Doncaster Speakers | The place to develop your public speaking and leadership skills in Doncaster
“YOLO” (You Only Live Once)
Report by General Evaluator Alison Kitchman
The “immortal” words – “You Only Live Once” were well chosen by our Toastmaster for the evening, Bridget Pearson, who welcomed no less than 7 guests to our club meeting at Doncaster Speakers on 26 January 2015.
4 of our guests: Craig Hammond, Andy Howell, Andy Crossland and David Allen “felt the fear and did it any way” by taking part in the table topics 2 minute speaking challenge, not only winning Craig a First Timer Award but also the Award for Best Table Topics speaker with his story about the fear of the saber tooth tiger.
Lisa Johnson delivered a speech on “sockology” using great humour and descriptive language. Lisa gave a lesson in the history of the sock and proved that she is not only confident speaking but also at ease using props. Lisa must have having borrowed a mini easel and an oversized clothes peg from her toddler twins and a wash basket, containing a variety of socks, from family and friends! Not only was the delivery visual but also olfactory as Lisa passed around a pair of socks smelling sweetly of roses!
Our President, Andrew Miller, gave a brilliant overview of the structure of a Toastmasters’ meeting, outlining the roles and responsibilities of both its members and Committee. He compared it to a well known franchise pointing out you can’t turn a McDonalds into a vegan restaurant. Same with Doncaster Speakers, we deliberately follow the structure of Toastmasters International because it serves a purpose delivering communication, speech and leadership skills.
Our Sergeant at Arms for the evening, Sean Gordon, ensured all facilities were in place and on time because first impressions really do count. Sean also “doubled up” to evaluate Lisa’s speech which he addressed powerfully by delivering his assessment in a question and answer style, noting in particular that he had now learned that “Tabby” was not just the name for a cat but also the name for a toe sock.
Our Timekeeper, Karry Chadburn, explained the importance of keeping to time, reflecting that as a child, 2 minutes’ silence in assembly “seemed like a lifetime”, but as an adult, 2 minutes “flies by”. As a consequence of Kerry’s efficiency skills, the meeting ran to time.
Our Ah Counter for the evening, Shelagh Jones pointed out that “awareness is the first step to change”. Not only did Shelagh highlight to us our “ums” and “ahs” but also noted that “conjunctions” i.e. words which are normally used to join 2 parts of a sentence such as “so”, “but”, “and”, and “now” were being used out of place as crutch words at the beginning of sentences. Shelagh suggested we pause instead to avoid use of these crutch words.
Our Table Topics Master, Julie Gordon tied the topics beautifully to the theme “YOLO” asking our “victims, no sorry volunteers” to choose a number between 1 and 12 which produced a picture; our speakers then had to imagine they were in the picture and explain why. It’s fair to say Andy with his bungee jump story would have given Craig’s saber tooth tiger story a run for his money had he not been overtime. Our Table Topics Evaluator was Frederika Roberts who gave excellent observations and feedback to each of our Table Topic Speakers, feeding back not only commendations but also helpful recommendations on how to improve.
In his role as Grammarian, Derek Badger nicely tied in the word of the day “immortal”.
A huge team effort by our existing members, Committee and guests, with a special mention to Lee Parish and David Allen, our newest club members. Altogether another truly great and inspirational meeting.