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Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 13th May, 2019

Here comes summer

Tonight Elizabeth was our toastmaster, she did a brilliant job from start to finish, tenaciously welcoming everyone and making sure instructions were clear to our 2 guests of the evening.  Before the break she encouraged everyone to “Chat to people!”

Steven was our Sergeant at Arms for the evening, he spoke clearly, threw in a bit of his usual dry humour and did an accurate job of keeping the meeting running to time. This skill came in handy for Steven tonight as he also confidently covered the role of Timekeeper. He excellently delivered two roles without hesitation, thanks for stepping in, Steven!

The theme for the evening was ‘Here comes Summer’, which I felt was very apt after all the sunny weather we’ve had recently – gets people in the mood for summer.

The Grammarian, Susie, delivered her role with her usual enthusiastic and smiley manner. She explained her role well and maintained confidence and poise. The word of the day was “tenacious”, which was used quite a lot by our members, including some multiple uses in one sentence throughout the evening! Susie reminded us all of the word at the beginning of the second half, stepping in front of the lectern and showing the word printed off on the A4 page, which I found useful. Her feedback at the end was thorough – she picked out different examples of language used and complimented the members.

Our Ah Counter of the evening was Arthur who encouraged us to avoid using filler words. He reviewed the ahs/ums usage towards the end of the meeting, telling us that there were quite a few erm/so combinations tonight. One of his recommends to Stephanie was “use the pauses to keep the flow going”. He got a big laugh from the floor when telling Andy about his use of “a couple of buts”.

This evening we did something a little differently. Andy enthusiastically delivered his speech from entitled “five minute guide” all about self-defence. Stephanie was Andy’s speech evaluator and she did a great job of introducing Andy before his speech, she read out his speech objectives and reminded everyone to “pay attention, enjoy the speech and make notes”.

Instead of just the ordinary one evaluation, Lianna then led a session asking all members to publicly feedback their thoughts on his speech. She encouraged people to get involved, leading from example with “I’ll start off”, and then proceeding to give Andy a bit of positive feedback. She listened very intently to everyone’s points and the conclusion was excellently delivered. I thought this was a great way to feedback and also gave new members fresh ideas of ways to evaluate a speech.

Maria also delivered speech 6 from the level 2 pathways “Team Collaboration” manual, the purpose of this project is to demonstrate your ability to listen to what others say. She did an excellent job giving the audience a TableTopics summary. She also led the TableTopics after the break and ensured she met her objectives of listening to the speakers and feeding back well.

Jon was the table topics evaluator and did a grand job of giving every speaker a commend and recommend. His body language was really good, he was humorous, it was just a shame he went a little over time.

Andy brought the meeting home with the awards for the night. A few congratulations are in order.

One to Jon for winning 3rd place at District 71 TableTopics competition and also to Steven for completing his Competent Communication manual. We are very proud at Doncaster Speakers for the dedication and commitment of our members.

The award winners for best in category were:

Becky for Best TableTopics.

Jon for Best Evaluator.

Report by Bridget
(General Evaluator)

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Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 8th April, 2019

Time for something sweet

The main purpose of Toastmasters is to get you out of your comfort zone, try something new without worrying about the outcome and discovering latent skills.  This philosophy gets applied in a number different areas, not just standing up at the front and doing a prepared speech.

Tonight one of our newer members, Susie, did just that by taking on the role of Toastmaster, the person who organises and runs the whole meeting, and what a fantastic job she did too.

There’s no doubting that it is a big role, however, it is often made out to be a lot more scary than it actually is.  The secret to being a good Toastmaster, as in all things, is about being prepared and Susie had done just that, meaning that her performance on the night was effortless and a pleasure.

There were a few challenges, mainly due to it being the build up to Easter and we were slightly depleted in our normally swollen numbers, which meant a lot of juggling and a few people stepping in at the last minute, but that’s all part of the fun.

The theme for the evening was Spring Forwards, Fall Back, which led to a history lesson of Daylight Savings Time which Susie blended in beautifully with the history of Toastmasters itself.

The Grammarian, Andrew, picked up on the American nature of the phrase but then shifted expectations by revealing that this, along with many other so-called American words or phrases, are actually English by origin.  Consequently, the word of the day was one just such word “Candy”, a simple word but not one frequently used in this country so a different sort of challenge for the members.

A major thank you to Val, our Ah Counter of the evening.  This was only her second meeting and she’s not even a member yet, but she volunteered to take on the role nevertheless, which takes a lot of guts and you can consider my hat to be well and truly doffed in her direction.  And she did herself proud.

