Report by General Evaluator Shelagh Jones
New President Derek Lucian was Toastmaster for the meeting and gave us the theme of “Possibilities” – appropriate for the beginning of a new Toastmasters year.
The start of the meeting was a bit disorganised as Sergeant at Arms Sean Gordon was late to arrive, but two guests were warmly welcomed and had their early questions answered.
Derek gave a comprehensive introduction to open the meeting and introduced Time Keeper Julie Gordon, Ah Counter Andrew Miller and Grammarian Steve Bisby.
Steve’s Word of the Day was Appropriately which was picked up enthusiastically and used throughout the meeting.
Bridget Pearson introduced the Ice Breaker speech of her mentee, new member Julie Pitcher. Julie gave us a touching and heart-warming portrait of her life with Sally, a retired guide dog who gave years of service to Julie’s mother.
The purpose of the Ice Breaker speech is two-fold – to tell the audience a little bit about yourself and to establish where your skills are at the start of your Toastmasters journey so you can see your progress as you work through the manuals.
Bridget’s evaluation showed Julie where she is starting and where she can develop with future speeches
Michael J Clarke introduced Stephanie Bisby who gave Speech 5 from the Competent Communicator manual which focuses on Body Language. Entitled “Dancing Through Life” Stephanie wove together lessons from her time learning dance at university with the skills we need to develop as speakers, giving an enjoyable speech which earned her the Best Speaker award.
Mentoring is an essential part of the Toastmasters programme, and one which Doncaster Speakers continues to develop within the club. Jean Stewart gave a wide-ranging overview of how mentoring works, both for mentor and mentee. You can read a synopsis of what she said here.
After the break Derek Lucian was Table Topics (impromptu speaking) master and it was encouraging to see both guests (Gerard Cahill –First Time award) and new members take part , with the Best Table Topics award being shared by long-time member Andrew Miller and one of our newest members Sarah Saxelby.
Alison Turner evaluated the Table Topics speakers and gave valuable feedback to all.
Andrew Miller’s Ah counter report helped us all recognise those crutch words (and broken sentences!) which take away from the impact of our words.
Steve Bisby gave his first evaluation as Grammarian and introduced us to such concepts as “doing an Andy Murray” and the invaluable advice of replacing our umms and errs with the Word of the Day to achieve the double whammy of praise from both Ah counter and Grammarian! This was an outstanding debut performance which won him the Best Evaluator Award.
At the end of the meeting President Derek Lucian lead a lively discussion of various matters to do with the Club including inviting anyone interested in helping to organise the D71 District conference in Sheffield in November 2017 to come along to a planning meeting on September 8th.
He also presented certificates to recognise recent achievements by three members:
Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) – Jean Stewart and Shelagh Jones
Competent Communicator – Sean Gordon
The next meeting is on Monday August 8th and guests are most welcome to come along and join us.