General Evaluator’s Report | 12th May 2014
“Energy and Performance”
Report by Shelagh Jones
President Gail Powell was Toastmaster for the meeting and she set the tone for the evening with the powerful theme “Energy and Performance”
From the moment she introduced the theme the room was abuzz with energy and stayed there right throughout this dynamic meeting.
The Toastmaster journey starts with 10 speeches, each one designed to teach one aspect of delivering a speech, and culminates with the final objective of inspiring your audience.
Club VP of PR Jean Stewart took on that challenge this evening and inspired us to take a fresh look at the behaviour of our young people, and the part we as adults play in that behaviour, with her speech entitled “Are teenagers out of control?”
Successfully completing that speech gives Jean the title of Competent Communicator (CC) and allows her to proceed along the Communicator path using the Advanced Speech manuals.
Following on from this provocative speech, Gail Powell partnered with Club Social Media officer Fred Roberts in an interactive Education session called “Elevate Your Speech to the Next Level” which they accompanied with a very useful hand-out packed full of tips. The whole audience contributed to a lively and valuable discussion, and many lessons were learnt eg the vital importance of preparation and practice, and the ways different people get that practice.
After the break Derek Badger used the metaphor of a Black Forest Gateau to shape his evaluation of Jean’s speech, which, unusually, was the sole prepared speech of the evening.
Club Treasurer Andrew Miller took up Gail’s theme with a round of impromptu Table Topics dealing with different types of energy eg Solar energy. As always we all took part with gusto (I am not quite sure how I ended up demonstrating ballet steps but it was something to do with kinetic energy….! ) but I particularly liked the part in Andrew’s introduction when he said that, in mastering these impromptu speeches, we are in fact mastering public speaking, as all speeches are just a series of short impromptu speeches.
What sets Toastmasters apart (and above!) many speaking clubs is the focus on Evaluation, where helpful feedback is given in a supportive and non-judgemental environment.
Fred Roberts evaluated all the Table Topics speeches; Jean Stewart was Aah counter and Sean Gordon as Grammarian gave us the word Virtuous to incorporate as often as possible during the meeting, and also pointed out the best uses of grammar and vocabulary.
After my final Evaluation of the whole meeting, Gail recognised Jean Stewart as Best Speaker, Fred Roberts as Best Evaluator, and me, Sean Gordon and Derek Lucian for Best Table Topics speeches – the second three-way draw in as many meetings!