Monday’s meeting was certainly a special one for many reasons. The theme was set by Arthur Fenn, as Toastmaster, “The Beauty of Simplicity”.
Arthur Fenn took on the Toastmaster role for the first time and he did a cracking job. He confidently handled the meeting from start to finish, despite the usual hiccups that often occur. He gave a succinct description of the theme, too.
Shelagh Jones took on the Sergeant at Arms role with professionalism and poise, with everything set up ready to go. Her style allows people to feel like everything is under control.
I would like to give a special mention to Andrew Miller who stepped in at the last minute to cover the all important Time keeper role. Bravo!
We had two fantastic speakers on Monday night: Maria Orlovic and Andy Howell.
Maria was up first and presented a fascinating and well thought out 3rd speech from the Competent Communicator Manual, entitled “Making a good first impression”. Her speech challenged all of us on what we look at and how we make assumptions on what we are told and see. I particularly enjoyed her opening story about the ‘man’ in the white van, and the ‘older’ ‘male’ doctor. I felt it was by far her best speech to date and bodes well for her next speeches.
The second speech, which was introduced by his evaluator Shelagh Jones, was Andy’s 10th and final speech of the Competent Communicator Manual. In this, as Shelagh explained very well, Andy had to use all of the techniques from the last 9 speeches to inspire the audience.
He did extremely well in a speech entitled “Roar and a Whisper” where he inspired the audience to listen to the Roar of fear, but also the whisper that is logic. The aim was not to be fearless, but rather to not be ruled by fear. The speech had a good balance of humour and sincerity.
Derek Lucian then held an education session where we elected the new Committee for 2017/18. Well done to all those elected but in particular to Shane, who will be our next President.
After a break, when everyone had the chance to get to know us, we started back with Pauline re-introducing our word of the day, ‘succinct’.
Ordinarily, the person who uses the word the most will get a special mention. However in this case, as Derek used it 5 times, which was not very succinct, he was disqualified and Dave, on this first ever visit, got the Grammarian stamp of approval for getting the word in when standing up and delivering his table topic speech.
Lianna Cairns positively jumped at the chance to be Table Topics master, and she did well with a variety of “What would you be and Why” topics. You could not tell it was her first time in the role as she delivered it with an energy and enthusiasm that belied any nerves she might have been feeling. As ever table topics was fun and Dave, our first time visitor took the opportunity to stand up and speak and this earnt him a well-deserved first timer ribbon.
Shane Lukas did a wonderful job of the Ah Counter role, making it both funny and informative; outlining the need to be aware of our habits to be able to do something to change them. He specifically focused on the journey from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence. I also enjoyed his use of chocolate bars to emphasise his points: a regular kit-kat was given to Arthur for him to “take a break” and pause more and a kit-kat chunky given to Andy to reward him for long pauses.
Andrew Miller gave a very succinct and helpful review of the table topics speakers in his role of Table Topics Evaluator. This is a tough job due to the lack of preparation time. Lianna did help him by sending the questions in advance, something that every TT master should do if possible.
This was my second time of being a general evaluator, and I have found that experience is a great teacher. I feel this time I delivered a more rounded and organised evaluation so I have definitely learnt from the last time I did it- which was a lot more chaotic!
Overall, it was a high-quality Doncaster Speakers meeting filled with adrenalin, fun and as always- valuable lessons to learn.
Best Table Topics Speaker: Andy Howell
Best Evaluator: Andrew Miller
Best Speaker: Andy Howell
Meeting Report by General Evaluator Bridget Pearson
Our next scheduled meeting 12th June. We hope to see you there!
We are squeezing in a special extra meeting on Monday June 5th – you are welcome to come to that as well.