Schools, Stories and Socks


The meeting on the 8th April was started by Mell, standing in as Sergeant at Arms and she spoke about the weekend’s Area contest where she and Julie competed. Mell thanked everyone for their support and feedback in the lead up. Both she and Julie did the club proud.

Steve Cann was Toastmaster of the evening and guided us through the night with assurance and style, although no tie this time. Nick Spooner as grammarian gave us “gobbledegook” as the word of the day, which was used surprisingly often.

Eric Elliot led the table topics session and asked the speakers about their extreme experiences. What is the coldest you have experienced? The hottest? The most dangerous? The speakers – Lorraine, Paul, Mary, David, Alan and Julie all took on the questions in their own unique style. Although none were as unique as Mary who decided to start unbuttoning clothing in lieu of answering the question. It was Paul who won the ribbon, the mention of his Israeli travelling companion Gob El Degook probably swayed the crowd.

There were five prepared speeches. Naresh was up first with his speech “The School Choice”. This was an interesting discussion of the issues that parents face choosing a school for their child. It was fascinating to learn that it could cost the same to buy a house in a good catchment area as to pay for a private school!

Clive Pugh gave us his #6 speech, starting with a lament on the difficulty of buying socks in M&S. Clive spoke about customer service and what makes it good and bad. I think we could all relate to to what he described.

Sandra Davidson won the best speaker vote with a very amusing account of the perils of skiing. Sandra relayed some hilarious anecdotes about skiing trips gone wrong including a memorable story about the importance of having your skis perpendicular to the slope if you’re likely to be in an exposed position.

Karen Szulakowska then treated us to a preview of the workshop she will giving the at the District Conference in Torquay (10-12th May www.riviera-renaissance.co.uk). She taught us about emotional intelligence and the balance between head and heart when it comes to decision making.

The final speaker was Chris Boden (that’s me) with a Storytelling speech about an event from Australian history called the Eureka Stockade. I’ve no idea what the speech was like, but I did try out the club’s brand spanking new video camera. This is a tool to let you record your speeches and watch them back. And if you are down with the interwebz you could even upload it to youtube like this: http://youtu.be/xUmg0877s7s.

Monica Horten was GE and introduced the evaluators – Doreen Gowing, Fatiha Lafkar, Ben De Candole, Helen Elliott and Amanda Bouch. Ben won the ribbon for his evaluation of Sandra’s speech.

Stand in president Jacqui ended the night with some reminders about upcoming events. Our division contest is Saturday the 20th April at Furnace Green Community Centre, Ashburnham Road, Crawley, RH10 6QZ. Hall opens at 13:00, contest starts at 13:30.

Chiltern Speakers are holding a drama workshop on the 30th April. More details will be forthcoming. And a reminder again about the Maidenhead Speakers Annual Dinner. Saturday 27th April. Book your place now by emailing Julie – julieanafairy@yahoo.co.uk

Next meeting is the 22nd April. 

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