We had three great speakers this evening, Sandie demonstrating her ability to take on feedback by repeating and improving upon her speech from last time.  Elizabeth demonstrated her team building and project planning skills by reporting back on Operation Christmas dinner that her local church put on last year, complete with mouth watering slides and a detailed project planning pack.  Finally, Maria warned us all about the dangers of being sedentary and urged us to increase our levels of movement.

Elizabeth and Maria are more seasoned Toastmasters and yet it was they who ran over time.  Tut tut.  Which meant that Sandie picked up a well deserved Best Speaker ribbon.

In the second half, once the speech evaluations were complete, carried out respectively and admirably by Arthur, Lianna and Elizabeth in her second role of the evening, we moved onto Table Topics.

Club President, Andy, dug out a concept that he’d used before.  We are all passengers on an airship which is about to crash.  There are only two parachutes.  One for the captain (Andy) and one for another person.  All volunteers were given a character on the ship (owner, engineer, stowaway, barman etc) and each person had to plead their case as to why they should get the parachute.

Really impressed that we had three First Timers come up and take part in the fun: Fey, Glen and Sundip all came up and braved the stage and did really well.  Once again it was demonstrated that the only barrier to moving forward is by not trying in the first place.

The Best Table Topic award went to Andrew, who basically let everyone else fight it out whilst he snuck out the door with the parachute.  He also picked up Best Evaluator in his role as Grammarian, aided dramatically by quite a few people being excluded from the vote by going over time.

Our visitor, Glen, surprised us all – including himself – by coming to the front and telling a personal tale which supported the message that Maria had put forward about paying close attention to your health.  As someone who had stated h

e was petrified to speak in front of others, Glen defied all expectations and came across natural and calm, so well done to you sir.

Andy brought the meeting home with the awards for the night as well as a report on all the accolades and awards that the club had been presented with at the Division Contest at the weekend, with huge amounts of credit going to Lianna, Deborah and Andrew for the welcoming video on the website, getting onto BBC Radio Sheffield to talk about Public Speaking and a noble 2nd in the said contest.

The award winners for best in category were:

Sandie for Best Speaker.
Andrew for Best TableTopics.
Andrew for Best Evaluator.

Report by Andrew (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 29th April 2019 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 25th March, 2019

With an audience made up of current member and 3 guests the meeting was aptly themed around Community.

If anybody was unsure of proceedings they were soon put right by Sergeant At Arms, Susie who with one loud bang of the gavel brought the meeting to order and following a quick run through the housekeeping she passed over the lectern to the Toastmaster for the evening Lianna.

Lianna gave a brief introduction to toastmasters and the various agendas and voting slips people had on their table which was a good reminder for the members and helpful to the guests to know what, when and why.

Evan was next up explaining his role of Timekeeper, followed by the Gramarian Andrew who explained the type of language he was looking for such as the power of 3. Janet the Ah Counter then informed the room she would be making a note of all the erms and ah’s people used instead of just pausing and waiting for their brain to catch up with their mouth when speaking.

The first part of the night was the prepared speeches, Sandie told us ‘You’re as old as you feel’, Elizabeth explained about ‘A brain to pick, An Ear to listen and a push in the right direction’ when mentoring somebody and current Vice President for Education Maria did her 7 speech on the topic of research and she talked to the room about the different herbs in her garden and cooking.

The second part of the night was the speech evaluations with President Andy evaluating Sandie, Andrew evaluating Elizabeth and Arthur evaluating Maria. All the evaluator gave a series of commends and recommends that both the speaker and the audience could take away and implement in their next speeches.

Mwada the Table Topics Master led the third part of the evening with the impromptu speaking where eight individuals including two of the guests were given a question that they had to answer straight away and the answer had to list between one and two minutes.

In just 6 minutes Elizabeth then had the job of evaluating all the Table Topic speakers and given them all a recommend and commend which she did with.

The final part of the evening was the evaluations of Gramarian, Andrew, Ah Counter, Janet and General Evaluator Steven.

The award winners for best in category were:

Val and Yetunde for First Timers.
Elizabeth for Best Speaker.
Jill for Best TableTopics.
Elizabeth for Best Evaluator.

Report by Steven (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 8th April 2019 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

 

 

 

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 25th February, 2019

Doncaster Speakers a welcoming and friendly club and every evening with them is a delight. The evening started with a confident welcoming from Mwada has Sergeant at Arms and  our Toastmaster for the evening was Steven. Both were professional and informative, the evening started off with a strong start.

Jean was Timekeeper for the evening. She used the Toastmaster Timekeeper app on her phone to keep us all in time for the evening and reminded us to download this free app to help with this role. Andy was Grammarian for the evening, his word of the day was flamboyant and this caught all our attention and was used a lot in the evening. Susie was the Ah Counter, she had a chart to help her with this role, but she openly revealed to us how enthralled she was in the speakers that she had to remind herself to listen out for the ah, ums and filler words. This is a great role to develop your listening skills.

