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Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report 22nd October, 2018

Another great evening at Doncaster Speakers.. The evening started with a clear introduction from Mwada has Sergeant at Arms and Andy has Toastmaster.

Andy introduced Toastmaster International confidently and told us about the programme he referred to Toastmasters as an educational and fun session.

 

Steve was Timekeeper, he carried out his role with humour. Bridget was Grammarian and jumped into the role with confidence and clear expectations of what she wanted to see in her role.  Shane was Ah Counter and told us the importance of his role and that instead of ah and ums we should just ‘push the pause button’.

 

 

 

Our first speech of the evening was Elizabeth she gave a confident speech on glass blowing and her passion for the subject shone through on this speech. Maria was her evaluator and praised Elizabeth for completing her first pathways modules.

Our second speech was Jean and has always she gave us a humorous speech with food for thought about world population. Jon gave an excellent evaluation of Jean’s speech.

Bridget and Lianna delivered an Educational slot their recent visit to Sheffield Speakers and gave us a few suggestions on how to make our club even better.

The second half of the evening was filled with evaluations and Table Topics. Stephanie took on the role of Table Topic Master and gave us another fun session. Arthur gave a thoughtful and clear evaluation of all speakers that spoke.

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 12th November.

The award winners for best in category were:

Jean for Best Speaker.

John for Best TableTopics.

Jon for Best Evaluator.

 

Report by Lianna(General Evaluator)

 

Our next meeting is Monday 12th November 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

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Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report 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 15min 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 Seus. 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 October2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and,
as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report 13th August, 2018

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.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report 23rd July, 2018

A new team but an experienced Toastmaster equals a good combination for our second meeting of the new Toastmaster year. I was looking forward to the night, we had 3 speakers, a first timer on the table topics and every indication was that it was going to another brilliant night. I was not mistaken!

 

As ever the night starts off with the Sergeant at Arms (SAA), or does it? I think that people sometimes do not realise how much work goes into setting the night up with our VP Education (Maria) and our Toastmaster working with people to arrange roles. They help set up the basics so that we can enjoy the night.

But back to the start, Mwada took on the role of SAA and opened the meeting on time, giving us the basics and her own story which is a strength of hers. This was the first time that she had done the role and she did well.

 

Then we had Lianna step up and take on the Toastmaster (TM) role which is the person running the night. Lianna always brings a energy and smile to any role she does. It was obvious from the start that she had everything under control and she handled the inevitable last minute changes or issues with a deft and assured hand.

Lianna’s theme for the evening was New Beginnings which was apt and deliberate as at the start of the TM year we see a lot of changes and challenges to people taking on new roles.

We had Deborah explain the important of Timekeeping and although she proclaimed at the start that she was not that prepared (proving this by not taking her glasses up to the front) there was no way you could tell. She told us a brilliant story on timekeeping and yet again we were all in capable hands.

 

Pauline took on the Ah counter role, looking out for all of those little words we use like Ah, Um, Erm and as you would expect she simultaneous (and I still not sure how she did it) put us at ease and yet watched us like a hawk.

Maria was the grammarian and her role is to look for good and bad use of words plus give us the word of the day. Inspired by her own day, she bought the word of the day – Pandemonium to life with a great story and examples of it’s use.

We had a full house of 3 speeches planned, as ever they go with the least experienced speaker going first:  

 

First up was Laura, who did her Pathways Ice Breaker, evaluated by Maria. Her speech “Who am I”  was a good way for us to get to know Laura and see how she handles talking in public so that we can help her with feedback. It is hard to believe that this was a first speech as she used no notes and she confidently stood away from the lectern. Looking forward to her next speech.

Next up was Elizabeth, evaluated by Stephanie.  Elizabeth, doing her 2nd Pathways speech “What’s in the box?”. She took us to a dark place where she bravely told us, and even used props, to demonstrate her fear/phobia of buttons. To expand on her journey she gave us other examples of fears and overall did a very good and heartfelt speech.  

Lastly was Steven, evaluated by Arthur who was giving his speech 9 from the Competent Communicator manual  called “Everyone Needs A VA” in which he should Persuade with Power. Steven is an experienced speaker and you can tell from the way he set out the speech and aided it with props. Steven is no stranger to humour and he used it well to make his point. In the end, he persuaded me that I need a VA (Virtual Assistant) to help me with the things I am too lazy, inexperienced, unorganised  or just hate doing (In my mind tax returns falls under all of those).

 

One thing I like about Elizabeth and Steven’s speech titles was that you could not guess the speech content from the title.  I think that this can be a good way to peak people’s interest and therefore make them more interested in what is being said.

