midnight.

Lastly, Maya read Christmas Carols backwards and we tried to name them. Not so easy. Happy Holidays, David C

December 10th meeting--We had a nice meeting yesterday in the snowy winter. Our old friend Curly visited, and Derek from...
12/11/2019

December 10th meeting--We had a nice meeting yesterday in the snowy winter. Our old friend Curly visited, and Derek from Williamstown also came as a guest.

One speech. Maya gave an overview of archeology, particularly the study of Africa. She said it takes time, but scientists have uncovered migrations, cross-cultural meetings, and goods like textiles.

Curly then gave us the table topics question: What happened in your life about 10 years ago that became a major influence?

Curly got it started, saying she was a bit impulsive when she followed a man from Florida to the Berkshires, but it worked out very well in every aspect.

We all said something, but Derek's got voted the best.

He said he joined cross-country in seventh grade and ran half of an 16-mile course in New York state. Then in eighth grade he did the whole course with support from friends. See you next time, David C

November 26th meeting--We had an enjoyable meeting yesterday in the Thanksgiving spirit. Three speeches worthy of a cont...
11/27/2019

November 26th meeting--We had an enjoyable meeting yesterday in the Thanksgiving spirit. Three speeches worthy of a contest, an attempt at evaluating them, and impromptu speaking at the end.

And a longtime member joined again! Lee came armed with a speech about time management. A few things he said was to rest well, plan for the day and the week, and know when your energy is optimal.

Maya then told a story about her class trip to Rhode Island after high school graduation. In the midst of beautiful mansions and sea, she had to support a friend who was taunted and bullied.

And Eric W expanded his story about how in 1993 he got chicken pox that then compromised his spinal chord, and it took a month in the hospital, and a month in rehab to get well. Since then he has not taken things for granted, in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

I then took a stab at evaluation, and then Lee gave us a few questions to ponder in sports, your vacations, U.S. Presidents, and others.

Maya mentioned admiring President Obama, and enjoying karate, and Eric W said that the U.S. forefathers knew what they were doing, and would not like this age of misinformation in politics. We all went around twice. See you next time, David C.

11/25/2019

Note: Our November 26th meeting will be a practice club contest of speech evaluation. We will have a test speech that contestants will try to evaluate the very best in 2-3 minutes. Guests can come and participate! -David C

November 12th meeting--We had a productive meeting yesterday, practicing speeches for our upcoming event Wednesday, Nove...
11/13/2019

November 12th meeting--We had a productive meeting yesterday, practicing speeches for our upcoming event Wednesday, November 20th, in Pittsfield.

We will partner then with the employment service called Masshire, and pitch the importance of public speaking, leadership and self-confidence that being in Toastmasters can bring to job seekers.

Maya gave the all-important speech of, “What's in it for me?”

She said that Ralph Smedley started Toastmasters many years ago and it has become an international organization with tried and true methods of learning to organize thoughts, and speak with clarity and confidence in any job situation.

The event will also feature participants doing quick impromptu speaking, and Kelsey practiced its introduction.

She said speaking on your feet is a great skill, especially in job interviews, helping you stand out.

Our next meeting will be a contest, so stay tuned! See you next time, David C

October 22nd meeting--We had an enjoyable meeting yesterday with area director Patti visiting. We had one speech, a few ...
10/23/2019

October 22nd meeting--We had an enjoyable meeting yesterday with area director Patti visiting. We had one speech, a few table topics, and an officers meeting.

Maya talked about the meaning of fire, whether it be rejuvenation, the need for safety, or marriage in her Indian culture around a fire pit.

With Halloween coming up, Eric W gave us candies that had sayings printed on the wrappers. We talked about “be unique,” “every moment matters,” “laugh it off,” and others.

Patti then had us talk about objects (i.e. describe a door), and lastly your reason for joining Toastmasters. Self-confidence was the common theme.

Patti talked with the officers about publicity and events coming up, so stayed tuned! See you next time, David C

October 8th meeting--We had a nice meeting yesterday at the new location, Mount Carmel Care Center in Lenox. Two guests ...
10/09/2019

October 8th meeting--We had a nice meeting yesterday at the new location, Mount Carmel Care Center in Lenox. Two guests and two speeches.

Kelsey had a lot to say about the big picture of the world, including lessons from mistakes, the forces of depression and oppression, and getting knocked over but getting back up again.

Our guest David gave a brief talk about why he will probably join, mentioning he works for General Dynamics and he could use speaking skills to get across the technical points.

Eric W and David tied for best table topics speech! One question was about something bad that happened that turned out good, and Eric W said he once got a bad case of chicken pox as an adult, but got through it with a new appreciation for life.

David's question was what if you could trade places with someone for a few months, and David said he would trade places with President Trump and tackle world issues (such as trade with China) and civil issues here (as in human rights). See you next time, David C

PS: Our second guest was the esteemed Ann Bloch, who was a member and president of this club long ago. She mentioned our club will turn 50 years old next year, so celebrate it!

