T’was the meeting before Christmas


MSC Meeting – Monday 12 December 2016

With Guest Blogger – Paul

T’was the meeting before Christmas

Our final meeting of 2016 began on time with stand-in Sergeant at Arms, Tom, calling the room to order in his usual calm relaxed manner before handing over to our Club President, Chris.

Chris spoke with great energy of the history of Toastmasters as well as the importance of the leadership manual. All under the watchful eye of Timer, Chrys.

The high energy continued with Toastmaster of the Evening, Nick. He channeled the qualities of three of his speaking inspirations, the humour of toastmaster Ian, the energy of Tony Robbins and the care free attitude of his Uncle Richard. A combination of talents that Nick embodied throughout the evening.

Kashmira ran the festive Table Topics section of the evening. She began with a great explanation of the importance of table topics as well as how the skills developed here can be applied in our everyday lives. Kashmira delivered a polished table topics session, a particularly impressive task as it was her first time as Table Topics Master.

Following the table topics section we launched into the prepared speeches with a fantastic educational speech from Steve on the importance of a powerful opening to your speech. Steve gave many examples of techniques that can be used to really grab an audiences attention.

Next to speak was Jon, who spoke about “Things that shouldn’t happen.” In a speech that covered everything from the faking of the moon landings to the assassination of President Kennedy, it was a conspiracy theorists dream. Jon covered everything from illegal drug use in sports to horses in our hamburgers, no stone was left unturned in this speech.

Following Jon we had Marco speaking of how “Cash isn’t King anymore.” Taking inspiration from Steve’s advise he began his speech by throwing a £20 note away as he made his opening point. He then proceeded to explain his theory by giving a series of incredible tips for getting the most out of online transactions and the digital world of credit transfers. His speech drew gasps from the audience as well as frantic scribbling as we all rushed to write down his recommendations and helpful hints.

Following the break we were treated to an advanced speech from Doreen. Doreen had the difficult task of giving an impromptu speech for an extended time period. Her evaluator Lorraine had a selection of five topics from which to choose a speech from. The topic chosen was mindfulness and Doreen launched into a five minute impromptu speech on mindfulness, it’s benefits, uses and helpful advise and techniques.

Honor then took us on an adventure into the murky world of human resources. Honor’s experience and enthusiasm for her subject matter shone through as she skilfully navigated us through her speech with a masterful use of Powerpoint slides to drive home her main message.

Following the speeches we had the evaluation section of the evening. General evaluator Paul introduced a crack team of experienced evaluators.

First off Michael gave a positive and encouraging evaluation of Jon speech, highlighting the improvements Jon continues to make.

Next to evaluate was Sandra. Sandra was evaluating Marco’s speech and highlighted the strong opening as it related to Steve’s earlier educational speech. She then gave Marco a healthy mix of commendations and recommendations.

Our third evaluator was Lorraine. Lorraine highlighted the difficult task Doreen had undertaken and was able to offer constructive feedback regarding the structure of Doreen’s approach to the subject, as well as worthwhile recommendations for improving the delivery.

Our last evaluator of the evening was Mary. She was evaluating Honor’s speech. Mary was quick to point out the ease with which Honor managed to use her powerpoint slides and the difficulty using Powerpoint can often bring to a speech. Mary also took the time to remind us of Honor’s objectives and also highlighted Honor’s ease at interacting with the audience.

Next the General Evaluator gave a report of the evening. Paul spoke of the way so many had come forward to help make the evening possible as well as the events of the evening itself.

Finally the Grammarian of the night Alan gave us a run down of the use of fillers and crutch words for the evening. No “Ums, and’s, so’s or err’s” went unnoticed with Alan on duty.

At the end of the night Club president, Chris, gave out the ribbons before ending the year with an invitation to join the club members for a Christmas drink after the meeting and to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

Best Table Topics ribbon went to Tom, Best Evaluator ribbon went to Sandra, and the Best Speaker ribbon was awarded to Marco.

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