A Soggy (but Happy) Start to 2014 at MSC!

Maidenhead Speakers Club – Monday 13 Jan 2014

With Guest Blogger, GERARD P

29 members braved rain and temperatures of 5 degrees above freezing (not to mention the floods in Berkshire) to attend  Maidenhead Speakers’ Club’s first meeting for 2014 – choreographed expertly by TME Mary Fraser.

TTM Monica H led a carefully thought-out topics session on the theme of Christmas/Holiday Season TV.  Using the ideal technique of not naming the speaker till the very last minute, she skilfully wove the TV theme throughout the session and challenged six speakers.  Paul Aherne won the Best Topics Speaker ribbon, with a rib-tickling 3 minutes about his favourite golden oldie comedy.

Peter Needham entertained us with a #2 speech from the Competent Communicator Manual, elaborating on his love of short breaks around Europe.  During his speech titled ‘Europe is my Oyster’, he transported us to 3 countries and left us wanting more!

Also delivering a #2 speech from the CC Manual was next speaker Mohammad Aziz.   Having stepped in at the last minute, he challenged us with the question ‘Is Technology Good or Bad For Us?’.  (An inveterate technologist, his skills were later put to the test in getting the projector to display images).

After a longer than usual socialising break of over 15 minutes, Zahid Aziz made us ponder about the difficulties of sticking to New Year Resolutions.  Involving the audience with rhetorical questions and active participation, his 15 minute speech titled ‘A New Beginning’ (from the Professional Speakers Manual) was  professionally and very confidently delivered.

With a #8 speech from the CC Manual, titled ‘Music Everywhere’, Fatiha Lafkar enchanted us with beautiful word pictures enhanced by photographs of a trip to New Orleans,  wowing the audience to win the Best Speaker ribbon.

Evaluations were slightly different to normal evenings – starting with a formal evaluation of all the topics speakers by Richard Davies, delivered in his inimitably pithy but humourous style. Four very different but invaluable evaluations were delivered by Nick Bailey, Matthew Woolacott, Jacqui Hogan and Rajeev Sawney, with Jacqui (with her President’s hat on) presenting herself the Best Evaluator ribbon.

General Evaluator Gerard P provided feedback to each evaluator as soon as they delivered their evaluation.  He was particularly pleased that members who had roles (but were unable to fulfil them) had all found replacements, and stressed the importance of member accountability in fulfilling roles/finding replacements in a timely fashion.   The use of technology was commented on, with the advice that speakers whose speech success depended on the projector should test it with their laptop in advance, to avoid any last-minute stress on the night!

Grammarian Chris Boden struggled to find uses of crutch words and umms/ahhs – and commended the club on the quality of language.

In summary, another thoroughly enjoyable and professional evening at MSC. Many thanks too to Helen and Eric Elliott for the loan of their laptop, so I could write this week’s blog while mine is being repaired.

The next meeting will be on Monday 27th January at 19:30. 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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