A New Year saw a good mix of members and guests for our first meeting of 2015.
Keith Oliver opened the meeting and reminded members of the recent atrocities in France and the upsurge of feeling to protect free speech, something which we as Toastmasters should embrace, and recognise that it is only through communication and understanding that we can all live together peaceably. He then passed the lectern over to our Toastmaster for the evening, Ann Carver.
Ann welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained her role and the protocols which we observe, before asking Wendy Benson to explain the working of the timings and lights. She then called on Michael John Smithson to explain his role as Grammarian, and give us his word for the evening, which Michael John explained was “chasten” meaning to punish.
Ann next called on Keith to set our warm-up when Keith asked those present to indicate any evening classes they had attended or intended to take up. As usual we ad a surprising mix from the obvious languages, to scuba diving and computer aided design courses. Some even admitted they had attended several but never actually finished.
We now moved onto the prepared speeches with Keith being invited to take the floor once more to explain ow to keep those New Year Resolutions in a speech entitled “I CAN” the CAN standing for Choose, Achievable and Normalise.
Wendy followed with a talk on the role of the committee and of the various officer posts, asking those officers present to explain what they gained from it.
Finally Michael John entertained us with a tale of his recent trip to New Zealand when he had attended Spinnaker Toastmasters in Porifera near Wellington, who as chance would have it were having their Xmas meal.
It was now time for members and guests to catch up on what they had been doing over the festive season as we stopped for a break, but it was over far to quickly as we were soon summoned to resume our seats for the second half.
As usual we started with the evaluations given by Brent Crouch, Elena Grigorieva and Gavin Meikle with structure of the speeches being a recurring topic.
The meeting was now moving apace, and we proceeded to Table Topics where Simon Roberts invited both members and guests to give their thoughts on New Year related topics. Gavin Meikle then evaluated the speeches, picking up on the speakers strengths.
Michael John was next called back to the lectern for his Grammarian's report when he highlighted good and bad use of language and noted the use of the word of the evening. It fell to Marie Newman to conclude the meeting with her General Evaluator's report with her insights into how the participants had performed.
Keith Oliver anounced the club business, highlighting the Club Officer Training that coming weekend and the forthcoming Speech and Evaluation contest which will take place in February or March.
Finally Michael John gave out the awards, including a certificate to Gavin Meikle from TMI for his work on the new Leadership programme.
Best Speaker – Wendy Benson
Best Evaluator – Gavin Meikle
Best Table Topics – Marie Newman