Highlights of the Boomtown Toastmasters’ Oktoberfest event included bratwursts and sauerkraut, root beer floats and a strict warning to impressionable children to always wear sunscreen by a man wearing an orange Halloween mask.
About 20 people attended the event as part of the non-profit’s biannual membership drive Wednesday afternoon and spent the next hour enjoying brats, being regaled by motivational speeches for women and voters and trying on Halloween hats and costumes as part of the table topics portion of the meeting.
The purpose of table topics is to train an individual in the art of speaking on your feet,” said David Boerwinkle, the sergeant at arms and the event chef.
“The most important part for me, is not public speaking, but the table topics,” he said. “If someone asks me a question, I can think on my feet and answer off the top of my head.”
Donning masks and hats attendees were expected to explain their Halloween costume decisions as if talking to a child. A Hannibal Lector mask proved to be a way of silencing talkative inmates, while a pig mask served as a type of embarrassment for a son who would be wearing a similar one to the Razerbacks game this weekend.
Guests Alex Clark and Fila Bertrond tied for first place in table topics — Clark for his ominous prediction that little girls and boys would look similar to his orange Halloween mask should they skip sun block in the morning, and Bertrond for explaining that the fuzzy, feather-lined hat he was wearing belongs to your mother, “I was just cleaning it for her,” he told the audience.
Mavis Gill and LaQuita Rainey, both Toastmaster members, gave inspirational speeches targeted toward abused women and voters, respectively.
From her telling of the story of Adam and the rib, to her explanation that all women were made for a special purpose, Gill captured both the crowd and first place for best speaker of the meeting.
“You were specially-made and then specially-delivered,” she said in her approximately eight-minute speech. “It doesn’t matter if you lost your home, it doesn’t matter if you lost your husband, it doesn’t matter if you have lost your children, it doesn’t matter if you’ve lost weight, it don’t even matter if you’re about to lose your mind because you have a right to smile today.”
The Boomtown Toastmasters meet every Wednesday at 12 p.m. in either the Murphy Corporate Building or the Murphy USA Building. For more information visit the Toastmasters’ web site.