Another Very Enjoyable Evening

MSC Meeting – Monday 10 October 2016

With Guest Blogger – Tony

Another Very Enjoyable Evening


On Monday 10th October Maidenhead Toastmasters enjoyed a high energy evening of public speaking that maintained the very high standards the club has come to expect.

Sergeant at Arms Mike opened the evening with a pertinent metaphor that highlighted the similarity between building with bricks and building a speech. President Chris delivered a warm and embracing welcome to both guests and newly joined members, before handing over to toast master of the evening John who compared the evening with his characteristic humour and panache.

Preeti, undertaking the role of table topics Master for the first time, delivered an excellent round of questions on the theme of “past experiences of school days”. New members Paul and Sarah speaking for the first time, embraced the challenge of impromptu speaking with confidence and self assurance, before more experienced Toastmasters Chris, Marco, Paul and Mohammed all took centre stage. Table topics speaker of the evening went to Paul.

Kashmira delivered the first prepared speech in which she described the anxieties she personally experienced as a mother of two young children. Her story developed into telling the tale of how her son’s school friend, “Little Johnny”, came to play. As Kashmira gradually discovered that Little Johnny suffered from diabetes, food allergies and unexplained seizures, the audience could experience her fear and panic levels rising by the second. However it was Little Johnny who “took her by the arm” and reassured her that her fears were exaggerated and there was no need for concern. Heeding Little Johnny is message, Kashmir projected a state of peace and enlightenment that powerfully juxtaposed her earlier panic and anxiety.

 Second up was Honor who delivered an enthusiastic and passionate speech describing her job as a home-based online video tutor. Using her company background screen as a prop, Honor explained the need for each tutorial to be set up and presented in a professional manner. Punctuating this serious part of her speech with humour, Honor described the pitfalls of shortcutting this process. A fellow presenter inadvertently forgot to use the company background screen and found herself presenting in front of her clothes horse. Then, while live on camera, the viewers saw her husband crawling behind her in his underpants desperately searching the clothes horse for his trousers!

 Rajeev’s objectives was to deliver a dramatic talk. Using his customary engaging style, Rajeev began by asking the audience a question “who remembers the Memphis to Houston plane flight”? From this inauspicious beginning, the speech took a dramatic turn when the plane dropped 1000 foot due to extreme turbulence resulting in both panic and fear and physical injury to a number of passengers. Rajeev’s speech took on personal meaning when he introduced his friend Steve’s first hand experience of the drama, and the role he played in restraining a panicking fellow passenger. In summary, Rajeev brought this dramatic story fully to life, creating suspense throughout.

Finally, Sandra brought the evening is prepared speeches to a close with a masterclass in the principles and practice of selling. Beginning with a clear and concise overview of the four principles of selling, establishing rapport, assessing the buyer’s needs, providing a solution, and gaining commitment, Sandra went on to role-play these principles in action with Paul playing the part of the potential customer. Sandra concluded this advanced speech by asking the audience for questions and observations of the selling process. Sandra delivered all three sections of her speech with “effortless ease” which is exactly what is needed for an effective sales process.

 Louise enthusiastically evaluated Kashmir’s speech highlighting the strengths of her storytelling supported by strong posture and positioning. Louise perceptively recommended that Kashmira’s excellent speech could be enhanced further by using different accents for the different characters.

 Richard complimented Honor’s speech on the excellent use of humour, engaging the audience through the use of questioning and a clear call for action at the end. He gave a clearly structured evaluation that was engaging throughout with a concise summary at the end.

 Lorraine delivered a masterful evaluation in which she appreciated Rajeev’s strong stage presence, his credibility as a speaker and the quality of his vocal variety. Lorraine’s recommendation challenged Rajeev to devote more time to crafting the content of his speech during preparation.

Drawing upon his own experience of delivering the same sale speech himself, Nick gave a thorough evaluation of Sandra’s presentation. He complimented her on the clarity of her introduction and how she successfully implemented the principles she highlighted during the role-play.

Speaker of the evening went to Kashmira, and Loraine took the award for best evaluator. Chris brought the evening to a close by asking the guests for the feedback.

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