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Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday June 10 2017

Shane3The theme for our meeting on Monday 10 July was “A New Chapter”, which was very apt as this was the first meeting for our new committee and for our new President and Toastmaster for the evening Shane Lukas (pictured).  Shane introduced the evening by asking for the audience to give interesting facts and benefits of Toastmasters. He also welcomed our 2 new members Luisa Marija and Stefan Glova.

Andy Howell as Sargent at Arms made sure the room was all set up and that we started promptly which was important as we had 3 speakers all doing Speech 2 Organize Your Speech from the Competent Communication Manual.

Arthur Fenn was the first speaker with a speech entitled “From Grains of Sand” which was a history of glass making. Bridget Pearson as his evaluator identified his passion for the subject, his powerful imagery and use of props and recommended that he watched out for the overuse of facts and his stance.

Josie Bowerman went next with a speech entitled “What a Waste”, she gave another impassioned plea for Culture and the Arts, a very different speech but again backed up with facts and illustrations to emphasis her points. Steven Bisby in his usual humorous style described her as “born in a Thesaurus not a womb” and went on to describe the various methods Josie has used to make her points. He recommended longer pauses and moving around the stage.

Deborah Kershaw was last but far from least as she went on to win Best Speaker with her talk entitled “If at 1st you don’t succeed try try try again!”. She gave us a very personal tale introducing us to Richard who was endeavouring to pass his driving test with Deborah as his 34th instructor!  He passed but not before we were treated to lots of visions of Deborah’s fear for her safety with her rather maverick pupil. Lianna Cairns identified Deborah’s conversational style, good eye contact and no reliance on notes. Lianna recommended that Deborah slow down, pause and enjoy the audience laughter.

The second half of the evening was devoted to our evaluators and Table Topics. Andy Howell set the Table Topics and following on from the theme of the evening invited the audience to speak on momentous events which had changed their lives or careers. We heard from Derek Lucian with his dislike of cows, Jean Stewart with her love of animals, Andrew Miller with his rebranding of his business and Lianna Cairns with her travels to New Zealand and Australia. One of our newest members Stefan Glova  gave Table Topics a go and spoke about how Toastmasters itself and his wish to speak in public was his biggest challenge. Stephanie Bisby evaluated the Table Topics and gave each participant some insightful feedback. The evening was rounded off with evaluations from our Grammarian, Richard Bluck, our Ah Counter Maria Orlovic and myself, Alison Turner as General Evaluator. The meeting kept to schedule with Time Keeper, Jean Stewart doing a thoroughly competent job of waving the cards to make sure we all kept to time.

Best Speaker Award            Deborah Kershaw
Best Evaluator Award          Lianna Cairns
Best Table Topics Award     Lianna Cairns
First Timers Award              Stefan Glova

Report by Alison Turner, General Evaluator

The next meeting is on Monday 24th July 2017.
Visitors are very welcome to come and see what we do!


Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report | Monday June 26 2017

What a beautiful end to a Toastmaster year.


The meeting was opened by Pauline in her capacity as Sergeant At Arms for the evening who then introduced Derek, the president of Doncaster Speakers and filling the role of Toastmaster for the evening.


As part of his welcome speech, Derek announced the theme of the day – Lessons Learned –  and shared with the members and our guest insights about the impact Toastmasters International is having as it continues to grow and reach more people through its growing number of clubs, members and number of countries in which it now has a presence.


In addition, Derek announced that our Toastmasters Club, Doncaster Speakers, had continued to maintain the highest rating that Toastmasters International gives to its clubs for a second year.


Toastmasters International rates its clubs on how well they encourage members to pursue their personal public speaking and leadership goals.  President’s Distinguished is the highest rating and we’re proud that Doncaster Speakers has continued to meet the standards required to achieve it.  This wouldn’t be possible without the exemplary commitment by the committee and President Derek.


We had the privilege of having a guest, Stefan.  His feedback at the end of the meeting was that this is exactly what he’s looking for in order to develop his presentation and public speaking skills.


The meeting flowed wonderfully with our evaluators each introducing their respective roles to the members and guest.


Andy Howell as Time Keeper

Arthur Fenn as Ah Counter

Lianna Cairns as Grammarian


Lianna declared that her chosen word of the day was ‘Cohesion’ and encouraged the speakers to fold in that word or as a bonus, incorporate ‘Cohesive Community’ in to their speech.


Derek was remarkably quick to fold that in to his description of Doncaster Speakers!


The first speaker, Steven Bisby, was introduced by his speech evaluator Josie Bowerman.  Josie explained that Steven was delivering a speech based on project 5 of the competent communications manual ‘Your Body Speaks’ and that Steven’s focus is on conveying gestures and body movements that would compliment and emphasise points he was making.


