A Slick Night of Speeches!

Maidenhead Speakers Club – Monday 10 Mar 2014


Wow what a fantastic evening! This has probably been the best evening I have seen at Maidenhead in a long time.

Steve Catchick stepped in at the last minute, and organised a very slick evening with 5 speakers – and we finished before time too!

Doreen opened the meeting with a cheery note about the Paralympics. She recalled that a downhill skier miraculously regained her sight and, having seen what she did with her impaired vision, was so shocked that she never skied again!

Chris Boden was the first speaker with an educational on how to deal with nerves, especially before a contest. It was a speech for everyone – Chris explained that in his view we have nerves because we care. So it’s OK!

Next was our first prepared speech, an icebreaker from Cheryl Brickell aptly called the ‘Tip of the Iceberg’. You would not guess she has only been a member for a few months, giving a very polished performance without the use of notes. In telling her story about her need to challenge herself, she inspired us to believe that you can achieve anything you set for yourself. It really was the tip of the iceberg.

Grant Oliver followed with another icebreaker – again without the use of notes. He gave us a humorous explanation of how to write a book like a famous football manager… but different. Was it about disagreements with the football stars, or affairs with football stars? No it was about his love affair … with software!

Fatiha Lafkar seduced us next into travelling to the beach. It’s better to take the sea air and exercise than to spend time and money in therapy, she suggested to us.  Her poetry and word pictures were stunning, leaving all believing we were actually on the beach with her.

We were told that Mell Sheppard‘s speech would be given in ‘Middle English’, and that we had to listen well… we were not expecting what was to come. This was probably one of the most challenging speeches we have ever seen at Maidenhead Speakers – two months in the making, as Mell gave a superb theatrical performance using three voice,s and a language that was alien to us all! Yet after tuning in we understood the tale of ‘The Beard and The Bust’.

It was no surprise that Mell won the Best Speaker ribbon.

Julie Farrell chaired an entertaining table topics session with participation from Richard Davies, Sandra Davison, Helen Elliott and Paul Aherne. Mary Fraser managed to win the most votes for Best Table Topics Speaker without even answering the question. How did she do that?

Michael Williams learnt how to concentrate, being Timer for the first time. John Callaghan in the role of Grammarian advised us of our verbal crutch words in his regular witty style.

Nick Bailey led the evaluation session and summed up the evening. The evaluators were Eric Elliott, Peter Needham, Mohammad Aziz and Karen Szulakowska.  The Best Evaluator ribbon was awarded to Eric.

It was an outstanding performance by all the speakers on the night, and thoroughly entertaining for older and newer members alike. You don’t have to ever feel you can’t do this – with our successful ongoing mentoring programme in place, everybody can have access to the tools necessary to become a competent public speaker.

The next meeting will be the Club Speech & Evaluation Contest on Monday 24th March. See you all there for what promises to be a great night, on one of the biggest annual events on our Toastmasters’ calendar!

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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