Maidenhead Speakers Blog 26.07.16
With Guest Blogger – Yohan
The evening’s preceding began with Mike the Sgt at Arms bringing his energy to the stage and introducing the night with a personal story. Followed by Chris – President who built on that energy by welcoming all (including the several guests) and providing a timely reminder of the forthcoming speaking contest in Sept.
Our Toastmaster for the Evening was Lorraine who set out the scene for the evening’s events and reminded us that just four years ago today we were all preparing for the 2012 London Olympics – and how it was People Power that brought it all together through the amazing volunteers. It is this same positive group mindset that makes us so successful at Maidenhead Speakers club.
Our Table Topics session was led by Doreen, who provided thought provoking and inspiring topics for the next speakers to put their creative voice to. Mary told us how she grew Hollyhock flowers up the garden path. Tom shared a story about how his parents expecting him and his siblings to provide holiday homes across the world! Steve Catchick admitted that he hasn’t read his Toastmaster magazine this month… and left several other books half read! Monica used the classic technique of repeating the question and pause to buy some valuable seconds to think of her answer while on stage. Louise calm demeanour and use of pause also demonstrated how to create some much needed time at the start to help manifest a suitable response. Jan used vivid and detailed description of her garden to inspire our creative vision. Alan used brutal honesty by saying that he didn’t like the topic choices and would have preferred the other questions!
The winner of the Best Table Topic went to Steve Catchick
Speaker #1 was Vidhya gave us a talk laced with personal stories and delivered it with an outstanding display of stage authority and stage presence. Her message was based around her friend who was an architect who wanted to achieve more out of life. Animation and hand gestures were used throughout, which made this captivating speech so engaging.
Speaker #2 was Grant, who took us back to 1971, and explained throughout with use of a PowerPoint visual aid why this was such a significant year for him. His message was filled with humour, especially around the point that he wasn’t one of those people who used drugs at this time!
Speaker #3 was Nick, who took on the arduous task of delivering an extended talk on how to manage a sales pitch on a complex subject. He used an audience member to demonstrate how to handle objections and steer the conversation towards a successful close.
The Best Speaker of the night went to Vidhya – and her proud parents on holiday from India were there to witness the occasion!
Evaluator #1 was Jivan who was evaluating Vidhya. His first point was about how Vidhya ‘hooked us’ with her personal story – this point also helped the audience understand how important it is to ‘engage’ the audience at the very start. He also gave very clear advice on the improvement areas, saying what and why it could change.
Evaluator #2 was Monica evaluating Grant, using a valuable technique of humour to reflect on the point made earlier about drug use by Grant to engage the audience. It was a thorough evaluation identifying key strengths and improvement areas for the speaker and audience to take away.
Evaluator #3 was Tony evaluating Nick. He began with a warm and self-reassuring message to Nick that he achieved a high standard of delivery on this tricky and difficult subject, which would surely have warmed any speaker. Tony delivered all his positive and areas of improvement points with clarity & energy, which helped show his core strengths as an evaluator.
Evaluator #4 was Paul who evaluated all the table topic speakers. Paul did a brilliant job so much so that two Best Evaluator ribbons were handed out, one to him – and another to Tony!
Our Grammarian role was filled by Kashmira, who provided a comprehensive analysis to the use of language by most – this was interrupted with her personal account of how language and accents especially have helped & inhibited her. She brought this up to highlight the challenge Vidhya’s parents told her during the break they had in understanding the British accent. They had actually not long arrived from a holiday in the US where they also found the American accent a bit of challenge!
Well done to all on another amazing and fantastic evening of speaking at Maidenhead Speakers Club
The next session is on Monday August 8th 2016 – the Toasmatster is Honor.