Doncaster Speakers Meeting Monday 24th February 2014
Monday’s meeting served up yet another mixture of polished public speaking and on the spot oratory, interspersed with humour and insight. Tonight’s audience, slightly larger than usual, was boosted by the presence of 4 guests and this led us to make an extra special effort to ensure they felt involved throughout the evening.
Our Sgt At Arms, Michel Ediele, did an excellent job of welcoming our visitors, and the rest of our members helped out ably when there wasn’t enough of Michel to go round! Our Toastmaster for the evening, Alison Kitchman, took the time to explain the Toastmaster role and the agenda for the rest of the evening. Alison then explained how she had been inspired by words from a book for the meeting theme and how optimism can make us more effective. The tone set by Alison was both calm and engaging – perfect for a Toastmaster.
The three prepared speeches were all rather different in theme and content. Andrea Pashley described a schoolgirl skiing holiday with the ‘Face’, her Icebreaker speech. Sean Gordon told us ‘How Butterflies received their painted wings’ and Julie Gordon very poignantly described life with a sufferer with Asperger’s syndrome. All three speeches were well received with little to choose between each.
Derek Badger delivered an Education Session about Evaluation and then set about practising his preaching by delivering his own evaluation of Andrea’s speech. Andrew Miller and Fred Roberts both gave useful feedback to Sean and Julie’s speeches.
As usual, TableTopics provided most of the evening’s laughs. A special mention must go to Mark Powell (the winner) with his conkers, with close competition from our guest Heera Singh and his invention of a perpetually full fridge. TableTopics was hosted by Lisa Johnson – who successfully managed to persuade 3 of our guests to risk all (well done to them!). Lisa’s topics struck a good balance between originality and opportunity for the speaker.
The word of the evening “Positive” was nominated by our Grammarian, Shelagh Jones. This dovetailed well with the meeting theme of optimism (even if it wasn’t picked up by some of us – like me!). Shelagh’s comments and observations regarding the use of words throughout the meeting deservedly won the best Evaluator award – although, as she conceded, we were spoilt for choice by the very high quality of language used by all.
Best Speaker award went to Andrea Pashley – always a big achievement for an icebreaker speech. Despite the distraction of a slightly croaky voice, Andrea did a fine job of controlling any nerves and made minimal use of notes. Well Done!