Ah, sunshine! It is summer in Kiev and all is well

Sweet are the uses of adversity, Shakespeare said. Tanya arrived at the Coffee Theater this morning test to discover that they were not welcoming us. Although nobody else wants to be in their clammy basement on Saturday morning, they were going to hit us for a substantial minimum charge. We took ourselves across the street by the old churchyard at Kiev Mogila University, where we basked in the summer sun and had a wonderful meeting.

Toastmistress Olga Pogorielova first introduced Liz Korotchenko with a talk entitled “A Piece Of Art On Your Body.” Liz was strikingly dressed all in purple, with purple accessories; her topic might have been clothes. But then she opened her hand, revealing a painted zebra, who talked to us. Liz gave the history of body painting, its ceremonial uses among primitive people as they prepared to hunt, with a sly allusion to hunts conducted by the contemporary human female.

Sergei Plyasov talked on the meaning of home. In his life the only consistent definition would be where he kept his toothbrush, and even then, at times he has had more than one toothbrush. The subject worked extremely well with his dry delivery style. The talk segued into table topics, which Sergei also chaired. He asked a number of us to give our own definitions of home. It was a well chosen topic. Everybody was comfortable, and the talks were generally well-organized and fun.


Olga followed with a training on how to prepare the introduction to a talk. She shared about eight ideas on how to compose an introduction. Make an outlandish statement. Give a quote. Refer to something that will excite memories in the listeners’ minds. She provided information that I had not seen elsewhere. An introduction should take between five and 10% of the allotted time; 21 to 42 seconds in the case of one of our speeches. After an attention grabbing opening, it has to tell the audience why they should listen, then transitions smoothly into the body.


We do not know where we will meet next week. Tanya has a few ideas she needs to check out. Please pay attention to our website and your e-mail for details.



Published in: on June 7, 2008 at 3:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

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