Category Archives: Meeting Reports
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.
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.
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’. entertained us with his humour and gave us a detailed evaluation at the end. was Ah Counter, she explained her role confidently and gave feedback to everyone about their filler words.
Our only speaker for the night waswith 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.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.
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!