The Austin Tastemasters is a Toastmasters club that meets monthly at various restaurants in the Austin area. Their June 2011 meeting was held at El Mercado, a Tex-Mex restaurant near the UT Austin campus and two of our members, Tatiana Makhinova and Maryam Ali, paid them a visit.
Tastemasters differs from our club primarily in it's setting. This meeting was held in the banquet room of El Mercado, and the colorful decor of the restaurant lent a festive mood to the proceedings. We were ordering and eating dinner during the meeting, which added an interesting challenge.
The meeting began with a business meeting in which the club nominated and voted on officers for the coming year. They followed Parliamentary procedure and it was interesting to see this in action.
The agenda was printed to look like a menu and the TableTopics, Prepared Speeches and Evaluations were referred to as Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts respectively.
Most members of Austin Tastemasters are very experienced speakers and have several Area and District officers and Speech Contest winners among them, but they are very welcoming of newcomers. According to member and District Governor Grace Jennings, it's a great place to join as a second club. There are good networking opportunities and a chance to learn from more experienced Toastmasters.
Austin Tastemasters' next meeting will be on Thursday, July 21 at Cannoli Joe's, an Italian all-you-can-eat buffet. For more information, visit their website at http://austintastemasters.org/.