Steven’s speech, entitled Raffleing – a misleading title that reflects Steven’s witty sense of humour and was actually about refereeing.  The title was reminiscent of an occasion where Steven has mis-heard the word Refereeing.  His speech was incredibly funny as well as informative.  His body conveyed his message and the speech was complimented further with his array of props including a referee’s whistle.


The 2nd speaker for the evening was Jean Stewart. Jean was introduced by her evaluator Alison Turner.  Alison informed the audience that Jean was basing her speech around project 2 of the Advanced Communications manual, Story Telling.  Project 2 is Let’s Get Personal.


Jean certainly met the objectives of the project title. Jean’s speeches are always incredibly humorous and as her story was an experience of trying to fit in to a dress that would make her appear 2 sizes smaller but was unable to fit in to it without wrecking the dress the audience were in tears of laughter.


Our 3rd Speaker was Stephanie Bisby.  Stephanie was introduced and evaluated by Shelagh Jones.  Shelagh explained that Stephanie was completing her Competent Communications manual by delivering this particular speech.  The speech was based on Project 10 – Inspire Your Audience.  A daunting requirement in my opinion.


If it was daunting for Stephanie it didn’t show.  Stephanie delivered a very moving speech, sharing a very sad episode in her life where an old friend of hers had died but this death had motivated Stephanie to live life to the full.  Stay young at heart and take on the attitude that life’s too short and she inspired the audience to take on the same view, be a little more adventurous and make the most of our lives. Stephanie’s speech left me with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.


After the 3 prepared speeches and before we broke for coffee, Derek delivered the annual ceremony that takes place at the year end Toastmasters Clubs.  The dismantling of the current committee and relieving members of their roles of the previous 12 months and appointing the newly elected committee members for 2017/2018.


Derek performed this duty with professionalism, passion and a hint sadness which reflected the end of an era as he would discontinue his role as President.

The new committee members are filling big shoes and have great standards to continue to maintain.

After the coffee break we heard the speech evaluations.


Josie gave her feedback with such dynamism it was delivered as though she’d had a week to prepare it.  It was incredibly thorough.  Her recommendations for Steven included the very good suggestion of setting up a video camera to monitor some of the points she’d raised so that he becomes more self aware in the future.


Alison gave her evaluation of Jean’s speech.  She demonstrated that she’d observed very attentively and gave 3 recommendations for consideration to Jean.


Shelagh gave a very heart felt evaluation of Stephanie sharing with the members some of Stephanie’s journey within Toastmasters and Shelagh’s pride in Stephanie’s progression was clear.


Andrew Miller filled the role of Table Topics Master.  Andrew Miller is not one for sticking to the status quo and this meeting was no exception.  Whilst continuing to meet the  purpose of Table Topics – to develop thinking on the spot – Andrew introduced a brilliant twist.


He invited members up in pairs.  For each pair there was a theme that reflected a role within Toastmasters.  The first role was that of Toastmaster and specifically around the selection of a theme for the meeting.


Steven Bisby and Jean Stewart were invited and asked to spend their allocation of time suggesting themes for the coming months and why they made those suggestions.  The themes included ‘Staying Pale in July’  and Steven gave a football related theme for August connecting us back to his speech and reminding us that Football season starts in August.


Derek and Shelagh were invited to describe their favourite speeches throughout their time at Toastmasters.  As the theme of this session was that of Time Keeper, each had an allocation of 30 seconds to talk about their favourite speech, not more and not less.  Once the 30 seconds was up the other person would share their recollection.  They continued to alternate in this fashion for the allocated period of 3 minutes.


The next pair were Arthur Fenn and Alison Turner.  The theme of this session was the role of Ah Counter.  The pair were invited to talk about the Sheffield conference for their 3 minutes.  As soon as one of them er’d, ah’d or um’d the audience were to shout out and then the other person would have to continue to talk.


The final duo were invited to take on a duel!  In the spirit of a Rap Battle, Josie Bowerman and Stephanie Bisby – our Grammarian Queens – had to demonstrate their grammarian skills bouncing off each other’s creatively linguistically charged sentences.  Sadly, I personally lack the skills to better describe it!  Yes, you’ve guessed it, the theme of this session was the role of Grammarian.


Pauline Westrop, in addition to her role of Sergeant at Arms was also TableTopics Evaluator.  In light of the change of format Pauline had her work cut out for her but this didn’t stop her giving exemplary feedback to all concerned and especially to Andrew for his ingenuity in putting together such a great TableTopics session.


Derek closed the day by announcing the awards for the evening.


Best Speech Award went to Stephanie for her inspiring speech.

Best Evaluator Award went to Josie for her incredibly thorough and energetic evaluation of Steven.

