Teddy Bear’s Picnic at the Star

Our Teddy Bear’s Picnic themed evening (bring a bear, or bring a friend) kicked off with President Kristie West introducing the bear in her life, Buzz.

Points also to Gary Monk for bringing an iPad bear, and Alex Hood for his Teddy Bear beard!

We are 5 members away from chartering – so bring along some friends, get them signed up, and let’s start planning our Charter Party!!

Toastmaster Brad Currin, who brought a wallet-sized version of his teddy, let the meeting with a theme of “who would you want in your lifeboat”?  His theme was inspired by the encouraging and courageous speeches he recently heard at the Toastmasters conference at Windsor.

Timekeeper Trang Le asked the audience what they would do if they had more life, and kept us strictly to it!

Upbeat and professional Grammarian Simon Simpson gave us a “dangerous” word of the day – fallacy – and kept a special look out for use of alliteration, simile and metaphors – a great targeted approach.

Table Topics Master Alex Hood gave tribute to Maggie Thatcher with his Topics in the form of MT quotations.  Tom Elliott told us why first impressions are erroneous.  Tarry told us about her finest achievement:  organising a Sex on the Beach student fundraiser!  Kristie West explained why she likes being a lady.  Ian Baxter said his way is the only way.  Shane Snow argued he should be paid to do what he loves most.  Andrew Smith launched a campaign against London’s plane trees.  And Bryant Yates literally persevered in the face of adversity!

Gilly Cutts gave an energetic evaluation of the table topics, emphasising the personal element with great demonstrations.

Richard McMurray, Sergeant at Arms, introduced the guests:  Beth, Linda, John, Gary and Tarry.

For the prepared speeches we were treated to two Icebreakers, one Number 3, and one Number 8.

After the break Kristie West gave special mention to Camilla Graham, who brought 3 guests and 7 teddies!

World Champion Matt Pollard gave his IceBreaker speech about his journey and top tips for becoming a world class athlete.  We all wish him the best in his next ice-swimming event.

Gary Monk also gave his Icebreaker, illustrating his life in boxes – intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional.  Turns out he does have feelings after all!

Extra congratulations to both our Icebreakers for not using notes!

Erin Godbold’s number 3 explored the differences between living in New York and London and a humourous tour de force of why she is just a London Girl at heart.

Camilla Graham’s number 8 took us through the “soft milestones” in her life, each marked by a particular soft toy.


  • Bryant for Matt
  • Andrew for Gary
  • Monica Chong for Erin
  • Shane for Camilla

General Evaluator Nigel Cutts amazed the audience by telling us it was their anniversary – and they came to Phoenix!!  What a commendation!  As always Nigel gave a masterful evaluation, particularly pointing out putting Toastmasters in context for the guests, the importance of having a strong attitude and voice, and avoiding filler phrases.


  • Table Topics:  Tarry
  • Evaluator:  Andy
  • Speech:  Erin
  • President’s Award (chosen by Camilla Graham):  Bryant

See you all on Wednesday 25 May!


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