September 24th meeting--We had a lively meeting yesterday at Eric W's office in Pittsfield. One guest and four speeches....
09/25/2019

September 24th meeting--We had a lively meeting yesterday at Eric W's office in Pittsfield. One guest and four speeches.

Eric W said he has been concerned about climate change since the 1980s with smog in Los Angeles, and was glad to hear the recent eloquent speech by a Swedish teenager urging action.

Our guest Doug then gave a brief icebreaker about how he moved here recently from Boston to work at General Dynamics, joking that engineers often need social skills.

And Maya talked about her passion for writing and social justice, reciting a poem from Maya Angelou.

Lastly Kelsey urged our society to be comfortable hearing opposing views, and teach children to think for themselves, which strengthens our “inner compasses.”

And Doug and Eric W tied for best table topics speech! It was about seeing signs, and Eric W mentioned seeing a rainbow after a coworker died.

Doug said he meditates and finds that the more you listen to intuition, you notice things. See you next time, David C PS: Stay tuned, we are moving to a new venue yet to be determined.

September 10th meeting--We had a nice meeting yesterday with two speeches and time for the leadership team meeting after...
09/11/2019

September 10th meeting--We had a nice meeting yesterday with two speeches and time for the leadership team meeting afterward.

Maya described her public speaking journey with Toastmasters, gaining confidence to talk about injustices in the world such as hatred, bigotry and Islamophobia.

Kelsey then talked about extrasensory perception, or the “clairs,” such as clairvoyance for clear seeing.

She said we all have some of this intuition, and one thing for her is having a sense when someone is lying. Another one is our bodies sensing when something, “makes your skin crawl.”

We skipped table topics and made plans for the club. The fall contests are coming up soon, and so is the Third Thursday party in Pittsfield. We will be there with flyers probably on the north end of North Street! See you then perhaps, David C

August 27th meeting--We had a nice meeting yesterday with one guest who decided to join! Curly has been with us before, ...
08/28/2019

August 27th meeting--We had a nice meeting yesterday with one guest who decided to join! Curly has been with us before, and said it would be helpful again to practice speaking skills.

Two speeches. Maya continued her previous talk about Julia Pastrana from Mexico in the 1800s.

Besides being considered a freak in the circus with genetic problems of hairiness and big gums, we learned she was intelligent, multilingual, and yet exploited by her arranged husband for profit.

Kelsey then weighed in with thoughts on the meaning of time. She said it can be different for different people, not to mention Einstein's Theory of Relativity and how recalling the past makes it very present.

And Eric B won table topics! One question was to describe something you would like to witness in the past or future, and Eric B talked about his interest in beer and wondering how the first beer was brewed. See you next time, David C

August 13th meeting--We had an interesting and productive meeting yesterday with one guest, Joanne, who has been a membe...
08/14/2019

August 13th meeting--We had an interesting and productive meeting yesterday with one guest, Joanne, who has been a member before.

Two speeches. Maya talked about Julia Pastrana from Mexico in the 1800s who traveled with the circus and gave shows singing and dancing, but was considered a freak with genetic deformations such as hairiness and big gums.

And Kelsey told us how she visited the Speakeasy Toastmasters club in Hadley; it was a nice location with a meeting slightly longer than ours, but with a few good speeches and a lot of participation in table topics.

And Joanne won our table topics! One of the questions was about good and bad gifts you have received, and Joanne said once she told her husband not to give her a certain gift but he did anyway (worst gift), and her best gift ever was a blonde, porcelain doll she got as a kid. See you next time, David C

July 23rd meeting--We an interesting meeting last night. Area director Patti came and gave a speech about what makes a g...
07/24/2019

July 23rd meeting--We an interesting meeting last night. Area director Patti came and gave a speech about what makes a good club, called “Moments of Truth.”

Everyone then discussed what our club does well, and where we can improve. We had a couple of guests who have visited before and also gave good insight.

We then did table topics, and Patti and Jordan tied for best speech! One of the questions posed by Kelsey was how do you like to communicate, and Patti said talking face-to-face is still best.

Jordan agreed that he grew up with the texting and electronics but now enjoys making a phone call. See you next time, David C

July 9th meeting--We had a successful meeting yesterday, the first of the new year with the leadership team meeting afte...
07/10/2019

July 9th meeting--We had a successful meeting yesterday, the first of the new year with the leadership team meeting afterwards.

Two speeches. As our new president, Maya talked about leadership, one point being that the team might not always be in agreement but will come together and get things done.

Kelsey then talked about how to find your place in the challenges of life. She said her ability is to see the big picture and encouraged us not to be neutral in the face of oppression.

Carlton won table topics! One of the questions was how do you like to travel, and Carlton said he used to fly a lot, but now likes to drive places so he can see the sites along the way. See you next time, David C

Address

320 Pittsfield Road
Lenox, MA
01240

General information

We meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 18:30 - 20:00

Telephone

(234) 738-3863

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Are you interested in becoming a better public speaker? Toastmasters can help! We are a group of individuals who meet on Tuesdays twice a month to practice public speaking and provide feedback to each other. Visitors are welcome any time. Meetings take place 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Check out our website for details about the next meeting!

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