Best Table Topics Award went to the duelling duo – Josie and Stephanie


Well done and well deserved.


Report by Shane Lukas, General Evaluator


The next meeting, the first of the new Toastmasters year, is on Monday July 10th. 

Visitors are most welcome to come and see what we do!



Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report | Monday June 12 2017

The Sergeant At Arms, Maria Orlovic, gave the participants a warning that the meeting was due to start in 2 minutes time.   The room was laid out and the signing in sheet was on the table at the entrance.

The meeting started on time at 7.00pm. Maria welcomed everyone and reminded them of the Toastmaster pledge, she then handed over the floor to the Toastmaster for the evening, Andy Howell.   His introduction to the evening included the information that there were hundreds of thousands of members worldwide and that this membership was growing.   The information provided by both Maria and Andy was especially useful as the participant on the evening included two visitors and a new member.

The theme of the day Andy had chosen was ‘Summertime’.  He then asked the Timekeeper, the Ah Counter and the Grammarian to come forward and explain their roles for the evening.

There was one speech on the evening, given by the Area Director, Pauline Westrop.   This was an Advanced speech entitled “The Roast”. In addition, the Evaluator for this was Shelagh Jones.

Shelagh introduced Pauline and outlined the criteria that needed to be covered in order for Pauline to successfully complete the speech, and the time frame in which this needed to be completed.

It was at this point that the Toastmaster, Andy Howell, delivered a short session on the Easy speak software that is available to members to record Club meetings and members progress.

Following this Maria announced a short interval to enable everyone to network and have a refreshing drink.   At the end of the interval Maria called the meeting back to order.

During the second half of the meeting the Table Topics Master, Josie Bowerman, called volunteers forward to present short a Table Topics.    Taking part was a combination of one of the visitors, some members and the new member.   Josie’s theme was book titles, and the speakers needed, without prior knowledge of these books, to describe what they thought these books were about.   This went extremely well and caused a great deal of amusement.

Alison Turner, as Table Topics Evaluator, provided evaluations on all the speakers and congratulated Table Topics Master on her choice of topic

The evening ended a 9.15pm with a short question and answer session, and then the President of the Club, Derek Lucian, thanked everyone for attending and informed them on future meetings and events.    He then handed out the Awards, which were:


Newcomer Award –    Pam Miller (visitor)

Best Speaker – Pauline Westrop

Best Evaluator (joint award):    Alison Turner and Shelagh Jones

Best Table Topic –  Pam Miller


Report by General Evaluator Jean Stewart.

The next meeting is on Monday June 26th. Visitors are most welcome to come!

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report | Monday June 5 2017

Such has been the success of Doncaster Speakers in the last few months an extra session had to be booked in to enable members to do a speech or evaluation role to help get them further through their manuals as the Toastmasters year end looms ever closer.

Low on quantity of people this meeting was high on quality.

Expertly, Sergant at Arms Arthur Fenn brought the meeting to a timely start and hush decended in the room with one fell swoop of the ceremonial hammer.

Toastmaster for the evening Alison Turner took over the meeting and keeping in mind the topic of the day – Technology – she ran a smooth meeting with no need to turn it off and back on again as everything went to plan.

We were entertained by two speakers, first up was Stephanie Bisby who was doing speech 9 of 10 from the Competent Communicator Manual – The Persuasive Speech – persuading us with some good personal examples that we all have a book within us.

Second up was Pauline Westrop who is on the Advanced Manuals and this week her task was to raise a toast. Pauline ticked the box in her manual whilst at the same time doing a job that needed doing as this was her last meeting as Area Director before handing over the chain of honour to Jean Stewart. Jean just happened to be sat next to her so Pauline raised a toast whilst handing over the chains. Multitasking at its best!

The interval then arrived with the chance to have a good old cuppa and a spot of networking.

With another timely bang of the hammer Arthur signalled the start of the second half.

Feedback is the thing that binds the Toastmasters galaxy together and without it life would be like Groundhog Day with nobody learning from their mistakes or successes so we were privileged to have 2 top Evaluators in Jean Stewart and Shelagh Jones giving not only feedback to Stephanie and Pauline but also they gave out hints and tips the whole audience could take away and think about.

Next up was Table Topics where speakers are given a question with no time to prepare and they then have to try and talk for 1 to 2 minutes on that subject. The evening’s Table Topics Master was Maria Orlovic who stuck to the meeting topic of Technology and came up with some great questions such as “Where do you see the Internet in 25 years time?” and “Could you live without technology?”.

The winner of the Table Topics was Josie Bowerman who gave a very compelling argument as to why robots are good for us.

Pauline carried on her multitasking by being Table Topics Evaluator giving all the speakers equal amounts of praise and tips to think about for next time.

