By Sue Shaw
Jenny T, acting as Sergeant at Arms, kicked off proceedings on time and handed over to Club President, Paul A.
Paul started by sharing the club vision, from the CC Manual, which is “to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment, in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth”.
He then shared with members the recent decisions that the Committee had taken to fulfil the club’s vision. This includes the following measures to create more speaking slots, following feedback from members:
· In future Warmup slots will be limited to 10 secs per person,
· The Hot Tip will be dropped,
· The Evaluator will no longer share the speech objectives because this information is on the Agenda anyway.
This should create time for more Table Topics or a fourth prepared speech. In addition the membership will be capped at fifty and a waiting list created to limit the demand for available speaking slots.
Paul also shared that the Committee was considering holding extra meetings in a local pub, perhaps on the fourth Thursday of the month, to create more speaking slots. So, he asked the members if they would like extra meetings and whether they would prefer Monday or Thursday evenings.
Paul then handed over to the Toastmaster of the evening, the very experienced and professional Richard Murray, a Past President and Distinguished Toastmaster.
Alain provided an interesting warm up with members being encouraged to use their full vocal range from low note to high notes giving their name and describing how the spring weather made them feel. Responses included, invigorated, excited, appreciated, optimistic and sweaty!! (Two members had been motivated to go to the gym.)
We were then treated to three well-crafted speeches.
First Riya presented her CC6 titled ‘Which one are you?’, a very interesting speech questioning how one reacts to circumstances, using the example of the effect of boiling water, on an egg, potato and coffee bean.
Next up was Alex with his first speech from the Entertaining Speaker manual. It was called ‘The day I met Michael Jackson’, and he had. Wow! All that was missing was some moon walking.
Finally Martin A did his CC1 ‘A chance meeting’. It was a confident performance, especially as this was his first Toastmasters assignment. His story took us on his journey from BT sales, to scuba diving teacher, actor and family man.
The speeches were well evaluated by Karen, Paul L and Jenny A, with great observations and suggestions by them all.
In the second half Neil was in charge of Table Topics. He gave a clear, succinct explanation of Table Topics and was able to fit in eleven respondents. Subjects included beards, art galleries, the twentieth century, nuisance phone calls, legs and the colour green. Sue as Table Topics evaluator had the challenge of giving commendations and recommendations to everyone within the set time.
Also helping out were Dave, John and Margot.
Dave was our Timer and displayed an innovative approach to showing the timing lights and demonstrating the ‘out of time’ sounds on his phone, when he explained his role at the start of the meeting. No wonder he is the “go to man” for anything technical.
Ah counter, John V, not only gave individuals their totals but also had added up the number for the whole meeting. Maybe a name to put forward as the next club Treasurer!
Margot, our Grammarian, chose “Invigorate” as the word for the day and provided a clear explanation of its meaning. She also highlighted interesting vocabulary and clever phraseology such as ‘homeless or hipster’, ‘moths to the flame’.
John Cross was our General Evaluator and was doing the role for the first time. He was upbeat, concise, to the point and gave us plenty of commendations and some recommendations.
At the end of the evening, Paul A presented awards to Martin A (best speaker), Dave (best table topic) and Paul L (best evaluator).
Paul then rounded off the evening by continuing the conversation with members about holding extra meetings. It was decided to hold an extra meeting on Thursday 27 April at Ripley and then try one at Shortlands Tavern on Thursday 25 May, with a view to holding regular monthly meetings there if the first one is successful
Paul then announced that the Nominations Committee will consist of himself, Annelise and the Chair, Richard M, and encouraged people to stand for the Club Committee. Jenny T then described some of the tasks that she does as Treasurer and encouraged members to stand for the role.
Paul then reminded everyone about the Club’s Annual Dinner on 6 July, where the handover to the new Committee will take place.
The meeting was then reconvened to the Anglesey Arms where plenty more informal speeches were made.
Dates for Your Diary:
Saturday 22 April – Division Contest at Oxted Community Hall, Church St, Oxted, RH8 9NB
Thursday 27 April – Extra Club Meeting in The White Room, Ripley Arts Centre.
Thursday 25 May – Extra Club Meeting in Function Room, Shortlands Tavern.