One thing I have learnt at Toastmasters is to throw yourself into the meetings and get involved in different roles, you learn so much by doing this and grow in your knowledge of Toastmasters.
The evening started with Janet taking on the role of Sargeant at Arms (SAA). She had arrived early to help set out the room which is part of the SAA role and she did a great job at calling us to order and starting the meeting on time.
Lianna took on the role of Toastmaster, this is a role Lianna has performed in the past and at which she always excels. Lianna explained that the theme of the meeting was Change and did an excellent job of introducing Toastmasters, explaining why we applaud and give handshakes. Having attended Toastmasters training in York the week before, Lianna also included an inspirational story about the progress one of the attendees at the training had made in Toastmasters. This hopefully inspired old and new members alike as it did me.
Having practiced the timekeeping role at the previous meeting, Evan took on the role by himself and did a great job of making sure we were all in time. Evan always takes on new roles with enthusiasm and really gets into the nitty gritty of the role. Well done on this being the first time you have flown solo in this role Evan.
Maria was our grammarian this week, she gave us a really good and understandable explanation of the grammarian role and then shared the work of the day which was conundrum giving us some excellent examples of how to use the word which got us all thinking of how we were going to include it whenever we were speaking.
Next we came to Sarah who was out Ah counter. Sarah gave us some brilliant examples of filler words and brought our attention to an article on the ah counters role in this months Toastmasters Magazine. A great reminder to us all to read it and get the most from the magazine. When Sarah gave her report she identified some words that people had used but also gave alternatives that could have worked well. This was very positive and I feel it got people thinking.
There were 3 speeches this evening, One from Bridget, Andy and Steven. Bridget’s speech was entitled ‘May the Cornet be with you’. She aimed to use visual aids that were appropriate to the message and the audience. Bridget’s aim was to teach us how to play the cornet and to give us a detailed understanding of its different parts. Her visual aid was obviously, her cornet. She involved the audience well getting us exercising to expand our lungs and spitting as we would if we were playing the cornet. A thoroughly amusing speech which had us all entranced.
Steven’s speech was his very important 10th speech.entitled ‘I wish I was more organised’. It was meant to inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives, challenge the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievements; appeal to the audiences needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama. Steven’s speech was excellent and you could really see how he had grown on his Toastmasters journey. Steven spoke to us about being more organised using a typical example of how easy it is to lose some paperwork you need and using PowerPoint superbly to emphasise steps we can implement to achieve this organisation.
Andy then gave a speech which was aimed at imparting new information to the audience in an understandable way and motivating us to learn. His speech was entitled Game of People and gave us an amusing insight into poker and how it is about reading the people rather than playing the hand of cards. Very informative and challenge peoples views of poker.
After the break, we then moved onto the speech evaluations.
Arthur evaluated Bridget’s speech and gave a great review of the aims and structure of Bridget’s speech. Gave some good examples of where she had excelled and couldn’t find much improvement to recommend.
Jean evaluated Steven and made good mention of the use of PowerPoint which was excellent. She commended his movement and the way he avoided walking across the screen.
Pauline evaluated Andy and made great mention of the power of 3 that he had used. She suggested that he could have used more visuals but thought the structure of the speech was excellent.
After evaluation had been completed, Susie organised the table topics and had recruited a few people during the break who were willing to take part in Table Topics. Table Topics is when we have chance to practice our impromptu speaking, we are given a topic and asked to talk for 2 mins on that topic. Susie’s Table Topics was excellent and as is usually the case, we had many amusing and serious speeches from our fellow toastmasters.
Stephanie evaluated the Table Topics and made a good job of explaining how Susie had planned the Table Topics. Stephanie also pulled out examples of the good usage of language by different people, gave specific examples of what people had done well and made some excellent recommendations for improvement.
All in all, it was an excellent evening.
The award winners for best in category were:
Andy for Best Speaker.
Evan for Best TableTopics.
Stephanie for Best Evaluator.
Report by Elizabeth (General Evaluator)