When Time is on Our Side


Maidenhead Speakers Club  – Monday 29 July 2013

With Guest Blogger, Mary Fraser

Despite the clock on the wall operating in ‘quick-quick time’, a well organised Sgt at Arms, Doreen Gowing, called the meeting to order, welcomed us warmly and shared wise words about managing the choices we make.

Former Club President Nick Bailey drove all the way from Devon to stand in for our current Club President who was poorly on the night.  Get well soon Jacqui – and what dedication from Nick.

Great to see Toastmaster of the Evening Mell Sheppard return from the Wokingham TM Club. She has been instrumental in setting up the new club with Amanda Bouch and Steve Catchick from Maidenhead Speakers Club.  Mell organised and delivered a very successful programme with five prepared speakers and five competent evaluators.

Mary Fraser, as General Evaluator headed-up the evaluation team with Chris Webb, Naresh Chhonker, Yohan McDonald, Clive Pugh and Ben De Candole.  Each evaluator provided valuable feedback to their respective speakers via commendations and recommendations. Well done to Naresh for his first evaluation spot at the club. Paul Aherne was particularly ‘illuminating’ with his word of the day and did a grand job as Grammarian too!

Best Evaluator ribbon went to Clive Pugh.

Rob Lafargue carried out the role of Table Topics Master for the first time. His choice of topics provided good impromptu speaking and very creative thinking from several club members.  Helen Elliott,  Steve Cann, Vinay Neogi , Doreen, Karen Szulakowska, Paul Aherne and Keith Clarke.

All great table topics but wheeling in to win the ribbon for Best Table Topics was Paul, almost unrecognizable without the sideburns.  He plans to take Tricycling forward as the next Olympic Sport. Olympic Tricycling – remember you heard it here first at Maidenhead Speakers Club!

The prepared speeches provided a very entertaining evening.  Sandra Davison’s ‘Go the Right Way, not Jamie’s Way’, about a very wet tour in Montreal with a know-it-all 18 year-old (with no sense of direction) caused great mirth  … well we thought it was funny, Sandra.

Beshlie Donaldson recalled her Duke of Edinburgh Award days as ‘The Reluctant Camper’ in the highlands of Scotland. She fears the midges scarred her for life.  Didn’t she realise the midges love camping too!

In ‘Does This Happen to You?’, Richard Davies told a story of two brothers with very different life ambitions.  The story highlighted the importance of living in the present, not the past or the future.  Very thought-provoking too, Richard. 

Sam Billington followed with his Icebreaker speech and had us guessing about personal facts he presented in ‘Three sides of my life’.  Thanks to his 18 house moves (to date) he is pleased to report that he has perfected the art of packing and moving. Where to next, Sam?

In her speech ‘Be Careful What you Wish For’, Fatiha Lafkar shared the dangers of travelling without a passport on a holiday trip to the Sinai desert in Egypt. We were relived to hear this scary tale did have a happy ending.

Best Speaker ribbon went to Sam Billington for his Icebreaker speech.

A note of thanks to our timer Linda Watts for checking that all speeches were on time. In her own words her role was ‘to time the speeches and to stop the wafflers waffling!’ … And she did, so professionally.

What a great night at Maidenhead Speakers Club.  Speeches were entertaining, thought-provoking, educational and downright scary! Standards are getting higher and higher.

If you missed it, join us for the next one on Monday 12 August 2013.

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