Our first speaker of the evening was Evan with a speech entitled Passion. This was Evan’s Ice Breaker and what a strong start he is starting at. He spoke about 3 of his passions and personally I would love to hear more about his cooking passion. Sarah was his evaluator and gave us a competition standard evaluation. We have all learnt a few things about evaluation from Sarah.

Our second speaker was Stephanie with a speech entitled Live and Learn. This was Stephanie’s Ice Breaker on the new Pathways modules and what a great speech. Stephanie showed us that she is an experienced and accomplished speaker. Her props and music were a lovely touch to enhance her speech. Bridget was her evaluator and gave a personal and thoughtful evaluation to Stephanie.

Andy delivered an Educational slot looking at the Importance of Evaluation. He reminded us how important feedback is to make sure we know what we are good at and are given improvements to move forward with our speaking and leadership skills.

The second half of the evening was filled with evaluations and Table Topics. Arthur was Table Topics Master and what a brilliant session, Arthur always manages to make us all feel relaxed and entertains in whatever role he performs. Sandie evaluated our TableTopics session and spoke to all speakers, it is great to see Sandie delivering such big roles in our Toastmaster evening so early into her Toastmasters journey.

The evening was evaluated by Lianna giving the General Evaluator report.

The award winners for best in category were:

Stephanie for Best Speaker.

Andy for Best TableTopics.

Sarah for Best Evaluator.

Report by Lianna (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 11th March 2019, 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 11th February, 2019

One thing I have learnt at Toastmasters is to throw yourself into the meetings and get involved in different roles, you learn so much by doing this and grow in your knowledge of Toastmasters.

The evening started with Janet taking on the role of Sargeant at Arms (SAA). She had arrived early to help set out the room which is part of the SAA role and she did a great job at calling us to order and starting the meeting on time.

Lianna took on the role of Toastmaster, this is a role Lianna has performed in the past and at which she always excels. Lianna explained that the theme of the meeting was Change and did an excellent job of introducing Toastmasters, explaining why we applaud and give handshakes. Having attended Toastmasters training in York the week before, Lianna also included an inspirational story about the progress one of the attendees at the training had made in Toastmasters. This hopefully inspired old and new members alike as it did me.

Having practiced the timekeeping role at the previous meeting, Evan took on the role by himself and did a great job of making sure we were all in time. Evan always takes on new roles with enthusiasm and really gets into the nitty gritty of the role. Well done on this being the first time you have flown solo in this role Evan.

Maria was our grammarian this week, she gave us a really good and understandable explanation of the grammarian role and then shared the work of the day which was conundrum giving us some excellent examples of how to use the word which got us all thinking of how we were going to include it whenever we were speaking.

Next we came to Sarah who was out Ah counter. Sarah gave us some brilliant examples of filler words and brought our attention to an article on the ah counters role in this months Toastmasters Magazine. A great reminder to us all to read it and get the most from the magazine. When Sarah gave her report she identified some words that people had used but also gave alternatives that could have worked well. This was very positive and I feel it got people thinking.

There were 3 speeches this evening, One from Bridget, Andy and Steven. Bridget’s speech was entitled ‘May the Cornet be with you’. She aimed to use visual aids that were appropriate to the message and the audience. Bridget’s aim was to teach us how to play the cornet and to give us a detailed understanding of its different parts. Her visual aid was obviously, her cornet. She involved the audience well getting us exercising to expand our lungs and spitting as we would if we were playing the cornet. A thoroughly amusing speech which had us all entranced.

Steven’s speech was his very important 10th speech.entitled ‘I wish I was more organised’. It was meant to inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives, challenge the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievements; appeal to the audiences needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama. Steven’s speech was excellent and you could really see how he had grown on his Toastmasters journey. Steven spoke to us about being more organised using a typical example of how easy it is to lose some paperwork you need and using PowerPoint superbly to emphasise steps we can implement to achieve this organisation.

Andy then gave a speech which was aimed at imparting new information to the audience in an understandable way and motivating us to learn. His speech was entitled Game of People and gave us an amusing insight into poker and how it is about reading the people rather than playing the hand of cards. Very informative and challenge peoples views of poker.

After the break, we then moved onto the speech evaluations.

Arthur evaluated Bridget’s speech and gave a great review of the aims and structure of Bridget’s speech. Gave some good examples of where she had excelled and couldn’t find much improvement to recommend.

Jean evaluated Steven and made good mention of the use of PowerPoint which was excellent. She commended his movement and the way he avoided walking across the screen.

Pauline evaluated Andy and made great mention of the power of 3 that he had used. She suggested that he could have used more visuals but thought the structure of the speech was excellent.

