Coaches Corner

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Toastmasters International, and we are so fortunate to have his talent in District 26. The International Presidents Dinner Dance was presided over by Jana Barnhill, Past International President. The incoming President spoke on her plans for the coming year.


Exhausted and well satisfied by the experiences of the week, I packed my bags and left on Sunday morning, relieved it was over and saddened that it was so short. I hope each and every one of you will attend next year’s International Conference in Las Vegas; it's an experience of a lifetime.

Medical Marijuana: Yes, I Guess

“Resolved: That the USA should recognize medical marijuana as a legitimate form of medicine and legalize its distribution as a medicinal substance.” That was the Great Debate question debated on August 19th by the affirmative team of Lori High and Earl Allen of Front Range Toastmasters and the negative team of Christen Roberts and Cybele Antonow of Simply Speaking Toastmasters at the Thornton city hall. Organized by debate coordinator Dirk Kittredge for his DTM project, over 50 people attended a unique Toastmasters meeting.

Debates are speaking events in which two sides use reasoned discourse to argue the subject, in this case, medical marijuana. The debate involves 10 minute presentations, pro and con, by each speaker. After an intermission, the teams can regroup and each speaker has 5 minutes to refute the opposition's points. A team of judges judge the debate, and overflowing

the chief judge, who was Gigi Degala of Simply Speaking, collects the ballot. Michael Bray was the debate facilitator. He kept everyone informed on the rules and introduced the debaters much as a Toastmaster at a meeting does. The event happened because Darryle Brown of Simply Speaking challenged the Front Range Toastmasters, who have had several debates in the past, to a debate.

The debate handbook by Toastmasters International was used to guide the debate and the judging. It is a very creative way to get more members and to develop new speaking skills. The teams both researched the question with Simply Speaking using a research team to find key points for their team to make.

Julia Davis, district governor, recognized Dirk at the end of the meeting for achieving his DTM with this project.

Oh, yes! The winning team was the affirmative, Front Range Toastmasters on this night. What a fantastic evening a group of Toastmasters experienced because leaders in the two clubs soared to the next level of creativity. I encourage you to look at our district web site for ideas to spice up your next meeting.

Alan Swartz and Carolyn Kepcher


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