It was almost standing room only for our first meeting at the Ibis Hotel, as we welcomed members, fellow Toastmasters, guests, and returning guests.
It was perhaps fitting that Keith Oliver, who closed the last meeting at Sellers Coffee Lounge, welcomed those present to this meeting as Sergeant at Arms, before introducing our toastmaster for the evening, Gavin Meikle.
Gavin picked up on our new location on Winston Churchill Avenue and besides quotes from this famous man, said he hoped we would use wise words and masterful phrases during the evening. He then asked Jordan Davis to explain the role of Timekeeper.
Next Elena Grigorieva was called on to explain her role as Grammarian, when she pointed out that she would be watching the use of language, but also set out our word for the evening as neologism, being the creation of new words, giving examples of some which had been brought into common usage in recent years.
Gill Evans was next up to start the warm-up and asked everyone to indicate their favourite place in the UK, Portsmouth had the most votes, but Scotland, Dorset, also ranked highly with even Manchester and Blackpool getting votes.
We now moved to the prepared speeches with Phil Maddocks (Arun Speakers) giving a talk on beginning your speech. He gave many good tips, and emphasised them with examples of good and bad speaking techniques. It was good to see several in the audience making notes, although a handout was offered at the end.
Michael John Smithson followed with an entertaining speech linking us back to Sellers Coffee Lounge with a talk on the late Peter Sellers.
It was now time for a network break, with some availing themselves of the coffee and biscuits while others retired to the foyer and hotel bar.
The second half started with the evaluations of the two speakers, by Wendy Benson and Keith Oliver.
Robin Clarke (Solent Speakers) then took on the role of Table Topics Master with an eclectic mix of questions., from David Cameron taking the positives from the recent flooding, to excuses for being late, and a debate on why left handed people should be done away with.
Elena was then asked to give her report on the use of language, and she highlighted several good expels from the various participants so far.
Having now had time to consider the Table Topics performances Chris Elis agave his evaluation, as Table Topics Evaluator, highlighting the excellent effort of all taking part.
Finally it fell to Brent Crouch to give the General Evaluation, with some excellent advice on what had gone before.
Michael John Smithson gave out the awards as follows: Best Speaker – Phil Maddocks, Best Evaluator – Wendy Benson, Best Table topics – Mike Webb and Gill Evans.
Our Area Governor, Tim Rampton, was asked to give a few words before Keith Oliver concluded the meeting asking for feedback on the venue, reminding those present of the upcoming contests and updating on the Charter Dinner preparations.
Keith also welcomed Michael Baldwin as our newest member.
Overall another excellent night which bodes well for the coming year.