After evaluation had been completed, Susie organised the table topics and had recruited a few people during the break who were willing to take part in Table Topics. Table Topics is when we have chance to practice our impromptu speaking, we are given a topic and asked to talk for 2 mins on that topic. Susie’s Table Topics was excellent and as is usually the case, we had many amusing and serious speeches from our fellow toastmasters.

Stephanie evaluated the Table Topics and made a good job of explaining how Susie had planned the Table Topics. Stephanie also pulled out examples of the good usage of language by different people, gave specific examples of what people had done well and made some excellent recommendations for improvement.

All in all, it was an excellent evening.

The award winners for best in category were:

Andy for Best Speaker.
Evan for Best TableTopics.
Stephanie for Best Evaluator.

Report by Elizabeth (General Evaluator)

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 28th January, 2019

One of the biggest thrills I get in Toastmasters is hearing Icebreakers speeches, someone’s first go at a prepared speech is the most important one they do.  Simply put, it can be seen as their initiation into Toastmasters and this meeting we had 2. On top of that, it was brilliant to see so many newer members taking on roles for the first time.

Mwada took on the role of Sergeant at Arms (SAA)  and did a good job opening the meeting on time and doing the standard notifications.  I think it is easy to underestimate the SAA role, it is an important one to keep the meeting flowing and to keep us on time.

Arthur took on Toastmaster and you know you are in safe and experienced hands with him. Arthur brings an informal vibe to the role that is infectious and lets you have fun while also knowing that we are in safe hands.  His theme for the night was “Change can be good” which formed a solid base for the meeting and was also used as the center for the Table Topics Master. Arthur as always runs a good meeting, handling it well and taking the inevitable last minute changes or problems in his stride.

One of the highlights for me was the timekeeper role which was shared between Sarah and Evan.  Evan has not done the role before but I can honestly say that the two worked together so well that I could not find anyway to improve their performance.  Evan with his exuberant style, made us all laugh when calling time, yes it was just one word “Time” but somehow he made us laugh with that. Sarah did an excellent job of sharing how to do the job, a real pleasure to witness.

Laura took on the AH counter for the first time.  She said that she was nervous but her natural style and confident ownership of the stage did not show this.  She gave us feedback which means that she did listen for our “Ah’s, erm’s, so” etc, a surprisingly difficult thing to do for first timers or experienced.  So another well done.

The grammarian has a similar job to the Ah counter, to listen and observe our language and feedback.  Bridget is one of our most experienced members and it showed, with a positive and energetic feedback session that gave us a lot to think about.  Her word of the day Refresh, was well used and an easy one to get into your talk.

Janet took on the Table Topics Master role for the first time, and gave us very well balanced questions.  What’s more impressive is that she did them all around change, the theme for the meeting. There is no way a visitor to the club could know that this was her first time in the role.  Funny, organised, balanced questions and to time, a very good first go at this job.

Talking about first timers even more, Susie took on possibly the hardest evaluation job due to preparation time, the TT Evaluator.  I know I have said this before, but like Janet, you could not tell this was her first time. She gave us good feedback and I look forward to seeing her do more roles.

The 3 speeches were special.  

Jonathan did his first speech on Pathways, the Icebreaker.  It was funny in some ways that he said how nervous he was but apart from that, if you were really looking, the first few seconds, the speech flowed nicely on what I think were deep and personal topics. Especially to be commended was his use of notes, or in his case lack of notes. A first time speaker who does not use notes (ok he had one small post it note with headings on, but I did not see him refer to it is commendable.  I really am looking forward to his second speech.

Sandie was up next with her Icebreaker speech.  As with Jonathan’s, it was a confident delivery and showed us some of her sense of humour.  Again, if she was nervous it was not obvious and I really enjoyed it. Another second speech I am looking forward to.

Last but not least was Jon, he delivered a speech about a SHED.  I won’t go into that too much apart from it was funny, very funny while still having a heart to it.  I really think that he could use this speech to enter this year’s humorous speech contest. It was nice to see Jon do a prepared speech, we know how good he is at Impromptu speaking and we have seen him do a funny prepared speech before, but somehow he keeps on getting better.

The 3 speech evaluators, AndrewSteven and Maria all did good jobs and Andrew and Steven in particular did well in evaluating and supporting the two Ice Breakers.  Maria had a tough job, she had to find some recommends for Jon speech!

At the end of the evening, our President fed back the results of the annual club visit from our Area Director.  There were a few minor improvement suggestions which the committee are looking at now, but in general, she praised the spirit, fun, innovation and our presence in the area.  A very good report that is no surprise but always nice to hear.

The award winners for best in category were:
Jon for Best Speaker.
Deborah for Best TableTopics.
Andrew for Best Evaluator.
Report by Andy (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 11th February 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

 

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