Our New President’s Inaugural Meeting Report

Wow Bromley Speakers what a night last night was. We had a slightly lower attendance than usual but we had a great laugh as usual none the less. Neil is our temporary Sergeant At Arms and he kicked things off at bang on 7.30 before running to the shops to buy milk and biscuits which were top notch, Thanks Neil.

I then stepped up to deliver my first speech as your new President. As our humorous and Table Topic contest is coming up shortly I was talking about how to be humorous and shared my 5 year old daughter’s favourite jokes. Don’t worry I won’t be entering any contests any time soon as I learnt two things last night, firstly I am NOT funny and secondly the first person to speak should warm up the audience on the night of a contest as it is unfair for the first speaker to do it.

Our toastmaster of the evening was David Wilson and he had two themes for us, What were your new years resolutions (we are now a little over 6 months in to the year) and who are your heroes. David did a fantastic job of guiding us through the programme and we all had a great laugh.

Umesh was our timekeeper for the evening and his hero is his dad. Umesh delivered a great introduction and all his reports were excellently delivered. Georgina was our Ah-Counter and Grammarian (Georgina’s new years resolution is to come to more Toastmaster meetings). Our word of the evening was ‘Apprehensive’ , it was well used through out the evening but entirely unnecessary to describe Georgina as she didn’t show and apprehension at any time during the evening.

Dave Henson, our new Vice President for Education, stepped in at the last minute to deliver our Warm Up (his hero is Cadbury’s Heroes especially the Dairy Milk one) the topic was what can you do that no one in the room knows you can do. Apparently someone can use the hoover but I have been told not to name any names in case everyone else finds out.

Richard Green, our Immediate Past President, gave us a fantastic hot tip again at short notice. At the opening of your presentation don’t faff about with your notes or signpost your speech (tell us exactly what you are going to tell us before you tell us) feel confident, and consider opening in the following ways:

  1. Ask a question
  2. Tell a quote
  3. Start with a mini story

The speakers were fantastic, Paul told us about his hero Elephant Bill and how he helped over 50 elephants and their mahouts escape the Japanese when they invaded Borneo. Paul’s use of the stage to illustrate the passage of time was excellent. Jenny Taggart was our second speaker and she spoke about ‘happy people don’t you just hate them’ and she gave us some great hints and tips about how to be happier.

Dave Henson and Evelyn Khan-Panni gave two brilliant evaluations and Dave managed to be humorous and use the phrase elephant in the room when referring to my poor jokes. Well Done Dave. Evelyn was insightful as ever and was full of tips we all could use and benefit from.

The Table Topics Master was Alex Clark who did tremendously well and, though you really couldn’t tell, it was his first time in the role. All the topics were based around the theme of proverbs, are they pithy words of wisdom or absolute piffle. The highlights of the Table Topics session were Vijay who has comes on leaps and bounds discussing whether the absence makes the heart grow fonder. I don’t know about that but I do know that it doesn’t apply when it comes to attending Toastmasters. Our Winner was Simon who is a returning Toastmaster from another club

Neil Pettigrew stepped up as our Table Topics Evaluator and had 7 minutes to evaluate 13 table topics. Neil evaluated everyone, gave all but one of the speakers a recommendation and his recommendation for everyone was to pause, take a breath and gather your thoughts before continuing so that you can go all the way to the red light.

Georgina Singleton came back to report on her findings during the evening. Georgina gave a very detailed report and gave accurate feedback on the numbers of erms and ahs as well as the use of language through out the meeting.

Finally Martin gave his report to fill out his role as General Evaluator and his resolution is to stop womanising and to only dress in women’s clothing once a week, Martin please don’t make that day a Toastmasters day! Martin opened with ‘the last time I was General Evaluator Ian Brett was a small boy’, well Martin you know what they say, flattery will get you nowhere. The main recommendations to the group were to keep the meeter and greeter role going and to remember to not say ‘Thank You’ as we the audience should thank you!

Overall a great meeting and all of us had a great time. Remember that if you’d like to do a role you can either register on Easy Speak or you can email Dave Henson at dave@thehensons.com. Also our humorous speech contest is on the 3rd of September and we will need contestants, judges and a whole array of helpers to help the meeting run smoothly.

On top of this we have been given the honour of hosting the area contest on the 19th of September and again we will need a team to help make the contest go with a bang and to show the whole of our area the Bromley Speakers really is the best club in Toastmasters!

Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you all in two weeks

Ian Brett
President Bromley Speakers