Excellence, energy and excitement exuded from our Monday night Toastmasters meeting at Doncaster Speakers.
Julie Gordon,our Sargeant at Arms,got us out of the starting blocks on time and with all the right equipment and facilities to enable our Toastmaster for the evening, Jean Stewart,to run with the theme of “Competition”. England might be coming home but there are lots of competitions- sporting and otherwise- going on around the world right now. Jean brings great energy and humour to our meetings and dealt seamlessly with a last minute sub as Shelagh Jones took over the role of Grammarian in place of Richard Bluck. Shelagh pulled out the stops by choosing “excellence” as the word of the day, meaning not “to be perfect” but to “do your best” which is all we can ask of ourselves when we compete with ourselves in striving to speak better.
Our Timekeeper, Michel Ediele, set the goals urging that our speakers would be disqualified if they ran over time with their speech.
One of our newest members, Bridget Pearson, got stuck in to the role of Ah Counter with great enthusiasm urging us to breath, pause and slow down to avoid using the unnecessary crutch words that litter our speech – the “ums”,”ahs”,”you know”… Bridget kept a tally and reported back on the scores in reverse order declaring a tie for the joint winners, Sean Gordon and me with no crutch words at all – result!
Frederika Roberts excelled delivering the only formal speech of the evening – Speech 7 – Research Your Topic entitled “Well-healed”. In a very powerful start, Fred told us she wanted to share with us her “guilty pleasure”. She then whipped off a sheet covering a fantastic display of “to die for” high heeled shoes! Fred’s speech oozed with passion, historical facts and anecdotes. Did you know men used to wear high heels before women?
Lisa Johnson, our past President, followed with a fantastic presentation on Evaluation which truly is the “Powerhouse of Toastmasters”. Used safely, feedback motivates and inspires. Lisa suggested – don’t just say “your introduction was boring…” instead suggest ” your introduction could be made livelier with…”! I only wish I had heard Lisa’s tips before this meeting as I was evaluating Fred’s speech, Lisa’s Education slot and the whole meeting as General Evaluator! Oh well – I did my best!
Our table topics session was as funny as ever thanks to Shelagh who also took on the role of Table Topics Master spinning a tale which started “Once upon a time there were 6 men and 4 animals…” Each of our table topic speakers had 2 minutes to continue the story, leaving a “cliff-hanger” for the next speaker. By the time Jean, Sean, Fred, Lisa, Bridget and I had spoken we had an ark stinking of manure with 6 vegetarians, a horse, dog and hens laying eggs, in distress at the thunder, which were fed to the Indians who had come over the hill to kill the men who were trying to defend themselves with a pitchfork! How I won the Best Table Topics Speaker Award I will never know!
Our Best Speaker Award went to Fred and our Best Evaulator Award went to Shelagh.
We were all winners following another great evening. Join us?