It was a good turnout of members, and guests as we entered the first foo our August meetings, and it was good to see fellow Toastmasters from Arun, Hamwick and Solent Speakers in the audience.
Brent Crouch did the honours in opening the meeting and introducing Keith Oliver as out Toastmaster of the evening. Keith welcomed the various guests and explained the protocols of clapping and handshakes to welcome participants to the lectern. He also introduced the theme for the evening which was Maritime. Throughout the evening he gave snippets of information of Portsmouth and naval history.
Keith asked Sophie Smith to explain her role as Timekeeper which she did in a clear and professional manner. Next Keith asked Wendy Benson to explain her role as Grammarian. Wendy explained she was looking for good and bad examples of language, and also the use of the word of the evening ‘embark’ meaning to set sail or to depart. To encourage its use she offered to award a bag of chocolate buttons to whoever used it most.
With the audience now ready to start Ann Carver asked those present to give their maritime memories. Members recollected visits to the Royal Yacht Britannia, and to the Queen Mary as well as favourite journeys undertaken or still to be made.
With everyone suitably relaxed and the word ‘embark’ already well used Keith explained the use of the Communication and Leadership manuals, before calling on the evaluators to introduce their speakers.
First up was Michael John Smithson with an entertaining speech from the advanced manual of that name regarding recent accidents while driving. He was followed by Ollie Jokiaho from Hamwic giving his number 3 speech “Fly Away” on how we can all travel low cost with a little thought and preparation. Finally Ann Carver gave a speech from the Public Relations manual as if to a group of retail managers regarding the need to address retail addiction.
With the speeches done, times reported and votes cast we moved to our network break.
We resumed the second half with the evaluations, given by Karen Chapman, Ray Adams and Margaret Bishton (Solent). All highlighted the strengths of the speakers and offered areas for improvement.
It was now time for Table Topics ably given by Ellie Zhelova with contestants choosing a role e.g. captain, cook, passenger etc.) and a type of ship and explaining their experiences. Of course some took it as a good opportunity to use the word embark several times which by now had become a source of much hilarity in the room.
As usual the fun ended too soon and it was time for the final evaluations. Wendy Benson gave the Grammarian’s report highlighting some of the fine language used, and taking to task those using filler words, such as ‘So’ and ‘Right’. Wendy had also been attempting to keep track of the use of the word of the evening which had probably been used a record number of times. But it was Ray Adams who was acknowledged as the winner having used the word at least 17 times!
Brent Crouch followed with the Table Topics evaluation again offering advice and encouragement to the participants.
It then fell to Sandra Rampton (Arun) to give the General Evaluation, commending the club on giving such a welcoming and entertaining meeting.
As usual Wendy Benson (Club president) gave the club business reminding those present that our next meeting, weather permitting, would be the Speech on the Beach on Southsea Common. She also reminded members of the forthcoming Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests.
Michael John Smithson handed out the awards before inviting the thoughts of the guests regarding the meeting.
Best Speaker – Ann Carver
Best Evaluator – Ray Adams
Best Table Topics – Sophie Smith