Meeting Report – 9th January 2012

Shelagh Jones reports on the first meeting of 2012 with the very appropriate theme of Resolutions

  • Fred Roberts as Sergeant at Arms manned the table at the door so dutifully she nearly missed getting a drink before we started! She opened the meeting on time and introduced the Toastmaster for the evening Karen Trem.
  • Karen gave a very clear explanation of handclapping, and hand shaking, introduced the committee and then explained her choice of theme, explaining how the structure of Toastmasters helps us to build self-belief by a system of actions, feedback and recognition.
  • Karen then introduced the supporting role-players for the evening:
  • Gail Powell, Timekeeper, explained succinctly the role of Timekeeper including the use of the green, yellow and red cards – maybe a little too succinctly, taking barely 60 seconds, but good for her first time in the role.
  • William Sloan, Ah Counter, was also doing his role for the first time, and again explained succinctly that he would be looking out for the crutch words such as err, umm and others – another good first effort.
  • Mark Powell as Grammarian, on the other hand, spoke fluidly and engagingly about his role to monitor the use of language during the meeting, He introduced his word for the day, “Interrogate” and gave several helpful examples of its various meanings, one of them involving interaction with Jamie which was a nice point and brought home the meaning effectively.
  • Karen introduced Liz Tarleton to evaluate Lisa Johnson, the only speaker for the evening, and also explained the voting/feedback slips.
  • Liz gave a well-prepared introduction to Lisa’s speech, number 6 in the CC manual, which was to focus on Vocal variety and was called “”The 7 deadly Sins of Christmas”.
  • Lisa’s speech was very cleverly constructed and highly entertaining, taking the 7 Deadly Sins and relating them to her own experiences, past and present, of Christmas.
  • Lisa won the Best Speaker award as she completed her speech on time – but it was a shame that there was no other speaker against whom she could measure her performance.

When we only have one speaker, we lose this element of competition and it does take away something from the meeting both for that speaker and for the others at the meeting.

  • Fred Roberts stepped in at very short notice to deliver an Education session on Social Networking which she was planning for another meeting, and had obviously put in a lot of time preparing it which showed in both the quality of the material and way it was presented.

Fred is extremely experienced in this field which became obvious as she illustrated the points she wanted to make by reference to sites she manages for herself and her business,

We often talk about “less is more” and what impressed me about this presentation is that she “pulled out” the most essential facts she thought would be helpful to Doncaster Speakers members and distilled them down to just 15 minutes of presentation – very impressive!

Questions and answers followed and from the engagement with the audience, some of whom were totally new to Social Networking, it was obvious how effective the presentation had been.

There is no special Award for presenting an Education session but as GE I do have the opportunity to commend Fred on her presentation.

(and if you haven’t already, do join the Facebook Group, Like the Facebook Page, and follow @doncastertm on Twitter)

  • After the break (during which Karen noticed that the screen was still lit and dealt with that –good management) Fred re-started the meeting on time and the General Evaluator, Shelagh Jones, explained that importance of evaluation and the skill of listening as the start of giving effective evaluation. Mark, as Grammarian, gave a reminder and excellent further examples of how to use the Word of the Day.
  • Liz gave a very skilled evaluation of Lisa’s speech, showing great listening skills and picking up Lisa’s colourful use of language, rhetoric and story-telling. I also liked how she asked Lisa to consider not how she used powerpoint, but whether it enhanced the speech at all.
  • Liz Tarleton put on her second hat for the meeting and posed our Table Topics. She told each of us that she was puzzled by something she had found in our home when she visited it and asked us to explain (these ranged from sheep in the garden to bullet holes in the wall – and beyond..!)
  • The Best Table Topics Speaker was Mark Powell who gave a magnificent explanation of why there is a lock on his fridge!
  • Jamie Godfrey evaluated the Table Topics, and whilst his feedback was of the highest quality, and valuable to all present, he was 90 seconds over this allotted time which ruled him out of the voting for best Evaluator and was particularly unnecessary as the number of speakers was small.
  • William gave a good summary of aahs and ums, showing that he had been listening closely during the meting –well done, William.
  • Mark was disappointed in the usage of his Word of the Day, and gave examples of where it could have been used, which was very helpful. He also picked up some excellent use of language, especially in Lisa’s speech.
  • Mark won the prize for Best Evaluator – a great Double! Well done, Mark!
  • Shelagh gave an overall evaluation of the meeting, and made especial mention of the high energy of all concerned, everyone there to give of their best and to get the most possible out of the meeting, making it a highly enjoyable evening despite smaller numbers than usual.
  • Shelagh, as President, presented the Best Evaluator and Best Table Topics award to Mark – she will present Lisa with her Best Speaker Award at the next meeting on Monday, January 23rd.
  • Shelagh also invited anyone interested to register for the Area Training Day to be help in York, near the railway station, on Sunday February 19th.

Published by Doncaster Speakers

Doncaster Speakers meet at 7pm on selected Mondays at the Regent Hotel, Doncaster. We welcome guests. Please check our website for details of forthcoming meetings.

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