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Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 11th June 2018

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 next meeting is Monday 25th June 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

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Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 8th January 2018

Sergeant at Arms Jean Stewart started the meeting on the dot of 7pm with a humorous but effective introduction to the logistics of the evening.

As it was the first meeting of 2018, Toastmaster of the Day Pauline Westrop chose “New Year Resolutions” as her theme for the meeting.   She did a quick run round everyone in the room asking them to complete the sentence “This year I  will….” which uncovered a promise to avoid murder and to refrain from aiding and abetting said murder as well as many more worthy goals.  We had two guests and Pauline covered all the conventions efficiently.

Stephanie Bisby as Timekeeper not only explained the reason for good time keeping but made sure everyone was familiar with the position of the timing cards in the unfamiliar meeting-style room setup.

New member Jane Franckeiss stepped in at short notice to take the role of Ah counter and did an excellent job in explaining her role.

Jean was also Grammarian and chose a word related to the meeting theme, Willpower, as her word of the day.

Bridget Pearson introduced Steve Bisby who was delivering Speech 7 in the Competent Communicator manual which helps uncover the ways to research the material in a speech. Steve gave us an amusing talk about the trials of life as a follower of Doncaster Rovers – a subject for which he had many years of research to plunder and cleverly linked specific examples to the theme of Be Prepared.

Pauline delivered an educational session around the forthcoming second half of the Toastmaster Year and the imminent start of the new Pathways programme in March 2018.

Jean had us back at our seats exactly at 8pm after a break for coffee and chat and the second half started with Bridget’s evaluation of Steve’s prepared speech.

She highlighted the parts which went especially well and, as is the way in Toastmasters, offered some points where the speech could be improved.

Table Topics, the impromptu speaking section of the meeting, was run by Andy Howell.  He gave speakers the unusual task of comparing the pros and cons of arguments. He called it “Rant and Rave” and it was really enjoyed by all the speakers.  Pauline Westrop, talking about small dogs, won the award for Best Table Topics speaker.

Andrew Miller gave helpful feedback to all the speakers which earned him the Best Evaluator award.

Jane gave feedback as Ah counter and commented on how hard it is to focus on her role and not get diverted by the content of the speeches.

Jean gave her usual entertaining look at all the language used during the meeting – and ended up saying that “I think you are all bonkers!”

Which summed up an enjoyable, entertaining and instructive meeting perfectly.

The award winners were:

  •     Best Speaker – Steve Bisby
  •     Best Table Topics speaker – Pauline Westrop
  •     Best Evaluator – Andrew Miller

Report by Shelagh Jones, General Evaluator

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 27 November 2017

Another wonderful evening at Doncaster Speakers, it was a very busy evening with a few new faces which is always a positive.  Three strong speeches were delivered and everyone stepped up to the mark as usually in their roles.  The evening started with a humorous introduction from Andrew Miller as Sergeant at Arms and Stephanie Bisby as Toastmaster.  Stephanie introduced Toastmasters International confidently and told us why she had joined the club. Her theme was ‘Taking Risks’ and she described Toastmasters perfectly as a safe environment to take risks and described Toastmasters as a place to  “Stand up, have a go, fall back and trust us we will catch you and support you through your journey.”

Jean Stewart was Timekeeper, she introduced her role and used the Toastmaster timekeeper’s app to keep us all on time for the evening.  Stefan Glova was Grammarian and introduced the word of the day ‘procrastination’.  Stefan entertained us with his humour and shared language that grabbed his attention. Bridget Pearson was Ah Counter, she gave us a suggestion on’ just taking a pause’ to stop these little niggles from happening. She spoke to all individuals in her evaluation.

Our first speaker was Maria Orlovic with a speech entitled ‘Act Upon It ’, she gave a confident speech which has us all enthralled from start to finish.  Deborah Kershaw evaluated her speech in a positive way and showed how well she had been listening to the speech.

The second speaker was Andy Howell with a speech entitled ‘Beep, Beep’ which was a classic story of good Vs evil using a well-known cartoon programme.  Steven Bisby evaluated his speech in his witty way and gave Andy positive and constructive feedback to work on.

The final speaker was Pauline Westrop with a speech entitled ‘Remembering the miners strike of 84/85’ this was another heartfelt and honest speech. Pauline has the ability to pull us into her personal stories and take us on her journey, very powerful.  Arthur Fenn evaluated her with a personal and positive evaluation.

The second half of the evening was filled with evaluations and Table Topics.  Shane Lukas took on the role of Table Topic Master and gave us another fun session.  Pauline Westrop gave an energetic evaluation of Table Topics and gave feedback to all speakers.

The evening was wrapped up by Lianna Cairns (myself) giving the General Evaluator report and Shane Lucas finished off the evening.  Another successful evening, looking forward to our Christmas themed night!

