Our last meeting of 2016 was a very festive occasion. First we were all warmly greeted at the door by our hospitality person, Georgina. In the meeting room we all sat round tables which had been decorated with table cloths and snow flakes and laden with goodies like mince pies, chocolate rolls and drinks like Schloer, juice and coke.
Our Toastmaster for the evening was Dave Henson who was festively dressed for the occasion and explained to us the new format for the evening and introduced Annelise, our Timekeeper.
Christine led the Warmup by asking members to share their favourite Christmas music. Some brave members actually sang parts of the songs, including Royston, Georgina and Juan, who sang beautifully in Spanish.
Our first speech was Sue Shaw, with Speech # 2 from the Humorous Speaking Manual titled “The gift of . . . “ Sue entertained us with a speech about Christmas, beginning and ending with a humorous story, embellished with some awesome looking props!
Our second speech was by Richard Murray, who entertained us with speech # 5 from the Speaking Manual, about his experiences with dyslexia. Richard stuck labels to himself to illustrate how he had been labelled as a child but his speech didn’t quite go to plan as the labels kept falling off!!
This was followed by a time of open feedback when, instead of completing a feedback slip, members told the speakers their commendations and recommendations. As a result the speakers received some very useful tips.
After a short break Simon led “Table Topics with a Difference”, which was a game of “Pass the Parcel”. When the music stopped the recipient unwrapped a layer of Christmas paper to reveal four chocolates and a Topic. The topics were all about Christmas and we learnt some interesting facts such as it snowed from December to March in 1963, and in that year Dave was unable to ride his new bike for three months and Richard broke his teeth going down a slide.
After each Table Topic Simon chose someone to give an immediate verbal evaluation.
The very last layer was unwrapped by Eddie Barnes to reveal a box of After Eight mints. Congratulations, Eddie.
After this our President, Paul Andreas, led a quiz based on the things that we had just heard in the Table Topics session, such as, “Who Played Secret Santa?” Each correct answer was rewarded with a chocolate.
Then on to the most important part of the evening – the Awards.
Paul announced that Richard and Sue were equal first for Speeches and presented their awards – chocolates. The Table Topics was also a tie – we had ten equal winners!
Then we used a Clapometer to decide who was the most gaily decorated person. Sue won this and we had three runners-up – Dave, Margot and Christine, who were all presented with awards – chocolates. Congratulations to everyone.
Paul Andreas then drew the meeting to a close and wished everyone a Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
A big thank you to everyone who contributed in some way and helped to make the evening a success.
After the meeting a little food was left and we gave a bottle and some chocolate rolls to Kevin, our Caretaker, as a Thank You for looking after us so well during the year.
Our next meeting will be held on Thursday 5 January. Meanwhile, I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a very blessed New Year.
Paul Andreas, President, Bromley Speakers