Walking with Mark, TMC all over the world
Vol. 3 Manhattan TMC
Interestingly, most clubs meet on weekdays (a few meetings on Friday, and on weekend)Among other things, I attended Manhattan TMC three times.
Manhattan TMC meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. The regular venue is in a high rise building on 3rd avenue, not far from 42nd street, so it’s easily accessible from Grand Central Station.Like most clubs in Manhattan, I was asked for an ID (Passport) at the entrance of the building where an armed (?) guard stood vigilantly.
The meeting is held at a conference room of a foremost company overlooking Manhattan skyscrapers.
It’s free of charge to attend as a guest.
The meeting starts at 18:00! (6 P.M.) and ends at 20:00 (8 P.M.)
(Most clubs there start meeting much earlier than those in Europe and Japan)
I was greeted with the well-furnished room: a big oval table surrounded by comfortable leather chairs. This brings a warm and cozy feeling for entertaining the members and guests. (the size is just about perfect for 25-30 people).
The club members are all so kind, open-minded and accommodating people (or, they excel in communicating.)
I fell in love with the club the minute the meeting began.
Time management? It couldn’t be better!
In exactly 2hours, we had 4 speeches, 4 evaluations, 7 table topics speeches and general evaluation!
The table topics moderator loosened our tension by melodiously asking the members and guests inventive questions like: “You are “Sleepy”, one of Snow White’s dwarfs (or, Dopey) and please expose Snow White’s secret”. I answered this question using my flight of fancy, and I disclosed Snow White’s secret love affairs! (Here the figment of my imagination was kindled.).
Except for myself, every other attendee was a native English speaker.
Some New Yorkers spoke very fast, indeed! The way they speak is different from generic US speech.
The speeches and evaluations were well crafted, message-centric and brilliant, all the same.
Even guests introduced themselves inspiringly, each spoke in his/her own unique manner.
A British gentleman introduced himself saying “They say, Curiosity killed the cat, ,,,I’m a cat lover, ,,so, this place is not dangerous for a cat person, I hope!” using finesse, and the audience roared with laughter.
I was the next!
I panicked, but pulled myself together.
“I’m originally from Tokyo, but now live in Paris. I hope I’ll move to Manhattan sometime soon, so my motto is Pretend like a New Yorker,,as they say, ,Fake it until you Make it!”
I somehow managed to evoke another laughter among the audience.
It’s necessary to prepare more than a few original (attention-getting) self-introductions in English just in case for this kind of “Exigent” situation. .
After the meeting, we hit a bar near Grand Central Station.
I enjoyed amicable and spirited conversations until 23:00!
A month later, Manhattan TMC held a special outdoor meeting, “An Outing To Brooklyn!”
I was the only non-member attendee, so they warmly welcomed me.
We had four speeches, 3 on the Brooklyn bridge (we all stopped at scenic points and listened to speeches about the bridge, or on New York City), then, one at the Brooklyn Park.
They were all great speakers, so a lot of pedestrians also joined us and listened to them.
I had never experienced such a meeting outside before!
I enjoyed the event to the fullest.
Evaluation session was held at a bar in “DUMBO”, an area in Brooklyn between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
With the help of some alcohol, individual evaluators spoke animatedly, but always on a civilized and tactful tone.
Everybody participated in the General Evaluation session.
We all had 2 minutes, and I expressed my most profound thanks to Manhattan TMC members as well.
They recommended me to be a member unanimously at the scene.
Once in a blue moon, you may feel as if you had known people around you from your previous lives (provided you reincarnate time and time again).
This was the moment I knew or sensed a spiritual connection with this group of people.
Plus, I again realized the enormous importance of speaking English correctly so that I could represent myself well enough under any circumstances.
After this exciting outing meeting of Manhattan TMC, again, my heart went out for the club.
The president offered us one word: “Discipline”. She said she thought this would be quintessential for making the most of it in toastmastering.
I thought exactly the same!
I strongly felt that members of the club had discipline, integrity and unswerving principle.
Manhattan is a business jungle, so they must be in a cut-throat competition.
They must have proven themselves to be efficient, that’s why they live in New York, Plus, at Manhattan TMC, they are all trying to improve furthermore as a speaker or as a leader.
I’m now pleased and proud to recommend that you attend Manhattan TMC in Manhattan, New York, whenever you travel to the eastern seaboard of the United States.