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Doncaster Member completes the CL Award

Doncaster Speakers member Lianna has completed the Toastmasters Competent Leadership (CL) award.



The Competent Leadership manual comprises of 10 projects  that focuses on different leadership skills providing background information and an assignment that requires serving in one or more specified meeting or club roles.

The roles such as Evaluator, Timer, Toastmaster, Ah-Counter and General Evaluator are carried out during normal club meeting and then on top of these extra roles are needed such as joining the club’s committee and helping organise the 2 annual Toastmaster competitions which comprise of prepared speeches and TableTopics.

Well done to Lianna as only around 4% of Toastmasters world wide actually finish the manual.

This is an extra arm to the Toastmasters Competent Communicator manual and Pathways where a member has to complete a series of speeches all looking at difference aspects of talking and communication to helping improve speaking in public.

For more details about Doncaster Speakers visit the website:- or why not come to a meeting which are held on the second and fourth Monday of the month at the Regent Hotel Doncaster from 7pm


Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday August 14 2017

The Sgt at Arms, Andy Howell, ensured that the room was laid out and ready for the meeting due to start at 7.00pm.     He gave a three-minute warning enabling everyone to take their seats in time for start of the meeting.There were four visitors and each was supported by a member of the club.   Andy welcomed everyone to the meeting and acknowledged the presence of the visitors.    He advised everyone on the need to switch off mobile phones, the location of toilets and the procedure should a fire alarm be sounded.  He then introduced the Toastmaster for the evening, Andrew Miller.

Andrew then welcomed everyone to the meeting and made a point of mentioning the visitors by name.   He then introduced the Club’s Committee Members, explaining their roles within the Doncaster Speakers.   He explained about the practice of handshakes, handclapping and why these are used.  Also informed the meeting details for the forthcoming Speech Contest on 11th September 2017.  He then invited the Grammarian, Ah Counter and Timekeeper to come forward to explain their objectives in supporting the evening’s events.

Arthur Fenn, the Grammarian, presented the meeting with the word of the day, which was ‘Zenith’, and invited the group to use this as many times as possible.      He was followed by the Ah Counter, Stephanie Bisby, and Timekeeper, Andy Howell.   They also explained how they would monitor the evening’s events and would provide feedback at the end of the evening.

There were three speakers booked to deliver their speeches during the evening.   Each one had a Speech Evaluator assigned to them and they had taken the time to speak to their own Presenter to find out what to look for during each speech.    It was interesting that the experience of the speakers varied greatly.    One was delivering his first speech; the second speaker was delivering her fourth speech and the final speaker was delivering his sixth speech.    Also, it as noted that the speaking styles varied greatly which enhanced the evening.

Following a short break when everyone could meet up and chat, the second half of the meeting contained the challenging Table Topics session.  Arthur Fenn, the Table Topics Master gave some interesting topics and the speakers provided great moments of humour.

At the conclusion of the meeting the Speech Evaluators gave their feedback on each speech for the benefit of the speakers and the group in general.   Also, the Grammarian, Ah Counter and General Evaluator summed up the meeting.

Andrew Miller, the Toastmaster invited comments from both the visitors and from the group as a whole.    He also handed out the awards for the evening.

The meeting closed at 9.15pm.

Report by Jean Stewart, General Evaluator

Following the Bank Holiday break, our next meeting is Monday 11th September, 2017
Come along and watch the humorous speech competition – click here to RSVP

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!

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report | Monday September 12th

Now that the summer season is out of the way, the remainder of the calendar year can start in earnest.  Consequently, our Toastmaster for the evening, Pauline Westrop, chose a theme of “Back to School” for us to run with.

Back to School

As is often the way on the first day back at school, not everything went to plan, with a number of people having to cancel.  Which just meant that everyone else had to improvise and rally round and fill in for any roles that became vacated.  As a Toastmaster, you never know when you may be called upon to step up and perform, so this was carried off with the aplomb you would expect.


Officially, this was Pauline’s first meeting as a Doncaster member, although she is a seasoned Toastmaster.   It was also good to welcome Natalia Skorczewska as our newest member, along with  vistors and potential new members, Gerard Cahill and Adam Browne.


Meanwhile, Derek Lucian, as Grammarian,  set us the word “Humdinger” as the word of the day.  A word with a very interesting history which may be worth you looking up.


Three good speeches tonight.  Julie Pitcher, with only her second formal speech, regaled us with tales of her recent trip to America and the inspirational stories she’d picked up from the Kennedy Space Center (sic).


Richard Bluck has started his Advanced Manuals and his requirement to deliver a technical speech meant that we were educated on which type of fire extinguisher we should use in which circumstances.


The eventual winner of the club vote for the evening, Stephanie Bisby, varied her voice for us in Speech 6 from the Competent Communicator manual picking on the differences between English and American that she’d discovered when writing her first novel.


Shelagh Jones ran an education slot on how to judge a competition.  Very useful and timely as the club competition is to be held at the next meeting.


Bridget Pearson was in control of the Table Topics and, riffing off of the Back to School theme, challenged us to think of times that we had returned to other places and events and how we felt.  Winner of the evening, and keeping it in the family, was Steve Bisby.  He didn’t like the question he was given, so answered one from earlier about his first house, because he preferred that one.  Why not?  When you’re on stage, you own it and that’s what it’s all about.


Following the awards for the night, including the Best Evaluator to Derek Lucian, who tied with himself as Grammarian and Table Topic Evaluator, there was a final reminder on the competition at the next meeting.


If you’re interested in chuckling along with the Humorous Speech Competition or watching random improvisation in the Table Topics Competition, then feel free to come along for a 7pm start on 26th September at The Regent in Doncaster.


