General Evaluator’s Report by Sean Gordon
The theme for this evening’s meeting was celebrating achievements.
Jean Stewart opened the evening as Sgt at Arms, dealing with housekeeping arrangements before handing over to our Toastmaster for the evening, Alison Turner. As Toastmaster, Alison made sure the evening ran smoothly. In her opening speech, Alison presented some facts and figures about Toastmasters before going on to talk about how our own club, Doncaster Speakers, operates.
We had two speeches this evening, the first by Stephanie Bisby. This was Stephanie’s speech number 4 from the Competent Communications Manual which centres on, ‘how you say it,’ through the use of voice and entitled ‘Brush up your Shakespeare’. An excellent speech by Stephanie and as expected a great use and command of the English language and I know the club will look forward to hearing more from Stephanie as she works through her Competent Communicator projects.
Shelagh Jones was the evaluator for Stephanie’s speech. In methodical style, Shelagh’s evaluation was a balance of highlighting the positive and making recommendations to Stephanie to help her develop her speaking skills.
The second speech of the evening was by Jean Stewart. This speech is from the Humorously Speaking Manual, part of the Advanced Communication Series, entitled, ‘On-off switch only, please’. As always Jean can make me laugh and so it was with the rest of the audience. Well done Jean.
Julie Gordon was the evaluator for Jean’s speech. Julie has an eye and an ear for detail and gave a good balance of positives, but not forgetting the recommendations for improvements we all like to hear.
The Education Session was led by Bridget Pearson with a focus on, ‘Reducing stress for speaking. This evening Bridget explained how one should prepare well their speech allowing natural pauses to BREATHE! And speak naturally with good use of voice and body. Sean Gordon was then invited to the floor to demonstrate how not to do it (and believe me that is hard), followed by the same short speech of how to do it. I can tell you that I received great feedback from the audience, especially from our visitors, who said they thought that it could not be the same speech as they were so different. This is positive proof that when it comes to public speaking, Toastmasters works!
Table Topics was run by Richard Bluck and and the topic of the evening was, ‘Quotes from Shakespeare’, a great, but challenging topic, which had everyone thinking.
The session was evaluated by Derek Lucian who gave interesting feedback to everyone, but touching on different areas with each individual. I great evaluation, well done.
Andrew Miller was the Ah Counter for the evening. Andrew gave us some really good ideas about how to avoid using filler words and presented the group with very detailed and individual feedback that will certainly help speakers to work on avoiding those ‘ums’ and ‘errs’.
We were kept to time throughout the meeting by our timekeeper Steven Bisby. Steven as usual brought his own style of humour, which I love, when he explained the role of timekeeper.
Catherine Winfield did a fantastic job as Grammarian. Catherine gave a wonderful word of the day and provided some great examples of its use.
As always the meeting was full of energy and fun and our next meeting is on 9th May 16 – guest are always welcome, and there is no requirement to book in advance.