Time for something sweet
The main purpose of Toastmasters is to get you out of your comfort zone, try something new without worrying about the outcome and discovering latent skills. This philosophy gets applied in a number different areas, not just standing up at the front and doing a prepared speech.
Tonight one of our newer members, Susie, did just that by taking on the role of Toastmaster, the person who organises and runs the whole meeting, and what a fantastic job she did too.
There’s no doubting that it is a big role, however, it is often made out to be a lot more scary than it actually is. The secret to being a good Toastmaster, as in all things, is about being prepared and Susie had done just that, meaning that her performance on the night was effortless and a pleasure.
There were a few challenges, mainly due to it being the build up to Easter and we were slightly depleted in our normally swollen numbers, which meant a lot of juggling and a few people stepping in at the last minute, but that’s all part of the fun.
The theme for the evening was Spring Forwards, Fall Back, which led to a history lesson of Daylight Savings Time which Susie blended in beautifully with the history of Toastmasters itself.
The Grammarian, Andrew, picked up on the American nature of the phrase but then shifted expectations by revealing that this, along with many other so-called American words or phrases, are actually English by origin. Consequently, the word of the day was one just such word “Candy”, a simple word but not one frequently used in this country so a different sort of challenge for the members.
A major thank you to Val, our Ah Counter of the evening. This was only her second meeting and she’s not even a member yet, but she volunteered to take on the role nevertheless, which takes a lot of guts and you can consider my hat to be well and truly doffed in her direction. And she did herself proud.
We had three great speakers this evening, Sandie demonstrating her ability to take on feedback by repeating and improving upon her speech from last time. Elizabeth demonstrated her team building and project planning skills by reporting back on Operation Christmas dinner that her local church put on last year, complete with mouth watering slides and a detailed project planning pack. Finally, Maria warned us all about the dangers of being sedentary and urged us to increase our levels of movement.
Elizabeth and Maria are more seasoned Toastmasters and yet it was they who ran over time. Tut tut. Which meant that Sandie picked up a well deserved Best Speaker ribbon.
In the second half, once the speech evaluations were complete, carried out respectively and admirably by Arthur, Lianna and Elizabeth in her second role of the evening, we moved onto Table Topics.
Club President, Andy, dug out a concept that he’d used before. We are all passengers on an airship which is about to crash. There are only two parachutes. One for the captain (Andy) and one for another person. All volunteers were given a character on the ship (owner, engineer, stowaway, barman etc) and each person had to plead their case as to why they should get the parachute.
Really impressed that we had three First Timers come up and take part in the fun: Fey, Glen and Sundip all came up and braved the stage and did really well. Once again it was demonstrated that the only barrier to moving forward is by not trying in the first place.
The Best Table Topic award went to Andrew, who basically let everyone else fight it out whilst he snuck out the door with the parachute. He also picked up Best Evaluator in his role as Grammarian, aided dramatically by quite a few people being excluded from the vote by going over time.
Our visitor, Glen, surprised us all – including himself – by coming to the front and telling a personal tale which supported the message that Maria had put forward about paying close attention to your health. As someone who had stated h
e was petrified to speak in front of others, Glen defied all expectations and came across natural and calm, so well done to you sir.
Andy brought the meeting home with the awards for the night as well as a report on all the accolades and awards that the club had been presented with at the Division Contest at the weekend, with huge amounts of credit going to Lianna, Deborah and Andrew for the welcoming video on the website, getting onto BBC Radio Sheffield to talk about Public Speaking and a noble 2nd in the said contest.
The award winners for best in category were:
Sandie for Best Speaker.
Andrew for Best TableTopics.
Andrew for Best Evaluator.
Report by Andrew (General Evaluator)
Our next meeting is Monday 29th April 2019 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.