Again we had another successful night at Epsom Speakers. The format was different but the energy and enthusiasm was very high yet again. A big thank you for Paul D for setting up the room, and organizing the projector in such a timely manner. And a big special thank you to Penny Williams and Amanda Zwarts for giving us such excellent presentations. I do hope that you acquired new skills form the evening. I certainly did.

The evening started well with Penny giving her presentation on Successful negotiations. Here is a breakdown of the content. Penny has also kindly offered to send the slides to anyone who is interested in them. That is a wonderful offer and I do hope you take up this.

Think ‘Win – Win’ as both parties need to be happy with the outcome of the negotiation for it to be a success

Prepare before you negotiate 

During the negotiation

We also had an amazing insight into how Amanda sees evaluations. Although slightly restricted for time, Amanda gave us some really useful nuggets of wisdom to help us on the path to being a better evaluator. Amanda did stress that evaluations are not just for the speaker, or the evaluator but for the whole room to learn and gain insight on how to be a better listener. Amanda did promise to send out a handout so you can all revise what you learnt during the evenings session. Amanda also helped with the sessions after each speech brilliantly, allowing anyone with an evaluation tip to vocalize it. I felt this worked well and I hope the newer Toastmasters had a greater insight into evaluations and how important they are. Well done Amanda. Maybe we should have a longer session about evaluations in the future.

We had four great speeches firstly from Phoebus. It is always great to see a new Toastmaster improving before your eyes, and Phoebus is most definitely a prime example of this. He spoke passionately about Everything changes. It was an interesting and insightful speech, and Phoebus showed us how much he has improved since his C1.

Next up was Sonia Pritchard. Was that really the Sonia Pritchard who joined the club all that time ago. Sonia gave a great speech, and again showed how much she has improved. There was a timely reminder that is very important to remember the three key elements of your speech, or have them easy to see with your notes. Apart from that, I thought Sonia’s improvements were fantastic.

Following Sonia was Kevin Perkins who talked about coming home. It was an interesting speech, but I feel some people in the room did think the same as me which was ‘Why are you telling me this?’ Kevin was his usually upbeat self, larger than life, funny and utilizing his intelligence for our entertainment. Kevin is also growing as a speaker and it is always good to see him on the agenda.

Last and not least was David Lane with his speech entitled ‘The tale of two Toastmasters’. David has given this speech at another club, which he said went down far worst. I felt David did get some good feedback from the members and I do hope that he has learnt from the experience of using a projector. There is an art to it, and David is slowly learning that, as his performances are improving. David is a great speaker and has a good presence on stage. I know he is working hard at improving his skills and it shows.

Well done to all who made the decision to turn up for last night’s new venture. Life always gives you choices. And remember if you make the right choice each time the opportunity comes up, you are well on the way to a more enlightened life. I do hope the opportunities come for all of you who have chosen to better yourself through Toastmasters. I am honoured to be presiding over such a talented group of people.

Keep on Shining.

Peter
El Presidente.