July 19. Yuri Karbasch presided over a full house today.

Yuri Karbasch presided over a full house today. I don’t know how our club does it in the middle of summer, but we consistently have a full agenda and a full audience. Today we had to visitors from toaster or, including their president, Olga, two guests invited by Kostya, and one guest attracted by a newspaper advertisement… altogether about 20 people.

Oleg Demchik repeated the first speech of his life, a glowing account of Lenin’s life as recited by a six-year-old child. His point was that people had taught him history, but had given him no instruction in oral presentation. His delivery captured the stiff posture and absolute lack of gestures that would characterize a child’s first speech. He then went one to emphasize how important gesture is in total communication. He is an expert; negotiation is his profession.

Valentina Karabaeva next spoke about her experience growing up as the supposedly “ugly sister.” Her moment of realization came when she approached a plastic surgeon about a removing a childhood scar. His council was that every beautiful woman has a flaw. Lauren Hutton had a gap between your teeth and Elizabeth Taylor had a scar on her for head. His advice was for Val to change the way she looked at herself rather than anything external. If you think of yourself as beautiful, you are beautiful.

Graham Seibert asked table topics speakers to accept awards that they had not earned, and to fake an appropriate acceptance speech. It was a difficult challenge. Olga, the president of Toastcrackers, gave a very inventive speech as she accepted an award for inventing him to a government that doesn’t stick. Kostya not only accepted the award, we tried vigorously to sell his invention, a machine that will block wrong numbers. Denis, a visitor who found us through the newspaper, accepted an award for breeding itchless mosquitoes.

Tania and concluded the meeting by noting that we have debated whether or not to meet over the summer, wondering whether we would have enough people to make it worthwhile. Yes! As many as ever, and great speeches.

Published in: on July 20, 2008 at 9:04 am  Leave a Comment  

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