Phoenix Meeting 22 January 2014

The evening was a bit unusual due to the pub being shut for a private function, which meant Phoenix Speakers were given their own bartender for the evening! The evening started off with a bang with the arrival of six guests, well done Elaine for bringing three guests along!

Bryant kicked off the meeting by announcing the International Speech Contest. The Phoenix Speaker’s club competition will be taking place in mid-March. This is your chance to go to Malaysia on Toastmasters’ expense!

He also announced the winner of his Excellence Award, which goes to the person who has won Best Speaker, Evaluator and Table Topics the most times over six months. The winner gets their next six months of Phoenix Speaker’s membership for free! Bryant announced that the winner for the first half of the year was Alexis Marz. A new competition for the Excellence Award has now started for the second half of the year, so get involved!

Shane was the toastmaster for the evening, he set the theme as “If you could be any character in a movie” what would you choose? He said that Phoenix Speaker’s was a bit anti-establishment, hipster club so he was looking forward to revealing some interesting choices for the evening.

Ed stepped in at the last minute to be the grammarian. For his character in a movie, he said he wanted to be Baldrick from Black Adder. Interesting choice! He explained the importance of good grammar and interesting language, even in impromptu speaking.

Simon on a brief trip back to London from Tunis, was the Table Topics Master. Simon got everyone warmed up with a round the room story, where everyone contributed a sentence or two to a story. The story quickly spun into a tall tale about a vegetarian Colonel who opened a fried chicken restaurant, then ran away to start a chicken casino in the Bahamas who then discovered the true meaning of life wasn’t chickens.

After that exciting story, the table topics began. They were all centred on work topics or questions that you might be asked in an interview. We had some interesting stories, with Richard telling us about his experience at GCHQ, Ed telling us about being a chicken (involved) or a pig (committed), and Shane talked about why pizzas should come in round boxes.

It was then Jamie’s turn to review the table topics in his role as table topics evaluator. He encouraged people to take risks when they do the table topics. “Embrace the awkwardness” because it is a good chance to try things and to practice for real life situations when you will have to keep going even if your speech hits some road bumps.

Bryant kicked off the second half of the meeting to announce that the Pub Crawl was on Saturday night and to remind everyone to pay their dues.

Then it was on to the prepared speeches, Jean-Philippe gave his number 4 speech on investing. He encouraged everyone to think about investing their money because it will grow overtime. He used some easy to understand examples which showed the potential gains from investing money over spending it or just keeping it in a bank account.

Alexis did her number nine speech on Turning off the Television, arguing that watching television won’t make you happy, or help you to relax. She challenged everyone to turn off the television for one week and spend the extra time doing things with family and friends or by starting to tackle your goals.

Bryant did an impromptu speech on how to prepare for the International Speech contest, with some really interesting tips about developing ideas for the speech and how to prepare for the actual contest. He encouraged everyone to get involved and if you haven’t finished the required 6 speeches needed to participate in the competition there was still time to accomplish this.

Kayleigh and Trang did the speech evaluations with some very useful tips about knowing your audience, using props to demonstrate complex ideas and using more emotion or stories to be even more persuasive.

The evening finished off with the general evaluator and the ribbons. Best table topic went to Roland, Best Evaluation to Trang and Alexis won Best Speech.

Our next meeting is on 12 February, we look forward to seeing everyone there! The schedule is already packed so it should be a great evening!

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  • Where

    In light of the government's advice on Coronavirus (COVID‑19), we are meeting online until further notice.
  • When

    We meet online, starting at 19:00, every second and fourth Wednesday of each month (except for the second meeting in December, because of Christmas).

    Next meeting Wed 11th Nov