Despite the Bank Holiday and the unseasonal weather we still had a good turnout for our first toastmasters meeting in June. Peta Stampfer opened the meeting as Sergeant at Arms, handing over the lectern to Neill Burns as Toastmaster for the evening.
Neill set out the agenda for the meeting and indicated the theme was “resilience” reflecting the resilience of the crowds during the Jubilee celebration, but also a reminder of how we were surviving in hard times. He called upon Steve Green as Timekeeper to explain the timing, Steve indicating it was his job to ensure we finished that night! Marian Way as Grammarian, gave our word for the evening “Jubilee”.
Pat Tunstall got the audience warmed up asking if we could introduce any law what would it be. Many members saw the opportunity to ban things that annoyed them such as reality TV and social media, while others saw the benefits of 3 day weekends, quick marking of exams to shorten the anxiety of teenagers and writing off debts.
We now proceeded to the speeches with 4 speakers providing a range of topics. John Tunstall went first with his speech “Free to Choose” reminding us that we could do as we wished due to the sacrifices of others. Tim Rampton with “Onwards and Upwards” spoke of how others had grown through Toastmasters. Jewels Carter talked of the iniquities of the benefits system in “Don't Help the Aged”. Finally David Cockeram gave his Icebreaker speech on how he gained confidence.
After the usual break we moved onto the evaluations, provided by Gavin Meikle, John Webber, Keith Oliver and Robin Chawner respectively – common themes were the structure of the speeches particularly linking key words and phrases, and the use of personal anecdotes.
Edmund Hayes set the Table Topics which were largely on a Junilee Celebrations theme. Peta Stampfer advised which celebrities she would invite to her party, while James Rolfe explained why he would have insured against sunshine! Michelle Baker provided the food and drink, which seemed to consist of champagne and lots of it. On a different theme Adrian Reed spoke on why all houses should be the same colour, before Jewels Carter returned to the theme proposing a Bank Holiday every month. John Webber concluded by indicating why Fareham should be the capital of the UK.
After the Timekeepers and Grammarian reports Cat Borrow evaluated the Table Topics picking up on eye contact and body language in particular.
Adrian Reed gave the General Evaluation before John Webber concluded by handing out the Solent Speakers awards.
Best Speaker – David Cockeram
Best Evaluator – Cathy Borrow
Best Table Topics – Adrian Reed