Meeting report – 4th November 2017

By Susan Rayner

Our toastmaster for the evening was Richard Murray visiting us from Beckenham Communicators. 

Adam Russell our Sergeant at Arms started us off with quick reminder about the three “Fs” for the evening, phone, facilities and fire. 

Richard Murray then took over the meeting and began by introducing his team of helpers, our Timekeeper Vinu Madhavan, Ah Counter John Cross, Grammarian Royston Pistone, Warm up Alain Culos and finally Hot Tip Bryony Hall. 

Our warm up was delivered by Alain Culos asking us what we liked most about winter and not surprising we had lots of Snow, Mulled wine and Christmas Themes. 

Our hot tip this evening was delivered by Bryony Hall who reminded us how important it is to engage with our audience, and that sometimes the look of boredom on people’s faces was in fact our natural resting face.   

We had some technical challenges this week which meant that our first speech began with Richard Green,  using the Storytelling manual speech 2 with “Let’s Get Personal”.  He reminded us that we shouldn’t get too worked up by the little things in life, and to focus on the things we can do and not the things we can’t do. His evaluation was given by Dave Henson. 

We then broke for our tea break and a few biscuits and tea and coffee.  

Our second half began with Oscar Mora asking us “Are we Too many?” which was his 8th speech from the Competent Communication Manual. He used the projector to demonstrate how the population is declining as fewer and fewer women are having children.  His speech was evaluated by Christine Morrell.  

Margot Glover was our table topics master this week, with a great range of subjects ranging from  

Should we wear a poppy, what qualities make a super hero, What’s your idea of heaven, What do you think is well worth waiting for, Why do we idolise sport people, What’s the closest you’ve come to fear for your life and a few others.  Participating in table topics were Susan Rayner, Adam Russell, Tomasz Fledrzynski, Jenny Taggart, Neil Pettigrew, Alain Culos, Roystone Pistone, Nick Groves, and finally John Cross. Our table topics were evaluated by David Hampton, who gave a text book evaluation by providing a commendation, recommendation and commendation.  Also reminding us that if we don’t have an answer make something up. 

And finally our general evaluator for the evening was Karen Mefflin, who evaluated all those who had not yet been evaluated, such as Hot tip, Table topics master, Time Keeper, and many more. 

We then had the presentation of awards, with Adam Russell winning our table topics award, bringing the meeting to a close. 

A big thank you to all those who took on roles, gave speeches and helped to make the evening a great success. 

I would remind everyone to consider bringing a speech forward or getting ready with a back pocket speech as yet again we had only two speeches ready and it’s disappointing that with so many wanting to do speeches that these slots don’t get taken.

Meeting report – 19th October 2017

By Susan Rayner

Taking the role of meet and greet was Jenny Andreas, providing our guests with a cheery welcome.

Our Sergeant at Arms Adam Russell reminded us all of our facilities at Ripley and also the importance of housekeeping.

Our toastmaster for the evening was Bryony Hall who introduced a theme of “when you have stepped up”. It was Bryony’s first time as toastmaster and she introduced the team as a seasoned toastmaster introducing Paul Andreas as Timekeeper, John Vickers standing in for Richard Green as Ah Counter and Jenny Taggart as Grammarian with our word of the day “Scandalous”. And finally warm up was delivered by Vinu Madhavan.

Adam Russell stepped in and took over the role as Hot Tip reminding us to be an active listener when someone is giving a speech.

Our first speaker was Alexanderz Kirykowic who gave his 4th speech from the competent communicator manual, with a speech entitled “The good life.” He reminded us that being happy is not just a state of mind, but many things go into making us happy, and told us that the average person would only score themselves a 7.5 out of 10 in terms of happiness, and that money does not buy happiness.

Our second speaker was John Cross who redid his Manual #5 from the competent communicator with a speech titled “Backwards and Forwards”. Telling us how he learnt to skate in 1981 in Moscow, as he wanted to meet some of the locals, which also meant he joined the local hockey team to practice his ice-skating skills.

Our last prepared speaker came from Alex Clark with “Once Upon A Time” from the Storytelling Manual. He gave us a fascinating story how that, you don’t always appreciate what you have until someone helps you see what you really have.

The speeches were evaluated by Riya George, Royston Pistone and Neil Pettigrew respectively.

Simon Maggs undertook the role of table topics master with a theme on why conspiracy theories are conspiracy facts. We had a range of topics for our speakers, ranging from why the moon landing was faked, to why the moon is made of cheese, why the world will end 23rd September. With speakers taking up the challenge Dave Henson, Margot Glover, Alain Culos, Susan Rayner, Jenny Andreas, Christine Morrell and our guests Denbo, and Tony. Karen Mefflin gave all speakers an evaluation on their table topics.

Our Grammarian Jenny Taggart gave her report picking up use of words such as effective, excellent, ruminating, and pondering.

Our General Evaluator for Sue Shaw for the evening who gave us all a range of exceptional feedback to all those who spoke.

We then had the presentation of awards, with Neil Pettigrew being presented with the best evaluator and John Cross winning the best speaker award.

Closing the meeting with a reminder about our next meeting on 4th November.