By Jenny Andreas
Our meeting this evening was an extra meeting, held in the Whyte Room, upstairs at the Ripley Centre.
Whilst not having the imposing grandeur of the Music Room, it was still a pleasant, cosy venue.
Annelise was excellent in the Hospitality role. She arrived early, ready to usher members and visitors upstairs.
Then our Sergeant at Arms, Christine, arrived to set up the room and bring us some delicious biscuits. The club’s ribbons were displayed with care and everything laid out well.
Soon afterwards Christine opened the meeting and then handed over to our President, Paul Andreas. Paul told us a story about Craig Valentine, the 1999 World Champion Speaker, who on his way home from winning the International contest stopped at a bookshop to buy a book about Public Speaking, so that he could continue to improve.
Paul then shared three books that he has read recently and recommends. These are, “World Class Speaking” by Craig Valentine, “The Speaker’s Toolbox” by Brian Woolf and “Talk Like Ted” by Carmine Gallo. Paul then left us with three words of encouragement – ABI, which stands for “Always Be Improving”.
Our Toastmaster for the evening was Jenny Taggart. Her relaxed attitude matched our more relaxed surroundings and she brought much humour into the proceedings.
She introduced our Timekeeper, Paul Lynch, who explained his role and then proceeded to keep us to time, which he achieved, and the meeting ended ten minutes early!
The Warm Up, given by Vitu, was to answer the question: “What advice would you give yourself when you were ten years old?” There were some interesting answers including a callback to Paul’s ABI “Always be improving”.
Adam followed with his Icebreaker speech, “My First Match”. This told us of his excitement at going to watch Newcastle United play Derby with his dad. He used some very eloquent language to describe the match. For example, he compared the black and white striped jerseys of the supporters to a migrating herd of zebras.
New member, Ritu, then entertained us with her Icebreaker speech titled “Seasons’ Greetings”. ‘Seasons Greetings’ is also the meaning of Ritu’s name. We were greeted in the different languages she speaks. Her theme was about embracing change and we were told of some of her experiences in India before she came to this country last year. As an advocate for change, she currently works at helping young people improve their confidence and communication skills.
Margot got us thinking about our lifestyles with Speech # 3 from the CC Manual. She encouraged us to avoid chemicals in food, household products, cosmetics, tobacco and to exercise for 30 minutes a day, five times a week to maintain mental health in old age.
The three speeches were then evaluated by John C, Jennifer A and Richard M.
During the break we were able to enjoy our drinks and biccies in the comfort of easy chairs and a sofa.
Curtis led the Table Topics with some interesting questions such as ‘How would you define success?’, ‘ What did you learn last year?’ and ensured that everyone who wanted to give a talk was able to.
Recognition was given to Paul L who won the Table Topics award for telling us about the only time that he remembers getting angry. Richard M won the Best Evaluation Award for his evaluation of Margot’s speech and Margot won the Best Speaker Award.
Our President presented an “Icebreaker Ribbon” to Adam and Ritu for completing their Icebreaker speeches.
Our General Evaluator for the evening was Tony Smith. Doing the role for the first time, Tony brought some insightful and useful comments.
Richard Murray, Chair of the Nominations Committee, then gave a report of who is standing for the Club Committee. The elections will be held next week. Anyone who hasn’t put their name forward yet, can do so on the night.
Paul A then drew the meeting to a close with a reminder to come to the District Conference on 5-7 May. This will be an opportunity to hear some of the best speakers in the South East and attend some great workshops. There is also the Gala Dinner on the Saturday evening.
A big thank you to all those who took on roles, gave speeches and helped to make the evening a great success.
Our two guests, Alexis and Chi, joined this evening, taking our numbers up to 50. That is great because it shows that we have a vibrant club that people want to join. However, it is now time to cap our numbers and create a waiting list, otherwise there will not be enough speaking slots for our members.
Our District Conference at Southampton is 5-7 May. Come along for all or part of it, if you can, and support Samir Malak who will be competing in the Evaluation Contest on the Sunday.
Dates for Your Diary
Club Elections on Thursday 4 May.
Division Contest at Southampton on 6-7 May.
NB Extra meeting at The Shortlands Tavern on 25 May 2017. Sign up for a role before they all go.