Club President Andy was Sergeant at Arms for the evening and got the evening off on time and ran through the housekeeping rules before handing over the meeting to the Toastmaster Lianna.
About a month ago Lianna had never performed the role but watching her tonight she performed the role of Toastmaster with confidence and kept the meeting flowing and overcoming some on the spot problems when a few people dropped out at the last minute leaving roles not filled but by the start of the meeting Lianna had politely persuaded people to take up extra roles.
Next up was experienced speaker and long-time member Jean carrying out the role of Timekeeper, delivered in her usual amusing fashion informing the group the importance of time and the discipline needed to stick to it.
First up of the people who agreed to dual roles was Bridget as the ‘Ah Counter’. Bridget explained what she was looking and give tips how not to have a speech filled with erms, ahs and so’s.
Moments before being called up Steven was asked to step in as Grammarian adding his own humorous stamp to proceedings and choosing the word of the day of ‘Unprepared’. Speakers then have to try and fit the word of the day in to their talks through the night.
Arthur as evaluator introduced the first prepared speaker of the evening Elizabeth who was doing speech 3 of the new Pathways programme where she had to repeat a speech and improved it with the feedback she had been given last time. Her speech was titled ‘What’s in the box’, a look at her fear of buttons.
Another dual role was Pauline who introduced the 2nd speaker Maria. Maria was doing speech 8 of the old Competent Communicator manual – using visual aids. Maria did an interesting educational session about the Toastmaster Easyspeak and Pathways websites. A very packed session that unfortunately ran slightly over time eliminating her from the best speaker award.
During the interval a visitor popped his head in and was warmly welcomed and brought up to speed of what was happening.
The second half kicked with Andy reminding people to turn off their phones and he handed over to Lianna.
Arthur and Pauline gave their evaluations of the prepared speeches giving examples of good and bad parts and way both the individuals and the general audience could use to improve next time.
Pauline performed her 2nd role of the evening – Table Topics Master where people are given a topic and with no planning they have to go straight up on stage and talk for around 1 to 2 minutes.
This weeks topic was ‘Adventure’, things like taking part in a film or going on a blind date cropped up.
Visitor Innocence had a go talking about things he would like to bring from his culture but the winner was Arthur with his talk about getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle and being saved by a Pidgeon (The challenge is to find a topic he does not managed to get a Pidgeon in to!)
Bridget then reviewed the Table Topics giving each speaker one compliment and one comment for them to take away.
Bridget came back to give a review of the evening from the ‘Ah Counter’ point of view giving the number of times each person had said an erm or ah instead of just pausing whist they thought of what to say next.
Steven with his Gramarian hat on informed the room of 4 uses of the word of the day and highlighted some good and not so good grammar that came up during the night.
Then Steven put his other hat on of General Evaluator and evaluated all the people who had not been evaluated during the evening pointing out what they did well and what could be improved on.
The award winners for best in category were:
- Elizabeth Mead for Best Speaker.
- Arthur Fenn for Best TableTopics.
- Bridget Pearson for Best Evaluator.
Report by Steven Bisby (General Evaluator)
Our next meeting is Monday 24th September 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome. This is our Humous and Table Topics Contest come along for an evening of comedy and fun.
Another wonderful evening at Doncaster Speakers, we are very lucky to have such a positive supportive group. The evening started with a confident introduction from Laura has Sergeant at Arms and Jean has Toastmaster.
Jean introduced Toastmaster International confidently and told us about the new Pathways programme. Her theme was ‘Achievement’ and this theme was woven in throughout the evening by all participants.
Arthur was Timekeeper; he introduced his role and used a great story about time to keep us all enthralled. Pauline was Grammarian and introduced the word of the day ‘eclectic’. Pauline told us what her role was and shared language that grabbed her attention in her evaluation. Andrew stepped in at the last minute has Ah Counter, and gave us a clear description of the role. He spoke to all individuals in his evaluation.
Our first and only speaker of the evening was Maria with a speech entitled ‘What Is Digital?’ she gave a confident speech and tonight was a true reflection of her journey at Toastmasters and how much she has progressed over her 18 months here. Steven stepped in at the last minute to evaluate her speech and delivered a confident and detailed evaluation. He used the ‘commend, recommend and commend’ evaluation technique to deliver his evaluation.
Andrew delivered an Educational slot on the Humour and Table Topic competition we have coming up in the next few months. He certainly persuaded us to come along to the sessions to support and join in with this brilliant event.
The second half of the evening was filled with evaluations and Table Topics. Andy took on the role of Table Topic Master and gave us another fun session. Stephanie gave an thoughtful evaluation of Table Topics and gave feedback to all speakers.
The evening was wrapped up by Lianna giving the General Evaluator report and Andy finished off the evening. Another successful evening, looking forward to the next meeting Monday 20th August.
