Our Childhood Can Be the Making of Us


MSC Meeting – Monday 14 November 2016

With Guest Blogger – Cheryl 

Our Childhood Can Be the Making of Us

Maidenhead Speakers Club never fails to entertain, educate and inspire and Mondays meeting was no exception.

Sergeant at Arms Mike called the meeting to order on time, despite a last minute hitch regarding the timer system, which had mysteriously gone missing. President Chris saved the evening by arriving in the nick of time with the missing equipment, which had needed a repair.

Chris welcomed the guests and then spoke of his experience at the District 91 conference. Although his speech did not get placed his experience had been enriched by coaching the Keynote Speaker, and International Speech finalist Thien Trang. While there he received an award in recognition of his services to the District for mentoring. Chris emphasized how important it is to support one another.

Toastmaster Sandra who has been a member for over 10 years said she had attended the conference for the first time and wished she had gone earlier. She found it invigorating and motivating. She said it provided an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.

Jan led the table topics session with questions that encouraged speakers to use their imagination and connect with the child within. The winner was Tony Searby who, as a 10 year old, would like Mind Reading as a super power. He could look into the teachers eyes and see the answers.

Sandra introduced the prepared speeches, which were a broad representation of the Competent Communicator Manual. First up was Darren with his Icebreaker Me, Myself and I. He gave a frank account of his challenging childhood when as a teenager he was described as a “highly intelligent juvenile delinquent”. His was an inspirational speech illustrating how he had turned his life around and become a better, stronger and more compassionate person. He left us with “It is impossible to be grateful and depressed”.

Next up was Yacine who was also giving his Icebreaker “How Did Sport Shape Me As a Person? He speech looked back at his childhood training as a gymnast in Morocco. Whilst he didn’t like the competitive nature of his sport he said there is excellence in craftsmanship.

Esther stepped in at the last minute to present This Is Not A Fight. She started by taking us on a guided visualization, which packed a powerful punch when she revealed that we were bulls bred for the bullring. A powerful, impactful speech highlighting the plight of the 70,000 bulls killed every year for a sport subsided by the EU to the tune of 130 million euros.

Before the interval Chris gave each of our guests an opportunity to say a few words about themselves and why they had come along. Sergeant at Arms Mike organized the refreshments for the interval.

Tom’s speech The Grotto was another inspirational speech about struggle and endurance. Mike gave a presentation on “Beyond the Submit Button” explaining what goes on behind the scenes once we have placed an order on line.

Best Speaker went to Tom.

General Evaluator Cheryl led the evaluation section of the evening giving a clear explanation of why we give evaluations. She introduced her team of evaluators – Vidhya, Mell, Mohammed, Richard and Mary all of whom gave competent evaluations. She concluded with her report of the evening.

Best Evaluator went to Mell Sheppard who said it was always a pleasure to evaluate for an Icebreaker speech. “It is the first opportunity to shape their journey. “

Timer was Melissa and Grammarian was Clayton.

Doreen reported on her experience as a guest on Marlow FM. She had been invited as winner of the Area Table Topic Contest and came third in the District Contest. She hoped that the increase in guests on Monday might have had something to do with her promotion of the club, but sadly no one present had heard her. Mike said he had been Master of Ceremonies at his company annual event. When asked how Maidenhead Speakers had helped him, he said it would not have happened without Toastmasters.

Chris concluded the evening with the presentation of ribbons for the best Speaker, Evaluator and Table Topics.

The next meeting is on Monday 28 November.

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