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