Meeting Notes – 27th April 2016

Isabel our president welcomed all to the meeting. She recounted that during an extended illness she was so dedicated to the Toastmasters cause that she read cover-to-cover all the issues of the Toastmasters magazine that she received! One of the tips was on developing stage presence by recording the first few lines of your latest speech and then listening to this recording again in a week’s time and asking yourself how your perception had changed. She also highlighted:

  • the supportive, peer-to-peer, encouraging feedback that we give and receive to each other as members and which underpins the ethos of the Toastmasters organisation
  • the closeness that grows from being willed onto succeed by everyone in the room
  • the usefulness of The London Speaker website ( run by Dorothea Stuart and suggested that we check it out.

Kate, our Toastmaster for the evening deftly guided us through the session’s theme of “Believe it or not?” asking each of the participants for an unbelievable fact about themselves or experiences they had gone through. Hers was having won a bathroom suite and football sweep stake in one year.

Next up, Michael (who despite being covered in tattoos has a fear of needles) explained his role as timekeeper for the evening.

The Grammarian, Mike (who was once detained by the Bulgarian Secret Police) introduced the word of the evening, serendipity.

The night’s Topic Master, Grant craftily chose a series of quotes from Donald Trump’s election campaign and asked the table topics participants to explain what they thought of those words of wisdom. Our intrepid and creative table topics participants: Ian, Bettina, Zola, Richard, Andrew, Isabel, Marylyn, Shane, Atul, Roland, and Tanya enthusiastically rose to the challenge, fielding the following:

Our Sargent at arms, Roland (who had swum three quarters of the way across the English Channel) then described his role for the evening and welcomed our guests.

After the break Isabel reminded everyone that we are looking for people to work on the Phoenix Speakers committee and that elections are looming. A chance to develop skills and contribute to the running of the club.

We were the entertained with a delicious set of prepared speeches:

  • Bjorn’s icebreaker on how he ran 50 miles in the Peak District and the idea of the Ultra marathon.
  • Ian delivered an informative number three speech on procrastination, what causes it and how to deal with it: accept it, plan small steps and have a “power hour”.
  • “How to Get Your Dream Project Off the Ground” was Katy’s number three speech on how she had made one of her dreams come true.
  • Tanya gave a number four speech on the peace, quiet and sensual pleasures of a walk along the River Thames.

Our evaluators then gave feedback on the prepare speeches: Richard on Bjorn, Atul on Ian, Roland on Katy and Grant on Tanya.

Lastly, Isabel provided a general evaluation for the night with some great soundbites: “praise fest”, “all stories have a purpose” and “avoid the lectern dance” being favourites.

Look forward to seeing you on May 11th.

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