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News Brandy Favilla is currently the Community Engagement Manager at New Horizons of Minnesota ( In this position, she helps people define and build their careers through educational events. Brandy focuses on networking with members of the Information Technology community to form partnerships in education. She strives to maintain New Horizons’ reputation as a high-quality learning center throughout the Twin Cities and beyond. Some of her accomplishments include chairing the committee for both the TechFuse and MindSurf Conferences hosted by New Horizons, co-chairing Twin Cities Code Camp and Twin Cities SharePoint Camp, Co-host of the Twin Cities Developers Guild, VP of PR for TechMasters (, Communications Chair of PACT (, Programs chair for IAMCP, President of the Business Intelligence User Group ( and actively participating in the SharePoint User Group ( *the thoughts and opinions in this blog are my own and do not reflect the opinions of New Horizons of Minnesota
Twin Cities IT and Developer Events Postings by Brandy Favilla


This morning I attended our weekly TechMasters meeting and, as always, I leave that meeting very inspired. The goal of the group is to help members improve their public speaking skills, both in prepared speeches as well as impromptu. We have 15 members as of today (after just 5 weeks of meetings), and we need 20 to official charter. I personally joined the group to improve my impromptu speaking. I was a trainer for years, and have since moved into other roles, and the old saying is very true... "If you don't use it, you lose it".

Techmasters Word of the day: Loquacious - full of excessive talk. Who will be the most loquacious on Twitter about the polls today

If you are unfamilar with TechMasters, I'll give you some background.

Have you ever been asked to give a presentation on a technical topic? You know you are the expert on the subject matter, but you were hesitant to get in front of a group?

TechMasters is just the group for you! Join this network of peers to help build your presentation skills by practicing your speaking skills weekly. Each meeting will give participants the opportunity to speak, whether it be an impromptu speech or a prepared speech.

TechMasters provides the tools that enable us to become effective communicators and leaders. TechMasters will help you
· Give better technical presentations
· Hone your management skills
· Effectively develop and present ideas
· Offer constructive criticism
· Accept criticism more objectively
· Improve impromptu speaking

The Weekly Roles and Descriptions:
Toastmaster: This person acts as the host of the meeting; this person introduces all of the meeting participants and speakers.

Court Jester: This person kicks the meeting off with a humorous story/joke to set the mood for the meeting.

Timer: As with all speeches, there is usually a time element that we must fit within, so the timer keeps track of all speeches during the meeting and then gives a report at the end.

Grammarian: This person is responsible for the "Word of the Day". He tracks it's usage by all members during the meeting as well as all "Ah's" and "Um's" during the presentations. The grammarian is also listening for "Word Plays" during all of the speeches and presents the "Best Word Picture" award at the end of the meeting.

Tabletopics: The most fun role of the meeting (In my opinion), you get to create the theme of the impromptu meetings and ask the questions to the attendees to present on your topic for 1 minute. (being called upon to give the impromptu speech, scares me to death!)

3 Speakers: These are the prepared speeches

General Eval: This person gives a general evaluation of all of the presenters during the meeting as well as hosts the "voting" for the best prepared speaker as well as the best evaluator and gives the awards.

3 Evaluators: Each of the evaluators gives an evaluation of the prepared speeches and gives strengths and weaknesses to the speakers to improve.

Well, that's it in a nutshell. It's alot of fun and I hope if you are in the Twin Cities area you will join us every Tuesday morning at 7:30am at New Horizons of MN facility.

Facebook Address:
Go to and search groups for “techmasters”
Posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 10:14 AM Twin Cities IT and Developer Events | Back to top

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