The weather may have been sunny and warm outside and the football on the telly but the place to be was Spinnaker Speakers as we had another good turnout with 5 guests.
Chris Ellis opened the meeting as Sergeant at Arms and went through the usual preliminary housekeeping rules, with some humour thrown in as we had been asked to use a different door, which could lead to confusion if you needed the toilet as the fire alarm went off!
He handed over to Keith Oliver, who as Club President started with the Annual General Meeting. The big event of course, was the club chartering at the start of January, and then moving venues, but despite these highs and lows we had seen our membership gradually rise. In Brent Crouch's absence he went through the accounts, which showed a small profit, had it not been for the initial cost of setting up the club. He anticipated a small growth year on year.
Keith then called on the other committee members to give a brief resume of their roles, activities and aspirations for the coming twelve months.
The incoming committee was then voted en-bloc and accepted unanimously.
We now reverted to the usual meeting agenda and Ian Millen explained his role as Timekeeper and the importance of keeping to time. Keith then called on Sheryl Andrews to explain her role of grammarian which she did confidently explaining of the need to avoid filler words, to use good examples of language and set the word of the evening – 'cachinate' meaning to laugh uncontrollably.
Carolyn Barber now took the floor as warm-up master – picking up on the theme of the evening and asking those present to speak of good examples of leadership. Topics covered were people's own leadership journey, helping others to grow and role models.
Keith now asked Robin Chawner to explain the objectives for the first speech, which was by Ray Adams who was speaking on his Project 3 speech with a talk entitled “Your mind can map your destiny” and his use of mind maps.
Gavin Meikle was then asked to introduce Wendy Benson's speech which was from the Advanced Manual on Interpretive Reading.
As the AGM had been relatively brief we now enjoyed a slightly longer break and a chance to get to know our guests.
After the break Robin and Gavin were called back to give their thoughts on the two speeches, with both offering helpful advice to the speakers.
Wendy Benson was next as table Topics Master with both football related questions and leadership matters. If Carolyn Barber was to be believed, on being asked how she would have lifted the England team when one-nil down and going out of the World Cup, her husband was serenity itself calling for self-analysis and ball-control when the rest of the country was screaming at their televisions!
Other participants were Ian Millen, Russell Streeter (Solent) and Chris Ellis.
Once again time had flown by and it was time fro Sheryl to report on the use of language, which she did, identifying the ums, ers and so's with great aplomb.
It finally fell to Michael John Smithson to give the General Evaluation.
Keith then wrapped up the club business, before Michael John gave out the night's awards and asked for guests comments.
Best Speaker – Ray Adams
Best Evaluator – Gavin Meikle
Best table topics – Ian Millen