Just before the end of the first half, in response to some feedback we have had from newer members, Andrew presented a education session on club roles.  It was an inspirational session, that I think will encourage new members to try roles and existing members (like me) to try that role again that isn’t their favourite.  Andrew got over to all of us, that roles are there as a development opportunity and that anyone can do any role. This includes evaluation roles that can appear to be only for the experienced but in reality anyone in the club can evaluate anyone, it’s all down to your opinion in the end of the day.

 

After the break and a quick reminder of the word of the day we had the speech evaluation.

The Speech Evaluators all gave great feedback that I am sure the speakers will benefit from.  Evaluation itself is a skill that has to be honed and it was good to see that each of the evaluators have grown in confidence.  One special mention, as I was a bit jealous of her bravery, was Stephanie evaluation with no notes. This made for a powerful evaluation that was not interrupted by note reading.  

 

Next was the Table Topics (TT), run for the first time by Jon.  Now Jon is getting a well deserved reputation for being very at home doing a TT, but we were all interested to see how he was at running them.  I am glad to say that his first TT was a roaring success full of humour and with topics that were challenging but easy to grasp hold off. A very impressive first time.

Bridget was up next to evaluate the TT.  Bridget brings an energy to any presentation that she does but has recently, through experience, been even better at feeding back giving useful, detailed comments with examples of how she thinks they can improve..

The less said about the General Evaluator (i.e. me) going overtime on my evaluation the better.  But what is a man supposed to do when there was so much good stuff in one meeting!

 

Yet another meeting filled with laughter from a great club and great members.

The award winners for best in category were:

Steven Bisby for Best Speaker.
Pauline Westrop for Best TableTopics.
Stephanie Bisby for Best Evaluator.

Report by Andy Howell (General Evaluator)

Our next meeting is Monday 13th August 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and,
as always, guests are welcome.

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 21st May 2018

Our Sergeant at Arms for the evening, Elizabeth Mead, started the meeting promptly at 7 o’clock, and handed over to our Toastmaster for the evening, Andy Howell, who explained the unusual format the evening would take to launch the new Toastmasters educational programme, Pathways.  Instead of the usual 2 to 3 speeches and an educational session, the first half of the meeting consisted of six speakers all completing the same task: delivering an icebreaker speech to introduce themselves to the club.

All six speeches were fluent and interesting, with approaches ranging from straightforward biography, to life lessons learned, and even an innovative use of props in Jon Carvell’s speech, entitled ‘Labels’. Just to prove that it’s possible to deliver an award-winning speech at any stage of your Toastmasters career, the Best Speaker award was a tie between Zoe Robinson – the newest speaker taking part – and Andy Howell – the most experienced.

In the second half of the evening, an evaluation was delivered for each of the speeches.  All the evaluations provided helpful feedback – both positives and points for improvement – for the speakers.  Best Evaluator award went to Stephanie Bisby for her evaluation of Jon’s speech.  Lianna Cairns then ran an entertaining Table Topic session following the meeting theme of ‘Memories’.  The questions resulted in some excellent impromptu speeches, with the Best Table Topic award going to new member Janet Goodband on only her second occasion of taking part.

Maria Orlovic presented the awards and the evening finished with questions for the Toastmaster and a comment from our guest.  All in all, the meeting was both fun and inspiring.  Thanks are due to everyone who kept the session running smoothly, especially Jon Carvell and Steven Bisby for stepping in to the roles of Grammarian and Timekeeper at short notice.

The award winners for best in category were:

  • Zoe Robinson and Andy Howell for Best Speaker.
  • Janey Goodband for Best TableTopics.
  • Stephanie Bisby for Best Evaluator.

Report by Stephanie Bisby  (in lieu of a General Evaluator)


Our next meeting is Monday 11th June 2018 at 7pm start at the Regent Hotel and, as always, guests are welcome.

 

Doncaster Speakers Meeting Report Monday 9th April 2018

What a great night once again. The theme chosen by our ToastMaster for the evening Bridget Pearson was: Embrace the change

Onboarding our new members

Just prior to this meeting the Doncaster Speakers Committee had met and had agreed on testing out an idea to help new members ‘ease’ in to the club and get a good understanding of some of the roles by asking them to shadow the Time Keeper, Ah! Counter and Grammarian.
Just before the meeting began we asked our newest attendees, Christina Narz, Diran Gill and Mwada Lawan to shadow those roles.

The evening

We had a guest, Evan, who has attended a previous session on guest evening and was eager to experience another session.

