Our first meeting in March was given over the International Speech Contest and the Evaluation Contest and was played out to another packed house. After Martin Groom had opened the meeting as Sergeant at Arms, it was John Tunstall who led us through the agenda for the night’s proceedings in an entertaining but professional manner. He was ably supported by Pat Tunstall and Cat Borrow who manned the lights.
We had five speeches to be entertain us, and it was John Webber who got us underway with his speech 11 x11= 121, setting out how he found his voice, became more confident and connecting with his audience. Maureen Scott followed with “The night that changed the world” relating how Winston Churchill had as a boy been rescued by a farmer, who was rewarded by his son being educated at Winston’s father’s expense - the son was Alexander Fleming. Gavin Bergin related his summer with the Drum Corps in “An unexpectedly devilish summer” before Keith Oliver explained how Toastmasters could use their skills to help those less fortunate in a speech entitled “Toastmasters Changes Lives”. It was left to Robin Clarke to finish with “Never Give Up” regarding his time as a teenager at Calshot Activity Centre and his only award.
All the speeches were of a high standard reflecting well on the quality of speakers in the club and giving the judges a hard time to determine a winner. Members and guests now broke for a well-deserved break, before returning for the second half of the meeting and the Evaluation Contest.
Sam Mathew gave the target speech, “Just as I am”, with a moving tale of dealing with disability. While the evaluators wrote up their notes Pat Tunstall led a warm-up session asking members and guests of awards they had won - it was the usual eclectic mix with sporting prowess, to rafle rpizes and including a goldfish at the local funfair. The evaluators were John Webber, Jewels Carter, Dave Symondson, Robin Chawner, Peta Stampfer and Mark Perrin, and each gave an insightful and encouraging evaluation, with little to choose between them all.
While the votes were being added up Mark Perrin led a debate on who should escape from a crashing hot air balloon - Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Arguments in favour and against both were put forward in a lucid and amusing manner, but overall Santa Claus edged it on the night. With the votes now all cast and counted it fell to John Tunstall to hand otuthe participation certificates to all who had participated, and thanking all who had helped to make ti a successful evening. He then announced the winners.
Results of the Speech Contest
1st - John Webber
2nd - Gavin Bergin
3rd - Robin Clarke
Results of the Evaluation Contest
1st - John Webber
2nd - Robin Chawner
3rd - Jewels Carter