February's first meeting saw another excellent turnout including five guests one of whom was from Slovakia and one from South Africa.
After Pat Tunstall opened the meeting, Robin Chawner took the lectern as Toastmaster and advised that the theme was Laughter Lightens Lives and explained the health benefits of laughter. It was a theme picked up by Keith Oliver as Grammarian who advised the word of the evening was”fun” but he was not just looking out for use of the word but funny moments throughout the evening, taking on the role of “Hah” counter.
Susy Mathews explained the role of Timekeeper before Kanchu McAllister led the warm-up getting everyone to smile and then laugh – advising that a laugh was just a smile that had burst. She then asked everyone to relate their funny moments.
Again there was an eclectic range of incidents ranging from faux-pas, the antics of people's pets to odd signs.
Following the previous week's education workshop on story-telling we were then treated to three stories. John Webber stated with “The Trophy”, the tale of an indian squaw's lessons to recover the love of her brave. John Tunstall followed with an animated telling of The Three (Contemporary) Billy Goats Gruff. Gavin Meikle completed the story telling with the true story of how he met the President of Malawi.
After an enjoyable network break giving members and guest time to mingle, we reconvened for the evaluations, ably given by Louise Hockaday, Tim Rampton and Jewels Carter. Tim gave his own humorous take on evaluations that you should support those starting out, but destroy those doing the advanced manuals!
Louise Hockaday led the Table Topics setting the theme as why you should join Toastmasters, which contestants had to do in the style of a famous character which the audience had to guess. Steve Green played Mary Poppins, Robin Clarke, who spent most of the 2 minutes laughing, played Superman,Michelle Baker took on the role of Margaret Thatcher and Michael John Smithson was Marilyn Monroe.
The Grammarian's report highlighted the funnier moments of the night, with everyone agreeing that it had been a rib-tickling night of much frivolity and jocularity, following which Simon Smith took on the job of evaluating the Table Topics speakers. Michelle Baker presented the General Evaluation of the evening
In a twist on the usual voting Robin Chawner presented the most innovative use of a role to John Tunstall for his use of props during his speech.
John Webber, after giving a brief update on club business, presented the nights awards before asking guests for their comments. He then closed the meeting.
The winners were:
- Best Speaker – John Tunstall
- Best Evaluator – Tim Rampton/Jewels Carter
- Best table Topics – Robin Clarke
Joke of the evening:
"How many Toastmasters does it take to change a light bulb?!" Answer - "Two – one to change it and one to say three things that they liked about it, two things that could have been done better and one thing they would take away with them."