The award winners were:

  •     Best Speaker, joint winners – Pauline Westrop and Maria Orlovic
  •     Best Table Topics – Jon Carvell
  •     Best Evaluator – Deborah Kershaw

Report by Lianna Cairns, General Evaluator


Our next meeting is Monday 11th December, 2017 with our Members’ Christmas Meeting

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 13 November 2017

Numbers were lower than usual this week, mainly due to holidays (who knew November was such a popular time for travel?) but what the group lacked in size it made up for in enthusiasm.  Sergeant at Arms for the evening, Lianna Cairns, opened the meeting at 7:00 (give or take an unavoidable delay of a minute or two), and got us off to a flying start by delivering the announcements in her usual clear and unflappable style, despite stepping into the role at very short notice.

Arthur Fenn introduced the main business of the evening in a friendly and approachable manner, and then kept the meeting flowing smoothly as he introduced the individuals performing various roles for the evening: Pauline Westrop as Grammarian, Steven Bisby as Ah Counter and Stefan Glova as timer.  All three performed their roles meticulously throughout the evening.

Our first speaker was Lianna Cairns, who received a well deserved ‘Best Speaker’ ribbon for her talk entitled ‘Anything for a Bargain’, a sentiment with which I’m sure many of our members would agree (we are from Yorkshire, after all), even if we may not have gone quite as far for a bargain as she did.   Her evaluator, Pauline Westrop, received ‘Best Evaluator’ award for her thoughtful and powerfully delivered feedback on Lianna’s speech.

The second speaker was Stephanie Bisby, presenting a modern twist on a traditional folk tale as part of the advanced Storytelling manual.  Stuart Hunt bravely stepped in at the last minute to deliver his first ever evaluation, which he did clearly and enthusiastically.

The second half of the evening featured Table Topics (short impromptu speeches) set by Bridget Pearson around themes relating to the recent Steel City conference and the speeches delivered there.  Topics varied from the conventional, such as buying a new dress for the conference, to the intriguing, such as ‘Who would you be if someone stole your identity?’  The winning Table Topic was delivered by our Toastmaster for the evening, Arthur Fenn, with a humorous take on the assigned subject: his reaction to finding himself fifteen months pregnant.

Following the General Evaluator’s report, Arthur wrapped up the evening with a quick Q&A session and then presented the awards for Best Speaker and Best Evaluator, while Past President Jean Stewart kindly stepped in to present Arthur with his award for Best Table Topic.

The award winners were:

  •     Best Speaker – Lianna Cairns
  •     Best Table Topics – Arthur Fenn
  •     Best Evaluator – Pauline Westrop

Report by Stephanie Bisby, General Evaluator


Our next meeting is Monday 27th November, 2017

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 23 October 2017

Another brilliant evening at Doncaster Speakers, it was filled with fun, energy, two amazing speeches and confidently delivered roles by all members .  The evening started with an introduction from Pauline Westrop as Sergeant at Arms and Jean Stewart as Toastmaster. Jean praised us all for being a high performing club, well done everyone for your continuous support and dedication to this.

Arthur Fenn was Timekeeper for the evening, he introduced his role and was waving the cards clearly at the back to keep us all in time for the evening.  Steven Bisby was Grammarian and introduced the word of the day ‘discombobulation’.   Steven was clear on what he was going to be looking out for and spoke to individuals when giving feedback.  Maria Orlovic was Ah Counter, she gave a personal story to introduce this role- what a great touch and a clear description of the role at the start of the evening and when evaluating at the end.

Our first speaker was Andrew Miller with a speech entitled ‘The Steel City Conference’, he persuaded a few more of us to sign up and attend the conference in Sheffield.  Derek Lucian evaluated his speech in a new creative way and asked the audience for our views and opinions on how well Andrew had met the speech objectives.

The second speaker was Pauline Westrop with a speech entitled ‘Would you save a life?’ which was filled with raw emotion and passion on her subject.  It gave us all something to take home and think about for the evening.  Bridget Pearson evaluated her speech with a warm personal approach and gave positive feedback to Pauline’s speech and also some constructive feedback.

Andy Howell delivered an excellent Educational session on ‘competent leaders easy speak’ it was a clear presentation to follow, we learnt a lot from it and also it encouraged us all to try out new roles.

The second half of the evening was filled with evaluations and Table Topics.  Stefan Glova took on the role of Table Topic Master and used this session to get hints and tips from us to help him in his new journey in the UK- fantastic idea! Stephanie Bisby gave a thoughtful evaluation to the Table Topics session and made sure she fed back to everyone that participated giving them one star and a wish.

The evening was wrapped up by myself (Lianna Cairns) giving the General Evaluator report and Jean finished off the evening.  Thank you for a great evening everyone and hope you all enjoy the ‘The Steel City Conference.’

