Not all Toastmasters clubs include a “Word of the Day” on their weekly agendas, but VanCore does, and it’s hard now to imagine a meeting without it.
There have been some obvious words, some silly ones, and some crazily obscure ones — like fingerspitzengefuhl, meaning “as sensitive as a sandpapered fingertip.”
This week’s word, offered up by Ray, was “Eunoia.”
Some recognized it as the title of a book by the experimental Canadian poet Christian Bok. But it turns out to be an absolutely perfect word for Toastmasters.
Eunoia means, literally, “beautiful thinking,” or a mind humming on all cylinders, (as distinct from one burdened by mental illness; this is the context that mental-health professionals sometimes use it.)
It also means “the connection a speaker develops between him or herself and the audience.” Remember that, dear reader.
Eunoia is so apt a word for a Toastmasters that it could easily be the name of a club. (The Peoria Eunoia Club.) Or it could be the name of the entire movement. Honestly, isn’t it better than “Toastmasters”? Because really: toasts are no longer that big a part of public life, but connecting with your audience is what it’s all about.
(Oh: Eunioa is a cool word in one other way, too: it’s the shortest word in the English Language to contain all five vowels.)
Anyhoo, the eunoia was crackling in the room this week.
In Table Topics, people riffed on lines from Robert Frost poems. Frost was obsessed with roads, and the particular routes we choose to get from here to there. These are nice subjects for personal speeches, and newcomer Zohra particularly spoke memorably of her “road less travelled by,” one leading from Afghanistan to Vancouver.
Later, past-president Jonathan outlined the “Life cycle of a mine.” And Victor let the border collie of his own beautiful mind out to run in a speech about … well, we’re not sure. The border collie never came back.