The Good Times Keep Rolling at the Star

Our most recent meeting on 27 April was an inspiring and fun filled evening!

President Kristie West opened the meeting with a commentary on notable events from the past 2 weeks, most especially the preparations for the Royal Wedding!  She also reminded anyone who is keen to whizz ahead in their speechmaking to contact Brad to get on the Speech In My Pocket (SIMP) list, and reminded us not to forget to give feedback to our hardworking Toastmasters!  (It’s the slip three quarters of the way down the feedback sheet, by the way!)

Alex Hood our Toastmaster began by introducing his politically-inspired theme for the evening:  if you were PM, what would be the first thing you did? And he reminded us all to vote in the referendum on 5 May!

Timekeeper Lushan Naidoo reminded us that time is what we want the most but that we use the worst – and resolved to make sure we appreciated our time up front that evening.

Grammarian Steve introduced his word(s) of the day:  Whimsical, and close cousin Whimsy.

I want to congratulate Alex for his brilliant “challenging” introduction of our Table Topicsmaster Tom Elliott:  If you don’t want to a table topic, think about why – and do one anyway!

Tom himself got us all excited about Table Topics with his cheerful theme of holidays.  Richard told us that is he could “package” one aspect of his life, it would be his DIY projects!  Kate explained how her dream job would be to work as a travel writer.  James queried whether national pride was important?  Vin told us about the last thing he celebrated (finished a mountain of work).  John told us about his most memorable summer holiday and balancing holidaying in the country with living in London.  Dorota declared an international Day of Recognition of Bad Drivers!  Shane, “the only guy going to watch the Wedding,” explained why the Royal Family might be good value for money after all.  Gary described his perfect “Staycation.”  Andy said why he thought Doc Holliday and outlaws should be put on a pedastel.  And Gilly revealed the one thing she cannot give up, even for Lent:  wine!  I mean, why would you want to??

Richard McMurray then returned as our Sergeant at Arms to introduce our guests:  Gary, Ken, Vin, Taylor, Tarasin and John.

Camilla Graham then did a whip-round review of all 10 Table Topics speakers!

Before letting us go for the break, Kristie then returned with an announcement:

our next meeting on 11 May is to be a Teddy Bear’s Picnic!

So don’t forget your bear when you come along this week!  Or if you don’t have a bear, bring a friend – cuddling not required

(unless you have that kind of relationship!)

We returned from the break for the second half of Prepared Speeches.

First up, Brad Currin gave us an educational talk:  Evaluate to Motivate.  Brad explained how strong evaluations are fundamental building blocks in the Toastmasters journey.  He gave us lots of useful pointers and acronyms to help us remember, and just in case we weren’t taking notes, he had handouts for everyone!

Simon Simpson told us about When (he) Was One – how he grew up without TV but loads of books, especially Germany poetry – and we think revealed a natural gift for storytelling!

Trang Le gave a lovely Icebreaker called Playful Me  – all about growing up healthy and hyperactive, her love of uplifting pictures and films, and enthusiasm for trying new things.

Andrew Chuks treated us to his Competition Speech, Smile, in which he shared the story of how he came to understand the power of small acts of kindness as a result of a terrifying accident.

Evaluators:  Monica Chong for Simon; Kristie for Trang; Gilly Cutts for Andrew.

Andy “Let’s Get the Party Started” Smith gave us a very thorough General Evaluation, as only Andy can!  In particular, Andy approved of the addition of music at the beginning of the meeting, but suggested we sit nearer the front and leave the back seats for latecomers.

And the winners were…..

Best Table Topic:  Shane

Best Evaluation:  Gilly

Best Speech:  Simon

President’s Award (chosen by Richard for a supreme effort of self-deprecation):  Vin

Looking forward to seeing you all (and your bears) on the 11th!


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