Ala Moana, Barack Obama, Chee Hoo, Community, Competent Communicator, Dean Masai, Dr John Mayer, Honolulu, Honolulu Advertiser, Humorous Speech Competition, James Rose, Leadership, Lee Cataluna, Pau Hana, Public Speaking, Samoan War Whoop, Toastmasters, travel, Ususu, vacation, Waikiki, Willie Jones, Writers
Pau Hana, everyone! Time for a little local flavor.
So what does Toastmasters, an 80+ year-old international club dedicated to improving leadership and speaking skills have to do with Hawaiiana?
Hawaii of today is comprised of a richly diverse population that takes meaning from its varied heritage. What bonds us together are the commonalities found in that mixed-plate cultural milieu. What adds to the local flavor is the point and counterpoint of complementary tastes and styles.
So what do we revere in common?
Community involvement, leadership and public spectacles. And what do we like to do most? Get together (around food and drink, preferably) and talk story. And most importantly, we love the chance to cheer each other to greatness.
Can I have a Chee-Hoo?*
I think I can! Because I recently completed my first manual. I am officially a Competent Communicator. A comma followed by a CC is now attached to my name.
As glorious as this accomplishment is, it is only the beginning. Toastmasters has many more challenges and lessons to throw my way. And I am eager for each and every one.
In fact, look what came in the mail last week. I will be schooling myself in Storytelling and Persuasive Speaking. This is beneficial for me not only as a speaker, but as a writer. Quite often the principles are complementary if not identical.
And an added bonus is that I have a critiquing body of supportive folks giving me feedback in real time. Their words help me grow. They are a varied lot. Their differing perspectives adds yet another facet, another vantage from which to analyze and improve my creative work. These folks tend to surprise me more than my fellow writers. And that is a good thing. No, that is a great thing.
Find a local club
Toastmasters are everywhere. To find a club near you, go to this handy-dandy part of the official Toastmasters website: Find a Club. Go here for more reasons to join. Each club has its own flavor and personality. Club dating is not only allowed but encouraged. I belong to Ala Moan Club, but I can be found at others as well.
Where Leaders Are Made
Visit us in Hawaii
Did I mention that Toastmasters is HUGELY popular in Hawaii? I submit this link as evidence. If you aren’t in the Islands, you can stop in virtually over at the FaceBook District 49 Group Page. Dean Masai hosts a virtual party over there.
Come down to Vit’s Steak House
Ala Moana Toastmasters #3701
Thursdays Noon to 1p at Vit’s Steak House, 2058 Kuhio Avenue in the Maile Sky Court.
Guests and visitors always welcome.
Want to check us out virtually? Here’s our FaceBook fan page.
*Chee-Hoo, otherwise known as the Samoan War Whoop and variously called Choo-Hoo and Chee-Huu, is something that you hear punctuating many celebratory occasions on the Island. Not without its share of controversy, but such is the way of pidgin (mixed) cultures. It’s traditional Samoan meaning is both an encouragement and a challenge. Want more information? Here’s an article in the Honolulu Advertiser Lee Cataluna wrote where my former teacher, Professor John Mayer, sets her straight.
Moral of this story: be careful to distinguish between “Chee-Hoo-ing, Island-style” and mistakenly issuing a challenging “ususu” to a group of traditional and proud Samoans. Understand your intended message can be misinterpreted if you don’t follow the situational protocols. A little something I learned from Toastmasters.
President Obama Gets “Chee-Huu’ed” By Islanders in DC
Are you a Toastmaster? Say it loud and proud in the comments. Tell us your club and shout out about its members. If you’re from Ala Moana #3701, be sure to own it. The rest of you #49ers tell us when and where you meet. Humorous Speech Competitions coming up. A great time to go club hopping.