It Was a Super Helpful Speakers’ Lab

Mostly True Memoirs

It Was a Super Helpful Speakers' Lab

Speakers’ Lab

We conducted a Speakers’ Lab this weekend.

You might be wondering what in the world I’m talking about.

A Speakers’ Lab is an intense, workshop-style evaluation of someone’s speech.

Every month or so, several members of the Keller Communicators Toastmasters Club gather at one of our homes on a Sunday afternoon.

We bring snacks.

And we rehearse our upcoming speeches.

Our recent meeting hosted several presenters scheduled for the November District Summit.

It was a privilege to be involved in developing their amazing presentations.

I’m chairing the Speakers’ Lab this year for my DTM project.

The feedback I got after this particular session was, “very productive,” “super helpful,” and “a lot of fun.”

There may or may not have been a suggestion to include cocktails at our next meeting.

I will neither confirm nor deny such a recommendation.

You’ll have to show up to our next Speakers’ Lab to find out.



How To Be Fabulously Mediocre In One Easy Step

Mostly True Memoirs

Fabulously mediocre

How To Be Fabulously Mediocre In One Easy Step

Last night at a Toastmasters meeting, Patty humbly called herself fabulously mediocre.

The fact that she used such a marvelous turn of phrase proves that she is anything but mediocre.

I told her that I loved that description, and I may steal it.

Meanwhile, Joanna won an award, and I told her I would take a picture.

But when I checked my phone, there was no picture of Joanna.

How could that be?

I pointed.

I clicked.

What happened?

As Pam Beesly said in The Office, I may have overestimated my rectangle-pointing skills.

Joanna was kind and gracious and wouldn’t hear of any kind of apology.

Someone else had taken a picture, so she was covered.

I need a stunt double.

I need someone who can take care of all of that rectangle-pointing nonsense for me.

I guess this makes me a fabulously mediocre photographer.


Fight Club

Mostly True Memoirs

Fight Club


It is wonderful to be getting out of the house and seeing people.

My Toastmasters club is finally meeting live again.

We’re so excited to see each other that we’ve been making social plans outside of Toastmasters.


Listening to live music.

Fight Club.

Fight Club?

Turns out someone misheard that.

It was supposed to be Bike Ride.

But Fight Club sounds like fun too.

I’m in.


We Dodged a Bullet

Mostly True Memoirs

We dodged a bullet


I won best table topics at Toastmasters last night.

I spoke about getting “that call” from the school.

My class-clown child generated an awful lot of those calls back in the day.

In this particular case, it was a hilarious misunderstanding.

The teacher thought it was funny.

Whew – we dodged a bullet!


Ain’t That The Truth!

Mostly True Memoirs

Ain't that the truth!


At a recent Toastmasters meeting, the Grammarian pointed out that sometimes the best way to make a clear point is to use bad grammar.


One time I gave a humorous presentation at a Toastmasters meeting.

Afterwards, a fellow Toastmaster pulled me aside and urgently pointed out that I had used sloppy grammar.

This person was surprised and a little offended because I am an English teacher, a writer, and an editor, and I should know better.

Well duh.

It was done strategically.

Perfect grammar would have been incongruous in a comedy about Fireball.

Grammar standards and whiskey shots just don’t go together.

There’s a time and a place for everything.

Sometimes bad grammar is the best way to make a particular point.

Ain’t that the truth!

Lifestyle Toastmasters

No Thanks Charlotte, I’ll Pass

Mostly True Memoirs

No thanks Charlotte


At our Toastmasters meeting this week, the theme was YouTube.

Which led to a general discussion of social media.

It brought to mind my new friend Charlotte, who has been a prominent figure in my life lately.

Charlotte has been messaging me, urging me to click her link to see pictures of her bodacious booty.

However, I am not the least bit interested in Charlotte’s bodacious booty.

In fact, I’m almost certain that Charlotte doesn’t have a bodacious booty.

I’ll bet Charlotte is a sloppy middle-aged guy in need of a shower and a toothbrush who is waiting for the perfect opportunity to drain my bank account.

No thanks, Charlotte, I’ll pass.


An Amazing Comedy Writing Workshop

Mostly True Memoirs

An amazing comedy writing workshop


What an amazing Comedy Writing Workshop that was!

Thank you Elite Toastmasters for sponsoring this fabulous event.

Thank you, Kirkland Tibbels for presenting.

Thank you, Tim Mullins for organizing this workshop.

Kirkland spoke about the structure of comedy.

You take a regular person and place them in a regular situation, and then you collide that world with something unexpected.

We used several Toastmasters in the room as an example and created some very funny scenarios.

Kirkland, I haven’t seen you in ages.

It was great to catch up with you.

Let me know when you schedule another workshop – I’ll be sure to attend.

Family Toastmasters

What Is Your Talent?

Mostly True Memoirs

What is your talent?

A question recently posed at Toastmasters was, “What is your talent?”

My talent is to destroy DIY home improvement projects.

I have been banned from ever touching any of my husband’s tools.

It all started many years ago.

There was a sketchy incident with one of the power tools.

It was big.

I am small.

I had to be rescued from a disastrous runaway belt sander.

My darling husband has never let me forget it.

Sometimes he’ll ask me to help him with something simple.

“It’s easy,” he’ll say, “Just help me carry this thing into the other room.”

That thing is always very heavy.

I can never hold up my end properly.

And I inevitably bump into the very things he told me to watch out for, creating a secondary DIY project with scratches, dents and gouges.

Last week I assembled a small bookcase.

I followed the instructions.

But when I got to the last piece, I couldn’t make it work.

The Grown Son stepped in to help.

Apparently the last piece wouldn’t work because I had assembled the whole thing backwards.

He took it apart and put it back together the right way.

Yep, my talent continues to shine.


I Would Make a Terrible Spy

Mostly True Memoirs

I would make a terrible spy


The theme for our Toastmasters meeting last night was James Bond.

In honor of Sean Connery.

I would make a terrible spy.

I can’t lie.

I would stick my foot in my mouth and blow my spy persona.

Then I would try to compensate and only make it worse.

That would be before the martinis.

Once the martinis started flowing, I would still put my foot in my mouth.

But I wouldn’t even try to compensate.

I would just blabber all of the secrets.

And laugh.

Yeah, I can’t lie.

Which made my recent incident of punking my kid so epic.

He was furious that I pulled it off so well.

But he was also impressed.

As was I.

It was a bittersweet moment.

I have peaked.

I will never be able to lie so beautifully again.

Or will I?


I Can’t Possibly Be The Only One

Mostly True Memoirs

I can't possibly be the only one


I seem to be the only person in the Keller Communicators Toastmasters Club who ever misbehaved in school.

They all claim to have been angelic, well-behaved children.

I am the only one who confessed to ditching school to go to the beach.

We need another round of interrogation-style questioning.

I can’t possibly be the only one.