Report from Toastmaster meeting 9th November 2015 by Derek Lucian
Another fantastic demonstration of ‘doing it the way it was meant to be done’. Our meeting tonight had the key ingredients for a successful Toastmaster evening. One in which a dash of humour added to an abundance of energy made for a very interesting evening of Toastmastery (is that a word?)
Every Sergeant at Arms would be happy to borrow the authority that lies within the vocal chords of Andy Howell as he maintained the order of the meeting at the opening and the mid-section. The Doncaster Speakers meeting was fabulously facilitated by our Toastmaster, Stephanie Bisby. Stephanie made the role look easy as she segued effortlessly from one segment to the next, a move that injected something extra into the agenda and kept it all the more interesting with her keen observations throughout. We can do nothing but forgive her the one little foible in which she almost forgot to ask us to vote for the best speaker.
In the role of timer, for the first time, Alison Turner demonstrated good organisation, good humour and good tea-making. The tea-making is an addition to the role much appreciated by this GE and I will not dwell on the fact that the timer ‘remembered late’ to take her coloured cards up to the lecterns as it was her time to explain the role.
David Allen, our illustrious ‘Ah-counter’, gave a good explanation of his duty for the meeting, leaving a good portion of his allotted time for doing so, unused, thus giving us a good example of getting to the point without any superfluous jibber jabber. He also delivered a winning recounting of the overall ‘ah’ temperature on the night as a result of his keen listening skills.
The Grammarian role was taken by long-standing Doncaster Toastmaster, Richard Bluck, who delivered a solid introduction to the role, followed by a detailed explanation both clear and complete. Richard reported back to the group some examples of good use of the English language, however did not manage to use up his minimum allocated time for the report.
Table Topics evaluator for the meeting was Shelagh Jones, another long-standing member of Doncaster Speakers, who took on this almost always difficult role. Shelagh’s great confidence was evident as she delivered the evaluation of each TT speaker, with a particular focus on how we can all do more with the time we are allowed in a TT.
We had two speeches on the night; the first one an ‘Ice-Breaker’, was evaluated by seasoned Toastmaster, Andrew Miller. After introducing us to the speaker by way of a brief bio of Julie Dawtry, Andrew covered all of the appropriate details relating to the project. He continued this confident, competent manner as he presented his evaluation of the speech, providing Julie with sound commendations as well as encouragement in the comments reflecting her status as a new Toastmaster and that she will learn to use pauses as she develops in the club. Andrew also gave an excellent suggestion that could benefit anyone in a similar situation – that since Julie has asked for her speech to be videotaped; perhaps she might consider videotaping her 10th speech to gauge how far she will have progressed.
The second speech evaluator was Sean Gordon who commented on the attention getting opener in the speech by Bridget Pearson. Sean gave a number of examples of where her strengths could be observed, namely, her sense of humour and strong structure to the speech. He also commented on how she might consider reflecting on where she was when she first started in Toastmasters compared to where she is now.
In summary, key observations for the night are around the great energy, excellent humour and a well-run Toastmasters meeting.