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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 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 14th January, 2019

Sgt at Arms, Stephanie gave both a 2 minute warning for start of meeting and also called meeting to order at 7.00pm. She also provided information on H&S issues, use of mobile phone.

Meeting had to move a couple of key people into roles on the evening, as a the original role holders had to cancel due to illness. However, the people who stepped into these roles did a marvellous job and there was a flow to the proceedings.

Pauline, as Toastmaster, a role she took on that evening, managed, with her usual professional but relaxed style to ensure that the meeting was enjoyable and followed the agenda originally set up by the Manager of the meeting.

There was one speaker, Andy, and this was delivered well and he managed to remember the various dates etc without any problem. The Evaluation of this speech was carried out by Bridget.

The Table Topics session was unusual in that the Table Topics Master, Elizabeth, organised this through participants selecting a number of items from a bag, and had to run their Table Topics based on these products. New members and visitors took part and this proved to be a very enjoyable session.

The meeting was provided with reports from Sarah the Grammarian, Evan the Ah Counter and Jonathan the Timekeeper. This closed at 8.45pm, which enabled members and visitors alike to gather together and enjoy a another session of networking.

All in all an enjoyable and fun session. Well done to all.

The award winners for best in category were:

Andy for Best Speaker.

Evan for Best TableTopics.

Steven for Best Evaluator.

Report by Jean (General Evaluator)

 

 

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 12th November, 2018

Doncaster Speakers is always a fun, educational evening and this evening was no exception. The evening started with a warm welcoming from Jean has Sergeant at Arms and a confident introduction from Arthur has Toastmaster.

Arthur has stepped up to the Toastmaster role quite a few times now and this evening he gave a slick professional introduction which was clear and precise.

Mwada filled in at the last minute as Timekeeper. She used the Toastmaster Timekeeper app on a phone to keep us all in time for the evening. Maria was Grammarian giving a thorough introduction to her role. She told us the word of the day ‘Balance’ and great examples how to use it throughout the evening. Steven was the Ah Counter and always introduces whatever role he is in with confidence and humour.

Our first speaker of the evening was Maria with a speech entitled Mother Tongue. Maria always amazes us with her knowledge and facts in her speeches. Elizabeth was her evaluator and gave a lovely evaluation to Maria and ending her evaluation with a positive to really boost Maria’s confidence in her speech.

Our second speaker was Lianna with a speech entitled My name is Lianna and I am … This speech was an honest recount of Special Educational Needs. Jean was her evaluator and was very complimentary on how much she enjoys this speech and back this with good examples of Lianna’s speaking skills throughout the speech.

Stephanie delivered an Educational slot looking at the power of word. Stephanie enjoys this topic and educated us all this evening. We all took something away from the session.

The second half of the evening was filled with evaluations and Table Topics. Elizabeth was our TableTopic session. Elizabeth pushed us all to the red timer this evening and we had some interesting impromptu stories told. Andy evaluated our TableTopics session and spoke to all speakers, he also encouraged people to pick up a role at the next meeting.

The evening was wrapped up by Lianna giving the General Evaluator report.

The award winners for best in category were:

Lianna Cairns for Best Speaker.

Susie Marsh  for Best TableTopics.

Andy Howell for Best Evaluator.

Report by Lianna Cairns (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 26th November 2018 at 7pm.

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