Meeting Minutes, 13 Aug 2014

Last Wednesday was a really great night at Phoenix speakers. We had over twenty people join the evening which was a great turnout considering it is the middle of August. It was also great to welcome four guests and a couple of members we hadn’t seen for a while.

Simon kicked off the night as our acting acting president. Our president Ed was at a Toastmasters training event and our scheduled acting president Bryant had late work commitments. Not only that, but Simon also doubled up as toastmaster for the evening, so well done to him!

Simon first introduced Anna as the Timekeeper. Anna explained her role and how the timing lights work. Next Simon introduced our Grammarian for the evening, David. David explained the role and set our word of the day as ‘Bloviate’ which means [quickly googles] ‘talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way’.

Bronagh was then introduced as the Topics Master for the first half of the evening. Bronagh wanted to bring some Hollywood magic to Phoenix so she had prepared written quotes from several famous films and asked members (and one guest!) to the stage to do a table topic based on the quote. We covered James Bond, Dirty Dancing, Sixth Sense, Apollo 13, The Wizard of Oz (despite the speaker thinking it was from ET!) and When Harry Met Sally.

Anna then came back on stage to tell us the timings of each table topic. Richard then evaluated each topic, which is a tough role because of the number of speakers. He started with a really clever insight for all to consider which was that perhaps those giving the table topics needn’t have read the quote aloud straightaway.

Elaine was acting as our sergeant at arms for the evening. She introduced four guests. She also asked them for a mini table topic which was to name their favourite films. The films offered were all reassuring unpretentious!

At that point we realised we were well ahead of scheduled so Bronagh gave us another three bonus table topics – we are flexible at Phoenix!

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

After the break Simon opened the second half. He also made to announcements, firstly about the Phoenix Speakers social night on 30 August (email to follow) and secondly about the humorous speech and table topics competition on 24 September (further details on yesterday’s email).

Simon then introduced three pre-prepared speeches.

Victoria’s icebreaker speech was first and she took the opportunity to introduce herself to the club. After the next meeting we shall expect Victoria to down a pint in six seconds. The icebreaker is always a big milestone, so well done Victoria! The second speech was from Grant telling us about a very long-term experiment into evolution. Finally it was Beulah’s turn with her speech #9 (almost there!) on the benefits of smiling. Roland, Desmond and Kate then gave insightful evaluations of the speeches by Victoria, Grant and Beulah respectively.

David gave his Grammarian’s report, and then Catherine, our guest General Evaluator from Olympians, gave her evaluation of the club and all of those who hadn’t been evaluated.

Finally Simon closed the meeting by encouraging us all to do general evaluations at other clubs and by handing out the evening’s prizes. Congratulations go to Grant (best table topic), Victoria (best speech) and Roland (best evaluation).

See you all on August 27th!

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