Category Archives: Meeting Reports

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 10th September, 2018

Club President Andy was Sergeant at Arms for the evening and got the evening off on time and ran through the housekeeping rules before handing over the meeting to the Toastmaster Lianna.

About a month ago Lianna had never performed the role but watching her tonight she performed the role of Toastmaster with confidence and kept the meeting flowing and overcoming some on the spot problems when a few people dropped out at the last minute leaving roles not filled but by the start of the meeting Lianna had politely persuaded people to take up extra roles.

 

Next up was experienced speaker and long-time member Jean carrying out the role of Timekeeper, delivered in her usual amusing fashion informing the group the importance of time and the discipline needed to stick to it.

First up of the people who agreed to dual roles was Bridget as the ‘Ah Counter’. Bridget explained what she was looking and give tips how not to have a speech filled with erms, ahs and so’s.

Moments before being called up Steven was asked to step in as Grammarian adding his own humorous stamp to proceedings and choosing the word of the day of ‘Unprepared’. Speakers then have to try and fit the word of the day in to their talks through the night.

Arthur as evaluator introduced the first prepared speaker of the evening Elizabeth who was doing speech 3 of the new Pathways programme where she had to repeat a speech and improved it with the feedback she had been given last time. Her speech was titled ‘What’s in the box’, a look at her fear of buttons.

Another dual role was Pauline who introduced the 2nd speaker Maria. Maria was doing speech 8 of the old Competent Communicator manual – using visual aids. Maria did an interesting educational session about the Toastmaster Easyspeak and Pathways websites. A very packed session that unfortunately ran slightly over time eliminating her from the best speaker award.

During the interval a visitor popped his head in and was warmly welcomed and brought up to speed of what was happening.

 

The second half kicked with Andy reminding people to turn off their phones and he handed over to Lianna.

Arthur and Pauline gave their evaluations of the prepared speeches giving examples of good and bad parts and way both the individuals and the general audience could use to improve next time.

Pauline performed her 2nd role of the evening – Table Topics Master where people are given a topic and with no planning they have to go straight up on stage and talk for around 1 to 2 minutes.

This weeks topic was ‘Adventure’, things like taking part in a film or going on a blind date cropped up.

 

Visitor Innocence had a go talking about things he would like to bring from his culture but the winner was Arthur with his talk about getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle and being saved by a Pidgeon (The challenge is to find a topic he does not managed to get a Pidgeon in to!)

Bridget then reviewed the Table Topics giving each speaker one compliment and one comment for them to take away.

Bridget came back to give a review of the evening from the ‘Ah Counter’ point of view giving the number of times each person had said an erm or ah instead of just pausing whist they thought of what to say next.

Steven with his Gramarian hat on informed the room of 4 uses of the word of the day and highlighted some good and not so good grammar that came up during the night.

Then Steven put his other hat on of General Evaluator and evaluated all the people who had not been evaluated during the evening pointing out what they did well and what could be improved on.

The award winners for best in category were:

  • Elizabeth Mead  for Best Speaker.
  • Arthur Fenn  for Best TableTopics.
  • Bridget Pearson  for Best Evaluator.
    Report by Steven Bisby (General Evaluator)

    Our next meeting is Monday 24th September 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome. This is our Humous and Table Topics Contest come along for an evening of comedy and fun.

 

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Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 20th August, 2018

For a distinguished Toastmasters club with a membership in the high 30s, this was an extraordinary night never witnessed previously by most of its membership. For unlike a typical buoyant turnout, only 6 members could attend this second meeting in the holiday month of August.


However, just like life and public speaking may throw up unforeseen challenges, all saw the prospect for extra practice as an opportunity and got stuck right in. Our newest member Sandie, bravely stretched herself and took on the role of Grammarian. The more experienced members took on two roles to compliment her move – with Arthur as Toastmaster and Table Topics Master, Steve as Timekeeper and Speech Evaluator, Andy as Ah Counter and Speech Evaluator, Andrew as Speaker and Table Topics Evaluator and Maria as Sergeant at Arms and Speaker. Instead of the full General Evaluator feedback of a normal meeting towards the end, all attendees gave Sandie verbal feedback with added focus instead.

