What a packed and exciting meeting we had on Monday. Not only did we have to get more chairs, we had a full agenda with an Educational slot and three speeches, including an Advanced Speech with a Q&A session. Amanda Zwartz, Toastmaster for the evening, expertly and efficiently manoeuvred the proceedings, keeping us all to time.

Amanda has just moved house a few days before the meeting and, unable to locate her laptop amongst the pile of unpacked boxes, she had asked Lloyd to help produce and print off the agenda. Lloyd’s innovative approach to most things in life meant that he used the opportunity to trial a new format, giving our Club a fresher, cleaner, more professional looking Agenda. Well done Lloyd; we are adopting this new format for future meetings. See link.

I had the pleasure of delivering a 10 minute Educational on “How to Evaluate Effectively” – see link for notes. We also trialled a new format for the Feedback and Ballot form, encouraging everyone in the audience to write a commendation (i.e. what did the speaker do particularly well) and a recommendation (i.e. what could the speaker do differently to improve and be even better) for each Speaker and Speech Evaluator. See link for Feedback and Ballots form.

Sheena and Justin delivered their C4 and C3 speeches respectively, and as our General Evaluator Sonia noted, it was great to see how much both had improved. Double congratulations to Costa who, with his Advanced Speech entitled “Inconvenient Truths” about why Trump won and Clinton lost the US elections, won him the Best Speaker vote and marked completion to gain the Advanced Communicators Silver (ACS) award. That means Costa has delivered 30 speeches from Toastmaster manuals. Only 10 more speeches to go, Costa, to get your Advanced Communicator Gold award!

Our three Speech Evaluators, Adam, Peter and Patrick, delivered well-balanced and motivating evaluations, with Best Evaluator going to Patrick.

Undertaking the Topics Master role for the first time was Kevin Perkins who obviously had great fun devising a series of strange scenarios on the theme of authenticity. Kevin’s dramatic delivery got everyone laughing, including his seven victims, I mean, volunteer Topics speakers. They rose to the challenge, including our newest member, Sumbul Tsang. Congratulations to guest Phil Nash, who won Best Topics Speaker with an engaging tale of his tortured days working in an awful job. We look forward to welcoming Phil as a member next time…

Dave Goodman’s evaluation of the Topics’ session highlighted several commendations and recommendations, reminding the Topics Master to outline the timings involved for the benefit of new members and guests who may be less aware of how long to speak for. It’s also useful for the audience if the Topics Master recaps who spoke on what topic at the end of the session, before voting.

It was Sonia’s first time as General Evaluator, and she demonstrated just how well she had listened and observed the whole evening. She had conscientiously taken notes throughout, and her feedback was selective, specific and comprehensive – a great example of how to evaluate effectively. Well done, Sonia – we all learnt from your observations and recommendations.

Our next meeting on Monday 6 March is our International Speech and Evaluation Contest, with Lloyd as organiser. He will be in contact with you to fill roles. See you all then.

Doris
ESC President