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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)

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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.

 

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 8th October, 2018

The meeting tonight had a great vibe with an excellent turn out and 3 lovely guests.

It was Sandie’s first time as SAA and she got us off to a good start by taking the gavel with gusto, giving the usual 1 min warning and explaining in a clear and concise way of all the things we should be aware of, such as where the fire escape door was, phones off etc. Sandie then gave our ToastMaster of the evening Lianna a very warm welcome.

Lianna has now lots of experience as TM & reminded us from the off how all the dedicated roles taken at the meetings will help with our leadership skills. Tonight’s theme was “Happiness” and Lianna asked us all to try and start our day with giving at least 3 smiles a day to people we meet and even the odd ” how do” and as we travel down our given path we should endeavour to “enjoy the journey”.

Our Timekeeper this evening was Janet. It was Janet’s first role tonight she and reminded us of the importance of keeping to times and how this would be achieved. Janet obviously enjoyed this task and I’m sure this will lead to taking on many other roles.

Stephanie as Grammarian is always a joy to see and hear. Stephanie picks up on phrases, nuances and general grammar that many of us miss. The word of the day was Elation/Elated and it was interesting to see this incorporated into many speeches.

The Ah counter role was taken by Mwada and explained that she would be watching out carefully  for all those irritating  filler words that we all sometimes use. It is really great to see how infrequent certain ah’s and so’s are being used as we all gain more confidence with each passing meeting.

The Toastmaster then introduced the 2 evaluators. First was Elizabeth who was evaluating  Laura’s speech “Nuts & Crackers” which was a very moving and thought provoking reminder of the problems of mental health. Second was Steven who was evaluating Andy speech “Random” . Andy delivered this well with upbeat ” good times” approach to life which will defeat the ” bad times” any day.

Maria kindly stepped up to the plate with an educational session and welcomed our guests. Maria reminded us about the last session a few weeks ago and of the the hard work involved in becoming a Pathways champion.

After the votes for best speaker the Toastmaster ended the first half for a well earned 15 minute break.

Sandie then called the meeting to order and introduced the Toastmaster back to the lecturn. As TM Lianna kept the meeting running smoothly with some great humour thrown in before asking the Grammarian to remind us of the word of the day and give us all an update on how we were all performing.

The General Evaluator was up next and explained the importance of evaluations and how they can be a positive influence to all the speakers.

Elizabeth and Steven then came forward  and each gave an honest and valuable assessment of Laura and Andy’s speeches.

Table Topics will always be one of the most popular if not a little terrifying part of the night and this was no exception with Bridget asking 6 people including Jon and Susie ( guests ) the questions of Dr Seuss. These were really thought provoking with “why fit in when you were born to stand out” and “to the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world”

It was great to have Michael back tonight and as table topic evaluator he gave all the contestants sincere & honest feedback.

With the end of the night looming our TM Lianna asked for reports from the ah counter, grammarian , timekeeper & general evaluator before a short Q&A session. Lianna handed over to Andy to ask for any guest feedback . This was given by all 3 guests tonight who said they had thoroughly enjoyed it. Andy finished off a brilliant night by handing out the awards.

The award winners for best in category were:

Andy Howell for Best Speaker.
Elizabeth Mead for Best TableTopics.
Stephanie Bisby for Best Evaluator.

Report by Arthur Fenn (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 22nd October 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 16th July, 2018

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.

Mwada Lawan 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’.  Steve Bisby entertained us with his humour and gave us a detailed evaluation at the end. Janet Goodband was Ah Counter, she explained her role confidently and gave feedback to everyone about their filler words.

Our only speaker for the night was Zoe Robinson with 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. Maria Orlovic 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.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 21st May 2018

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

 

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 14th May 2018

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!

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