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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!


Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 23rd April 2018

Our Sergeant at Arms for the evening, Maria Orlovic, started the meeting promptly at 7 o’clock, and handed over to our Toastmaster for the evening, Sarah Saxelby, who kept the meeting running smoothly and efficiently throughout, and set an interesting theme for the evening, Reflections.

After helpful introductions to the roles of timekeeper, Ah counter and Grammarian from Ben Clottey, Diran Gill and Arthur Fenn respectively, the main part of the evening kicked off with two prepared speeches.  Lianna Cairns delivered a fluent, funny performance with her speech ‘I Hate Running’, but the best speaker award on this occasion went to Elizabeth Mead for her honest and thoughtful Icebreaker speech, entitled ‘This is Me’.  Andy Howell closed the first half of the meeting with an informative educational presentation explaining how members can get started on using the new online system, Pathways, to support their learning.

After the break, Maria Orlovic provided a varied and thought-provoking selection of table topic (impromptu speaking) prompts – all linked to the theme of the evening, asking speakers to reflect on the past and future – and the result was an entertaining second half of the meeting. The Best Table Topic award went to a first-time visitor Zoe Robinson who gave an honest and fluent speech despite her nerves.  Bridget Pearson fended off stiff competition from the excellent speech evaluators to win the Best Evaluator award for her whistlestop evaluation of all the table-topic speakers, which included both commendations and helpful recommendations for all the speakers – no small feat in the time available.

All in all, the meeting was both fun and educational.

The award winners for best in category were:

  • Elizabeth Mead for Best Speaker.
  • Zoe Robinson for Best TableTopics.
  • Bridget Pearson for Best Evaluator.

and Ben Clottey received his Competant Communicator award – congratulations!

Report by Stephanie Bisby, General Evaluator

Our next meeting is Monday 14th May 2018 at 6.45pm to 7pm at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 12th February 2018

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

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 22nd January 2018

Arthur Fenn opened the meeting at 7 o’clock and welcomed our club President and Toastmaster for the evening, Shane Lukas, who provided a lively introduction despite being let down by technology.    Proof that Toastmasters really does help you cope with every eventuality that can befall a speaker.

Jon Carvell, taking the role of timekeeper for the first time, gave a clear explanation of the importance of timekeeping and the way the timekeeper helps to keep the meeting on track.  Sarah Saxelby described the role of Ah Counter in an equally fluent fashion and Maria Orlovic as Grammarian introduced both the role and a word of the day to challenge speakers: prodigious.  Prodigious efforts were made throughout the meeting to ensure this new word was widely used!

The first speaker was Jane Franckeiss, who delivered a confident and fascinating icebreaker speech, giving us an insight into her life through her travels.  Ben Clottey then delivered his tenth and final speech from the Competent Communicator manual, asking us to consider how we might inspire others who we touch on our paths through life.  Shane Lukas closed the first half of the evening with an informative and thought-provoking educational presentation about values and beliefs.

The second half of the evening opened with evaluations of the prepared speeches.  Jane’s speech was evaluated by Andy Howell, who delivered a warm and positive evaluation which nevertheless included helpful pointers on how Jane could develop as a speaker.  Andrew Miller, evaluating Ben, also gave a clear, well-structured evaluation, offering both commendations and recommendations.

The table topics (short impromptu speeches) were set by Bridget Pearson, with the entertaining theme of responding gratefully to a surprise gift.  Both the gifts and responses varied widely, with all the speakers rising to the challenge and responding originally and often amusingly, with the winner managing to display an impressive amount of emotion over her gift, a small and rather nondescript rock.  Steven Bisby, as Table Topics Evaluator, provided useful feedback to all the participants.

All the awards were closely contested but the final results were as follows:

  • Best Speaker: Ben Clottey
  • Best Evaluator: Andy Howell
  • Best Table Topics: Maria Orlovic

Report by Stephanie Bisby, General Evaluator

Our next meeting is Monday 12th February 2018, rsvp for our New Year, New You event


Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday June 24 2017

About 15 people made the fortnightly pilgrimage to the Regent Hotel for the latest Toastmasters meeting.

Sergeant at Arms Andrew Miller kick started the evening off with one swoop of the hammer and a pause and stare until people took their seats.  Toastmaster for the evening Arthur Fenn highlighted the theme of the meeting as ‘Freedom’ and linked it nicely to his introduction of what Toastmasters is and means to people.  Arthur’s team of helpers came up, Gerard Cahill – Time Keeper, Sarah Saxelby – Grammarian, and Deborah Kershaw – Ah Counter, each came up and explained what their role was and what they would be looking for and reporting on later in the evening.

Part 2, the prepared speeches, was next.   Speech 1 was by Lianna Cairns entitled ‘Viva Las Vegas’ telling the audience about where to find the best deals on ‘the strip’ and now the whole of the group want to know when the team trip to Vegas will be.  Speech 2 by Maria Orlovic explained how her many trips to Italy had not been a success until she worked out what was the best food to eat whilst out there.  Speech 3 was by Pauline Westrop who is working on the Advanced Manual and was doing an interpretive reading from a Charlie Chaplin film.  The Toastmaster thanked the speakers and announced the start of the interval which led to much tea and coffee drinking and informal chat.

The Sergeant at Arms brought the room back to order with another bang on the hammer.  Next up were the evaluations with Andy Howell giving feedback to Lianna, Jean Stewart appraising Maria and Stephanie Bisby giving her thoughts to Pauline.  Also there were good snippets of advice that the whole audience could take away with them.

Part 4 came with the bit most people call ‘the fun part’ as Bridget Pearson introduced Table Topics, this is where the speaker is given a question or statement and straight away without time to think has to do a 1 to 2 minute talk.  This sessions topics were based around various days out when the person felt as free as a bird!  Table Topics evaluator Shelagh Jones made sense of the ramblings by giving all the speakers food for thought on what they had done well and areas that could be improved.

The Ah Counter reported that people had not used many words they should not have used so it looks like the meetings are paying off.  The Grammarian’s report contained all the people who had managed to sneak the word of the day ‘Ameliorate’ in to their speech.  The last report was given by Steven Bisby the General Evaluator who evaluated the evaluators on their well done’s and must try harder bits.

Sarah Saxelby in her other role of VP Education handed out the ribbons for best speaker – Lianna Cairns, Best table topic speaker, a tie between Lianna Cairns and Andrew Miller and best evaluator to herself.

Different people in the roles but it all happens again on Monday 14th August 2017 at 7:00pm. Why not come and join us?

– Report by Steven Bisby, General Evaluator –

New committee for 2017-2018

Introducing our Committee for the 2017-2018 Toastmasters year which starts today.

President – Shane Lukas

VP Education – Sarah Saxelby

VP Membership – Deborah Kershaw

VP PR – Maria Orlovic

Treasurer – Andrew Miller

Secretary – Jean Stewart

Sergeant at Arms – Arthur Fenn

Immediate Past President – Derek Lucian

Good luck to everyone for an enjoyable and successful year!

Picture shows left to right: Derek Lucian, Arthur Fenn, Andrew Miller, Deborah Kershaw, Jean Stewart, Sarah Saxelby, Shane Lukas.

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