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January 26, 2012 -

Backward Meeting

An Enjoyable Train-Wreck in reverse!

Janet Beckles, backward meeting


" how do I end this meeting since we're really at the beginning?" Club President Janet Beckles, CC appears to be wondering.  For the ultimate challenge of concentration, listening and impromptu speaking, YTTM club organized a Backward Meeting, where the Best Speaker, Best Evaluator and Best Table Topic awards are presented to speakers BEFORE anyone actually spoke!  How crazy is that?  Oh, that's just the beginning...or should I say the "ending"?


Nancy Hoehn and Lyn DeVincenzo



Imagine your surprise when you are awarded the "Best Evaluator" award after the General Evaluator makes comments like "Lyn, when giving your evaluation and you have a giggling fit, try to take a moment to compose yourself before you continue."  That being said, Lyn Devincenzo, CC had to give an evaluation on a speech while being challenged to laugh right in the middle of it.


When Lyn actually DID start laughing, the contagious results had everyone in the room in hysterics!  Nice job, Lyn!


The best Speaker award for the evening was given to Mabel Burridge.  Little did she know that Toastmaster of the Evening, Nancy Hoehn, DTM was going to congratulate her for composing herself during an emotional tear-jerking moment in her speech.   The look of surprise on her face below, says it all!  However, in her speech, sure-enough, she brought the pre-determined emotion at just the right moment.   Oh, the talent we've got in this group!!!



"McDonald's?  From what I know, their marketing is outstanding which makes them one of the best-known places to eat around." says member Amanda Haataia.  AFTER speaking positively about McDonalds, the Table Topic Master, Perry Smith stated the actual topic.  "What is the BEST dining experience you have had this past year?"   So you see, you never know what you're going to be setup with during a backward meeting.




Division E Governor, Lisa Franklin, DTM was in attendance and filled the role of Grammarian.  Here she is giving a Table Topic, expressing her admiration of Perry Smith for his great taste in attire.  After speaking, Perry states the topic..."Who is by far the most impressive person you have met?"




What other kind of madness can occur at a backward meeting, you may wonder?  Well, what if the Timer gives his report BEFORE you speak?  Area 53 Governor, Frank Ricchi let everyone know that NO ONE met the time qualification for speaking.  Green, Red and Yellow lights were flipped on and off at random!   Our members didn't miss a beat though, proving that we continue to move forward, no matter what direction the meeting is headed!

What would have been a great talk itself, about techy devices, became a Jeff Foxworthy-worthy speech by Ed DeVincenzo, CC.  You see, during the Grammarian's report, Lisa Franklin commented on Ed's down-home redneck drawl, which in reality...he DOESN"T have!  Nice job there, Bubba Ed!


The mastermind behind all of this, was Toastmaster Nancy Hoehn, DTM who enjoyed learning about Backward Meetings from visiting other clubs.  Nancy didn't get off the hook this evening either.  Not only did she have to pretend to have a difficult time reading the introductions, but she was challenged with skipping across the front of the room while waiting for speakers to approach.  She would also walk in reverse up to the lectern, shake hands in reverse and still manage to keep things flowing as smoothly as possible. 

The next time you feel that you've seen it all, come check out the You Talkin' to Me? Toastmasters Club every Thursday evening.  We'll make sure you leave (or arrive) knowing you've experienced a wonderful group.  Come join us!