With guest blogger (and GE for the evening) Sandra Davidson.
The evening started off with our Sargent at Arms Steve Cann welcoming us and telling us about a recent visit he had to a blue bell wood. Blue bells are Steve’s favourite and I was reminded of how much I like them too.
Our President took to the floor and told us how much he had enjoyed the District Conference that had been held that weekend in Torquay. He recommended that we all go to a Conference in the future.
Nick handed over to our very experienced Toastmaster of the Evening David Macleod. David’s theme for the evening was dates and he used this to give us an insight into the speakers he introduced through the evening. David also had a new twist on the HATS acronym by wearing a red baseball hat as he talked us through the meaning of each letter of HATS.
David handed over to the Table Topics Master Eric Elliott. Eric’s theme was The Elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The lucky recipients of the topics were:-
Steve Cann – Theme of Earth – Do you think that visitors from space have ever visited our planet? Steve did a good job of responding and concluded that we hadn’t yet had any visitors from space.
Anita Li – Theme Air – Do you have a favourite airline? Anita said that her selection of an airline depended on timing and price.
Ben de Candole – Theme Fire – How safe is your home or place of work from fire? Ben implemented the trick of dodging the question so we don’t really know how safe his house is!
Keith Clarke – Theme Water – Would you like to live on the coast more than in the Thames Valley? Keith showed his experience and built up his topic gradually talking about his favourite subject – the 70’s!!
Chris Boden – Theme Earth – Can technology provide a solution to the over population and scarce resources of our earth? Chris got straight down to answering the question making it very amusing with his lovely dry sense of humour. He was a deserved winner of the Table Topics ribbon.
Helen Elliott – Theme Air – Do you have a favourite radio or TV programme? We learned that Helen is rather keen on Brian Cox!!
It was noted by the General Evaluator – me – that a number of the speakers tended to wave around the cards that Eric gave them with the questions on. Not an impressive habit!
We then moved onto the prepared speeches part of the evening. They were each on different topics but they all were very open and honest and revealed a lot about the speakers, which was great.
We started off with Jade Earl doing her Icebreaker speech. She told us that one of the reasons why she had joined Toastmasters was to get over her nervousness of presenting to an audience. Well Jade I think that you have this cracked already as you didn’t show nerves and gave a very good speech which gave us a lovely insight into you. I look forward to hearing your future speeches and watching you continuing to grow and develop from the practice opportunities that MSC will give you.
Zahid Aziz then did an Advanced speech. His task was to do an entertaining after dinner speech. Zahid presented a very amusing speech where he explained that his culture doesn’t have after dinner speeches.
Steve Catchick then did a speech from the Competent Communicators Manual (this is his third time of doing this manual) entitled Who am I? Steve gave a very open insight into his life and how its twists and turns have impacted him and how he has grown as a result. It was a very insightful speech.
Finally Phil Cook talked about 3 people who had impacted his life. This was another insightful and revealing speech which was very well presented. Phil won the Best Speaker ribbon.
We then moved onto the Evaluation section of the evening led by yours truly. The Evaluators of the prepared speeches were:-
Mary Fraser – Mary gave a good, constructive evaluation of Jade’s speech.
Chris Webb evaluated Zahid’s speech and presented this very well.
Clive Pugh evaluated Steve’s speech and again gave very good, constructive feedback. Clive won the Best Evaluator ribbon.
Rod Lafargue evaluated Phil’s speech and did this well.
The final feedback came from our Grammarian Julie Farrell. Julie gave very good and detailed feedback to all of those who spoke. I for one learnt a lot as I now know when I look at notes I am very likely to emit an ‘um’ or an ‘eh’. Now I am aware of this I can work on it – many thanks Julie.
As always it was a very enjoyable and motivational evening.