What a great night once again. The theme chosen by our ToastMaster for the evening Bridget Pearson was: Embrace the change
Onboarding our new members
Just prior to this meeting the Doncaster Speakers Committee had met and had agreed on testing out an idea to help new members ‘ease’ in to the club and get a good understanding of some of the roles by asking them to shadow the Time Keeper, Ah! Counter and Grammarian.
Just before the meeting began we asked our newest attendees, Christina Narz, Diran Gill and Mwada Lawan to shadow those roles.
We had a guest, Evan, who has attended a previous session on guest evening and was eager to experience another session.
The evening was opened by our Sergeant At Arms – Arthur Fenn who then introduced our Toastmaster for the evening Bridget Pearson.
Bridget shared with the room a brief history and understanding of Toastmasters, she shared why she’s part of the club and the progress she’s made. It’s great to hear why other’s have joined and the impact their progress is having on them. Bridget filled the role of Toastmaster with confidence and humility, she was a great host of the evening and kept everything running smoothly.
Steven Bisby introduced the Time Keeper role and as we always enjoy and have come to expect, he began his explanation of the role with a humorous and related story about the British Summer Time change, that all of his clocks had automatically changed time except for his alarm clock making him late. He explained the importance of good time keeping in speeches and explained the purpose of his colour coded reminder boards.
Bridget then invited Jane Franckeiss to give the audience an understanding of the Grammarian role. Jane highlighted the fact that this was a challenge for her at the best of times and of course, this is why we take on these roles because it helps us develop those skills from a listening and observational point of view. Jane chose her word of the day as Rotund which effectively means round/spherical and can relate to a person being of that shape or it can mean a full bodied understanding of something too.
Deborah Kershaw then gave us an overview of the Ah! Counter role and like Jane, Deborah pointed out that she has the record for the most ah’s although I expect this is more her feeling than fact, we’re all guilty of um’ing and ah’ing from time to time and the benefit of this role is it makes us much more attuned to it which then helps us prevent using the word ourselves.
Owing to a last minute unfortunate cancellation of another speaker we only had the one prepared speech but what an amazing speech it was. Introduced and evaluated by Ben Clottey, Derek Lucian delivered an exceptional speech from the Advanced Communication Manual – Interpretive Reading, the 3rd project The Melodrama.
Derek’s speech was entitled ‘The Prisoner of Second Avenue’
The objectives of his speech were:
– To understand the concept and nature of the monodrama
– To assume the identity of a character and to portray the physical and emotional aspects of this character to an audience.
The story Derek portrayed revolved around the escalating problems of a middle-aged couple living on Second Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City. Mel Edison, the main character, has just lost his job after many years and now has to cope with being unemployed at middle age, during an economic downturn.
It was as though we were at the lyceum in Sheffield watching professional actors, Derek’s performance was 2nd to none, it was incredibly moving, well paced and packed with emotion.
Prepared Speech Evaluation
After the break we heard a wonderful evaluation on Derek’s speech from Ben. What was particularly great for me when I listened to Ben’s feedback was that he didn’t simply tell Derek how well he’d done, he mirrored some of the tonality, body language and emotion as he explained why they were great.
Impromptu Speeches – TableTopics
TableTopics was great fun and as we had more time available, we were able to have much more of the audience participate.
Stephanie Bisby was our TableTopics Master. Stephanie explained the process, the times and purpose of the impromptu speaking to the audience and then presented her topics in a different way than the usual. The audience members who had ‘volunteered’ to participate were invited 1 by 1 by Stephanie and asked to pick a folded piece of paper at random which had their respective question/scenario. All of the questions were nicely tied to the theme of the evening and in terms of the speeches given by the toastmasters, they ranged from very humorous through to serious and educational.
Maria Orlovic was the TableTopics evaluator, and gave a really great evaluation to the room, she began with some general observations that everyone could relate to and then gave individual pointers per person. Maria was very animated, very thorough and gave a remarkable evaluation with great recommendations.
After Deborah and Jane gave their respective reports on the Ah’s!, use of language and the use of the word of the day – which was used much more extensively in the first half of the evening than the latter, Steven announced the time keeping and who therefore was in the running for best in category.
Just prior to the awards Maria gave a fantastic summary of the previous day’s competition, sharing her experience of the day and how proud and pleased she was at how well Doncaster had done and also inspired our members to put themselves forward for future competitions sharing her feelings that the quality of speeches she’s witnessed at Doncaster Speakers is definitely competition standard.
The award winners for best in category were:
- Derek Lucian for Best Speaker.
- Andy Howell for Best TableTopics.
- Maria Orlovic for Best Evaluator.
In addition, for getting up and participating in TableTopics as a first time speech, Christina, one of our newest members received the award for First Timer.
And very well deserved awards they were too.
Feedback from our newest members in the room who had been shadowing the TimeKeeper, Grammarian and Ah! Counter said that they really valued the experience.
All in all, a fantastic and enjoyable evening.
Report by Shane Lukas, General Evaluator
Our next meeting is Monday 23rd April 2018