Category Archives: Meeting Reports
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.
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)
Bridget Pearson stepped up as Sergeant at Arms to open the meeting and introduce our Toastmaster for the evening Stefan Glova. Stefan’s chosen theme for the evening was “for the first time” to embrace his first time in the role and encourage others to do the same. He welcomed first time visitor Laura Costa and York EbOrators club visitors Lynn Gregory and Kay Frederico.
Warmth and humour radiated from our Toastmaster and throughout the evening’s proceedings which flowed with ease. Our meeting Timekeeper Andy Howell, Grammarian Kay Frederico and the Ah Counter Pauline Westrop all explained their role and what they would be looking out for towards their feedback. Kay announced an inspiring word of the day – Euphoria, which rendered its own enjoyment as everyone who follows is encouraged to use it.
The first speech by Bridget Pearson was to practice her unique Dr Seuss style delivery for an upcoming Christening, and included phrases such as “shoes full of feet” riddled with vibrant splashes of familiar childhood rhyme. Her speech evaluator Lynn Gregory gave the winning evaluation, delivering articulate feedback with eloquence and providing useful suggestions for every person in the room.
Our second speech came from Lianna Cairns who championed standing out instead of simply fitting in and won the ribbon for best speaker. As always, she took us on a journey with moments of excitement and quiet suspense. Andrew Miller as her evaluator, summed up all the positive points to reinforce the speech impact and demonstrated his recommendation, so that actions spoke louder than words.
Club President Shane Lukas held the education session on Committee Selection. A summary of each club committee role was provided and then the members were asked to nominate and vote (as required). From 1st July 2018, the Doncaster Speakers committee was announced as: Andy Howell (President), Maria Orlovic (VP Education), Deborah Kershaw (VP Membership), Lianna Cairns (VP Public Relations), Elizabeth Mead (Sergeant at Arms), Andrew Miller (Secretary), Jon Carvell (Treasurer), Arthur Fenn (Support to VP Membership), and Shane Lukas (Immediate Past President).
With such a buoyant meeting where all evaluations are held after the break, our first timer may have thought the pace would then slow. However, Arthur Fenn introduced the impromptu part of the evening as Table Topic Master. Seven volunteer speakers were challenged to respond with a short speech when asked about how they would live in a named unusual place – being given anything from a swamp, the Grand Canyon, an iceberg, a kipper factory to the Regent Hotel itself. The speeches and master were evaluated by Jean Stewart in her familiar rapturous style.
The evaluations from the Ah Counter, Grammarian and General Evaluator carried us towards the meeting conclusion. Guest feedback and the usual awards presentation followed, plus Doncaster Speakers was presented a special club ‘Talk Up Toastmasters Award’ for membership growth.
What a fantastic meeting, positively ‘euphoric’ in many ways! The award winners for best in category were:
- Lianna Cairns for Best Speaker.
- Jon Carvell for Best TableTopics.
- Kay Frederico for Best Evaluator.
Report by Maria Orlovic (a ‘first time’ General Evaluator)
Our Sergeant at Arms for the evening, Elizabeth Mead, started the meeting promptly at 7 o’clock, and handed over to our Toastmaster for the evening, Andy Howell, who explained the unusual format the evening would take to launch the new Toastmasters educational programme, Pathways. Instead of the usual 2 to 3 speeches and an educational session, the first half of the meeting consisted of six speakers all completing the same task: delivering an icebreaker speech to introduce themselves to the club.
All six speeches were fluent and interesting, with approaches ranging from straightforward biography, to life lessons learned, and even an innovative use of props in Jon Carvell’s speech, entitled ‘Labels’. Just to prove that it’s possible to deliver an award-winning speech at any stage of your Toastmasters career, the Best Speaker award was a tie between Zoe Robinson – the newest speaker taking part – and Andy Howell – the most experienced.
In the second half of the evening, an evaluation was delivered for each of the speeches. All the evaluations provided helpful feedback – both positives and points for improvement – for the speakers. Best Evaluator award went to Stephanie Bisby for her evaluation of Jon’s speech. Lianna Cairns then ran an entertaining Table Topic session following the meeting theme of ‘Memories’. The questions resulted in some excellent impromptu speeches, with the Best Table Topic award going to new member Janet Goodband on only her second occasion of taking part.
Maria Orlovic presented the awards and the evening finished with questions for the Toastmaster and a comment from our guest. All in all, the meeting was both fun and inspiring. Thanks are due to everyone who kept the session running smoothly, especially Jon Carvell and Steven Bisby for stepping in to the roles of Grammarian and Timekeeper at short notice.
The award winners for best in category were:
- Zoe Robinson and Andy Howell for Best Speaker.
- Janey Goodband for Best TableTopics.
