By Sue Shaw
Our club President, Paul Andreas, was on the door to meet and greet everyone. He pointed everyone in the direction of the kitchen, where a rather special birthday cake had been made by Jenny Taggart to celebrate our VPE Susan Rayner’s birthday.
Neil our Sargent at Arms made sure that the meeting started on time and then handed over for a short introduction by our President. The effervescent Richard Green our VP Mentoring, explained to visitors and newer members about the mentoring programme. This allows members to pair up, if they wish, to get additional support on their speaking journey.
Our Toastmaster for the day was Susan who led the meeting with warmth and humour. Happy Birthday Susan.
Our meeting as usual started with a warm up. This allows members and visitors to introduce themselves and answer a simple question. Sue Shaw’s question was ‘what is your favourite food’.
Paul Lynch then gave the Hot Tip. He encouraged members to use the whole speaking area to add energy to their performance. He also explained that movement can help to relax a presenter.
Our three main speakers for the evening all spoke about subjects close to their hearts.
Margot Glover gave a very impressive speech for her first assignment with the intriguing title of ‘My encounter with the Grinch’. She spoke about why 1 December each year, (our meeting date,) was a difficult time and how she has moved on. A very brave subject which was well delivered.
Jenny Andreas presented her CC3, the ‘Get to the Point’ speech. The title was ‘Keep on Dreaming’. Jenny spoke with passion about working to reach her dreams and helping others. She explained, that even when barriers are put in the way on your first option, that you can still work towards your dream on an alternative route.
Our last speaker was Karen Mefflin who is working through the advanced manuals. She used great vocal variety and facial expressions for her Interpretative Reading assignment. She chose ‘I married a man with no emotion’ by Abbie Jones. It was a good insight into people effected by Asperger’s syndrome.
The speeches were evaluated by Tony Smith, Paul Lynch and Richard Murray who all found much to commend and were able to also give suggestions for future assignments.
After the break, and more scrummy cake, Eddie Barnes was Table Topic Master with a potpourri of subjects ranging from favourite author to cryogenics.
The Topics were expertly evaluated by Riya George with encouragement and great advice.
Jenny Taggart as timekeeper, gave clear signals throughout the evening to help keep everyone on track.
Also helping members to achieve excellence were Neil as Ah Counter and Richard as Grammarian.
We all benefit from sharing talent and experiences across our clubs, so it was excellent to have Stephen Davis from Croydon Toastmasters along. He delivered a very polished and professional General Evaluation at the end of the evening.
The meeting finished with our President awarding certificates to Margot (Best Speaker), Richard Murray (Best Evaluator), and sharing the honours for Best Table Topic, Sue and Neil. Paul also presented Richard with his Advanced Communicator Silver.
The next meeting is our Christmas Special on Thursday 15 December at 7.30pm when there will be more cake and nibbles.