Meeting Report 20th October 2016

Reported by Sue Shaw
Sargent at Arms, Neil Pettigrew kicked the meeting off on time and tempted us with the promise of chocolate fingers in the break. He then passed over to our President Paul Andreas who reported on the previous weekend’s Division competition and the organizational role that the club had played to make the event such a success. He then urged all members to attend the District competitions being held in Woking on 5 November 2016.
Toastmaster for the evening was Sue Shaw who made reference to historical events that had happened on the 20 October and asked us to make our own history.
On the stopwatch and lights this week was Georgina Singleton who reported on timings and ensured that we finished the meeting on time. Great job!
A big thanks to Margot Glover who despite her long journey that afternoon from Wolverhampton led the warm up with charm and poise. Her question for everyone was, what we are looking forward to now that winter is approaching. Cosy pubs, hot water bottles and not having to mow the lawn were among the answers.
Our hot tip was from the very experienced Richard Murray who gave advice about gauging the amount of content that you need for a speech e.g. know how many words you speak a minute. He also suggested that if you are writing a full 5-7 minute speech it will equate to two sheets of A4 at 14 point.
Our trio of speakers were very diverse. Jennifer Andreas undertook her second speech since joining; John Cross his ninth (Persuade with Power) speaking on sugar tax; and Jenny Taggart, The Roast, from the Advanced Manual Specialty Speeches. The Roast is a chance to gently poke fun at someone with their permission, using humor. The best bit is that the target is allowed to respond if they wish, which Richard Murray never shy to speak took.  Most members had not seen this assignment being tackled before and it did show that the Advanced Manuals give depth and greater variety to the Toastmasters experience.
The evaluators Richard Green, Alex Clark and Neil Pettigrew all gave well balanced reports with recommendations and commendations to the speakers. Apart from knowing how to improve it is important to know what we do well so that we keep doing it.
After the break, when all the chocolate fingers disappeared very quickly, the very affable Tony Smith was in charge of Table Topics. He provided a wide selection of subjects to get everyone’s brain working.
Ian Brett gave insightful feedback on the session. Well done to all for stepping up to the challenge, especially visitors and returning members.  A good tip from Ian was to drill down to the detail so that you can fully explore the subject given.
Further suggestions from our Toastmaster on filling the time in Table Topics, was to slow down, use the pause, and to do a summary of what you have said so far.
During the meeting Alain Culos kept an ear out for unnecessary filler words and repetitions. He delivered a very structured and well organised report.
Karen Meflin as General Evaluator, gave an overview of the meeting and provided valuable feedback to the functionaries of the meeting.

The evening was then handed back to our club president Paul Andreas to hand out the awards.
Top table topic speaker was Neil Pettigrew, best evaluator went to Richard Green and best speaker on the night to Jennifer Andreas with her speech titled ‘A fear of animals’.
Thanks also to Susan Rayner as VPE for all her work behind the scenes pulling our meetings together.

The next meeting will be on 3 November.

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