General Evaluator’s report by Alison Turner
Our meeting on Monday 9 May was hosted by Andrew Miller, our Toastmaster for the evening. Andrew set a theme “Not all those who wander are lost” and explained this was a line from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Andrew’s interpretation of this was that sometimes we happen upon the unexpected when we least expect it. Fortunately for us all, members and guests had wandered into Toastmasters for what was a very enjoyable evening.
Stephanie Bisby as the Grammarian (a role which is clearly made for our wordsmith of Doncaster Speakers) continued the theme by setting the word of the day “Serendipity”- meaning to discover something pleasant or useful by chance. This was used widely over the course of the meeting.
But first we were welcomed by the Sergeant at Arms, Bridget Pearson who had organised the meeting room. Many members took on roles for the first time and also doubled up on roles as there were a few unexpected absences. So Steven Bisby stepped in at the last minute as the time keeper and ably managed the timing of the meeting. Derek Lucian was the Ah Counter for the evening and in this role he not only picked up on the Ahs and Ums but also identified crutch words we often use unconsciously.
In the first half of the meeting we were entertained by 3 speeches all of very different styles. I was the first speaker with a speech entitled The 3 Hs which was Speech 3 from the Competent Communication Manual – Get to the Point. Steven Bisby in his other role for the evening was my speech evaluator and gave me some useful tips including watching out for my habit of hand wringing.
Jean Stewart had us all laughing with her tales of parenthood and even used a power point to illustrate her theme from pictures of an angelic baby to a 2 year old having a tantrum. This speech was from The Entertaining Speaker Manual – Make them Laugh and Jean certainly achieved this as her speech evaluator Derek Lucian identified. Unfortunately Jean got somewhat carried away and her speech was overlong and did not qualify for the Best Speaker Vote.
The Best Speaker for the evening was awarded to Bridget Pearson who gave us a very moving speech about overcoming her fear of being a blood donor, a fear she was determined to conquer in honour of her Grandfather. Shane Lukas gave Bridget some very useful feedback as her speech evaluator. This was the first time Shane had taken on this role and as a fairly new member to the Club he carried out the role extremely well.
After a short break the evening continued with Table Topics and our Table Topics Master, Stephanie Bisby continued the theme of the evening with topics relating to travel and journeys. We had two guests for this evening and both of them were persuaded to take part and gave good introductory speeches. Well done to them. In the end there was a tie for Best Table Topics between Andrew Miller and myself. Our Table Topics Evaluator for the evening was Jean Stewart who had clearly listened very carefully throughout and as always gave good feedback to all.