Sandie did a superb job in her first Grammarian role, highlighting such vivid gems as “constructed a sentence to paint a picture” and setting the word of the day as “procrastination”. Andy as Ah Counter challenged all to use pauses and avoid the use of so’s (at the start of a sentence) and um’s. Andrew holds the most competition wins, but this evening he launched into the new Pathways programme with his Icebreaker speech “Tales From the Inside” that focused on his Toastmasters journey. His Speech Evaluator Andy, reminded us that Andrew “stayed for the challenge, stayed for the change”. Maria gave her ‘Evaluation and Feedback’ project second speech aiming to demonstrate applied feedback and gave a different spin to her original speech about new digital technologies. Her Evaluator was Steve, who had identified initial strengths and suggested improvements in his thorough approach that was appreciated and proved effective.

Everyone sharpened their concentration and mobility to keep pace with the various roles they played. Plus every person got the opportunity to take part in Table Topics. This impromptu short speeches session hovers on the edge of whacky at times, and this time Arthur brought politics into the equation. He stated that he was Prime Minister, had sacked his cabinet and gave each speaker a nominated Minister portfolio to solve the countries problems. As I said, it was an extraordinary meeting.

The award winners for best in category were:
·Andrew Miller for Best Speaker.
·Andy Howell for Best TableTopics.
·Andrew Miller for Best Evaluator.

Report by Maria Orlovic (in lieu of a General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 10th September
2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report 13th August, 2018

Another wonderful evening at Doncaster Speakers, we are very lucky to have such a positive supportive group. The evening started with a confident introduction from Laura has Sergeant at Arms and Jean has Toastmaster.

Jean introduced Toastmaster International confidently and told us about the new Pathways programme. Her theme was ‘Achievement’ and this theme was woven in throughout the evening by all participants.

Arthur was Timekeeper; he introduced his role and used a great story about time to keep us all enthralled. Pauline was Grammarian and introduced the word of the day ‘eclectic’.  Pauline told us what her role was and shared language that grabbed her attention in her evaluation. Andrew stepped in at the last minute has Ah Counter, and gave us a clear description of the role. He spoke to all individuals in his evaluation.

Our first and only speaker of the evening was Maria with a speech entitled ‘What Is Digital?’ she gave a confident speech and tonight was a true reflection of her journey at Toastmasters and how much she has progressed over her 18 months here. Steven stepped in at the last minute to evaluate her speech and delivered a confident and detailed evaluation. He used the ‘commend, recommend and commend’ evaluation technique to deliver his evaluation.

Andrew delivered an Educational slot on the Humour and Table Topic competition we have coming up in the next few months. He certainly persuaded us to come along to the sessions to support and join in with this brilliant event.

The second half of the evening was filled with evaluations and Table Topics. Andy took on the role of Table Topic Master and gave us another fun session. Stephanie gave an thoughtful evaluation of Table Topics and gave feedback to all speakers.

The evening was wrapped up by Lianna giving the General Evaluator report and Andy finished off the evening. Another successful evening, looking forward to the next meeting Monday 20th August.

The award winners for best in category were:
Maria Orlovic for Best Speaker.
Arthur Fenn for Best TableTopics.
Stephanie Bisby for Best Evaluator.

Report by Lianna Cairns (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 20th August 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report 23rd July, 2018

A new team but an experienced Toastmaster equals a good combination for our second meeting of the new Toastmaster year. I was looking forward to the night, we had 3 speakers, a first timer on the table topics and every indication was that it was going to another brilliant night. I was not mistaken!

 

As ever the night starts off with the Sergeant at Arms (SAA), or does it? I think that people sometimes do not realise how much work goes into setting the night up with our VP Education (Maria) and our Toastmaster working with people to arrange roles. They help set up the basics so that we can enjoy the night.

But back to the start, Mwada took on the role of SAA and opened the meeting on time, giving us the basics and her own story which is a strength of hers. This was the first time that she had done the role and she did well.

 

Then we had Lianna step up and take on the Toastmaster (TM) role which is the person running the night. Lianna always brings a energy and smile to any role she does. It was obvious from the start that she had everything under control and she handled the inevitable last minute changes or issues with a deft and assured hand.

