Worcester Speakers @WGTA
Meeting Report Monday 19th August 2019
Worcester Speakers came of age with its 21st meeting. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, from the depths of despair to the highs of achieving your goals through mentorship.
The Table Topics were presented by Kevin Bennison for his first time. The theme was Bank Holidays and their memories. The seven topics ranged from most memorable car journey to the best music festival experience. The winner on the night was Steph Bilton extolling the memory of Rod Stewart in his tight-fitting leopard trousers swaying and bumping to “Do ya think I’m sexy” at Reading Festival in the 70s.
The first prepared speech was by Jackie Baker and commended the strength of the mentorship system used within Toastmasters. Reaching your goals with the guidance of a mentor featured throughout this uplifting speech.
Next up was Niall O’Loghlen with the simply titled speech “Sophie”. A heart-rending story of a dying woman and her much-loved horse companion Jess. Tears were in the eyes of the whole audience as the speech drew to its inevitable conclusion. A deserved winner of Best Speaker on the night.
The final prepared speech was by Club President, Jen Cashmore, detailing the harrowing statistics of self-harming and the effect it has on so many. Jen Cashmore held the audience agog with the terrifying regularity of this subject that affects 20% of teenagers.
Best Evaluator was awarded to Isaac Baker for the second meeting running for his excellent evaluation of all seven Table Topics. A future Evaluation Contest winner?
The next meeting will be the club’s Humorous Speech and Table Topics Competition. All members are eligible to enter. It will be held on Monday 2nd September starting at 7pm prompt at WGTA.
Monday 5th August 2019 Journalist - David Evans
The meeting was started with a "quick-fire" quiz from Sergeant-At-Arms Dave Evans about the evening's theme of Astronaut Neil Armstrong. All questions were quickly answered except "where was Neil Armstrong buried....?"
He was of course, buried at sea.
Following a brief introduction and impromptu "Educational bite" about speech evaluations, stand-in President Steve Birch handed over to first-time Toastmaster for the evening, Kevin Bennison who immediately got proceedings under way.
After informing the audience that they were in store for speeches from a "Trio of Power Ladies more appealing than Destiny's Child", Kevin handed over to Table Topics Master for the evening, visiting DTM Sam Warner. Sam challenged unsuspecting onlookers including the one and only (I don't do Table Topics) Sarah Williams, with topics about describing their jobs. It seemed easy until Sam gave each person a job that not only had they never done, but in most cases (especially Elaine Watt) had no idea what the job was about. Grammarian for the evening Dave Evans, was very quick to pick up Elaine's "It can be hugely distructive if things go wrong on these oil rig things......" statement about being a Health & Safety inspector for oil rigs. Whilst Sarah Williams's topic was of high class, she was pipped to the post by new member Ben Stephen James, who's description of work within the Social Media world gained him the "Best Table Topics" award of the night. All table topics were expertly evaluated by the talented Megan Paul who managed to find many positives, and a really constructive point for improvement for each speaker, including visiting Toastmaster Niall O'Lochlan's "Terpsichorian" topic about dancing.
The first of the three "Power Ladies" was Stassi Stavreva who gave a very interesting but somwhat hard hitting recollection of her "Perspective on Human Nature" sharing with her audience, some of the hardships she had experienced as a "foreigner in our country" as she put it, particularly during her training year as a dentist in the UK. Caryl Bracewell was up second with her club ice breaker speech entitled "The Birthday Zero", and how having a birthday with a zero as the last number can be quite a change in your life. Who would have known that Caryl was approaching her 30th birthday...
Most people in the world like a cup of coffee, especially first thing in the morning, but third speaker Claire Harris took her audience to a level of understanding about the origin of coffee entitled "From Bean To Cup", that none were previously aware of. Her excellently crafted and delivered speech won her the evening's award for "Best Speaker".
Each speech having been expertly delivered, it was then time for the three speech evaluators to give their feedback. Steve Birch, Sarah Williams, and Karen Lowen all demonstrated to the room exactly what Steve had preached in his educational bite at the beginning of the meeting, but it was Karen's recollection of Claire Harris's intricate detail and delivery that won Karen the award for "Best Evaluator".
With an eloquent summing up of the evening's events by General Evaluator Elaine Watt who included feedback on every role throughout the meeting, once again at Worcester Speakers, a great time was had by all.
Next Meeting: Monday 19th August 2019 @19.00
Monday 1st July 2019 Journalist - David Evans
After an initial few facts about "this day in history" from Sergeant-At-Arms Dave Evans, the meeting began with an inspiring yet amusing educational presentation from club President Jen Cashmore about how different types of people in an audience receive speeches that are given. Toastmaster for the evening Elaine Watt captured the audiences attention and kicked off the evening's usual format with explanations of their roles from Timekeeper Manon, Um Counter Megan Paul, and Grammarian Claire Harris, all of whom, produced excellent reports at the end of the meeting.
Next up was Table Topics Master Stassi Stavreva who asked each "volunteer" to step forward and pick two words from a pot then create a speech based around a fear of the Dentist, incorporating those words into it. There was a high level of creativity that followed, but it was Veteran speaker Megan Paul who was the lucky winner of the Best Table Topic award, plus a bonus pink toothbrush from resident Dentist Stassi.
