Maidenhead Speakers Club – Monday 13 Oct 2014
WITH GUEST BLOGGER, STEVE
On a cold & gloomy October night, Club President Julie immediately injected some warmth & sunshine (following Sgt @ Arms Paul’s energetic introduction) as she invited us all to ‘make our own sunshine’ right here this evening at Maidenhead Speakers. And we certainly did!
She welcomed guests Gabriella, Chris (who is just about to join us – welcome Chris) & Keith Clarke – known to many of us as a long-standing member of MSC, making a very welcome return visit. We also had Area Governor Tracy in attendance, & all received a warm welcome.
Toastmaster of the Evening Clive had stepped up to the role for the first time, & did a very efficient & professional job as he introduced the subject of ‘time’ as his theme of the evening.
He introduced Timer Juls, who chirpily quoted Churchill’s famous line: ‘A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject, & short enough to create interest.’ Very appropriate – thanks for the reminder Juls! He also introduced tonight’s Grammarian Richard, armed with his word of the day, ‘stupendous’. He gave us some surprising alleged findings from the University of Edinburgh, in that ‘women like to um, men like to er’… these findings were later found to be true, as reflected in tonight’s speakers! Thanks for that Richard.
Tonight’s Table Topics Master Cheryl was also making a successful debut in her role, & she built on Clive’s theme by setting appropriately ‘timely’ questions for the Table Topics speakers. Gavin was first up, answering ‘which activities make you lose track of time?’ He spoke of how he enjoys keeping fit by running, being completely ‘in the zone’ until he arrives back at his front door, & wonders where the time has gone. Next to speak was Lorraine, who was asked ‘what age would you like to be for one week?’ Lorraine decided to go back to two events in her early childhood – playing Joseph in her kindergarten nativity play (yes, Joseph!), & her first day at school, which (as with most of us I guess) she didn’t enjoy very much… but would still love to go back. Monica was asked ‘what century she’d like to travel back to, & why’. She first decided she’d like to go back to mediaeval times, & also the reign of Charlemagne, but then changed her mind & travelled back to the time of 18th century Enlightenment, & mused as to what social class she’d prefer to be in. Fourth speaker Chris was asked the enticing question ‘if you had seven days left on the Earth, what would you do to make the best use of your time?’ Chris made a clever spin on the question’s wording, deciding he’d like to be one of the lucky volunteers to take a one-way ticket to Mars to colonize the red planet! Along the way, the passengers could have their own version of Big Brother – to see how long it takes them to kill other! But he’d like to leave Earth with his reputation intact. Next up was Suzette, who was asked ‘how would you like to spend your free time now the days are getting shorter?’. She decided early on that she’d like to hibernate by relaxing in bed in the warmth with a good book, plus something good on the telly too to keep her entertained on the long winter nights. Final speaker Zahid tackled the question ‘if you could meet anyone in your family history, whom would you meet & why?’. Zahid revealed that everyone he knows in his family is still alive – so he’d use the time-travelling opportunity instead to go back & ‘try out’ different eras, & big events in history. Apparently the Daily Mail recently revealed that we allegedly have the technology to build a real time machine!
Ribbon for Best Table Topic was awarded to Chris.
We now moved on to the first of this evening’s four prepared speeches. First up was Doreen, with her speech entitled ‘The Dreaded Question’. She spoke of her childhood in Ireland with her sisters, & the visits of their stern Auntie, whom they cheekily referred to as the Queen! She would inevitably ask them the ‘dreaded question’: What are you going to be when you grow up? And Doreen could never give her a clear answer. Eventually she told her she was going to be a PE teacher – only to hear her Auntie was going off to live in Timbuktu! But Doreen believed in herself & went off to find work in the Isle of Man. And she’d say ‘yes’ to any good job offers – as she decided that saying ‘yes’ to opportunities was much more fun ultimately than making plans.
Second speaker was Ravi with his speech ‘Childhood Stories – the Impact on my Life’. He spoke of his childhood too, & how his uncle told him stories. These were Indian folk tales that always had a good moral, & the message of good triumphing over evil. These stories stayed with him & had a positive effect on his life, & he remembered them in times of trouble. He also spoke of how they made him realize one should always do good in the world, for a peaceful & fulfilling life.
Third speaker was Steve with ‘Say Chi’. Steve spoke about the principles of Feng Shui, & how he first discovered it & applied it to his life… with some effective (& not-so-effective) results. But at least his mum was pleased it finally made him tidy his room! He later decided that energy such as ‘chi’ is simply a word made up in language, & that Feng Shui is simply just a made-up concept too. He decided to look at the world in a more scientific way from now on… but hang on to his auspiciously-placed pot plant for now, just in case!
Fourth & final speaker was Tony with his endearing speech ‘Little Esther’. He invited us into the world of 5-year-old Esther, who produces a beautiful drawing on her first day at school. She takes it home for her mum’s reaction – but could her mum have reacted differently? Tony presented two different scenarios, & got the audience involved as he asked us for feedback on the outcomes of both. He then jumped ahead in time, where we find Esther in her 30s with her own children… but has her mum’s reaction all those years ago effected Esther’s own parenting skills?
Best Speaker Ribbon was awarded to Steve.
General Evaluator Joyce presided over tonight’s evaluation team of Grant, Rajeev, Nick & Matthew respectively, all of whom gave excellent evaluations (Rajeev himself being a debutant tonight too with his first-ever time doing the role. There were plenty of creative tips for tonight’s speakers, & some well-earned commendations too.
Best Evaluator Ribbon went to Matthew for his evaluation of Tony’s speech. Matthew had remarked that he really felt he had been in the room with Esther & her mum during Tony’s speech.
Club President Julie returned to close tonight’s meeting, & commended TME Clive for his energy, enthusiasm & organization. She invited Area Governor Tracy Miranda to say a few words too – Tracy remarked that she’d loved the meeting, how nicely she was welcomed, & the various people who had set the tone: Sergeant at Arms Paul, Table Topics Master Cheryl, Toastmaster of the Evening Clive & President Julie. We enjoyed having Tracy as our special guest too.
Our next club night at MSC will be at 7:30 on 27th October – see you all there!