The award winners for best in category were:
Maria Orlovic for Best Speaker.
Arthur Fenn for Best TableTopics.
Stephanie Bisby for Best Evaluator.
Report by Lianna Cairns (General Evaluator)
Our next meeting is Monday 20th August 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.
Bridget Pearson stepped up as Sergeant at Arms to open the meeting and introduce our Toastmaster for the evening Stefan Glova. Stefan’s chosen theme for the evening was “for the first time” to embrace his first time in the role and encourage others to do the same. He welcomed first time visitor Laura Costa and York EbOrators club visitors Lynn Gregory and Kay Frederico.
Warmth and humour radiated from our Toastmaster and throughout the evening’s proceedings which flowed with ease. Our meeting Timekeeper Andy Howell, Grammarian Kay Frederico and the Ah Counter Pauline Westrop all explained their role and what they would be looking out for towards their feedback. Kay announced an inspiring word of the day – Euphoria, which rendered its own enjoyment as everyone who follows is encouraged to use it.
The first speech by Bridget Pearson was to practice her unique Dr Seuss style delivery for an upcoming Christening, and included phrases such as “shoes full of feet” riddled with vibrant splashes of familiar childhood rhyme. Her speech evaluator Lynn Gregory gave the winning evaluation, delivering articulate feedback with eloquence and providing useful suggestions for every person in the room.
Our second speech came from Lianna Cairns who championed standing out instead of simply fitting in and won the ribbon for best speaker. As always, she took us on a journey with moments of excitement and quiet suspense. Andrew Miller as her evaluator, summed up all the positive points to reinforce the speech impact and demonstrated his recommendation, so that actions spoke louder than words.
Club President Shane Lukas held the education session on Committee Selection. A summary of each club committee role was provided and then the members were asked to nominate and vote (as required). From 1st July 2018, the Doncaster Speakers committee was announced as: Andy Howell (President), Maria Orlovic (VP Education), Deborah Kershaw (VP Membership), Lianna Cairns (VP Public Relations), Elizabeth Mead (Sergeant at Arms), Andrew Miller (Secretary), Jon Carvell (Treasurer), Arthur Fenn (Support to VP Membership), and Shane Lukas (Immediate Past President).
With such a buoyant meeting where all evaluations are held after the break, our first timer may have thought the pace would then slow. However, Arthur Fenn introduced the impromptu part of the evening as Table Topic Master. Seven volunteer speakers were challenged to respond with a short speech when asked about how they would live in a named unusual place – being given anything from a swamp, the Grand Canyon, an iceberg, a kipper factory to the Regent Hotel itself. The speeches and master were evaluated by Jean Stewart in her familiar rapturous style.
The evaluations from the Ah Counter, Grammarian and General Evaluator carried us towards the meeting conclusion. Guest feedback and the usual awards presentation followed, plus Doncaster Speakers was presented a special club ‘Talk Up Toastmasters Award’ for membership growth.
What a fantastic meeting, positively ‘euphoric’ in many ways! The award winners for best in category were:
- Lianna Cairns for Best Speaker.
- Jon Carvell for Best TableTopics.
- Kay Frederico for Best Evaluator.
Report by Maria Orlovic (a ‘first time’ General Evaluator)
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!
Standing still is the path to stagnation and the beauty of Toastmasters is how easy it is for people to grab opportunities to push themselves, even if by just a little bit. Appropriately, the theme for this week’s meeting was “Learning and Development” and our Toastmaster of the evening was Jon Carvell, who has been a member for only three weeks and straight away has taken a stab at the top job of the day.
Providing an extra jangle to the nerves was the healthy number of new faces in the audience. As well as a couple of visitors, we also had four new members amongst the throng, which can throw an extra bit of responsibility onto the shoulders. We must of course, welcome aboard Diran, Hussain, Mwada and Christina and look forward to their first steps within the club.
In the meantime, Jon Carvell carried out his duties with aplomb, giving a great introduction to the meeting and setting an engaging and welcoming atmosphere. Above all, I felt like the front of the stage was a safe place to be, entirely due to the way that Jon had set things up.
The various roles being undertaken for the evening were introduced by Jon with grandeur and humour as he created dramatic titles for each position, including the Princess of Prose, Stephanie Bisby who, as Grammarian introduced “Endeavour” as word of the day. From there it was onto the meat of the meeting.
Unusually, we only had one speaker tonight. Lianna Cairns with a speech entitled “What is Phonics”. This was the 8th speech from the main programme, of which there are 10, so Lianna is very close to being awarded the Competent Communicator award. The them for this speech was to Get Comfortable with Visual Aids and Lianna chose to use a combination of slides and props to get her message across.
