Meeting Report – 6th April 2017

by Sue Shaw


***Please note additional club meetings***

Our Sargent at Arms Neil, ensured that the room and our members were ready for lift off at 7.30pm.

Club President Paul A, warmly welcomed everyone.  For the benefit of members not present at the previous meeting, he mentioned changes that the club have put into place because of the large membership.  The changes follow.

  • The club is trialling extra meetings on the fourth Thursday in April and May. A meeting will be held upstairs in the Whyte Room at the Ripley Arts Centre on 27 April and at The Shortlands Tavern on 28 May in the Function Room, upstairs. (Check out Easy speak for speaking opportunities.)
  • Evaluators are not being invited to read out assignment objectives prior to speeches being delivered. These are already printed on the agenda so are easily visible by everyone.
  • The Hot Tip has been cut out of normal meetings.
  • Warm up responses are being restricted to ten seconds.
  • Club membership is being capped at fifty and a waiting list created

Our Toastmaster for the evening was the popular Richard Green who always leads with energy and enthusiasm.  He had words of support for everyone.

Dave H was in charge of the warm up.  His question was, “which famous person, past or present, would you like to invite to dinner?”  Responses ranged from the practical such as Paul Hollywood and Jamie Oliver, (so that they could do the cooking), to world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill.

As usual, there was a very varied selection of subjects for the set assignments.  Both Georgina and John C were presenting their CC10. The purpose of this assignment is to inspire your audience.  Georgina with her speech ‘WHY’, shared lots of tips and advice on time management to allow us to achieve our goals and focus on what we want to do.  John C’s speech titled ‘Refugees – the lives we can save,’ was a very moving account of refugees and people that have made a difference to their plight.  It is very noticeable how both speakers have developed during their time at the club and we now look forward to them moving on to the Advanced Manuals.  Well done guys.

Our last speech, from Curtis, was his CC6 (vocal variety).  The intriguing title was, ’What is that in the corner?’  He then explained his research in finding out more about a mystery object.  There were good changes of pace and pauses during the tale to add to the suspense.  To find out more, ask Curtis at our next meeting.

The three speeches were expertly evaluated by David W, Paul L and Tony, with lots of commendations, useful feedback and interesting insights.  Paul L reminded us to use prior learnings such as vocal variety and gestures when we tackle more advanced projects i.e. assignments should be seen as building blocks rather than one off projects.

In the second half, Karen gave a very slick and confident performance as Table Topics Master.  She had a great selection of subjects pitched at the right level, which brought good responses and a lot of humour.  Some of the respondent’s word pictures were very memorable, especially Jenny T, which demonstrated the power of language and the imagination.

Jenny A managed the tough task of evaluating eleven mini speeches at her first time in the role.  She gave lots of praise and offered a number of suggestions for improvement.

Also tackling roles for the first time were Adam (timekeeper), John V (Grammarian), and our newest member, Ritu (Ah Counter).  All of them had prepared well for their roles and gave very good reports.  Taking on these roles or acting as an evaluator certainly keeps you on your toes and hones your active listening skills.

The timekeeper’s role is essential as it helps everyone to keep on track and avoid stealing time from other contributors.  If you are not sure about taking on this role for the first time, you can always ask for an experienced member to help you on the night.

John V’s word for the day was ‘Grateful’.  It seemed apt, because at the start of the meeting, our Club President had invited Neil P and Georgina to explain their roles on the committee.  He encouraged all members to consider stepping up for roles to the new committee.  We should all feel grateful for the work the committee does behind the scenes ensuring that Bromley Speakers continues to thrive.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The nominations Committee consists of Richard M, Annelise and Paul A.  If you would like to serve on the new Committee from 1 July then please talk to one of them.  They will be speaking to members to see who would like to serve and reporting the results at the Club Meeting on 27 April.  The elections will be held at the following club meeting on 4 May, when there will also be an opportunity to take nominations from the floor.

The new committee will take office at our annual dinner at the Bickley Manor hotel on 6 July.  Put this date in your diaries.  The venue is idyllic, the food is delicious and the company is superb!

At the end of the evening, General Evaluator Sue S congratulated everyone on an entertaining and educational evening.  The next meeting is on 20 April at 7.30pm at the Ripley Arts Centre.

Awards on the night went to, Bryony (Best Table Topic), Paul L (Best Evaluator) and John C (Best Speaker).

After the meeting a number of the members continued discussions at the local hostelry.

Dates for Your Diary:

  1. Extra meeting to be held at the Whyte Room, Ripley Arts Centre on 27 April. The Nominations Committee will report to the Club.
  2. Elections will be held on 4 May.
  3. Extra meeting in the Function Room, Shortlands Tavern on 25 May.
  4. Annual Dinner and handover to the new Committee on Thursday 6 July.
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