This week’s meeting celebrated being spontaneous. Andrew, our Toastmaster for the evening, signed up to the role the previous night in true spontaneous style. In his introduction, he emphasised that while it is good to plan, it’s also great to be spontaneous. Andrew then guided us through the meeting with a smile, welcoming each speaker to the stage with a spontaneous story. Examples ranged from attending an Italian Toastmasters meeting without knowing the language, to skydiving on the spur of the moment to romantic rendezvous.
Negin (Timekeeper), Florian (Grammarian) and Pascale (Harkmaster) supported Andrew in functionary roles. Andy was Sergeant at Arms and greeted the guests with gusto.
The initial section of the meeting was for prepared speeches. First up was Isabelle who delivered an extremely moving speech no. 7 about the controversial subject of Euthanasia. As a journalist, Isabelle used first hand research to support her views. Consequently, she captivated the audience with her personal stories.
Next was George, who performed speech number 8. He used visual aids seamlessly to educate us all about high level and low level aircraft. George wowed us all with video clips of these planes alongside his informative description.
Terry gave the final speech of the night from the advanced public relations manual. He passionately discussed his campaign to stop the government from using people migration as a negotiation tool. He physically moved people to show who would be affected by Brexit, and also used humour to great effect. At the end of the speech, Terry persuaded us to take action and visit his “Do not Brex them” website. If you also feel strongly about this subject – click here.
After the speeches, Fahad, Nuala and John performed evaluations for Isabelle, George and Terry respectively. Audience members also completed feedback slips.
Speech feedback tip for using visual aids (from Nuala): If you are using a pointer to demonstrate visual aids, use open body language to increase viewers’ engagement. Think about what hand you are pointing with, to avoid blocking off the audience with your arm.
Speech feedback tip for persuading people (from John): A good persuasive technique is to use lots of facts to back up your points.
Table Topics took up the second section of the meeting. As Table Topics Master, Eleanor H presented the original theme: what story is behind the headline? She read out real, yet unusual news headlines, then the name of the unsuspecting member or guest.
Afterwards, Alex evaluated all table topics succinctly and energetically. He advised all future table topic speakers to compose themselves by taking a deep breath. Well done to Christophe, Narayn, Paul H, Paul M, Bruna and guests Manik, Joe and Ajanta for taking part!
Florian headed the final part of the meeting, with a grammarian tip to avoid using “and” and “so” as verbal crutches. Pascale then faced the rather raucous/hungry audience, as harkmaster, to reward those who had been listening with home-baked brownies and flapjacks.
Congratulations to Terry, John and Paul M, who were tonight’s respective speech, evaluator and table topics winners! Thank you also to those who helped make this a fantastic versatile meeting. We look forward to seeing members and guests at our meeting next Tuesday!