Meeting Minutes, 10th September 2014

Wednesday was a great night at Phoenix speakers for several reasons.  Firstly we had a full programme with four pre-prepared speeches.  Secondly these speeches included an ice breaker, and number 10 speech and a special speech (more of that later). Finally we also welcomed six guests.


Isabel kicked off the night as our acting President.  She stepped in at short notice because our president Ed was busy on Hampstead Heath (?!).  Isabel also doubled up as Grammarian for the evening, so well done and our thanks to her!


Simon first introduced former president Brad as the toastmaster.  Brad explained the role of Toastmaster and how he would be coordinating the meeting.  His first role was to introduce Roland as our Timekeeper for the evening.  Roland outlined his role and told us that he wouldn’t be scared to tell us to shut up if we went on too long!  Brad then introduced Isabel in her second role for the evening as Grammarian.  Isabel set the word of the day as ‘humorous’ and linked it to our humorous speech contest later in September.


Then Brad introduced Ana as the Table Topics Taster to commence what Brad described as the ‘crux’ of the first part of the meeting.  Ana explained why we practice table topics to help our impromptu talking skills.  She then set table topics based on questions she’d seen on dating websites, and what strange questions there were!  The questions included some tough ones such as who would play you in a film about your life, what would you dis-invent and what is your best life skill.  Well done to the two guests who also got stuck in and had a go.


Roland then came back and told us the timings for each table topics whilst the members and guests voted for their favourite. Tarry then evaluated all of the table topics and was able to give some really helpful insights despite only having 60-90 seconds of evidence to go on.


Roland was also double hatting on the evening.  As well as being timekeeper he was also our Sergeant At Arms.  He introduced our six guests and asked them to explain why there were visiting us.


We then had a 15 minutes break and enjoyed some refreshments and some snacks.


After the break Isabel opened the second half.  She also made some announcements, firstly about the Phoenix Speakers competition night on 24 September August.  There is a humorous speech context and table topics context – please contact Beleuh if you want to enter.  Secondly she challenged all members to volunteer to be a general evaluator at another club. Finally Isabel said what a great time everyone had had at the social night at the end of August.  Brad then returned to the stage and introduced four pre-prepared speeches.


Desmond’s icebreaker speech was first and he took the opportunity to introduce himself to the club.  He gave us some great background into his childhood and moving to the UK from Ghana.  The icebreaker is always a big milestone, so well done Des (as we can all now call him)!  The second speech was from Jean Philippe telling us about some of his experiences, learnings and advice from starting his own business.  The next speech wasn’t from the toastmaster manual.  At short notice Tarry had been asked to read a eulogy at her great uncle’s funeral the day after our meeting.  She took the opportunity of an open slot on the agenda to practice the eulogy.  (We hope it went well Tarry!)  Finally it was Simon’s turn with his speech #10, the last from the competent communicator manual.  Simon took on the challenge of inspiring us to say ‘no’ to Scottish independence.


Elaine, Beulah, Atul and Grant then gave evaluations of the speeches by Des, JP, Tarry and Simon respectively.


Isabel gave her Grammarian’s report, and then Jerome, our guest General Evaluator from Olympians, gave his evaluation of all of those who hadn’t yet been evaluated.


Finally Isabel closed the meeting by handing out the evening’s prizes.  Congratulations go to Elaine (best table topic), Simon (best speech) and Grant (best evaluation).


See you all on September 24th – competition night!

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