Mid-summer MSC


Maidenhead Speakers Club – Monday 28 Jul 2014

WITH GUEST BLOGGER, GERARD P

Another great night at the Club. As always, a good turnout, with guests including the New Division Governor Bob Nisbet and Justin McCarthy, a former member of MSC.

Club President Julie Farrell reminded us about the Toastmaster Promise – something we should all review regularly. ‘To prepare for and fulfil meeting assignments’ and ‘To attend club meetings regularly’ are particularly important. The full list has now been added to the Club website on the ‘Join us’ page.

TME Lorraine Hamilton maintained the warmth and enthusiasm infused by Julie and introducced us to the evening, promising not one, not two, not three but FOUR prepared speeches! She made humorous references to the Commonwealth Games, which soon had the audience fully relaxed.

Table Topics Master Matthew Woolacott put an innovative spin on Table Topics by using different pictures to initiate each topic, that he’d printed off before the meeting. Tony Searby set the bar high by a confident and entertaining 2 minutes about two Roman soldiers in his topic picture. Six other speakers followed, with John Callaghan winning the Best Table Topics Ribbon with a rib-cracking interpretation of his particular picture.

Prepared speeches followed. Juls Abernathy delivered her IceBreaker, but soon convinced the audience that she was a natural born public speaker. Spurning notes, she gave us a confident and funny insight into her life. Cheryl Brickell followed on with a Number 2 speech from the CC Manual, grabbing our attention by opening with a song and movingly speaking about the power of the touch. She too bravely decided to not use notes, but learnt it was prudent to have a fallback. Nick Bailey, speaking from the Humourous Speaking Manual told us about his ‘5 minutes of terror’, recalling the time when he performed stand-up comedy to an audience of 70. Throwing in puns and anecdotes, he set the mood for a mellow extra-long break. Final speaker Clive Pugh spoke from the Storytelling Manual, and delivered an extremely animated version of Little Red Riding Hood, which included wolf sound effects. His rendition was such a howling success that he won the Best Speaker Ribbon!

The evaluation sesson followed, led by General Evaluator Gerard. Steve Cann, Michael Williams, Doreen Gowing and Richard Davies delivered four polished evaluations using the Commend, Recommend, Commend format, with Richard winning the Best Evaluator Ribbon.

Gerard then provided feedback to the Topics Speakers and Evaluators. His recommendation for the evening was that the Sgt @ Arms could remind attendees to sign in and turn off their mobiles at the 2 minute warning (a plasticised sheet taped to the lectern could provide a reminder). This sheet could include a ‘room set-up checklist’ including opening windows, putting up banners etc.

Grammarian Alan Grayly provided valuable feedback on ums/ahs and had also noted good (and not so good) use of language. Throughout the evening, Grant Oliver expertly kept time and Sgt @ Arms Paul Aherne efficiently kept order and provided much welcome refreshments at the break.

Well done to TME Lorraine for getting in 7 topics, 4 speeches, a 20 minute break AND finishing well on time. It can be done!

All too soon it was back to Julie to hand out ribbons, solicit guest comments and remind us to attend the next meeting on 11th August. Be there…!

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