Informed, Invigorated & Inspired

Maidenhead Speakers Club – Monday 14 Apr 2014


Another 5-star evening at St Luke’s Community Hall from the Maidenhead Speakers’ Club meeting. It never fails to deliver!

Sergeant at Arms Doreen Gowing opened the evening with a wistful tail about sawing a tree – with her wise words to let the saw do the work. This was followed by President Jacqui Hogan’s welcome to members and guests, and with the good news at the success of our members who participated in the Area 21 International Speech & Evaluation Contest at Burnham Park Hall on April 5th. Final results:

International Speech
1st Chris Boden
2nd Karen Szulakowska
3rd Jane Penson (Chiltern Speakers)
1st Yohan McDonald
2nd Karen Szulakowska
3rd Phillip Sheehan (Chiltern Speakers)

Chris and Yohan now go through to the Division H Contest on 26th April. The President congratulated all the participants and winners alike for a great contest.

Toastmaster for the Evening Karen Szulakowska (she’s had a busy week!) opened the next section of the evening with a helpful explanation of the night’s format.
The evening was uncharacteristically turned on its head this week, starting as it did with the prepared speeches – two new speakers, and two advanced speakers covering the whole spectrum of our club’s membership.
Tony Searby gave an engaging Ice Breaker to introduce himself to the club, and he told how president Jacqui Hogan had inspired him to join TMs (when he heard her speaking at an event some months ago).
Michael Williams (who had stepped in at short notice, despite being a newer member) delivered a speech that was entitled ‘Sink or Swim’, telling us to visualise what we would want to achieve, and how this can enable our dreams to happen. An accomplished, powerful speech, with lots of things to think about.
Bravo to both of the new members – and it struck me that we are really unlocking some amazing  new speaking talent at the club.
Steve Catchick spoke next and delivered a speech entitled ‘The Secret Sales Force’ – telling us how a good sales technique is actually about being a good listener.
Final speaker Monica gave a compelling speech from an Advanced Manual about the ‘Winning Proposal’ – encouraging us to consider the intrusion of mass surveillance on our lives.
Two interesting and eye-opening speeches from our established members.

After the break for tea and biccies, the meeting then switched to the Table Topics session lead by Mohammad Aziz, who has (btw) a great sense of humour. He called upon Jacqui Hogan to talk about her Most Memorable Moment in TMs, and she gave us an anecdote about her first evening ever at a TMs meeting, delivering the story by acting out each part of the tale – which had everyone roaring with laughter. Romain Barraud spoke about his favourite cartoon super-heroes back in France when he we a boy growing up. Grant Oliver answered that eternal question ‘Apple or Microsoft’? And Doreen Gowing told us about Going to the Moon. Accomplished TTs speaker Mary Fraser managed to cram so much into her impromptu speech ; a reference to the previous topic, audience participation, humour, winding-up with a structured conclusion (all in the space of less than 2 minutes!). Emilio Saev concluded the Topics session by speaking on the subject of movies. I agreed with Emilio’s sentiment that frankly… who isn’t a fan of the Rambo movies???

The meeting then moved into the Evaluations phase, with evaluations  delivered for each of the speeches from the Evaluation team, headed by Lorraine Hamilton. 

So… (my filler word!), don’t miss the next meeting on Monday 28 April – and prepare to be entertained, amused, informed, invigorated and inspired once more. I look forward to seeing 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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