We look forward to seeing you there.


Details of the Travelling Toasties programme which was announced during the meeting can be found here


Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report | Monday August 22 2016

Meeting report  by General Evaluator Jean Stewart:

Meeting room was prepared by Sgt at Arms and other Members of the Club in readiness for the meeting to start at 7.00pm.

Bridget Pearson, Sgt at Arms, provided a two-minute warning of start of meeting.  Then started meeting at 7.00pm.   Bridget used a laptop to register attendance at the meeting, which worked well.    In addition to the Members who attended there was also a visit from Ryan Jones who is a member of Bristol Toastmasters.    As he was working in South Yorkshire he decided to call in and introduce himself to Doncaster Speakers and was made very welcome.


Steve Bisby was the Toastmaster for this meeting, and it was his first time in this role, something he managed extremely well.  His theme for this meeting was ‘Equality’.    In his introduction he mentioned the gender split in Toastmasters which was a healthy 50-50 split, an interesting point which followed the theme of the evening.


Other roles filled were Timekeeper:   Stephanie Bisby; Ah Counter:  Andy Howell; Grammarian:   Shelagh Jones, whose word for the meeting was “Equilibrium”.     Steve introduced each of these Members who were able to explain how their role fitted in with the evening’s events.  And they also provided an update towards the end of the meeting.


There were three speeches:     First speaker was Jean Stewart who was delivering an Advanced speech on “Celebrating the marriage of Andrew Murray and Kim Sears”; Second speaker, Prue Richmond delivering her Icebreaker speech entitled: “Things I now know in my late 20’s”.    The final speaker, Qasam Javaid delivered his Icebreaker, entitled “Better late than never and never give up”.


All three evaluators gave detailed feedback to the meeting including some positive recommendations.


Shelagh Jones was the Table Topics Master and she provided each of the participants with a choice of two options, and these provided those taking part with interesting topics to cover, with a great degree of humour.


The meeting ended with Toastmaster, Steve Bisby, inviting questions from the attendees.    This resulted in questions around the next Speech Competition to be held at the end of September.    He explained that the President, Derek Lucian, would cover this.


The President, Derek Lucian, handed out the Awards for the evening.    These were Best Speaker going to Prue Richmond; Best Table Topics Speaker going to the guest, Ryan Jones and the Best Evaluator Award being split and going to both Andy Howell and Shelagh Jones.


Derek rounded off the meeting by explaining the process in organising the Humorous Speech and Table Topics Competitions to be held at the Club on 26th September.   A number of people registered their interest in taking part in these Competitions.   The meeting ended at 9.00pm.

The next meetings are September 12 and then September 26 when we will have the Humorous and Table Topics Speech contests. You are very welcome to come along as a Guest!


Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report| Monday July 25 2016

Report by General Evaluator Shelagh Jones

New President Derek Lucian was Toastmaster for the meeting and gave us the theme of “Possibilities” – appropriate for the beginning of a new Toastmasters year.


The start of the meeting was a bit disorganised as Sergeant at Arms Sean Gordon was late to arrive, but two guests were warmly welcomed and had their early questions answered.

Derek gave a comprehensive introduction to open the meeting and introduced Time Keeper Julie Gordon, Ah Counter Andrew Miller and Grammarian Steve Bisby.

Steve’s Word of the Day was Appropriately which was picked up enthusiastically and used throughout the meeting.

Bridget Pearson introduced the Ice Breaker speech of her mentee, new member Julie Pitcher. Julie gave us a touching and heart-warming portrait of her life with Sally, a retired guide dog who gave years of service to Julie’s mother.

The purpose of the Ice Breaker speech is two-fold – to tell the audience a little bit about yourself and to establish where your skills are at the start of your Toastmasters journey so you can see your progress as you work through the manuals.

Bridget’s evaluation showed Julie where she is starting and where she can develop with future speeches

Michael J Clarke introduced Stephanie Bisby who gave Speech 5 from the Competent Communicator manual which focuses on Body Language. Entitled “Dancing Through Life” Stephanie wove together lessons from her time learning dance at university with the skills we need to develop as speakers, giving an enjoyable speech which earned her the Best Speaker award.

Mentoring is an essential part of the Toastmasters programme, and one which Doncaster Speakers continues to develop within the club. Jean Stewart gave a wide-ranging overview of how mentoring works, both for mentor and mentee. You can read a synopsis of what she said here.

After the break Derek Lucian was Table Topics (impromptu speaking) master and it was encouraging to see both guests (Gerard Cahill –First Time award) and new members take part , with the Best Table Topics award being shared by long-time member Andrew Miller and one of our newest members Sarah Saxelby.

Alison Turner evaluated the Table Topics speakers and gave valuable feedback to all.

Andrew Miller’s Ah counter report helped us all recognise those crutch words (and broken sentences!) which take away from the impact of our words.

Steve Bisby gave his first evaluation as Grammarian and introduced us to such concepts as “doing an Andy Murray” and the invaluable advice of replacing our umms and errs with the Word of the Day to achieve the double whammy of praise from both Ah counter and Grammarian! This was an outstanding debut performance which won him the Best Evaluator Award.

At the end of the meeting President Derek Lucian lead a lively discussion of various matters to do with the Club including inviting anyone interested in helping to organise the D71 District conference in Sheffield in November 2017 to come along to a planning meeting on September 8th.

He also presented certificates to recognise recent achievements by three members:

Advanced Communicator  Bronze (ACB)  – Jean Stewart and Shelagh Jones

Competent Communicator – Sean Gordon

The next meeting is on Monday August 8th and guests are most welcome to come along and join us.

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