A Meteor Shower of Scintillating Speakers Hits MSC

Maidenhead Speakers Club  – Monday 12 August 2013

With Guest Blogger, Fatiha Lafkar

The astronomers predicted a spectacular meteor shower on Monday night – the skies were expected to shimmer with a natural firework display. Well, I’m happy to report that the skies at Maidenhead Speakers Club were indeed scintillating with another spectacular speakers’ evening!

The meeting opened on time by our very efficient Sergeant at Arms Doreen Gowing. Doreen gave us some food for thought about what life is all about. She managed to leave us with a feeling of peace and calm before we were hit by a storm of enthusiastic table topics, an educational session and a mix of two advanced speeches, one competent communicator speech 8 and one icebreaker.

Amanda Bouch was our Toastmasters of the Evening, and put on a very professional and exciting evening for all of us to enjoy. Amanda sent us the agenda before the meeting took place, giving all of us a sneak preview of how the evening was organised. I personally looked forward to hearing everything Amanda had in store for us.

Our honourable President Jacqui Hogan enlightened us with information about the Distinguished Club Programme. By the end of her session, it was clear how every single member of our club contributes to make Maidenhead Speakers the distinguished club it has been for the past 30 years.

Julie Farrell was the Table Topics Master for the evening, and used lyrics from a song by George Harrison to conduct a very musical session. Nick Bailey, Chris Boden, Yohan McDonald, Lorraine Hamilton and Rob Crowe were the chosen few to cover the topics. Yohan won the ribbon for Best Table Topic giving us his inspirational view about the lyric “Live and let live”. Well done, Yohan!

The evening continued with the prepared speeches. We were spoiled by a vast array of brilliant speeches. The first speech was an icebreaker – Matthew Woolacott delighted us with a speech entitled “All about me”. By the end of a well-crafted speech, we learnt a lot about Matthew with “2 Ts”. We are all looking forward to hearing more from Matthew.

Clive Pugh with his speech “Urban Life – Love it or loathe it” was the next speaker. His speech was from the CC manual and it was about speaking with visual aids. Clive encountered some technical issues with the projector but that didn’t put him off. He was so well prepared that he had a backup of his visual aids on paper so the lack of projector didn’t affect the quality of his performance. In fact, he went on to win the ribbon for Best Speech of the evening! Well done, Clive.

The third speech was by Anita Li, from the Advanced Manual, “Interpersonal Skills”. The title of her speech was “Converse with Ease”. In an unusual 3 parts’ speech, Anita told us all about how to converse with ease and make connections; she went on to demonstrate the theory in a role-play where she was assisted by fellow TM Chris Boden. Her speech ended with a Q & A session that the audience was happy to take part in. Well done, Anita for informing us and then showing us how it is done!

The last speech of the evening was another advanced speech from the Professional Speaker manual. Zahid Aziz gave us a keynote address entitled “Unlocking a Brighter Future”. He not only looked the part in his smart suit, but he also sounded the part with all the knowledge he had about the energy industry. Well done, Zahid for a great keynote address!

Fatiha Lafkar as General Evaluator headed-up the evaluation team with Phil Cooke, Mell Shepard, Eric Elliott and Keith Clarke. Phil provided Matthew with valuable feedback for his icebreaker. Mell went on to evaluate Clive’s speech in a clear and concise evaluation with recommendations not only useful to Clive, but also to the whole audience. Eric went on to evaluate Anita’s speech with valuable commendations and recommendations. Last but not least, we heard Keith’s excellent evaluation of Zahid’s speech.  Keith went on to win the ribbon for Best Evaluator of the evening. Well done, Keith!

The evaluations were followed by Helen Elliott in her role as Grammarian. Helen picked a scintillating word of the day that many speakers used throughout the evening. The word was “scintillate”. Helen gave us a thorough report of the use and abuse of crutch words. She also pointed out to the good use of language she enjoyed hearing during the evening.

The whole evening was timely managed by our two timers – Rob Crowe and Steve Cann. There was no overtime or “undertime” reported. On top of his role as timer, Steve also managed the role of operator of the video camera.

It was a delight to attend another scintillating evening at Maidenhead Speakers Club. The evening was expertly orchestrated by a distinguished TME, Amanda Bouch. The Table Topics were inspiring and entertaining, the educational speech was … well, educational. All the speeches were accomplished, and the evaluations were masterly conducted. All in all, it was another outstanding evening at Maidenhead Speakers Club!

The next meeting is on Monday 19 August 2013 at 19.30.

Published by Steve Cann

I love music! I've also recorded & performed my own songs (& once played in a band) & sometimes attend open mic nights. I enjoy comedy club nights & rock gigs, & countryside walks/country pubs... & life's simple pleasures, such as relaxing with a great book. I love exploring London, & particularly pub walks - there's so many wonderful pubs in the metropolis that I didn't know existed before I started doing these... I never get tired of London. I enjoy meditation, keeping fit, yoga & staying in good shape - healthy body, healthy mind & all that. I'm always open to new experiences, & strive to live life mindfully - enjoying the present moment. I've more recently got into public speaking, becoming a Toastmaster - it's great fun, & an invaluable way of learning new skills & extra confidence.

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