Our Second meeting of February played to a full house with 8 guests in addition to our members. Cat Borrow welcomed everyone to the meeting as Sergeant at Arms, and got everyone to relax with some simple exercises, before passing over to our Toastmaster Gavin Meikle. Gavin explained to the audience the order of he evening, and advised that the theme was “When the Student is Ready, the Teacher will appear”. He then called on Dave Symondson to explain the timings and lights, before calling upon Jewels Carter to explain the role of Grammarian and set the word of the evening, which was Pedagog - a teacher of young people.
Gavin then called Pat Tunstall to the lectern to lead the warm-up. Pat pointed out that it was Shrove Tuesday, and we were starting Lent, when typically people gave up one item in their lives. She asked what we would find most difficult to give up. Alcohol and chocolate rated highly as did other food stuffs, but others referred to the gym, photography and their i-pod.
We now sat back for the speeches and it was George Wilkinson who led with an abreviated version of a speech he was shortly to give in Belgium. The speech, entitled “Creating balance as a tester in modern times” pointed out that we needed to balance our lives to avoid stress.
Our second speaker was Louise Hockaday with a fine display of the use of powerpoint and other visual aids , in a speech entitled “Variety is the Spice of Life”. In it she explained why people joined Toastmasters, the benefits they received. She finished with a list of her personal top tips for getting the most out of Toastmasters - join, to get a mentor and to stretch yourself.
Robin Clarke concluded the speeches with a wonderfully descriptive tale of the day his father returned from the Falklands War in in a speech entitled “It looked differentas a seven year old!”
The meeting now broke for a network break giving the chance for members and guests to mingle.
All too soon Cat summoned us to retake our seats for the evaluations for what had been three fantastic speeches, ably given by Martin Groom, Steve Green and Gavin Bergin. A common thread in each was the use of structure, signposting and the simplicity of the speeches.
Tim Rampton next took the floor as Table Topic master with a theme of the benefits of Toastmasters. Michael John Smithson indicated how he would recommend Solent Speakers to a friend or colleague, before returning guest, Peta Stampfer, told why she had come to Toastmasters and what she hoped to gain by it. John Webber was next up advising of his experience of Toastmasters in other clubs, followed by James Rolfe spoke of his biggest fear when he joined and how Toastmasters had helped him overcome it. Finally Keith Oliver spoke on the benefits of being a committee member. These presentations were videos and will be appearing on the club's YouTube channel very soon.
The meeting was now winding down as Jewels Carter gave an eloquent report on the use of language during the evening, followed by Maureen Scott evaluating the Table Topic speakers. It was then left to John Tunstall as General Evaluator to give his opinion of the meeting.
John Webber, Club President, finally came to the lectern to run through club business, before handing out the ribbons and awards. He apologised that due to lack of time there was no opportunity for feedback from our many guests.
Best Speaker - Louise Hockaday
Best Evaluator - Steve Green
Best Table Topics - John Webber
Froggie award (for the person who has taken the biggest leap forward) - Robin Clarke.