Thursday’s meeting was kicked off bang on 7.30 pm by our new Sergeant at Arms Paul Andreas who has recently joins Bromley Speakers from Croydon Communicators. He mentioned the three Fs, Facilities, Fires and Food and set us up for an interesting meeting.
Next up was me and I took my Presidential Address as a chance to talk about being prepared and that by having a speech, a word of the day, a table topics session or even a timers report in your back pocket you can step up and fill in a gap in the agenda should we have any last minute gaps. Okay maybe not a timers report…
Chris Howell was our Toastmaster of the Day and my, what a truly fantastic job he did. Not only did he lead the applause but he had the audience truly pumped up and kept the meeting’s tempo up all evening. He loudly and proudly introduced everyone and kept the audience bussing for the whole meeting.
Our timer was Vijay Patel doing the role for the first time and he told us a joke to get our attention. Why did the boy stand on his watch? Because he wanted to be on time. Not necessarily a great joke but a great way to get everyone listening. Vijay’s reports were concise and accurate so well done Vijay.
Bromley Speakers Immediate Past President was our Grammarian and Ah-Counter of the evening and he delivered one of Winton Churchill’s famous addresses in a slightly different style. ‘We shall erm fight them on the err beaches….’ With an albeit edited quote Richard really managed to demonstrate his point. Well done Richard.
Our Warm up was provided by Jenny Taggart and the question was ‘what happened the last time you were late?’ There were many people who said they were never late and I’m sure at least one of them was lying but the best answer was by Eddie Barnes who turned up a week early and the person he was meet never said a thing about it.
Susan Rayner delivered a Hot Tip about how she prepares her speeches and I’m sure we all learned from it.
The first of the evening’s speakers was Ruth Gordon who told us a story from her past telling us that moments of boldness can change our lives and we can either let opportunities pass us by or grab them with both hands. Ruth certainly grabbed the opportunity in her story and told us about how it changed her life. Ruth also mentioned that two people can see an event differently and take different outcomes because of this and that there are moments when time and chance are on our side. Against very tough competition Ruth won the Best Speaker Award.
I was the second speaker of the evening and I used this as an opportunity to test an idea out for a presentation I will be putting together for work and I was trying to persuade my audience of driving instructors to increase their prices and increase their profitability. The feedback was great and I believe I achieved my aim. Two more speeches and I can achieve the coveted CC status.
Alex Clark had the third speaking slot and asked us ‘how eccentric are you?’ We learnt all about the Fifth Duke of Portland who was also known as the burrowing duke due to his tendency to build extensions to his Manor House underground. He was also a model employer and helped to improve the lives of his 2-3000 employees. Alex also said that it is thought that the level of eccentricity in a society is equal to the level of genius, so may be being eccentric is a good thing.
The first evaluator of the evening was the inimitable Martin Langdon. Martin delivered a brilliant evaluation he mentioned all the key points and pointed out specific parts that he liked and areas for improvement.
Our second evaluator was Tony Babatunde who asked the audience if I had persuaded them which is a brilliant way to start an evaluation. Tony gave specific areas for improvement and gave the whole audience advice by saying that perhaps we should consider being more persuasive by telling stories so we can connect with our audience better. He summarised by saying that the speech ‘flowed like a good wine, but left a bit of an aftertaste’. I’m still not sure if that is a good thing or not.
Finally Neil Pettigrew was our last evaluator and he had the delight of evaluating Alex Clark. Neil completed his evaluation in the third person meaning that the feedback could be used by the whole audience as well as making his evaluation personal by saying what he liked about Alex’s speech. Neil was voted as our best evaluator of the evening. Well done Neil.
Dave Henson was our Table Topics Master and armed with a very large dictionary he gave the participants a word and asked them to provide the definition. My personal favourite was David Wilson’s attempt to define the word Rawgabbit. David suggested that it was a word used to describe conkers that were not quite ready to fall down, even when you threw your bag at them to dislodge them. It’s actually a word to describe someone who is talking about a subject they know nothing about which was very apt for this Table Topics session.
The Table Topics session was won by Joyce Reid a toastmaster from another club who had the word Cockalorum and one of our guests Chelsea Sampson who had the word Jerepigo. Congratulations to Peter Willians a member who we haven’t seen in a while who correctly told us the meaning of the word Dogwatch.
Vinod Venkatanarayana was our Table Topics Evaluator who had lots of feedback for all of the participants and the main thing everyone was told was to keep going for at least the green light.
Our General Evaluator was Samir Malak, our area director, who commended Chris Howell for his theme of mindfulness and Samir did a great job of being mindful during his evaluation. Samir mentioned everyone by name which is fantastic when evaluating and commented on how strong he thought the fellowship of our club was really good as all of the evaluators commented on how good it was to see the members they were evaluating grow and develop. My piece of feedback to Samir is KEEP TO TIME!!!! Otherwise a brilliant evaluation.
So once again we all had a great night and thanks to all of the members who made it happen. If you would like to get involved at a future meeting get in touch with Dave Henson our VPE if you are a member or if you are a guest get in touch with me and I look forward to seeing you soon
President of Bromley Speakers.