Meeting Minutes 14th January 2015

Wednesday was our first meeting of 2015, and quite possibly the most important meeting of Phoenix speakers in several years because it was our first meeting at our brand new venue, the Windsor Castle pub on Francis Street.  It is a great venue with an even more relaxed atmosphere than the previous location – a great fit with the personality of our club.

Our president Ed kicked off the evening and needless to say the main focus of his intro was to welcome everyone to the new venue.

Beulah was our toastmaster for the evening – when she came on stage she immediately injected energy into the evening.  As was fitting with the events of the evening, Beulah gave all the members a short history lesson.  She explained how Windsor Castle was the original home of Cardinals, the parent club which gave birth to Phoenix speakers three and a half years ago, so in a sense we were coming home.  Beulah then explained that her role as Toastmaster was to ensure the smooth running for the evening.  She had also set a theme for the evening, appropriately change and new beginnings, and before she introduced each speaker to the stage she told us what they were changing for their new year.


Her first action was to introduce our Bettina as our timekeeper for the evening.  Bettina explained the role and how she would ensure the meeting and all the speeches ran to time.

Next Bettina introduced our Grammarian for the evening, Azar.  Azar explained that his role is to look out for ‘ums’ and ‘ars’ and for interesting uses of speech.  He also set “metamorphosis” as the very appropriate word for the day.

Our president Ed then returned to stage this time in the guise of topics master for the evening.  Ed set the table topics based around a continuing theme of a story to which he would occasionally add new info when he spoke between topics.  This actually led to some very challenging topics and eight members did well to build some very imaginative stories.  After the voting and timekeeper’s report, Grant then provided evaluations of all topics.  It was a master class in giving an evaluation and it was criminal that he did not win best evaluator for the evening.

To close off the first half of the meeting, our Sergeant At Arms Roland came on to stage.  He explained the aspects of his role and then introduced our nine guests and asked them to explain why there were visiting us.  Gloria, David, Ga Lok, Jenny, Georgina, Danny, Katie, Emma and Mike, thanks for joining us and we all hope to see you again!

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

Ed introduced the second half with two club announcements:

  • We are planning to revamp our website and it would be good if we could get some internal help with this.  If any member has some experience with web design, could they please contact David BC or anyone else in the committee.
  • We will reinvigorate use and completion of the competent leadership manuals, so all members are encouraged to bring these to future meetings so we can complete these when people do any of the functionary roles.

Beulah then returned to stage and introduced the four speeches for the evening.

The first speech was speech #4 from Caroline who told us about her recent skiing holiday.  Ana was next up also giving her speech #4 telling us about her love of her home town San Sebastian.  It sounds amazing, but is it better than Benidorm? The third speech was from Isabel.  This was her speech#9 which requires her to try to ‘persuade with power’.  She spoke to us about the effects of domestic violence and what should be done to combat it.  The final speech of the evening was a guest speech from Danny  from Cardinals club.  He gave an advance speech entitles ‘Serving Moloch’*.

Following the timekeepers report, JP, Atul, Bryant and Simon gave evaluations of the four speeches which were followed again by another timekeeper’s report.

Azar then gave his Grammarian.  He was glad to note that his very appropriate word of the day was very well used. Following this Ga Lok, our General Evaluator from City Of London Speakers, gave his evaluation of everyone on the programme who had not yet been evaluated, and he did it without notes!

After Beulah signed off, Ed returned to the stage to close the meeting.  Before doing so he handed out the prizes for the evening.  Well done to Bryant (best table topic), Danny (best speech) and Simon (best evaluator).  Ed then wrapped up in traditional style by ordering us all to the bar (but to drink the drinks back upstairs!).

The next meeting is on Wednesday 28 January.  Hope to see you then.

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