12 April 2011
At last April has arrived, the clocks have gone forward to British Summer Time, and we have enjoyed some really sunny weather, which helps to bring out smiles all round.
Our most recent meeting took place on Thursday the 7th of April, and included two first-time guests, Sarah Talbot and Dharmendra Harji. The total attendance was 18:
Camberley Members: Atulya Verma, Bob Nisbet, Cathy Richardson, Chris Ayscough, Christina, Dan Benton, Deborah G, Gary Jenkins, Harry Fish, Mark Jemison, Maria James, Martin Berry (Club President), Quang Truong Le, .
Other visitors and Guest(s): Dharmendra Harji, Lesley Whitfield, Panos Panagou, Sarah Talbot, Doug New.
The meeting room was prepared collectively by the members, and the meeting opened by Harry, standing in as Sergeant-at-Arms, with a short introduction. The meeting was then handed to our President, Martin, who welcomed everyone, with a special mention for our guests. Martin explained the last-minute agenda changes, then handed the meeting to Maria, our Toastmaster of the evening. Maria introduced Deborah, our Timekeeper for the evening, and Chris, our Grammarian and Ah Counter, and each in turn gave a summary of their roles. Chris had chosen "GRAVITAS" as his word of the day, and gave us a brief description of its meaning and origins.
Chris ran the "Warm up" session, by asking everyone to explain their personal phobias, which included spiders, drowning, public speaking and other fears. This gave everyone the chance to relax by speaking to the gathering for just 10-15 seconds.
The meeting continued with three speeches, as follows:
1) The story of a Dogsbody (CC01) - by Dan. This was Dan's "Icebreaker" speech, and described a large part of his career in IT to date, with an explanation of how he named his company and grew his business.
2) Confessions of a competitive parent (CC01) - by Cathy. This was another "Icebreaker" speech, in which Cathy explained that she brought up two daughters who were keen on dancing, theatre and music, and how she had spent countless hours as a devoted mother to ensure they achieved their objectives.
3) Fish Man - by Martin. This was a "Roast", being a critique of another person in the audience, namely Doug New. Martin described how he had known Doug for many years, how they had worked together and socialised together, and some of the times they had shared.
During the break, the assembled members and guests had informal discussions, and Atulya and Maria dispensed tea, coffee and biscuits.
The meeting resumed after the break with the speech evaluations. Gary gave an appraisal of Dan's speech, Bob gave an appraisal of Cathy's speech, and Quang gave an appraisal of Martin's speech.
The Table Topics Master was Harry, who had an eclectic mix of subjects. Those chosen to speak on this occasion were: Panos, Martin, Christina, Sarah, Lesley and Atulya.
The Topics Evaluation was carried out by Doug, with a summary of the roles played by each speaker, and some useful feedback for everyone, including the Topics Master.
Chris took the floor as Grammarian/Ah Counter for the evening, and detailed the use of good and bad English over the course of the evening, identifying those who had used "filler" words. (Ah, Oh, So, Um etc.) He praised the use of good English, and those who had used well-structured phrases and the Word of the Day.
Christina then gave a General Evaluation of the evening, with some constructive comments for the participants, and commended the club on running a successful and enjoyable meeting.
The meeting was then handed to Martin (Club President) who presented awards for:
Best Evaluator: Gary, on Dan's speech.
Best Topics speaker: Atulya, on his summary of the impact on the human brain of the increasing use of technology.
Best Prepared Speaker: Cathy, with her passionate speech about running around for her daughters for many years, whilst they were in dancing, acting and music classes.
Martin concluded the meeting, and many then went to the Four Horseshoes for light refreshments and informal discussions.
