Every meeting is special, but this one was extra ordinary as we ended our Toastmaster year and thanked Andy for his year as club President.
A year which saw Doncaster Speakers reach the highest Toastmaster club recognition level, known as “President’s Distinguished” and welcomed more new members, keen to improve their public speaking skills in a fun and supportive environment.
From the start, Zoe grabbed our attention with a purposeful blow of the gavel, bringing everyone’s focus to the meeting. After key facilities messages, she handed the meeting to our President and Toastmaster for the evening Andy, who set the theme as “On the shoulders of giants”. His key message was to inspire all to build and reach their goals, whilst enjoying the journey they take. He also kept the meeting flowing in true Toastmaster style and introduced the various roles throughout.
In explaining the timekeeper role, Andrew also touched on the capability of the brain and the importance of time. Elizabeth took on the Grammarian role for the first time and as well as setting out to provide feedback on language, she set the word of the day as Copacetic. This looked daunting for some, but turned out to be widely used after her rather copacetic explanation of its meaning. Jill was our Ah Counter of the evening, hearing those filler words and sounds we miss ourselves and providing and excellent summary in her later feedback, to reinforce the message.
Two prepared speeches and an education slot were central to the first half. Sarah conveyed a wonderful “Friends, Fear and Fun” story of doing the Moonwalk in support of Breast Cancer awareness. Lianna gave her “Why the UK” case for the best place to live. Jon tested us on “The Art of Listening” via distracting perspectives with a hidden meaning, to challenge our thinking. It was one of those meetings where you felt very enriched inside, beckoning you to step outside the box.
Steven then gave a very thorough evaluation of Sarah’s Speech, with particularly useful analysis . Deborah evaluated Lianna’s speech adding humour and triple power descriptions such as “delectable, delightful delivery”. Alongside all evaluators for roles and speeches on the night who delivered reports within time, she won the Best Evaluator award at the end.
Elizabeth was back in the second half as our Table Topic Master, throwing different impromptu questions to ten willing volunteers under her theme of “You were there” moments in history. You may have been asked to suddenly speak about Live Aid or the First Man on the Moon or the cloning of Dolly the Sheep. As usual there was laughter for the creative and support all round. No surprise that our recent Table Topics Division champion Jon, came first in the Best Table Topics vote. Next up was Bal, who is a recent new member and should be called ‘Bal the Brave’ for taking on the role of Table Topics Evaluator; something many avoid early on their Toastmaster journey. Instead she picked up varied positive points in her feedback, alongside well delivered constructive feedback for everyone. All other evaluators followed with their reports – time, grammar, ah counting and the overall General Evaluator report by Maria ended the formal feedback of the meeting.
Andy gave an inspirational outgoing speech as club President, including highlighting a list of club achievements by the club members from the past year, that brought both smiles and pride.
This was followed by thanks and applause by everyone for Andy’s leadership. Then the ceremonial medal handover to incoming President Maria took place, who officially closed the meeting and Toastmaster year July 2018 to June 2019.
The winners of the ribbons for the meeting were….
Sarah for Best Speaker
Deborah, Best Evaluator
Jon, Best Table Topics