August is a month when many members are on holiday so meetings re usually less well attended but this creates its own dynamic with a degree of informality and fun as everyone is involved.
So it was at our first meeting in August when a relatively small number of members and guests attended. Michael John called the meeting to order and introduced Keith Oliver as the evening's Toastmaster. Keith ran through the usual welcomes and protocols, before introducing Allan Wadsworth to explain the role of Timekeeper. Alan took the unusual step of moving to the lectern to explain the role while Michael John operated the lights.
Brent Crouch then took centre stage as Grammarian explaining his role of looking for good and bad language as well as setting the word for the evening “Copacetic” meaning satisfactory.
Michael John led the warm up asking people for their dream holiday destinations, which took us all round the world with New Zealand, India, Malta and France amongst favoured destinations.
Due to family illness one of our speakers was unable to attend so we only ad the one speaker, Ann Carver who in a speech “V over V” (Victory over Vulnerability”) describing in a moving speech how from a difficult childhood and later setbacks she had found inner strength to help others overcome problems in their lives.
The reduced agenda meant a longer network break. Te kitchen was not available so we convened in the lobby which everyone felt was a better location and may be used again in future meetings.
Returning to the meeting Keith called on Wendy Benson to give an evaluation of Ann;s speech. Wendy spent some time advising of how the pace of the speech, metaphors and excellent picture painting helped to make the message before suggesting some minor areas for possible improvement. Pain.
With a shorter agenda there was more time for Table Topics which Keith Oliver led using the latest issue of the Toastmaster magazine to select articles for people to give their own slant on speaking. So we had selecting speech topics, how Toastmasters transformed my life, the use of hand gestures while driving, and the use of personal stories amongst others. The topics led to much opportunity for humour in the room.
With the main part of the meeting drawing to a close Michael John gave an evaluation of the various Table Topic speakers, before Brent gave the Grammarian's report commenting on the minimal use of filler words and emphasising good grammar and language used by several speakers.
Finally it was left to Sue Windell to give the general evaluation, commenting on the copacetic evening we had had but picking up on whether the position of the lights to the side was the most appropriate.
Keith then reminded those present our next meeting was “Speech on the Beach”, weather permitting, on Southsea Common on Bank Holiday Monday, starting at 5:30 pm. He also reminded members that our second meeting in September would be our Humorous speech and Table Topics Contests.
Finally Michael John gave out the awards, after seeking especial applause for Ann's speech.
Best Evaluator – Wendy Benson
Best Table Topics – Sue Windell