As ever Christmas parties come early and the same goes for us at North Herts Speakers. Our party was on the 30th November this year.
With guest from East Herts, Luton, Eldergate, Stevenage and Cornerstones we had a chance to get to know other Toastmasters in our area as well as time to have a chat with members of our own club.
Steve Saunders was our Toastmaster for the evening and we had speeches by Eddie Asquith and Richard Foster Fletcher. Eddie talked about his experience of Toastmasters and how it has helped him to gain new skills and confidence.
Richard Foster-Fletcher gave us a humorous speech on what it is to be British including a tongue in cheek quiz where he asked us questions about our ridiculous need to be polite at all times, even when it is not appropriate!
Not forgetting the awards. We were able to present awards to our very new Toastmasters and experienced Toastmasters alike
Our last meeting on Wednesday 21st November was a great mixture.
We had a very new member, Godfried Debrah who completed his very first “Ice breaker” speech at Toastmasters and also a speech by a very experienced Toastmaster, John Kendall.
Godfried told us about his life growing up in Ghana, about how his father managed to persuade him to stop messing around at school and get down to studying. He had us all laughing at the thought of the young Godfried having to sit down and learn all for the sake of a bar of chocolate.
Rose Saliba’s speech was on Performance Poetry. She used this speech to complete project number 6 which requires you to expand and improve your vocal variety. It’s great to see our members progressing so quickly in their journey to become a competent communicator. Competent Communicator is a Toastmaster term for someone who has completed all 10 speeches in the original Toastmaster handbook but I think that it really does give you a picture of how a person’s skills have progressed.
John Kendall gave a speech entitled “Reflect on your path” which is a summary of his progress through the new “Pathways” Toastmaster courses. It was great to hear first hand how this course has had much to offer even a Distinguished Toastmaster.
Eddie Asquith won Best Evaluator and Lynne Wilkins won Best Table Topics (impromptu speaking).
The Humorous Speech and Table Topics (Impromptu speaking) area contests were at our club venue this year. It was great to welcome so many other toastmasters from the neighbouring clubs.
With every stage of contest the level of the competitors gets higher and so too does the enjoyment. Of course the Humorous contest is bound to get the audience chuckling but so does the table topics competition. Soon everyone was in very high spirits.
One of our own members: Dorothy Molloy won the Humorous Speech contest and went through to the division contest in Cranfield on November 3rd.
Last Wednesday was competition time at our club. Everyone was a bit twitchy on the night as most of us were either performing a role that we had not done before or were participants in the competition. Luckily for us we had some visitors and new members to calm us down!
The competition was in two halves with the first part dedicated to the speeches. I must say that I’m glad that I was not judging those speeches as they were all such a high standard. Well done to our members for all the hard work and incredible personal progress they have made on their road to public speaking.
With a speech entitled “My affliction”, Dominic Goddard won the International Speech contest. His speech was very amusing but also very though provoking. He spoke of his “unhealthy” need to keep looking at his mobile phone. Something that many people are now discovering to be a trojan horse in our lives.
The second part of the contest was the evaluation competition. This might seem very strange to those who are not familiar with Toastmasters so let me explain. Evaluation is a core part of the Toastmaster program. Not only do we learn how to communicate more effectively but we also learn how to give constructive feedback. This part of the competition was to see who could give the most useful feedback for a given speech.
We aim to give our feedback as a cocktail of commendations and recommendations. We give each other encouragement by pointing out the aspects of a speech that are particularly effective and we also give out tips on things that could be improved so that the speech can become even better. In this way our members gain both confidence and also tips on things that they can work on that will aid them in the future.
Dorothy Molloy won the Best Evaluator competition.
The winners of the competitions are invited to take part in the Area Contest on the 7th of April. Unfortunately Dom cannot make the concert but Eddie Asquith, who won the area contest last year, will represent our club in his place.