New Member Laura Paddon got the month of May underway with an assured opening as Sergeant-at Arms to yet another full house of members and guests,two of whom, David Cockeram and Brent Crouch signed up on the night.
Laura passed the lectern to our Toastmaster for the evening, John Tunstall who set the theme as “Did they really say that?" Keeping the meeting amused with unintentional howlers by sports commentators, politicians and familiy members.
Michelle Baker was in charge of the timings and gave a succinct explanation of the role before passing over to Keith Oliver as Grammarian. Keith explained the role and introduced the word of the evening as prosaic, which despite its sound actually meant mundane or common-place. His challenge to those attending was not to use it and to ensure that the whole evening was anything but.
Pat Tunstall led the warm-up setting everyone in the room a tongue-twister, testing their verbal gymnastics and providing amusement to all concerned.
John Tunstall now introduced our three speakers. Edmund Hayes introduced himself with his Icebreaker “My Free Lunch” advising how he decided to join Toastmasters through a workplace mentoring scheme. Robin Clarke then took the floor with “At first you don't succeed ..” regarding his efforts to gain promotion, which have recently proved successful. Finally Jewels Carter spoke on “My Deadly Bread” and the issue of gluten intolerance.
Following the network break Laura Paddon again called the meeting to order to hear once more the contest speech from the newly crowned Division J champion, John Webber, but this time using the club's p.a. System. The speech was well received and John was wished well in his progress to the District finals at Wexford.
Evaluations for our first-half speakers were given by Marian Way, Steve Green and Tim Rampton, with emphasis on pace, picture painting and eye contact.
The floor was then taken by Dave Symondson who set the Table Topics impromptu speaking challenge. Peta Stampfer started with “it only takes a few seconds to make a good impression”, followed by James Rolfe who spoke on whether Del Boy calling Rodney a 'plonker' was fair. Michael John Smithson considered whether a leopard could change his spots, and Adrian Reed grappled with how to explain to a 5 year old the difference between turnover and profit. Finally Louise Hockaday debated whether an apple a day really did keep the doctor away.
Keith Oliver reported on the language of the evening, but sadly reported that one member had used the word 'prosaic', and emphasised those times when speeches had been lifted from the mundane by the use of expressive language.
Gavin Meikle then evaluated the Table Topics session advising on the different styles of speaking used. It then fell to Robin Chawner to evaluate the whole meeting as General Evaluator.
John Webber reported on club business, particularly the need for members to consider standing for next year's committee, before handing out the awards and taking comments from guests.
Best Speaker – Jewels Carter
Best Evaluator – Gavin Meikle
Best Table Topics – Adrian Reed
Most Innovative Use of a Role – Pat Tunstall
Image by Sister72 on flickr