A Night to Remember!

Maidenhead Speakers Club  – Monday 14th October 2013


I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, “Mother, what was war?” (Eve Merriam)

Monday’s meeting had a Remembrance Day Theme and it was certainly an evening to remember.

Sgt at Arms Doreen Gowing kicked the meeting off in her usual inspirational fashion and set the tone for another great night.

Club President Jacqui Hogan took to the stage to formally open the meeting, and awarded a club badge to new member Sherry, also welcoming four new guests.

TME Fatiha Lafkar took to the stage (very efficient in her first TME role) and started with the Remembrance Day theme, and then brought people back to the present.

TTM Steve Cann continued the Remembrance Theme with his Table Topics session, which was challenging with only few members available for the TT: Lorraine Hamilton started taking about her childhood memories of her Grandma’s kitchen and her favourite dress. She explained how much she loved the dress ,and how she would spend time in front of the mirror!  Rajeev Sawney stepped up next to do his first table topics and to talk to us all about Indian culture and how he was in his late teens before he watched his first movie… a James Bond film. Nick Bailey was up next, discussing his favourite book with a great description, and explaining how that influenced his travels. Next up was Timea Phillips from Chiltern Speakers. She shared her story of meeting Tony Blair and HRH The Prince Wales at Hammersmith Hospital where she was a nurse. Next up were three guests, First Derone spoke about a book by Susan Greenfield, followed by Grant who shared his experience of suffering a football injury (and the transition to Rugby), and Marilyn who shared her journey (and the surprise at being called up for her first TT!). Finally Cheryll stood up to do her first TT and told us about her personal experience relating to her job.

Best Table Topics ribbon was awarded to Grant Oliver.

On now to our four prepared speeches, and first with his icebreaker was Peter Needham, and his speech entitled ‘Back on Track. He shared his personal stories and aspirations in a very confident manner with good stage presence. He finished by mentioning his experiences of setting goals (such as to run 100 half marathons) and, when faced with difficulty, how he looks at ways to overcome obstacles. 

Next, Romain Barraud delivered a personal speech ‘Computer Scientist are the Greatest’. He told why computer scientists are the greatest with anecdotes about eating pizza, and how using only one room of the house is rather good for the reducing your carbon footprint!

Julie Farrell gave an inspiration, humorous and interactive story which captivated the audience with ‘Enjoy Yourself’. Her brilliant twist in the end took us off in a new direction, and added a new dimension to the whole speech!

The final speaker was Jacqui Hogan, speaking about how Jane Austen novels have captured her imagination, and why she is such a huge fan.

Best Speaker ribbon was awarded to Julie Farrell.

Zahid Aziz, in her first time as General Evaluator, led the evaluation team with Mohammed Aziz doing his first evaluation followed by Norman Rhodes, Chris Webb and Richard Davies. All the evaluations were outstanding with good feedback and useful suggestions and recommendations.

Best Evaluator of the evening ribbon went to Richard Davies.

Grammarian John Callaghan gave a lively, confident and relaxed report on the usage of language and word of the day, ‘Quotidian’. Timers Cheryl and Nick Bailey also did excellent work making sure all our speakers were aware of those all-important traffic-lights.

This was a thoroughly entertaining and educational evening all-round.

The next club night is tonight – Monday 25th November.  See you all there!

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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