More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.

All I want for my birthday is…

Birthdays were a big deal when I was growing up. They meant presents and cake, but more importantly, they meant that your birth is worth celebrating. I still enjoy birthdays, but there is something about them that has changed.

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To lead is to serve

A couple weeks ago, I was elected president of my son’s Little League. Unfortunately, this was after our current president resigned during a difficult and divisive situation. I won’t go into the details, but assuming the presidency under these conditions wasn’t something I could find joy in. When someone asked me shortly after my election how I felt, I replied, “Like LBJ flying back from Dallas.”

I talked to my friends at Toastmasters about the situation, and they reminded me of all the things I learned as a club president and area governor. The most important lesson is something I always stressed in Toastmasters, but it is something we forgot in our Little League. The lesson is: To lead is to serve.

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A proud papa moment: Winning a championship

My son’s Little League team won the AA championship today. We played a team that challenged us all season, and we came out on top 10-7. What made this special wasn’t just winning the trophy, even though it was a great thrill. It was watching him grow the way he did over the course of the season.

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In your face! How fear struck out.

It was a moment in youth baseball that all parents dread – watching your child clutching his face after being hit by a pitch. Read more »

Religion and politics

I recently surprised people in my Toastmasters club, as well as myself, by giving a table topic speech about Easter. One of my fellow club members was impressed. He said, “I think it’s great that as a Jewish person, you can give such a positive speech about Easter.” Still, I found it a difficult speech to give. It’s not because I have anything against Easter. In fact, I believe in the importance of respecting other people’s faiths. But ever since an experience at a previous Toastmasters club, I felt uncomfortable about controversial subjects such as religion and politics. Read more »