We had an excellent Doncaster Speakers meeting last night 11th August 2014. Although holidays numbers were a little on the small side we were graced by four welcome visitors; Fawad, Cath, Jane and Simeon that swelled the numbers.
The meeting was called to order in a very professional manner by Lisa Johnson who introduced Gail Powell as our Toastmaster for the evening. Gail explained that Doncaster Speakers is part of a worldwide organisation in over 122 countries with over 292,000 members. She also welcomed our guests and introduced the committee.
Gail introduced three members who would assist her run the meeting; firstly, Andrew Miller who explained the importance of timekeeping in both Toastmasters and work and life in general. Next was Lisa Johnson, was our Ah Counter, who clearly, but succinctly, explained that she would be looking out for all the crutch words we tend to use. Finally, Alison Kitchman, who as Grammarian, gave us a Word of the Day; Credible or Credibility. This was the word that we should try to incorporate into our speeches, she also said she would be reporting back on good grammar during the meeting – not sure if that is good grammar!
We had one speaker, Bridget Pearson, who was doing her Icebreaker entitled ‘Help! My brain is dissolving!’. Bridget was introduced by her evaluator Jean Stewart. The speech was very entertaining and was an excellent first speech – we look forward to hearing more from Bridget very soon. Jean was very honest but very supportive in her evaluation and I’m sure Bridget will take her feedback and work on being even better next time. As the only speaker Bridget won Best Speaker.
One of the key ways all clubs can measure their strength and development is the ‘Moments of Truth’ programme which Shelagh Jones outlined in her Education session. She told us how she would be referring back to the programme throughout the year and how it works towards the Distinguished club Programme each year.
Our Table Topics Master for the evening was Derek Badger. Before he started, one of our guests asked to speak. Fawad Shah told us he is a stammerer and on the Maguire programme. He wished to develop a career in the legal profession and saw Toastmasters as a way to help with his stammering (not that we noticed any last night) and with his career. He is to be congratulated on having the guts to stand up in front of an audience he didn’t know and speak regardless of his challenges – that’s what Doncaster Speakers is all about – to give support and help to everyone wishing to speak in public for whatever reason.
The theme of Table Topics was taking phrases from Shakespeare and explaining them as a book or whatever we wished to. All turned their topic into a personal experience ranging from Michael J Clarke talking about being an idiot to Alison Kitchman talking about the death of her Gran’s dog Dusty. The Best Table Topics Speaker though was from one of the visitors; Cath Winfield, who took us back to the seventies and three day week and how the world changed under candlelight.
Table Topics was evaluated by Andrew Miller who spent time giving feedback to the TT Master and to each speaker. He was followed by Lisa Johnson who gave specific feedback to each member on the level of their crutch words of which there weren’t that many. Alison Kitchman gave feedback on the grammar used in the meeting and who had used the Word of the Day. Michael J. Clarke won with ten uses of the word; however it has to be said he did rather overuse the word if we’re being honest.
Best Evaluator was won by Andrew Miller. Michael J Clarke was General Evaluator and took some time to feedback on the whole meeting saying that this is a Class Club, a Quality Club with excellent meetings.
After some announcements and awards from the President Andrew Miller the meeting was closed with the next meeting next week due to Bank Holiday.
Personally, I’ve missed meetings for the last couple of months and it was a real pleasure to return – it won’t be so long to my next meeting visit.
Michael J. Clarke – General Evaluator
The next meeting is this coming Monday 18th August due to the Bank Holiday the following Monday.