The End is the Beginning


The final meeting of the Toastmasters year took place on the 24th June. This was the last meeting with the 2012-13 committee and Steve Cann welcomed everyone for the final time as Serjeant at Arms (thank you Joyce for the spelling pointers on that). Steve thanked everyone for their help this year and I think we all agree that his tea making skills are quite exceptional.

For the final time as President, Nick welcomed the gathered throng including six guests. He encouraged all of us to set goals for the forthcoming year.

Zahid was the toastmaster and he introduced a new concept – use of MS Powerpoint for the toastmaster’s introduction. Zahid told us that we would be having a time travelling themed meeting.

Helen Elliott led the table topics session. Seven speakers took on the questions given, covering some time travelling, Toastmasters advice and inspiring music. Matthew, Yohan, Jacqui, Steve Catchick, John, Chris and Eric all showed the range of skills so essential to impromptu speaking. Most of which are based around just getting up and doing it.

The first prepared speech was an eye-opening tale from Romain Barraud about his plans for his best friend’s upcoming stag party. How would a Frenchman organise one of these? From the sound of it, much like an Englishman would – go to Europe, dress funny and drink a lot. A “beer bike” in Brussels was also mentioned…

Chris Webb did his number 4 speech on the unusual topic of ground source heat pumps. Chris made a very technical topic quite interesting and gave an explanation of an alternative way to heat houses. Good for the environment? Good for the hip pocket? Seems to be a long term benefit.

Lorraine Hamilton took on a project from the Technical Presentations advanced speaking manual. She talked about the pros and cons of cloud computing and even (somewhat reluctantly) included a Q&A session.

The speech evaluators were Alan Grayley, Paul Aherne and Sandra Davidson. All were brilliant. General Evaluator John Callaghan not only marshalled his troops but also gave a wonderfully thorough evaluation of everyone at the meeting.

Steve Cann as grammarian gave the umm and ahh count before handing back to Nick. For the final time he wrapped up the meeting, but not before the ceremonial handing over of the presidential ribbon to Jacqui Hogan.

On behalf of myself and the rest of the committee, a big thank you to Nick for all of his hard work and leadership over the last 12 months. Best of luck to the new committee!

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