Lianna’s theme for the evening was New Beginnings which was apt and deliberate as at the start of the TM year we see a lot of changes and challenges to people taking on new roles.

We had Deborah explain the important of Timekeeping and although she proclaimed at the start that she was not that prepared (proving this by not taking her glasses up to the front) there was no way you could tell. She told us a brilliant story on timekeeping and yet again we were all in capable hands.

 

Pauline took on the Ah counter role, looking out for all of those little words we use like Ah, Um, Erm and as you would expect she simultaneous (and I still not sure how she did it) put us at ease and yet watched us like a hawk.

Maria was the grammarian and her role is to look for good and bad use of words plus give us the word of the day. Inspired by her own day, she bought the word of the day – Pandemonium to life with a great story and examples of it’s use.

We had a full house of 3 speeches planned, as ever they go with the least experienced speaker going first:  

 

First up was Laura, who did her Pathways Ice Breaker, evaluated by Maria. Her speech “Who am I”  was a good way for us to get to know Laura and see how she handles talking in public so that we can help her with feedback. It is hard to believe that this was a first speech as she used no notes and she confidently stood away from the lectern. Looking forward to her next speech.

Next up was Elizabeth, evaluated by Stephanie.  Elizabeth, doing her 2nd Pathways speech “What’s in the box?”. She took us to a dark place where she bravely told us, and even used props, to demonstrate her fear/phobia of buttons. To expand on her journey she gave us other examples of fears and overall did a very good and heartfelt speech.  

Lastly was Steven, evaluated by Arthur who was giving his speech 9 from the Competent Communicator manual  called “Everyone Needs A VA” in which he should Persuade with Power. Steven is an experienced speaker and you can tell from the way he set out the speech and aided it with props. Steven is no stranger to humour and he used it well to make his point. In the end, he persuaded me that I need a VA (Virtual Assistant) to help me with the things I am too lazy, inexperienced, unorganised  or just hate doing (In my mind tax returns falls under all of those).

 

One thing I like about Elizabeth and Steven’s speech titles was that you could not guess the speech content from the title.  I think that this can be a good way to peak people’s interest and therefore make them more interested in what is being said.

Just before the end of the first half, in response to some feedback we have had from newer members, Andrew presented a education session on club roles.  It was an inspirational session, that I think will encourage new members to try roles and existing members (like me) to try that role again that isn’t their favourite.  Andrew got over to all of us, that roles are there as a development opportunity and that anyone can do any role. This includes evaluation roles that can appear to be only for the experienced but in reality anyone in the club can evaluate anyone, it’s all down to your opinion in the end of the day.

 

After the break and a quick reminder of the word of the day we had the speech evaluation.

The Speech Evaluators all gave great feedback that I am sure the speakers will benefit from.  Evaluation itself is a skill that has to be honed and it was good to see that each of the evaluators have grown in confidence.  One special mention, as I was a bit jealous of her bravery, was Stephanie evaluation with no notes. This made for a powerful evaluation that was not interrupted by note reading.  

 

Next was the Table Topics (TT), run for the first time by Jon.  Now Jon is getting a well deserved reputation for being very at home doing a TT, but we were all interested to see how he was at running them.  I am glad to say that his first TT was a roaring success full of humour and with topics that were challenging but easy to grasp hold off. A very impressive first time.

Bridget was up next to evaluate the TT.  Bridget brings an energy to any presentation that she does but has recently, through experience, been even better at feeding back giving useful, detailed comments with examples of how she thinks they can improve..

The less said about the General Evaluator (i.e. me) going overtime on my evaluation the better.  But what is a man supposed to do when there was so much good stuff in one meeting!

 

Yet another meeting filled with laughter from a great club and great members.

The award winners for best in category were:

Steven Bisby for Best Speaker.
Pauline Westrop for Best TableTopics.
Stephanie Bisby for Best Evaluator.

Report by Andy Howell (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 13th August 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and,
as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report 16th July, 2018

Another wonderful evening at Doncaster Speakers, we had some new faces and lots of new members attend. The evening started with a friendly and warm introduction from Elizabeth Mead as Sergeant at Arms and Andrew Howell as Toastmaster.

Andrew introduced Toastmasters International and his theme was ‘Choices’ confidently and told us about the changes to the evening’s agenda.