Lianna’s was able to draw on her experience as a primary school teacher to educate us all about how the English language is taught these days and the things that every child has to learn. An introduction to Phonics, the current curriculum system, was an eye opener for a number of people in the audience, the majority of whom are probably more familiar with the old parrot fashion approach to learning. I even learnt how I should have been holding my pen all these years. Let’s see if that can improve my handwriting.
The second half saw eventual evaluator award winner Jean Stewart, give a glowing review of Lianna’s speech followed by the improvised section of the meeting, Table Topics. Organised by Arthur Fenn this week, volunteers were given various scenarios where they had to give a farewell speech to someone that was important to them. Challenging but interesting, the award for best Table Topic of the evening was given to Becky Pennington, President of the Sheffield club who was visiting this evening in order to ensure that Doncaster Speakers maintain the high standards that they have developed.
One of the most challenging roles of the evening is that of Table Topics Evaluator, as the feedback is delivered almost instantaneously. Stefan Glover took on the challenge for the first time and in his second language. Another great example of pushing oneself.
The next challenge for everyone is the Club Competition, which takes place at the next meeting on 12th March. Everyone is welcome to attend and get involved in some way, shape or form – in fact, one of the day’s new members has asked to compete in the Evaluation contest. Not even 24 hours on the register and he’s already pushing to seek out new experiences. Excellent effort.
This means that the next meeting of the usual format will be on 26th March, but anyone wanting to visit and watch a competition in action is more than welcome to do so.
In conclusion, it was great to see so many people taking steps to learn and develop by pushing themselves into new places. At the same time, everyone can choose the pace that suits them, so those steps can be tiny little ones.
As a wise man once said, “It’s not the pace at which we move forwards that matters, but that we move.”
I look forward to seeing you all at either the competition on the 12th March or our next regular meeting on 26th March.
The award winners were:
- Best Speaker – Lianna Cairns
- Best Table Topics speaker – Becky Pennington
- Best Evaluator – Jean Stewart
Report by Andrew Miller, General Evaluator
Our next meeting is Monday 12th March 2018 which is a club competition
Upon entering the room, I was greeted by the hustle and bustle of excited Toastmasters and several guests.
Debra Kershaw – the club’s VP Membership, Maria Orlovic and Andrew Miller were hard at work to ensure that guests had signed the guest book and all had seats. By 7pm when the meeting started, there was standing room only!
The night was comprised of three speeches from the Traditional Toastmasters program, and one educational session led by Accredited Speaker and Pathways Guide, Clare Crowther.
Lianna Cairns’ speech “Discovering New Zealand” drew cheers from the audience when she pointed out that it was a Yorkshire man who eventually gained the indigenous Polynesians’ trust. Arthur Fenn praised Lianna’s word choice, use of the floor and pacing, recommending that she vary her hand gestures to avoid clasping her hands.
Steve Bisby earned the award of Best Speaker for his speech “The Steve Slam,” which entertained the audience with several wardrobe changes along with a vivid and humorous slide show. Sarah Saxelby earned Best Evaluator for her evaluation, which was entertaining in its own right. She praised Steve’s physicality during the speech but added a note of caution not to turn his back on the audience when referencing the slides.
Andy Howell demonstrated advanced skills in his speech “A Trip Down Memory Lane,” Bridgett Pearson praised how he combined body language, gestures and vivid imagery in his storytelling to connect with the audience. Her recommendations included referencing the title within the speech itself.
Clare Crowther and Tina Norbury offered more insight into the what, when and how of the new educational system, Pathways. Members and guests alike were interested to hear what Pathways has in store, and how this would change the educational experience.
As Toastmaster for the evening, Shane Lukas led us through the meeting expertly. His introductions and transitions were welcoming and seemed effortless. He demonstrated how a Toastmaster can lead with a calm and confident presence.
Stefan Glova made his debut as Table Topics Master. His welcoming and cheerful smile made speakers feel at ease, as they answered deceptively simple but challenging questions about a variety of service experiences. Stephanie Bisby evaluated the 8 table topics participants expertly.
Jean Stewart kept us laughing in her dual roles as Timekeeper and Grammarian, while still explaining the roles simply for the benefit of guests.
In the role of Ah-Counter, Jon Carvell kept the humour coming with artful use of pauses and repetition.
The meeting closed with a Thank You from Angela Scott, Division E Director, and acknowledgement of all that Doncasters Speakers have achieved so far this year to build a vibrant club. President Shane Lukas accepted the ribbons the club had earned for the Dues Renewal contest in September on behalf of the committee, and then announced that meeting’s winners were:
- Best Speaker: Steve Bisby
- Best Evaluator: Sarah Saxelby
- Best Table Topics: John Carvell
Report by Angela Scott, General Evaluator
Our next meeting is Monday 26th February 2018