- Stephanie Bisby for Best Evaluator.
Report by Stephanie Bisby (in lieu of a General Evaluator)
Our Sergeant at Arms for the evening, Evan Williams, started the meeting aplomb for the first time in this role at 7 o’clock, and handed over to our Toastmaster for the evening, Lianna Cairns, who ran the meeting with both fun and efficiency throughout; it was also Lianna;s first time as Toastmaster for the evening and her chosen theme of ‘Learning and Exploration’ matched well with the evening over all, as Evan and Lianna were not the only firsts of the night.
After helpful introductions to the roles of Timekeeper, Ah counter and Grammarian from Mwada Lawan, Steven Bisby and Deborah Kershaw respectively, the main part of the evening began with three prepared speeches. Mwada and Deborah were also undertaking their roles for the first time.
Our Grammarian set our word for the evening as incredulous and I was filled with incredulity myself to see 3 such well prepared speeches, all at different levels from Pathways, Competant Communicator and Advanced Manuals – and all with different objectives and styles.
Sarah Saxelby gave us a humourous morality tale regarding her “pink dress” and her efforts to fit in it for a friends wedding, Maria Orlovic taught us that we are all onions with her rousing statement of “I am an onion” and magicked comparisons between the humble vegetable and ourselves, but the best speaker of the evening award went to Jean Stewart with “the total package” a sales speech about her own bespoke travel company which Jean mastered with her usual panache and flair. Elizabeth Mead closed the first half of the meeting with an informative educational presentation sharing her own experiences of Pathways now she has completed her first Icebreaker speech. All agreed that this was brave to share and Elizabeth even followed on with an impromptu Q&A.
After the break, Derek Lucian gave us a selection of Table Topics (impromptu speaking) prompts – all linked to the theme of the evening, asking speakers to share such as “the most difficult thing you have ever learned” “the thing you have learned today” and “when does a little knowledge become dangerous. The Best Table Topic award went to Deborah who recounted how that day she had been learning to ski and had us all laughing along with her adventure. Andrew won the Best Evaluator award for his insightful evaluation of Jeans sales speech, which included both commendations and helpful recommendations for Jean, no easy task for such a wonderful and seasoned speaker as Jean.
All in all, the meeting was the holy trinity of support, fun and education which keeps me attending every meeting possible.
The award winners for best in category were:
- Jean Stewart for Best Speaker.
- Deborah Kershaw for Best TableTopics.
- Andrew Hodge for Best Evaluator.
and Janet Goodband received her ;First Timer’ award for first time speaking in front of the group with a delightful table topic about the importance of repetition in learning– congratulations!
Report by Jon Carvell, General Evaluator (1st time)
Our next meeting is Monday 21st May 2018 (in lieu of the Bank Holiday) at 6.45pm for 7pm at the Regent Hotel and as always, guests are welcome. This will be a special Pathways ‘official launch’ speeches showcase!
Our Sergeant at Arms for the evening, Maria Orlovic, started the meeting promptly at 7 o’clock, and handed over to our Toastmaster for the evening, Sarah Saxelby, who kept the meeting running smoothly and efficiently throughout, and set an interesting theme for the evening, Reflections.
After helpful introductions to the roles of timekeeper, Ah counter and Grammarian from Ben Clottey, Diran Gill and Arthur Fenn respectively, the main part of the evening kicked off with two prepared speeches. Lianna Cairns delivered a fluent, funny performance with her speech ‘I Hate Running’, but the best speaker award on this occasion went to Elizabeth Mead for her honest and thoughtful Icebreaker speech, entitled ‘This is Me’. Andy Howell closed the first half of the meeting with an informative educational presentation explaining how members can get started on using the new online system, Pathways, to support their learning.
After the break, Maria Orlovic provided a varied and thought-provoking selection of table topic (impromptu speaking) prompts – all linked to the theme of the evening, asking speakers to reflect on the past and future – and the result was an entertaining second half of the meeting. The Best Table Topic award went to a first-time visitor Zoe Robinson who gave an honest and fluent speech despite her nerves. Bridget Pearson fended off stiff competition from the excellent speech evaluators to win the Best Evaluator award for her whistlestop evaluation of all the table-topic speakers, which included both commendations and helpful recommendations for all the speakers – no small feat in the time available.
All in all, the meeting was both fun and educational.
The award winners for best in category were:
- Elizabeth Mead for Best Speaker.
- Zoe Robinson for Best TableTopics.
- Bridget Pearson for Best Evaluator.
and Ben Clottey received his Competant Communicator award – congratulations!
Report by Stephanie Bisby, General Evaluator
Our next meeting is Monday 14th May 2018 at 6.45pm to 7pm at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.
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