Mwada Lawan was Timekeeper, she introduced her role and what she would be doing for the evening. Steven was Grammarian and introduced the word of the day ‘quintessential’.  Steve Bisby entertained us with his humour and gave us a detailed evaluation at the end. Janet Goodband was Ah Counter, she explained her role confidently and gave feedback to everyone about their filler words.

Our only speaker for the night was Zoe Robinson with a speech entitled ‘Why don’t Zebras get ulcers’, she gave a confident speech which has us all enthralled from start to finish. Arthur Fenn evaluated her speech in a positive way and showed how well he had been listening to the speech.

Andrew Howell delivered an educational slot entitled ‘Evaluation – How I grow in Toastmasters’ this was an interactive session with audience participation which we all benefited from.

The second half of the evening was filled with evaluations and Table Topics. Lianna Cairns took on the role of Table Topic Master and gave us another fun session. Maria Orlovic delivered a detailed evaluation of Table Topics and gave feedback to all speakers.

The evening was wrapped up by Lianna Cairns giving the General Evaluator report and our new president Andrew Howell finished off the evening. Another successful evening, looking forward to the next meeting.

The award winners for best in category were:

  • Zoe Robinson for Best Speaker.
  • Zoe Robinson for Best TableTopics.
  • Arthur Fenn for Best Evaluator.

Report by Lianna Cairns (General Evaluator) Our next meeting is Monday 23th July 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 25th June 2018

Arthur Fenn was our trusty Sergeant at Arms for the meeting and introduced our reliable Toastmaster Maria Orlovic.  Maria confidently told us the theme for the evening of “The Power of Perspectives”. She ran the meeting with no notes giving us a solid background of Toastmasters and even got the word of the day into her delivery.

Our meeting Timekeeper Mwada Lawan did extremely well, starting her introduction with “good to see everyone”, which I felt was a nice touch. It was the first time she has done this role, well done Mwada! Grammarian Andrew Miller and the Ah Counter Shane Lukas all explained their role and what they would be looking out for towards their feedback.

Andrew announced an inspiring word of the day TRANSMOGRIFY, which rendered its own enjoyment as everyone who follows is encouraged to use it.

We only had one speech this evening and this was by Andy Howell, who did speech 3 from the story telling manual, “Tell a story with a moral”. His speech was called “Maybe” and it was a Buddhist tale centred around luck and realism. He delivered it well with appropriate body language and a clear message for the audience to take away. Steven Bisby cleverly evaluated Andy in a story telling style starting with “Once Upon a Time”. He stated the objectives well and picked out specific examples from Andy’s speech which engaged the audience well. My only ‘recommend’ for Steven was to think of a different adjective, other than “good”.

Pauline Westrop held the education session on Perceptions of Membership.  She encouraged members to get involved in all aspects of Toastmasters to develop themselves, and reminded us that organising a social night is always welcomed! Unfortunately, Pauline went a little overtime.

Elisabeth Mead was out table topics master for the evening, getting us to describe what was on the pictures she displayed. The pictures ranged from a ruined building to an art installation in London- Elisabeth rounded up many volunteers who willingly stepped up to the challenge. Lianna Cairns evaluated Elisabeth and the table topic speakers using encouraging words and lots of eye contact, however, she became a little distracted by laughing at Arthur’s hilarious delivery on ‘dirty, dirty pigeons’ and unfortunately went overtime.

The evaluations from the Ah Counter Shane Lukas, Grammarian Andrew Miller and General Evaluator Bridget Pearson carried us towards the meeting conclusion.  Guest feedback and the usual awards presentation followed.  Our returning visitor Laura Costa decided to join the club (also gaining her First Timer ribbon for taking part in Table Topics), and we also met first time visitor Debra Bakowska.

Tonight was Shane’s last night as President of the club- on behalf of the club I would like to say thank you for all your input over the last year- it is much appreciated!

What a wonderful meeting, giving us the power of perspectives in many ways!  The award winners for best in category were:

  • Andy Howell for Best Speaker
  • Jon Carvell for Best TableTopics
  • Steven Bisby for Best Evaluator

Report by Bridget Pearson  (General Evaluator)


Our next meeting is Monday 9th July 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

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