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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.

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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 25th February, 2019

Doncaster Speakers a welcoming and friendly club and every evening with them is a delight. The evening started with a confident welcoming from Mwada has Sergeant at Arms and  our Toastmaster for the evening was Steven. Both were professional and informative, the evening started off with a strong start.

Jean was Timekeeper for the evening. She used the Toastmaster Timekeeper app on her phone to keep us all in time for the evening and reminded us to download this free app to help with this role. Andy was Grammarian for the evening, his word of the day was flamboyant and this caught all our attention and was used a lot in the evening. Susie was the Ah Counter, she had a chart to help her with this role, but she openly revealed to us how enthralled she was in the speakers that she had to remind herself to listen out for the ah, ums and filler words. This is a great role to develop your listening skills.

Our first speaker of the evening was Evan with a speech entitled Passion. This was Evan’s Ice Breaker and what a strong start he is starting at. He spoke about 3 of his passions and personally I would love to hear more about his cooking passion. Sarah was his evaluator and gave us a competition standard evaluation. We have all learnt a few things about evaluation from Sarah.

Our second speaker was Stephanie with a speech entitled Live and Learn. This was Stephanie’s Ice Breaker on the new Pathways modules and what a great speech. Stephanie showed us that she is an experienced and accomplished speaker. Her props and music were a lovely touch to enhance her speech. Bridget was her evaluator and gave a personal and thoughtful evaluation to Stephanie.

Andy delivered an Educational slot looking at the Importance of Evaluation. He reminded us how important feedback is to make sure we know what we are good at and are given improvements to move forward with our speaking and leadership skills.

The second half of the evening was filled with evaluations and Table Topics. Arthur was Table Topics Master and what a brilliant session, Arthur always manages to make us all feel relaxed and entertains in whatever role he performs. Sandie evaluated our TableTopics session and spoke to all speakers, it is great to see Sandie delivering such big roles in our Toastmaster evening so early into her Toastmasters journey.

The evening was evaluated by Lianna giving the General Evaluator report.

The award winners for best in category were:

Stephanie for Best Speaker.

Andy for Best TableTopics.

Sarah for Best Evaluator.

Report by Lianna (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 11th March 2019, 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

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.

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