THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

Toastmaster, Andres del Corral gave his third speech, a pitch to prospective buyers for space at 396 Alhambra.  This Class A Office Building has closed most of the 286,000 square feet of office space, with long-term leases.  There are two towers, the North Tower having a domed gazebo overlooking Coral Gables.  Next to the fountain is the fabulous Chocolate Fashion, providing elegant cuisine from their artisanal bakery and restaurant.  The ground floor has a life fitness complex which provides organic food as well as exercise.  Of particular interest to our club  members is the fact both Towers have been awarded LEED certification and are “green” buildings.  Andres has been involved with selling space at this site since it was in first under construction.  With little office space left, one can obtain space at Class B rates ($35 – $37 per square foot).  Andres is eager to find executives looking for premier space.  Once all is sold, he starts on the next complex that is still in the planning stages.  Andres sales presentation was right on target.

Do you like to live a life of uncertainty?  Imagine not being able to find parts for your car, or your appliances.  What would it be like to have an office, but no paper, no pens, no computers, no equipment?  That is Caracas today.  A once idyllic city, Caracas now lacks safety, security, food.  Our second speaker, Ghislaine Demombynes, just returned from Venezuela.  She recalled her odyssey when attempting to buy groceries.  There are government regulated markets — where products are limited or unavailable; or the market place, where products are overpriced and unaffordable.  When she went shopping there was a huge line, so she decided to come back.  When she returned, there was nothing.  Then, she had to wait till the next time she could go shopping (there are only certain days you can shop).  This time she waited.  She needed oil and soap.  She got flour and chicken.  You get what they have.  There are people who will stand in line for you, of course they must be paid as well.  A city which was vibrant and exciting, is now wracked by uncertainty, murder, kidnapping, and run by a corrupt government.  Could this happen here?  Ghislaine believes it could happen anywhere.   She believes we must all be vigilant and listen to politicians.  What are they really saying?  Is it credible?  We must all be watchful, and careful.

Leisha John, our Table Topics Master had questions revolving around these Dog Days of summer.  Our winners were: 3rd place, Sharon Patish, who suffers road rage; 2nd place, Jason Hesch who loves hot dogs; and our big winner Mike Molina, who advised us not to go to Italy in July (no air conditioning).

Our Evaluation Team, Jim Hartnett, Lina Draney and Tu Duong, gave us all something to think about.

  1.  Watch those false starts.
  2. Reinforce main points.
  3. During Table Topics, look at all of the audience.
  4. Make sure your presenter has your introduction.

Before closing the meeting, we welcomed our newest member Sylvia Do Pico.  We wish here a great journey in Toastmasters.  We also welcomed the following guests:  Ricardo Vegas and Alex Hartnett.  We also welcomed back, Raj Narayan, Yoanny Alvarez, and Dianne Saavedra-Corradi.  Hope to see you all again soon.

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