Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report | Monday 25th January 2016

Report from Toastmaster Meeting 25th January by Michael J Clarke

The meeting on 25th January 2016 was rather unusual for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the hotel seems to have misplaced our box and banner (unless someone lets us know they have it) and secondly there were almost as many visitors as members at the meeting.

It was great to meet seven visitors and some taking part in the Table Topics challenge. They all said they enjoyed the evening and would be returning to another meeting.

Jean Stewart, our President, was Toastmaster for the evening and introduced what Toastmasters was all about in her own inimitable style with lots of humour and welcomes. Her theme for the evening was ‘Enhancement’ and how Toastmasters can help everyone do that in their lives.

Because we didn’t have the box this caused a couple of challenges, particularly for the Timekeeper. Richard Bluck took the role and with not having the three coloured cards he had to improvise. Instead of the green card he presented a green pen. For the yellow card he presented an orange! And for the red card he presented a nice looking red handbag!!

Toastmasters teaches many skills including improvisation!

Sean Gordon took the role of Grammarian and explained how he would be looking for good vocabulary and also gave us the Word of the Day – Enrichment.

We had one speaker, Stephanie Bisby, who was introduced by her evaluator Bridget Pearson. Bridget did a fine job introducing Stephanie’s speech entitled “How (not) to write a bestseller”. It was a speech with humour and some practical tips and was engrossing.

Following Stephanie’s speech there was a break, which provided an opportunity for members to get to know the visitors and answer any questions they may have had.

The second half started with the Grammarian reminding us of the Word of the Day, followed by the General Evaluator, me, then totally abusing the Word of the Day by getting it in every sentence of the introduction to his role. I explained the ‘power’ of evaluations and explained how the role had two parts.

The first was to introduce the speech evaluator, Bridget Pearson, who did an excellent evaluation of Stephanie’s speech. I did suggest trying future evaluations in the third person as the points are of value to everyone at the meeting.

The meeting then moved to the third core part – Table Topics. Our Table Topics Master was Julie Gordon. Julie had a number of topics all within the theme of Enhancement. We were all challenged to speak about how we would enhance all sorts of things. Many of the speakers were able to speak for over two minutes which showed these were great topics to work with – well done Julie. A couple of the visitors got involved and one, Ben, clearly won the Best Table Topics Speaker vote.

Shelagh Jones gave a detailed evaluation of the Table Topics Master and the speakers. In fact that detailed she went somewhat over time – an unfortunate theme of the evening. Sean Gordon gave feedback as Grammarian and along with our speech evaluator went over time. In other words everyone was disqualified from the Best Evaluator vote.

My evaluation of the meeting went over as well but I claim mitigating circumstances – I always speak to the cards and the timekeeper didn’t time me so I just went on and on and on until I felt I was well past my time and asked. Ooops.

My main point is that members should be proud of their club and proud of what they contribute, and this was reflected in the number of visitors – most of whom attended following a recommendation from someone they knew.

Thoroughly enjoyed the meeting – so much signed up to be Toastmaster next time. Hope that doesn’t put off those who weren’t there last night from returning at the next meeting. Hope to see you all there.

The next meeting is on Monday 8th February and you can find the dates of all our future meetings at


Published by Doncaster Speakers

Doncaster Speakers meet at 7pm on selected Mondays at the Regent Hotel, Doncaster. We welcome guests. Please check our website for details of forthcoming meetings.

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