Next meeting: Thursday 21st of April 2011, commencing 7.30 p.m. at the Rugby Club. Yes, please note this different venue, for one meeting only: Camberley Rugby Club,
Watchetts Recreation Ground, Park Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2SR. There is a sign off Park Road that points into the ground. Our meeting will be held in the downstairs function room, with refreshments afterwards in the upstairs bar. For this occasion, we will not be having a Tea and Coffee break, but a short break of around 5 minutes to allow time for the Evaluators to prepare themselves. If you wish to bring your own bottle of water/Coke etc., that would be fine.
Club's Newsletter: This newsletter will also be posted onto the website which you can access without a password. If you'd like to include additional information which is relevant to Toastmasters, do let me (Harry) know.
New members: Please welcome our most recent joiner at Camberley Speakers, Atulya Verma. Do give him any assistance he may require on his journey with Toastmasters. If you would like to know more about joining, please read the final page of this letter.
Members' badges: Natalie Kay has created a badge template to help new members and regular visitors to be easily identifiable. Please let either of us know if you need a badge: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members' manuals: In return for paying a joining fee, new members are enrolled on the Toastmasters International system, issued with a PIN, and receive their first two manuals, the Competent Communicator manual, and the Competent Leadership manual. Do bring these with you to our meetings, and ensure that whenever you carry out a role, you find a fellow member to evaluate your efforts, and have this recorded in your manuals. This way you will progress towards your first two Toastmaster awards.
1) Subscriptions: How time flies! Every six months we renew our memberships to be part of Toastmasters International, and for a small outlay, get lots of fun in return. Most of you will have received the reminder from our Treasurer, Chris Ayscough, but by way of a further reminder, please see the attachment being sent out with this newsletter.
Club's atmosphere: Our objective is to help members to develop their public speaking abilities in a friendly and supportive environment. If you have a problem in attending because you need a lift, do say so, somebody may be able to help. If you have a meeting role, but need to cancel, please inform us ASAP, so that the agenda can be revised. We have enthusiastic members, at Camberley and elsewhere, who are willing to take on roles at short notice, and a hard-working VPE (Quang) who is prepared to juggle the agenda as required, to ensure that "It will be alright on the night."
Many hands make light work: A club like ours relies on volunteers. If you would like to play your part in running the club, even taking on a small role, please contact our President, Martin Berry on: email@example.com or 01252-650001.
I hope to see you at the next meeting. Happy Toastmastering All!
Harry Fish CC - (VPPR, Camberley Speakers)
Phones: 01276-35164 and 07860-201387
(See below for membership page)...............>>>>>>>>>
If you decide to join..........Welcome to the world of Toastmasters!
THE MEMBERSHIP PAGE
Club Membership: We welcome guests to our growing club. If you like what we do at Camberley Speakers, why not bring a guest or two with you next time, and they can see for themselves? If you would like to know more about joining, please ask a committee member at the next meeting, or e-mail me or Martin Berry for details.
Some FAQs to guide new joiners:
- How much does it cost? - Membership is renewed every six months, in April and October, and currently costs £39 twice-yearly. This covers the hire of the hall and other expenses. When you first join there is also a "one off" fee which is currently £16, to cover your registration onto the Toastmasters International system as a member, and to pay for your first two manuals.
- What do you get when you join the club? - As outlined above, your membership is acknowledged by Toastmasters Head Office in California, and you will receive your first two manuals, which have been designed to guide you through your first 10 speeches, and the other challenges you may choose to meet within the club, such as carrying out speech evaluations for others, and taking part in various parts of running your club, which will be acknowledged by your fellow members. Don't forget to bring the manuals to each meeting, where you can be given credit for any roles you perform.
- Is there any help to get started? - Many of those joining Toastmasters for the first time experience a mixture of excitement and anxiety about what lies ahead. Fear not, you are in good company, we have all been through it! Be assured you are amongst friends who are there to help you, if help is required. Your Competent Communication manual will show you the outline themes for your first 10 speeches, and gives a fair amount of guidance in writing. If you would also like some face-to-face assistance from a more experienced speaker, there are many within Camberley Speakers who are willing to give up some of their time to do this.