It was nearly standing room only as members and guests came from near and far for our Humorous Speech and Table Topics evening.
We were pleased to welcome not only the Division Governor, Bob Nesbitt, but also Mobolaji Adenubi, a visiting Toastmaster from Lagos in Nigeria.
Carolyn Barber got the meeting underway as Sergeant at Arms welcoming all and setting down the usual pleasantries of toilets, fire exits and phones before welcoming our Contest Chair, Wendy Benson.
Wendy had already briefed the timekeepers, counters and speakers and for the benefit of the audience set out how the judging would take place, with each member asked to fill in the judging slips on their seats. Wendy then ask Sophy Smith and Suzy Slight to indicate the timings for the speeches. This they did with extra emphasis on the need to adhere to the timings or face disqualification.
Before moving to the speeches Wendy now asked Jean Morgan to exercise the audience's chuckle muscles with a warm up session.
Jean asked those present to describe English eccentricities at home or abroad. We were given explanations of cricket, which still left people bewildered, the reason why we drive on the left, misunderstandings when using foreign languages and confusion over imperial and metric measurements amongst others.
We now moved onto the main speeches given by Keith Oliver and Sue Windell. Keith's speech was entitled “Bill. Leave it alone!” and was about his constant battle with Bill Gates of Microsoft fame when using his computer. Sue followed with “A Cautionary Tale” about the perils of knitted swimwear in the 1960's.
After allowing time for the judges to make their deliberations we broke for tea and coffee.
Brent Crouch was Contest Chair for the second half when we enjoyed the Table Topics Contest. There were six contestants, Allan Wadsworth, Ann Carver, Chris Ellis, Keith Oliver, Simon Roberts, and Sue Windell
Once all the contestants were out of the room Brent then set the question, which he put to each speaker individually. The question was “The last thing I won”. The audience enjoyed a plethora of answers with personal stories of achievement both great and small.
Once the judges had cast their votes, Brent asked Chris Ellis to lead some entertainment, which he did by asking individuals to respond with excuses or explanations to a variety of questions such as the nature of their dress, what they were doing and where they had been.
The results were now in and Michael John Smithson gave out the awards. First was the presentation of certificates to all the participants, before the winners were announced
Humorous Speech Contest Winner – Sue Windell
Table Topics Winner – Simon Roberts
Table Topics Runner Up – Sue Windell
Finally Mobalaji was presented with a fridge magnet of the Spinnaker Tower as a memento of her visit and asked to say a few words, before Keith Oliver closed the meeting.