What an honour to preside over such a talented group of people. I thought the meeting was very energetic, fun and full of learning. I big thank you to Gillian, who organised the meeting as the new VPE. Well done to Gillian for making such a success of your first meeting.

The meeting was opened by Paul Dowdeswell, who is our new Sergeant at Arms. He certainly brought the meeting to order with the use of the gavel, and then gave us an energetic opening to start the proceedings off. Ian Upton was Toastmaster for the evening, and showed his experience by guiding the meeting so well. We can learn so much from Ian in the role of Toastmaster, as you are not looking to be the centre of attention in the role, but you need to make your presence felt. Ian did that brilliantly. His analogies using sport and celebrities were also insightful.

The warm up was ran by Kirk Dack. Who would have thought that was his first meeting as a member. That was a brilliant warm up and enabled everyone to speak. I look forward to Kirk’s icebreaker, which I imagine will be coming soon.

Then we had the four speakers. Timur opened the speaker part of the evening. He did a great speech on technology, which made me think. Timur showed much improvement from his icebreaker, which is always great to see. Katie spoke next and gave us five points about organisation. She also used Phil Collins songs as signposts to where she was going. It was more like a C7 speech than a C2, so there is so much promise there with Katy and we look forward to seeing her growth as a speaker and a committee member this coming TM year.

Phoebus spoke next, and what an improvement also. Phoebus spoke about bread making and how it relates to improving your life. A very clever analogy, and a very solid C2. Again, I am sure we will see great improvements with Phoebus, like all the speakers. Then Charlie gave a humorous speech on careers. Charlie was a little under the weather, but did give us a humorous speech. Charlie won the speech competition so well done Charlie. He is one of the most experienced speakers at the club and showed us how to do it with his speech.

Then we had the evaluations. I enjoyed evaluating Timurs speech. Kevin Perkins did a very animated and insightful evaluation of Katy. Justin gave us a great evaluation of Phoebus and Amanda evaluated Charlie, who is one of the hardest people to evaluate. All the evaluators did a wonderful job. Evaluations are at the heart of the Toastmaster meeting, as this is how we learn from our mistakes. Everybody learnt from these evaluations. Amanda won the evaluation contest, but there is no surprise there. Amanda is one of our best evaluators.

We then had the Table Topics run by Penny. Penny did a great job as everybody managed to speak on topic. Paul Hickson went into a Presidential type address in the middle of his topic, and managed to put the theme of his topic to the floor. A very clever tip when you are not sure what to say next when performing a topic. We had Costa speaking on Glastonbury, and how he wouldn’t go. Aishe on horoscopes, where he obviously didn’t know that these go back to the Mayan civilisations, but entertained us in his usual upbeat way. Aishe also gave us a fantastic interpretation of Mystic Meg which was brilliant, and guided us into the yellow light. Doris spoke on animals talking. Another excellent topic, as Doris is one of our more experienced Toastmasters. Elizabeth on hot or cold weather. Again Elizabeth always has something interesting to say and we are lucky to have her experience at the club. Emma spoke on the 60’s, but forgot about the moon landings. Her insight into an explosive era was great fun, and great to see. Rohan spoke on time travel versus teleportation. We had a wonderful look into the perils of time travel and the benefits of teleportation. Paul H spoke on the seven wonders of the world, who I covered earlier. Raj spoke on robots and artificial intelligence, and really bought up some more points that Timur was considering in his speech and Charlie spoke on healthy eating, which was funny and insightful. Charlie won the topics, and it is always wonderful to see a guest win the topics.

Sonia went onto to evaluate the topics. It was Sonia’s first time as topics evaluator and you would not have known it. Sonia showed us how to evaluate the topics, which is one of the most difficult evaluation jobs in Toastmasters. Sonia definitely rose to the challenge, and it was great to see.

David Goodman gave us the general evaluation and again another brilliant job. Dave is a very experienced speaker and he commended us on our performance and let us know what we could do better to improve the evening. Dave has taken on the role as treasurer again so we look forward to his insights into how to make the club better for all of us.

It gives me great pleasure to serve you as President this year. We have a feisty new committee with some experienced hands to steer us in the right direction. We have some evenings coming up in August, and I will be in touch about them soon. I would like to see the learning curve keep growing, as we have had an excellent year with Doris at the helm. Keep shining on and making the world a better place around you.

Peter
ESC President