A new club is born

On 9th of Feb 2011 Phoenix Speakers kicked off its very first meeting in fine style! A great audience made up of adventurous guests and loyal supporters from Cardinals, plus our sparkling President Kristie West, truly made it a night to remember!

Toastmaster Laura McCracken set the tone for the evening with her “Bucket List” theme – things to make sure you do before you “kick the bucket” – and Jenny Cutler set us an amazing array of Table Topics probing the very “heart” of Valentine’s Day.

Congratulations to all the brave guests who took on a Table Topic!

We heard how Bryant Yates will be buying his uncle roses this year; Kevin Sullivan recommended a Gothic Valentine’s; Jheni Arboine
explored 3 kinds of love; Paul Walsh told us about his mystery Valentine; Erin Goldbold let us know why red underwear is not worth it; Matt Davis told us why he hates trendy restaurants; Paul Sedden said it was better to stay in and cook on Valentine’s Day; Ian Baxter told us about a Big Card; Simon Simpson described looking for someone to love; Tom Elliott believes that romantic weekends are scary; Shayne Snow would choose a mountain bike over Ted Baker; Gilly Cutts admonished us all to soften our hearts, Andrew Chucks took us through a cycle of Valentine’s Cards, and Nigel Cutts came to tell us what Gilly didn’t!

Phoenix’s First Speeches

We were treated to 3 excellent speeches for the evening.

VP Education Brad Currin gave a very entertaining Number 5, taking us on a journey from the hectic atmosphere of the airport to a sunny day skiing and snowboarding down the slopes, followed by a rambunctious night of dancing and losing a few articles of clothing along the way!

Our VP Membership Andrew Smith followed, treating us to an Advanced Speech filled with both humour and repressed rage. After hearing about Andrew’s Holiday from Hell, his own flatmate commented, “I never knew he was so angry!”

Finally Caroline Watson explained to us in her Advanced Speech why vegans are attention seekers. In her characteristic warm and perceptive style, Caroline took us through our Vegan ABCs and why she chose to be a vegan herself.

More Highlights

Monica Chong jazzed up the role of Timekeeper with some time-related quotes from past greats such as Albert Einstein. Simon O’Mahoney gave us the most amusing grammarian report yet with extra focus on use of rhetorical devices. Jo Holmes gave a masterful evaluation of 14 table topics under extreme time pressure. Richard McMurray brought the whole room together by getting each of us to introduce ourselves along with our tipples of choice. And Jheni Arboine generally evaluated everything from the (lack of a) door sign – will be addressed – and the colour scheme, through to vocal variety and game-playing!


Best Table Topic: Jheni Arboine
Best Speech: Andrew Smith
Best Evaluator: Gilly Cutts

And of course: all our wonderful Guests! We hope to see you again soon!

Don’t forget, Toastmasters is about leadership as well as public speaking skills – dig out that Leadership manual and help run one of the meetings!

Next meeting: Wednesday 23 February 2011, 19:00 @ the Phoenix Pub in Victoria. If you can arrive early, we’ll see you at the bar beforehand!

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