A little different.

Maidenhead Speakers blog Monday 27th July

With Guest Blogger Steve Catchick


A little different.


We had a meeting with a difference at Maidenhead Speakers tonight.

Our Toastmaster of the evening, Keith, decided to change the layout of the room, facing the other direction, at short notice, and also at short notice decided to change the order of the speakers. This was to expose speakers to the uncertainty and changes to expect in the speaking business, and be prepared for anything. A good move

Our Sargent at arms, Lorraine, brought the meeting to order, and passed on to Club President Monica, who warmly welcomed the visitors.

Next was our 5 speeches.

First up was Jan delivering her second speech, entitled “Passion”. She described how football was a passion for one young boy, who went on to become a top football scout. It appears that while some scouts are well paid, many others do it for the love of the game.

Our second speaker was Brigitta, with a speech named “The hidden wonders of our garden”. After starting talking about how animals such as elephants are clever enough to migrate such large distances annually, she surprised us by going on to talk about the common ant, and how they “farm” Aphids. She likened their behaviour to that of farmers.

Next up was Michael, with a speech entitled “Pressure is a privilege”. He started by taking us to a football match between England and Germany, being a draw at the end of normal time, and into penalty shoot-outs. This led on to speaking about players “choking under pressure” during the penalties, and how many wanted to go first to get t over with. The phrase that struck me was Low anxiety equals high performance.

Our fourth speaker was Mukesh, who gave a speech on “Digital Health”. A fascinating subject about how science is now engaged in digital health, and went on to give 3 examples. A digital toothbrush, (yes, that’s right) that can analyse the health of our teeth. How it is used to manage chronic diseases, and finally how it is used in early detection of major diseases. An interesting statistic was that the world population is expected to grow by 1 billion in the next 10 years, and that 50% will be over 50, putting pressure on our health industry

Our final speaker was Mary, carrying out an advanced speech, all about “Making a difference”. Starting with the well known starfish story, she then went on to speak about those who had made a big difference, such as Marie Curie, Martin Luther King, and mother Teresa. She also went on to talk about Nicholas Winton, from Maidenhead, who recently passed away aged 106. He saved over 600 children from the gas chambers during the war and hadn’t considered himself a hero, just someone determined to make a difference in his own way, and that we could do something in our own way, whether big or small.

The best speaker ribbon was won by Michael.

After the break the meeting had a difference again. Instead of table topics, we had our Club President, Monica, presiding over a panel of 3 established members, Mell, Ian, and Chris. The discussion was about the club growth, as due tithe size of the club, 54 members, speaking slots were very few and far between.

The panel gave some suggestions, based on their own experience and preferences, and the audience were able to ask questions or give suggestions.

This was closed by Monica, who handled the session very professionally, and then we moved to the evaluation part of the evening.

Our general evaluator, Steve, then introduced the evaluation section of the evening without much pre-amble, due the over-running of the meeting. He quickly introduced the 5 evaluators one at a time

Mike went first to evaluate Jan’s speech. Jivan was next to evaluate Brigita’s speech. The followed Yohan, evaluating Mike’s speech. Tony was next to evaluate Mukesh’s speech, and finally Doreen evaluated Mary’s speech.

Finally, Steve gave an evaluation of the evening as a whole, and also of Toastmaster Keith, SAA Lorraine, Club President and debate master Monica, and finally the 5 evaluators.

The best evaluator ribbon was won by Yohan.

Steve Handed the meeting back to Club President Monica to close the evening and ask for comments from our guests and members.



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