What a meeting we had on 4th July. Our first meeting for the club this Toastmasters year and what an eventful one. From the beginning of the evening to the end, there was an air of expectation in the air, as the Toastmasters year started on a very upbeat note.

When I turned up to Bourne Hall, I quickly realised that it appeared we did not have a room booked. Luckily, Lloyd had taken the initiative and secured us a room at the back, with a natural view, and lovely surroundings. After the initial shock, the meeting started on time and what a cracker.

Lloyd started the evening explaining the situation well and putting us all at rest. I was acting as President for the evening, which was a new experience for me. I felt I was confident in the role, and realised that I need to grow more to be a proficient President. It is always good to get out of your comfort zone.

Then we had Adam Jones as the Toastmaster, who was excellent and kept the energy up. Sheena ran an excellent warm up, where we had many various opinions about newspapers and the main stream media. And then Adam went through the agenda in a very professional manner. We had speeches from Stephanie, David Villa Clarke and Costa. This was an excellent mix of new speakers and experienced. Unfortunately we did come across over time issues with one speech, which was a shame, as all speeches were excellent and gave us all food for thought.

The evaluations were conducted by Gillian, James and Amanda. Amanda is an excellent evaluator as we all know. What was pleasing to see was Gillian and James both improve on their evaluations and start to really get into their role. Evaluations are a very important part of the Toastmasters journey, so well done to all, as I felt they were all very good.

After the break we had me on stage again running the topics. We do need volunteers for the Topics session as this is the second one I have done in two months. I chose films and did we have a great session. We had some very creative topics and I feel everybody had fun. Dave Goodman spoke about the Shawshank Redemption, Dan Jacobs on the Godfather, Quwanie on Forest Gump, Kevin on the Matrix, Elizabeth on its a wonderful life, Tom on Casablance, and Alex on Raiders of the lost ark. Everybody spoke well and had a go, which is in the spirit of topics. Well done to all of you. And to the newer members, keep going with the topics. They are hard but well worth persevering with.

We had a great evaluation of the topics By Aishi in his usual laid back style and a lively general evaluation by Stephen.

Then the awards which went as follows. The Reeds trophy went to Lloyd who has worked so hard in the background for the club. Stephen won the trophy for most improved speaker, which he showed with his fantastic general evaluation. We had Dan Jacobs win the topics session. Amanda won the evaluation prize and David Villa Clarke won best speech. I was very honoured to be in the position to give these prizes to such a talented group of people. The calibre of speakers at Epsom is very high, and this really does highlight the value of the club, and how we all inspire each other to improve. I felt we were all winners who participated in the meeting, which was all of us, as the whole evening was full of laughter, fun and learning. What more can you ask for at a Toastmasters evening.

Next meeting is 1st August, where we will be running a Confidence workshop and a tackling topics workshop being led by Richard Stacey. This will be highly interactive, so hopefully you will get a chance to get up and speak if you wish. This will be a great evening of learning and improving your speaking skills from a very experienced Toastmasters. Normal service will be resumed and your new President, Doris will be at the helm. Let’s keep the momentum going from our first meeting and make it another lively, fun packed energetic evening that is full of learning.

I looked forward to seeing you on the 1st August,
Peter
Vice President Education