Three very high calibre speeches followed with Kevin Bennison telling us about his "impressive erections", Anna Simpson explaining her "first speaking experience", and visiting DTM Rick Cooper sharing some of his knowledge and views of the Pathways system with a speech entitled "walk your own path". Although very difficult to decide between, the vote for Best Speaker went to Anna whose calm, clear, and confident speech showed everyone how she had developed her speaking technique since those early days.
Caryl Bracewell as speech evaluator Anna, and Steve Birch as speech evaluator for Rick, did their best to win the Best Evaluator trophy, but both were pipped to the post by a resounding performance from Stuart Watt, disecting in graphic detail the high quality speech from Kevin about his love and experience of cranes.
Yet another evening of quality speaking from the club that is now proud to show off it's official banner to the Toastmaster world.
Next Meeting: Monday 5th August @WGTA
Monday 17th June 2019 Journalist - David Evans
The meeting was opened with a lively Q & A session about the evening's theme "Today 1885 - Statue of Liberty arrives in New York" .
Surprisingly, lots of attendees had lots of facts to share with the very full turnout of members, guests, and visitors.
"The Greatest Showman" Toastmaster Stuart Watt very quickly called the meeting to order, pledging his commitment to keep everything on time for the evening, and duly did so, even finding time to introduce the club to "The Birchey", a Christ-like gesture of holding your arms out sideways, something that the great Steve Birch automatically demonstrated to his audience throughout his performance as speech Evaluator.
Following Stuart's entertaining opening, the club was led into a "Liberty" orientated theme of Table Topics presided over by Isaac Baker.
Duly evaluated by the evening's Table Topics Evaluator Dave Evans, it was the detailed account of time spent in New Orleans that won Roger Granville DTM the award of Best Table Topic. Praise however, was reigned down upon two visiting guests of fellow toastmaster Sarah Williams. Manon from France, and Dasche from Russia showed the audience just how confident and professional the two juniors were by delivering Table Topics for the first time ever in front of an audience - and both in perfect English ! Two budding Toastmasters for the future perhaps....?
In traditional fashion, great speeches followed the TT session with Elaine Watt giving everyone a master class on how to write a speech in the afternoon, and deliver it in the evening with almost no reference to the notes she had written.
Jen Cashmore's presentation of The Four Types of Listener - both entertaining and captivating her audience, showed onlookers just how many people don't always want you to do well when you are speaking to them, but it was Megan Paul's humorous yet touching account of her Father (clearly her hero) and his antics of entertaining others over the years, that won her the title of Best Speaker for the evening.
The award of Best Evaluator going to "newbie" Kevin Bannister (Tall Kev) for his account of Megan's "Dad" speech, preceeded usual meeting reports from Timekeeper Jackie Baker, Um Counter Stassi Stavreva, and first time Grammarian Caryl Bracewell.
The evening was almost concluded with an impromptu "around the room" General Evaluation conducted by Steve "The Birchey" Birch, but there was just one unlisted surprise to come in the form of a presentation of "Area Toastmaster of the Year" award, presented by Steve to hard working member Dave Evans, who received it gracefully with a huge thanks to Toastmasters and its members for providing him with a stable platform upon which his confidence to speak publically had grown immensely.
Next Meeting: Monday 1st July 2019 starting at 7.00pm promptly
Monday 18th February 2019
Journalist - Steve Birch
Worcester Speakers @WGTA is going ahead leaps and bounds. With a very respectable audience of over 20 the atmosphere was buzzing and great fun. Three new visitors added to the fun and purpose of the meeting.
Jen Cashmore kicked off with a short Educational on the Logos, Pathos and Ethos of the club, using club members as examples of each. Three people were blushing!
Table Topics were presented by Jackie Baker with a theme of Inspiration. Each of the impromptu speakers made the 1 minute mark with ease. What animal would you be?, What is your favourite motto? Who has inspired you? Were among the testing Table Topics. Stuart Watt was voted Best Table Topic with his double time of nearly 4 minutes on Who inspired you the most. A succinct and accurate evaluation by Steph Bilton ensured everyone knew where they excelled and gave all a small point for improvement.
The main speakers started off with Donna Parkinson, only her second speech, asking if her name really should be Debra, a humorous anecdote on why people change their names, ask Richard Alcock.
Next to the front was seasoned speaker Hilary Benoit, with her usual professional and exact delivery. Humour and insight abounded with her system of Spring Cleaning and De-cluttering!
Finally it was the turn of Rick Cooper from Voice of Wales who regaled us with his thought provoking on Pieces of Paper. His journey to achieve a management qualification but realising it is the names of your mentees that really make a difference. Rick was voted Best Speaker of the evening for this call to action speech.
Jim Ballard was Grammarian with his Word of the Day Prodigious which was indeed used.. Prodigiously! Late to the party Um Counter, Tom Elliston, ensured Steve Birch won the Most Ums Award !!! Ummm, how did that happen?
Deserving a mention was the General Evaluator, Andrew Graham. His allowed time of 7 minutes was almost doubled to 11min 30secs and he became only the second recipient of the infamous Blue Light!
A fun and frivolous meeting that had everyone smiling and laughing.
Our next meeting is an In-Club Contest for the International Speech Competition. All welcome. Monday 4th March 2019 starting at 7pm prompt! WGTA, MacKenzie Way, Off Tolladine Road, Worcester, WR4 9GN