President’s review of the meeting on 6th November

Bonfire night had come and gone!

You could have fooled me as there were plenty of sparks flying at Ripley!

Our transformation to using the D71 portal is giving more shocks than a box of fireworks.

Come 4.30 on Thursday Patricia our VPE lit the blue touchpaper.

Now everyone stand well back!!

Our Sergeant At Arms Anthony Smith jumped in and opened the meeting. We are off!

Tony was standing in for Guy Dessoy who took over from Peter Bull – yes one of those nights.

The usual ramblings by our club President led us to our top guy folks, Ian Brett. Ian was coerced at the very last minute to stand in as our Toastmaster of the evening.

A massive thank you to Ian who produced another sterling performance as our acting Guy Fawkes, a job well done with huge aplomb. Ian led the meeting extremely efficiently and we all knew we were in for a blast.

Eddie Barnes gave us a brilliant hot tip: “get out there and do it” and speak to other clubs, organizations and gatherings. It’s scarier than a dark alleyway on Halloween but it sooooo broadens your horizons you know. Thank you Eddie!

Alex Clark warmed us up with a real sparkler: “what was the first record you bought?” Gee I felt old when I said Mungo Jerry then someone mentioned Neil Sedaka. Phew, I was off the hook.

We were ‘enchanted’ by our grammarian Julie who lit up the evening and gave a thorough report on our parlez (you know what I mean).

Our two speakers were extremely entertaining, delivering high standard speeches with hidden messages.

Albert Akhende with “Merchison Falls” a beauty spot in Uganda. Watch out for the flies though and the economy option may not appeal to everyone.

Karen Mefflin, an advanced speaker, rocked and rolled us with her Michael Jackson story. “Billy Jean is not my love….”. I still have that tune playing in my head and I am polishing up on my moon dance.

Thank you Albert and Karen for two excellent speeches.

Eddie Barnes doubled up and evaluated Albert Akende. He is a clever stick like that and delivered a thoroughly clever evaluation, highlighting what Albert did well and how Albert could have lit up the room. Well done and thank you Eddie.

Always good value when Dave Henson evaluates. He is a super evaluator. Dave gave some uplifting commendations and hit the spot with clever recommendations.

Our two evaluators displayed the art of good feedback. Yes, the speakers learn, but by demonstrating their recommendations, the whole audience learns.

Our VPE Patricia Caesar led the Table Topics and threw out some whacky challenging questions. Now ladies and gentleman, there are three things we try to avoid discussing  in Toastmasters, politics, religion and things of a sexual nature. Patricia blew that philosophy wide apart. Well bully for you girl because we all have to deal with some tricky things in life and we witnessed an artful display by our table topic speakers.

Royston made me chuckle when asked what was his favourite colour.  He used a brilliant delaying tactic….can you repeat the question please? No he could not believe it either! Sometimes the simple things in life can just throw you.

Very well done to all our table topic speakers!

Our guest Tracey Seed walked away with top spot. Wow she certainly showed us how to handle a mind bending question. Pause for a few moments, hold the pause….think, think, think,…. then boom let it fly. I learnt a lot from that in a subliminal way….catch my drift.

Our Table Topics speakers were evaluated by Vinod Venkatanarayana, another fine evaluator who carefully went about his business giving recommendations where he could.

It’s not easy, with many speakers, to find recommendations for all.

Finally our evening was completed by our General Evaluator, Evelyn Khan-Panni. This evaluation and feedback was extremely valuable to our speakers as it was to a very high standard. Recommendations to all with a beautiful club tip to re arrange our room to help us focus our attention on our audience not to an empty space in the middle. Every now and then we all need that proverbial rocket and Evelyn certainly let us have it! Thank you Evelyn.

Back to the President for a roundup of a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The messages of the evening came from Patricia and Evelyn:

Patricia – the D 71 portal can be our friend, if we use it that is. Please if you are looking for a role and I know you all are, it’s the only way to learn in this business, then sign up today, now, quick the speaking slots are going fast!

Next time our room will be arranged differently. Oh yes, watch this space!

Thank you everyone and I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Thursday 20th November.

Division contest – what a great night

DivKSuch a good contest yesterday, we were laughing all the way.

And brilliant representation from Area 35.

Chris Howell (Bromley Speakers) was the contest chair, and did an excellent job keeping us to time, acknowledging all involved and making sure all the rules were followed.

Evelyn Khan-Panni (Bromley Speakers) gave us a polished personal story about the Digital Technology Evolution and Richard Green (Bromley, T&O, Lewisham, Trustmasters – have I missed any?) kept us amused with his story about Gordon Lamsey. I swear his wife puts on another 10 1bs with each humorous speech, no wonder he is scared to invite her as a guest to one of our meetings.

Stars of the evening were both from Area 35.

Malachi Talabi (Speakers of Croydon) brought his wife to witness a funny story with a message. Come and see them both again in Brighton in just over a week.

Samir Malak (Croydon Communicators and T&O, Bank of America) gave us a table topic with structure, a message, engaging body language, and great entertainment.

Malachi and Samir are both proudly holding their Division K trophies in the picture.

Thank you also to Becky Tuff – President of Women in Banking and Finance at Barclays who hosted the event, also pictured.

The President’s thoughts on 16 July meeting

Just wanted to say, thank you for an incredibly enjoyable and humorous evening I felt we all had on Thursday at Ripley.

My first evening as your new President. Gosh it felt good!

Especially the fact that we had eight guests and a packed house to boot! It could not have run better. Everyone took part and we all had a blast. We learnt so much too.

A hot tip from Sasha Kenna “Dont worry be happy” really set the tone for the evening.

We were all warmed up by the charismatic Nisha Yates. Oooohhhhhh!!!

NeilPettigrew kicked the speeches off with his tale of sarongdom, opening doors in a dress no less, and waltzed off with top speaker award! Well done Neil.

Then our own Eddie Barnes engaged us with his powers of persuasive talking, body language and good old eye contact. Well done Eddie.

Lastly Patricia Ceasar sent out a brilliant motivational message to one and all….just do it! With whatever comes to hand. Even if it is a small bust of Beethovan, pardon the expression.

Our three evaluators Area Governor Jenny Taggart, Evelyn Khan-Panni and Ruth Gordon all gave sound feedback and good recommendations. This is what we are about: helpful supportive and motivational advice. Well done to you ladies!

How hilarious were the table topics, led by Dave Henson? Challenging questions with some intelligent answers. Notice I said some intelligent answers. There was one chap who seemed to let the subject fly away. I wonder who that was. A rather embarrassed President. I am still trying to formulate an answer to Sean Bremman’s table topic question which I guess can never be answered successfully. Not in this lifetime. But our guest Sean walked away with top table topic. Thoroughly deserved too! Very well done David Henson.

Our table topic evaluator, Assistant Area Governer Samir Malek successfully navigated and negotiated his way round a tricky job of evaluating 8 speakers, but he gave excellent commendations and recommendations to one and all. Samir’s recommendation to me was “what was that, raise the bar Rich” which roughly translated meant “Hey Rich your table topic was rubbish, you can do better. You are the President you know.” Ha ha ha. Must try harder!

Finally, I must commend Ian Brett on what was an outstanding general evaluation. He gave feedback to all with some excellent recommendations, all delivered in fine style without notes. I say, well done Ian.

Not forgetting our Sergeant At Arms and timer Peter Bull who had a firm grip on our new stopwatch and kept everything running smoothly and Jane Bennett our delightful Grammarian grappled with our grammar and informed us of our intriguing uses of the English language .

Very well done to everyone, it was a real pleasure and so funny too!