It was almost standing room only as we held our first meeting in July, an event marked by 3 new members joining on the night. We welcome Ann Carver, Suzy Sight and Jean Morgan.
Ros Bristow opened the meeting as Sergeant at Arms, with usual house-keeping rules before welcoming Michael John Smithson as our Toastmaster for the evening. Michael John reminded us of the recent world cup and in particular England's failure to progress past the group stage. Further information was given during the meeting.
He then asked Carolyn Barber to give an explanation of her role as Time-keeper before inviting Marie Newman to set out her role as Grammarian. Marie explained she was looking for examples of good and bad language, and set the word of the evening as 'iconoclastic' – the act of opposing beliefs and traditions.
Keith Oliver then took the warm-up when he asked the audience to dispel those beliefs to do with anxiety of speaking,asking members to either indicate what their fears were or to give hints and tips to overcome the anxiety. Many identified forgetting their words as the main fear, while tips included keeping your notes handy, practice and having fun.
It was now time for the prepared speeches with Sheryl Andrews going first with her talk on the School Reunion. Next up was Allan Wadsworth on the benefits of having a 5 year plan, and finally Keith Oliver with how Toastmasters can help you grow, not only in yourself but through helping others such as with the Princes Trust.
The customary network break followed, before we moved on to the evaluations. These were given by Chris Ellis, Ann Carver and Sue Windell, with some great observations and ideas for improvement.
Ray Adams was Table Topics Master and came up with some odd photographs for people to explain what was happening, to the general merriment of the audience. Michael John Smithson, Allan Wadsworth, Carolyn Barber, Chris Ellis, Antonia Harrison (Solent) and Suzy Slight were the 'volunteers'.
Antonia also had the job of evaluating the Table topics which she did with humour and with helpful tips for the speakers.
It now fell to Marie to give her Grammarian's report, identifying some good use of language by the various speakers.
Brent Crouch closed the formal proceedings with his report as General Evaluator again commenting on areas where the various participants did well and could improve.
Keith Oliver as Club President gave the club business highlighting upcoming events including the Charter Dinner and Speech on the Beach.
Finally Michael John, VP Ed, gave out the awards.
Best Speaker – Sheryl Andrews
Best Evaluator – Chris Ellis
Best Table Topics – Chris Ellis