The award winners were:

  • Best Speaker – Pauline Westrop
  • Best Table Topics – Stuart Hunt
  • Best Evaluator – Stephanie Bisby


Report by Lianna Cairns, General Evaluator


Our next meeting is Monday 13th November, 2017

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 9 October 2017

Oh what a night, with 3 new people, one returning potential member and some impressive first talks. It upholds the Doncaster Toastmasters tradition of having marvellous, memorable meetings.

As ever, the meeting prep started before the meeting, with the Sargent of Arms (SAA) getting the room ready and guests being greeted and assigned to sit next to an existing member.

The meeting started on time and Maria Orlovic the SAA informed us that she had the power to evict anyone who misbehaved.  Now I should point out that we never misbehave, well apart from Jean and we allow that, as she is even funnier when she misbehaves a little bit.

Next up steps our President and Toastmaster for the evening Shane Lukas.  Now Shane has done this before and the first time he did it, he was good, this time he was even better.  In control, funny and it was a comfortable relaxed meeting, knowing that we had him to lead us through it.   Shane explained things in a bit more detail than normal, recognising the fact that we had potential members attending and he even opened the floor to comment on what people thought to Toastmasters.

Steven Bisby the timekeeper came up and in his normal precise and yet funny way, told us about this role.  He even kept to time himself.  Throughout the night Steven was very solid, keeping precise time and waving the cards about (a bit like a mad man, but with a good purpose) to make sure the speakers, especially the first timers, could see timing transitions.

Stefan Glova was next as AH Counter, which was his first role since joining us.  He is there to count all of the um’s , ah’s , er’s, etc. that we use as filler words.  He did very well, presenting his opening without any notes and findings in a friendly and enthusiastic way. He had a tough job as there was only one speech and therefore less for him to find, but I think that this bodes very well for his Toast Master future.

Next up was our Grammarian for the evening. Now Shelagh Jones is very experienced and is well known for choosing a word of the day that is challenging and sometimes, in my humble opinion, very hard to pronounce.  That said, it is always interesting and educational when Shelagh takes on this role.

However, this time she went above and beyond the call of duty, giving us the word Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia which means a fear of long words.  To her credit, she did actually say the word out loud.  Shelagh looked around the room at some pretty nervous faces knowing what we were all thinking – how the dickens were we to get that word into our talks?  It took a few seconds before her smile appeared and she then told us the real word of the day (a much easier word) was Transient.  There was an audible sigh of relief followed by some laughter.   She tracked the use of the word-of-the-day and gave us some good examples of good grammar in the talks that help us all to think more about the words which we use.

Next we moved on to the speeches.  Tonight we only had the one speaker, but Lianna Cairns filled the role of sole speaker very well.  She told us about an accident when she was younger, complete with acting, bandages, dramatic falling to the ground (that looked like it hurt!) and a few wise words for all of us.  Jean Stewart her evaluator commended the speech and gave a few bits of advice, which is the norm.  An excellent and entertaining speech, as we have come to expect from Lianna.

To round off the first half, Pauline Westrop presented a very well thought out education slot on Competent Leader (CL) awards.  This was a brilliant idea as I (Andy Howell) will be presenting a “how-to guide” on CL at the next meeting.  Therefore, Pauline saw the opportunity to give the background, interesting facts and motivation for members to go for CL.    The session flew by and she even made time for a few questions.

After the break, we had a reminder of the word-of-the-day from the Grammarian and we then went into the Table Topics (impromptu speaking) part of the evening.

Arthur Fenn was the Table Topics Master, and gave us a very personal theme that centred around his need for builders, tree surgeons etc.  It was a very consistent theme that all of the topics sprung from and I have never seen a more interactive TT session.  He also managed to get the new people speaking which is always a good thing.  The talks were impressive from both new and experienced people alike and the winner was actually a first timer Jon Carvell.  Jon took to the stage with a confidence, humour and eloquence that we are more used to seeing from veteran Toastmaster speakers.

Derek Lucian was the Table Topics Evaluator, and he sacrificed his chance at being voted Best Evaluator by going over the allocated time, to make sure that every TT speaker got a good evaluation on their speech. Derek is very experienced and that was obvious from the quality of the feedback and by the way that he pitched each evaluation at the level and experience of the person speaking.

As an added bonus, Jon Carvell wrote a poem during the break on the word of the day which was so good, that he was press-ganged (with no real reluctance on his part) to come up and read the poem.

All in all, a brilliant, fun and energetic night that will be remembered.

The award winners were:

  • Best Speaker – Lianna Cairns
  • Best Table Topics – Jon Carvell
  • Best Evaluator – Shared : Jean Stewart and Shelagh Jones

Jean Stewart will be Toastmaster at the next meeting on 23rd October.


Report by Andy Howell, General Evaluator


Our next meeting is Monday 23rd October, 2017

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