Arthur Fenn was our trusty Sergeant at Arms for the meeting and introduced our reliable Toastmaster Maria Orlovic. Maria confidently told us the theme for the evening of “The Power of Perspectives”. She ran the meeting with no notes giving us a solid background of Toastmasters and even got the word of the day into her delivery.
Our meeting Timekeeper Mwada Lawan did extremely well, starting her introduction with “good to see everyone”, which I felt was a nice touch. It was the first time she has done this role, well done Mwada! Grammarian Andrew Miller and the Ah Counter Shane Lukas all explained their role and what they would be looking out for towards their feedback.
Andrew announced an inspiring word of the day TRANSMOGRIFY, which rendered its own enjoyment as everyone who follows is encouraged to use it.
We only had one speech this evening and this was by Andy Howell, who did speech 3 from the story telling manual, “Tell a story with a moral”. His speech was called “Maybe” and it was a Buddhist tale centred around luck and realism. He delivered it well with appropriate body language and a clear message for the audience to take away. Steven Bisby cleverly evaluated Andy in a story telling style starting with “Once Upon a Time”. He stated the objectives well and picked out specific examples from Andy’s speech which engaged the audience well. My only ‘recommend’ for Steven was to think of a different adjective, other than “good”.
Pauline Westrop held the education session on Perceptions of Membership. She encouraged members to get involved in all aspects of Toastmasters to develop themselves, and reminded us that organising a social night is always welcomed! Unfortunately, Pauline went a little overtime.
Elisabeth Mead was out table topics master for the evening, getting us to describe what was on the pictures she displayed. The pictures ranged from a ruined building to an art installation in London- Elisabeth rounded up many volunteers who willingly stepped up to the challenge. Lianna Cairns evaluated Elisabeth and the table topic speakers using encouraging words and lots of eye contact, however, she became a little distracted by laughing at Arthur’s hilarious delivery on ‘dirty, dirty pigeons’ and unfortunately went overtime.
The evaluations from the Ah Counter Shane Lukas, Grammarian Andrew Miller and General Evaluator Bridget Pearson carried us towards the meeting conclusion. Guest feedback and the usual awards presentation followed. Our returning visitor Laura Costa decided to join the club (also gaining her First Timer ribbon for taking part in Table Topics), and we also met first time visitor.
Tonight was Shane’s last night as President of the club- on behalf of the club I would like to say thank you for all your input over the last year- it is much appreciated!
What a wonderful meeting, giving us the power of perspectives in many ways! The award winners for best in category were:
- Andy Howell for Best Speaker
- Jon Carvell for Best TableTopics
- Steven Bisby for Best Evaluator
Report by Bridget Pearson (General Evaluator)
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)
Monday 12th March was the first of our competition nights for 2018 (there are usually two each year). Members competed in two categories of the Club competition (International Speech and Evaluation) to go through to the Area competition in Hull. The winners of that round will compete in the District Competition in Chester, and so on up to the District competition, which is being held in Ireland this year, and eventually the International finals.
Derek Lucian gave a polished and informative speech on the origins of rhetoric, so that the Evaluation contest competitors were challenged to find recommendations as well as positive comments. Nevertheless, all the contestants provided effective and balanced evaluations, with Andrew Miller earning first place and Andy Howell second place.
The second half of the evening was devoted to the International Speech contest, in which entrants have free choice of subject, though the talks are often motivational or inspirational in nature. Once again, Andrew Miller took first place with his talk entitled “When We Were Very Young”, and this time second place went to Lianna Cairns for “When Are You Going to Start Acting Like an Adult?”
Thanks go to all involved in arranging the competition, including the Chief Judge, Pauline Westrop, Competition Chair, Shane Lukas, and the timekeepers and counters, Arthur Fenn and Steven Bisby, as well as everyone who acted as judges on the evening. We wish our representatives the best of luck at the area contest.
Report by Stephanie Bisby – with thanks
Our next meeting is Monday 26th March 2018 at 6.45pm to 7pm at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.
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
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 on 11th December kicked off at the usual time of 7pm but not quite in the usual style. The Regent Hotel was decorated for Christmas, and members sported Christmas jumpers and enjoyed drinks, food and a fine collection of Christmas cracker jokes.
The evening also departed from the usual format of prepared speeches in the first half of the evening followed by evaluations and table topics – short impromptu speeches – in the second. Instead an informal chat over dinner was followed by ‘evaluator bingo’. This involved listening to an excellent TED talk while attempting to count instances of ‘um’, ‘like’, ‘so’ and stuttering in each five-minute segment of the talk. Once the counts were in, everyone compared their results with the correct answers (as defined by Club Treasurer, Andrew Miller). Lianna Cairns and Steven Bisby demonstrated their listening skills by coming closest with three exact matches each.
The evening closed with a version of table topics given a festive twist by Club President, Shane Lukas. Questions had seasonal themes, from ‘how would you tell an eleven-year-old the truth about Santa?’ to ‘what would you say if you were an innkeeper with a full house, and a pregnant woman with a donkey arrived on your doorstep?’ The prize for the best table topic went to our Vice President of Education, Andy Howell, for his unconventional answer to the question, ‘What’s the best Christmas film ever?’
Report by Stephanie Bisby
Our next meeting is on 8th January 2018 at the Regent Hotel in Doncaster, at the usual time of 6:45pm for 7pm start. As always, guests are very welcome!