With our second meeting in December just five days before Christmas we still had a good turn out of 19 members and guests. There could of course, be only one theme - Christmas.
After James Rolfe opened the meeting, George Wilkinson, our Toastmaster for the evening welcomed everyone and ran through the protocols, before introducing his band of Xmas helpers. Keith Oliver explained the role of Timekeeper, before John Webber as Grammarian introduced his word of the evening - Silence - explaining the importance of pauses.
Steve Green then got the warm up underway, looking beyond Xmas to our new year’s resolutions. Diet and exercise featured highly, as well as aims to complete more speeches, though some had already resolved to make no resolutions!
The speeches followed with Jewels Carter explaining how she overcame shyness and faked confidence by speaking clearly, at an appropriate level and making eye contact, in a speech entitled Too Shy Shy, Hush Hush, Eye to Eye. Gavin Bergin then told us of lessons learnt as a barman in The Goldfish Bowl - a look from behind the bar, before John Tunstall told a moving tale regarding the death of his mother in Live It!
There was ample time for a network break with the obligatory mince pies in evidence.
We returned for the evaluations, this week presented by Robin Clarke, Gavin Meikle and Marian Way, with reference being made to the fine picture painting by the speakers, their fluency and their empathy with the audience.
Sam Mathew led the Table Topics and in a change from the usual procedure handed out balloons with questions inside. After bursting their balloons we were regaled by Susy Matthews with her best Xmas present, a diamond; James Rolfe who explained what Xmas meant to him; guest Cat Borrow, who described herself as “a traveller”; Gus Badran who informed us that the most influential book he had read was “Thinking You Rich” by Napoleon Hill; and finally Adrian Reed who spoke of his aim to move towards self-employment as his aim for 2012. Michelle Baker, in evaluating the speakers, drew specific attention to their skills in bursting the balloons.
John Webber now reported back on the fine use of pauses and other figures of speech used throughout the meeting. Keith Oliver followed pointing out that given the word being ‘Silence’ the Grammarian had gone over his allotted time by speaking continuously both in his introduction and report, a sin followed by several of our speakers and evaluators.
Steve Green again took the lectern this time to undertake a General Evaluation before John Webber, as Club president, thanked everyone and presented the awards.
The evening concluded with a convivial meeting in the bar.
Best Speaker - John Tunstall
Best Evaluator - Michelle Baker
Best Table Topics - Cat Borrow
Most Innovative use of a role - Sam Mathew