A great meeting was had by all including the two guests in the room who commented on how clearly everyone spoke.

With that I’m off, I’ve got a book to write, JK Rowling watch out!


Best Speaker Award– Stephanie Bisby

Best Table Topics Award – Josephine Bowerman

Best Evaluator -Pauline Westrop


Meeting report by Steve Bisby, General Evaluator 


Next meeting is on Monday June 12th. Visitors are very welcome – just come along!

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report | Monday May 8 2017

With a packed full agenda, Andy Howell opened the meeting on time and efficiently, before handing over to Derek Lucian, our President and TM of the Evening. Derek’s theme of  “The Magic of the Maxim” was indeed magical- it set the scene for all at the meeting to be positive and engage with the theme.

Stephanie Bisby, Alison Turner and Shelagh Jones were clear and efficient with their roles as Grammarian,Timekeeper and Ah Counter. All explaining the roles well. Word of the Day was Steadfast, and Stephanie gave us information about the word and it’s connection with Doncaster, too.

Lianna Cairns delivered Speech 2, Andy Howell  Speech 9,  and Steven Bisby Speech 4 from the Competent Communicator manual.  I delivered Speech 2 from Specialty speeches. The standard was as high as Competitive speech events- a joy to all who were  listening. Well Done everyone!

The Evaluations were as High a standard,too,  from Stephanie Bisby, Shelagh Jones, Jean Stewart and Andrew Miller.

Jean was Table Topic Master and the Theme of Sayings and maxims was superb. Very thought provoking and a great challenge for the volunteers. Everybody accepted the challenge including one of our visitors – in at the deep end- why not!

Continuing the sprinkle of magic on our performances, Bridget Pearson delivered a well structured and thorough evaluation of Table Topics, supportive comments, indeed.

The meeting ran to Time, and my only wish was that we had recorded it- I thought it was a model meeting to aspire too. The meeting had it all- Laughter and Learning together.

Thank-you everyone- Doncaster Speakers is one of the strongest clubs in the organisation- and with tonight’s meeting, we can see why.

Pauline Westrop – General Evaluator

Best Table Topics Speaker award – Lianna Cairns

Joint Best Evaluators – Andrew Miller for evaluation of Pauline’s speech and Shelagh Jones as Aah Counter

Best Speaker award -Lianna Cairns


Our next meeting is on Monday May 22nd. Visitors are very welcome to attend!

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report | Monday March 27 2017

On Monday 27th March, I had the pleasure of being General Evaluator for our special guest evening. And wow, what a lot of guests we welcomed to the Regent and what a fun packed evening we had. Well done to all who took part and especially to anyone who was instrumental in bringing along a guest.

The evening started well with Bridget Pearson setting up the room and making sure everything ran smoothly from the start as our Sgt at Arms. Our President Derek Lucian was Toastmaster for the evening and he gave a good introduction to all our guests and introduced them to some of our protocols, such as shaking hands to hand over the baton to another speaker.

We were treated to 4 excellent speeches on 4 very diverse topics:

  • Andy Howell with his passion to achieve the perfect score of 300 in Ten Pin Bowling – speech evaluator Pauline Westrop
  • Jean Stewart on Marketing Messages being Misleading – speech evaluated by Shelagh Jones
  • Pauline Westrop with her short video speech on the Benefits of Toastmasters – speech evaluated by Bridget Pearson
  • To an Ice Breaker Speech from Arthur Fenn on his passion for golf – speech evaluator Shane Lucas

All the speeches were timed by Maria Orlovic who did an excellent job as Timekeeper for the evening.

For me the highlight of the evening was the Table Topics and Shelagh with her ice breaker cards gave everyone an opportunity to stand up and impress, including 3 of our guests.

A special mention must go out to all the excellent evaluators:

Deborah Kershaw who stood in at the last minute as the Ah Counter

Stephanie Bisby as our grammarian

Lianna Cairns as our Table Topics evaluator.

And to all those who doubled up on roles, Shelagh (Speech evaluator and Table Topics Master) and Bridget (Sgt at Arms and speech evaluator) and Pauline (who delivered a speech and gave a speech evaluation).

And to those who took on their role for the first time – Maria and Deborah and Lianna.

And so, to the Awards

  • Lianna Cairns was best evaluator with her Table Topics Evaluation
  • Jean Stewart was both Best Speaker and Best Table Topic speaker
  • Arthur Fenn received his Icebreaker Award

Well done to all who took part and we do hope our guests enjoyed themselves and that we will see more of them.

Alison Turner (General Evaluator)


Our next meeting is on Monday April 10th at 6.45pm for 7pm. Guests are most welcome to come along – no charge!

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