The evening was opened by our Sergeant At Arms – Arthur Fenn who then introduced our Toastmaster for the evening Bridget Pearson.

Bridget shared with the room a brief history and understanding of Toastmasters, she shared why she’s part of the club and the progress she’s made.  It’s great to hear why other’s have joined and the impact their progress is having on them.  Bridget filled the role of Toastmaster with confidence and humility, she was a great host of the evening and kept everything running smoothly.

Our Evaluators

Steven Bisby introduced the Time Keeper role and as we always enjoy and have come to expect, he began his explanation of the role with a humorous and related story about the British Summer Time change, that all of his clocks had automatically changed time except for his alarm clock making him late. He explained the importance of good time keeping in speeches and explained the purpose of his colour coded reminder boards.

Bridget then invited Jane Franckeiss to give the audience an understanding of the Grammarian role.  Jane highlighted the fact that this was a challenge for her at the best of times and of course, this is why we take on these roles because it helps us develop those skills from a listening and observational point of view.  Jane chose her word of the day as Rotund which effectively means round/spherical and can relate to a person being of that shape or it can mean a full bodied understanding of something too.

Deborah Kershaw then gave us an overview of the Ah! Counter role and like Jane, Deborah pointed out that she has the record for the most ah’s although I expect this is more her feeling than fact, we’re all guilty of um’ing and ah’ing from time to time and the benefit of this role is it makes us much more attuned to it which then helps us prevent using the word ourselves.

Prepared Speech

Owing to a last minute unfortunate cancellation of another speaker we only had the one prepared speech but what an amazing speech it was.  Introduced and evaluated by Ben Clottey, Derek Lucian delivered an exceptional speech from the Advanced Communication Manual – Interpretive Reading, the 3rd project The Melodrama.

Derek’s speech was entitled ‘The Prisoner of Second Avenue’

The objectives of his speech were:
– To understand the concept and nature of the monodrama
– To assume the identity of a character and to portray the physical and emotional aspects of this character to an audience.

The story Derek portrayed revolved around the escalating problems of a middle-aged couple living on Second Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City. Mel Edison, the main character, has just lost his job after many years and now has to cope with being unemployed at middle age, during an economic downturn.

It was as though we were at the lyceum in Sheffield watching professional actors, Derek’s performance was 2nd to none, it was incredibly moving, well paced and packed with emotion.

Prepared Speech Evaluation

After the break we heard a wonderful evaluation on Derek’s speech from Ben. What was particularly great for me when I listened to Ben’s feedback was that he didn’t simply tell Derek how well he’d done, he mirrored some of the tonality, body language and emotion as he explained why they were great.

Impromptu Speeches – TableTopics

TableTopics was great fun and as we had more time available, we were able to have much more of the audience participate.

Stephanie Bisby was our TableTopics Master.  Stephanie explained the process, the times and purpose of the impromptu speaking to the audience and then presented her topics in a different way than the usual.  The audience members who had ‘volunteered’ to participate were invited 1 by 1 by Stephanie and asked to pick a folded piece of paper at random which had their respective question/scenario.  All of the questions were nicely tied to the theme of the evening and in terms of the speeches given by the toastmasters, they ranged from very humorous through to serious and educational.

TableTopics evaluation

Maria Orlovic was the TableTopics evaluator, and gave a really great evaluation to the room, she began with some general observations that everyone could relate to and then gave individual pointers per person.  Maria was very animated, very thorough and gave a remarkable evaluation with great recommendations.

Evaluator Reports

After Deborah and Jane gave their respective reports on the Ah’s!, use of language and the use of the word of the day – which was used much more extensively in the first half of the evening than the latter, Steven announced the time keeping and who therefore was in the running for best in category.

Just prior to the awards Maria gave a fantastic summary of the previous day’s competition, sharing her experience of the day and how proud and pleased she was at how well Doncaster had done and also inspired our members to put themselves forward for future competitions sharing her feelings that the quality of speeches she’s witnessed at Doncaster Speakers is definitely competition standard.

Awards

The award winners for best in category were:

  • Derek Lucian for Best Speaker.
  • Andy Howell for Best TableTopics.
  • Maria Orlovic for Best Evaluator.

In addition, for getting up and participating in TableTopics as a first time speech, Christina, one of our newest members received the award for First Timer.

And very well deserved awards they were too.

Feedback

Feedback from our newest members in the room who had been shadowing the TimeKeeper, Grammarian and Ah! Counter said that they really valued the experience.

All in all, a fantastic and enjoyable evening.

Report by Shane Lukas, General Evaluator


Our next meeting is Monday 23rd April 2018 

 

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