The One with Five People

Small but perfectly formed 21st July 2021

Well, that was a compact and bijou meeting!! There were only four Toastmasters and one excellent guest who just went with it!

Our Timer and Sergeant at Arms was the fabulous Enroy, whose dulcet tones are a welcome addition to any meeting.  Our Grammarian was Bev A who gave us a great word of the day ‘Ameliorate’ which we had fun dropping into our conversations.

There was only one speech, which was delivered by me and was about the Public Relations for the Club and what we can achieve. 

We are working on securing our eight new members, the PR will contribute this year by having you all supporting Venice and the club, by providing content, and disseminating far and wide the posts and info we produce.

With no Table Topics Master, we decided to improvise, and took it in turns to ask each other a Table Topics question!! Lynne gave us an evocative two minutes about the summer of 1976 and the flies on the white and yellow cars! Enroy told us about his favourite holiday food which was jack fruit and sugar cane and his descriptions had us all entranced.

Bev A told us about what she would do if she were on a plane surrounded by people coughing though I don’t think her plan to spend 9 hours in the loo would have made her popular with the other passengers. Nick, our most welcome guest, told us about, what sounded like a fantastic holiday to Mauritius and the visual picture he painted had us all lamenting our lack of holidays recently.

As we were completely off script, we then did open evaluations on both the initial speech about PR and the Table Topics speeches.  It was and excellent idea as the evaluations fed off each other and new perspectives were proposed, as we discussed what we had seen and heard as a group.

I would like to thank those that came along for a, jovial, energetic, and insightful evening.

See you on the 4th of August where we have our first theme which will be Olympics! I look forward to seeing your backgrounds and your stories of meeting Seb Coe or Nicola Adams, failing at sports day or getting an Olympic medal!!

The One Where we Shook Hands

But Cleaned them After!! 18th Aug 2021

It was a fine evening for our first outdoor in person meeting. We met in my front garden in Willian as it is big enough and I was very happy to host.  It was our first in person meeting in 16 months and it was also the first time I had shaken hands with anyone in 16 months too.  How wonderfully strange it seemed.

Liz Burnett, (Toastmasters royalty) also attended and even presented our club with a sash of awesomeness!

The meeting had two glorious speeches from Lynne and Christine that had us hanging on their every word.  Christine and her cauliflower prop were a big hit, and we will never look at this vegetable the same again.  She spoke about unlearning and how difficult that can be particularly when you have a cauliflower for a brain. Lynne gave voice to the little critics that sit on our shoulders and whisper a negative commentary in our ears, or that could be just my shoulders!

Deborah did a wonderful job in her first ever in person meeting, as she led the evaluations, and it was wonderful to see Andrea for the first time in ages as she led us in Table Topics. 

 Andrea had us recalling the foibles of our childhood holidays and she had props and a series of probing questions which provoked the most wonderful stories from our group.  Judith and her undiplomatic aunt, Liz with her holidays in Ireland with only a cursory nod to planning and Dorothy and her disappointment with her water pistols.

Enroy was our timer extraordinaire, and it was very strange indeed to get the coloured card out of the meeting box again to show the times rather than just change our backgrounds.

The one with Sign Language

The one with sign language!! 04 Aug 2021

Our Sergeant at Arms, Enroy, was experiencing technical difficulties as he couldn’t get his sound to work!  In a double role as Timer, the club supported him by trying to interpret his sign language, facial expression and eventually through the zoom chat function.  Well done, Enroy, there was much celebration when you finally got the sound back at the end of the meeting.

But back to the beginning. Our first speaker was Ollie, and he was talking about inspiration, he went from the huge numbers in the size of the solar system to the dulcet tones of Edina Menzel, Defying Gravity.  I’m not going to give you anymore, if you missed it, you missed a treat.

Our second presentation was a masterclass in speechcraft from the very experienced and capable, John, who regaled us with the things he didn’t know before Toastmasters.  This speech saw modulation in Johns voice that I haven’t seen him use before and it was laced with humour, hugely entertaining.

Competition time is nearly upon us again, love it or hate it, it’s the best way to improve and I hope those of you reading this will take part, either as a competitor or as one of the roles that make the competition happen.  If you haven’t been for a while, we would still love to see you and get you involved.

Our Evaluators were fantastic this week, the energy and great structure employed by Venice was complimented by the considered insights of Deborah.

Table Topics was populated with great questions by Helen, she offered us Olympics as a topic and her questions made you want to go, pick me, pick me! Through Table Topics, Lynne gave us new sports, both of which I could challenge her for gold in!! Donna our guest got involved and gave a confident and engaging story about and Olympian in her family, she had us all rapt!

Enrico gave a good account of all our Ums and Ahs, of which several were mine, without making us feel too bad.

If you fancy attending the next meeting, we are going to try doing an in-person, outside meeting, depending on the weather. More details to follow but we are aiming to hold it in my garden in Willian.  If you haven’t been for an age, come and see us, have a drink (tea or wine) and a bit of social interaction.  We would love to see you, no pressure to join in or re-join, just a chance to reconnect.