8 August 2011
Camberley's first meeting of the new Toastmaster's year was held on Thursday the 7th of July 2011, with most members of the new committee present and actively involved. The total attendance was 21, and included 7 guests, 4 for the first time at Camberley:
Camberley Members: Atulya Verma, Bob Nisbet, Christina, Dan Benton, Deborah G, Harry Fish, Jonathan Alsop, Maria James, Marius Blaauw, Mark Willson, Martin Berry (Club President), Natalie Kay, Panos Panagou, and Quang Truong Le.
Visitors and Guest(s): Katie Nisbet/Guildford, Nuno Bento/Woking, Simon Reed, Neil Thomson/Farnham, Karen Szulakowska, George Black, and Sukhi Kent.
The meeting room was ably prepared by Deborah, one of our 2 new Sergeant-at-Arms, in conjunction with fellow members. The meeting was opened by Deborah in lively style, and then handed to our President, Martin, who welcomed everyone, with a special mention for our guests, one of whom, Neil, was a visitor from Farnham club, and had come at short notice to give a speech, in order to fill a vacancy in the agenda. Martin then handed the meeting to Panos, our Toastmaster of the evening, who introduced our guests individually. Panos then introduced Maria, our Timekeeper for the evening, and Quang, our Grammarian and Ah Counter, and each in turn gave a summary of their roles. Quang had chosen "PERSPICACIOUS" as the word of the day, and gave us a brief description of its meaning and origins.
Atulya ran the "Warm up" session, with a "Success" theme, asking everyone in turn to explain their idea of success, and how it impacted on their lives. All present accepted the challenge to participate, which resulted in a wide variety of comments.
The meeting continued with three speeches, as follows:
1) (CC02 - Organise your speech) - "6000 safety pins" by Dan. This was an amusing account of Dan's experiences in helping to organise a charity Rollerthon at Goodwood circuit, with some statistical information to inform us of the work behind the scenes to ensure a successful outcome.
2) (CC03 - Get to the Point) - "Greek debt" by Mark Willson. Mark had clearly carried out considerable research into this speech, and provided us with a lot of facts about the Greek economy, the inefficiency of the railways, and the extent of the Greek national debt. He was full of praise for the Greek contribution to modern society through their experience gained over thousands of years of civilisation, and said that one way or another, they would find a solution to their current problems.
3) (CC09 - Persuade with power) - "The Positive Life Balance Code" by Neil. This speech met Neil's objectives to convey his message, for the audience to strike a balance between work and play, to indulge in some self-analysis, in order to achieve an orderly and fulfilling work-life balance.
During the break, the assembled members and guests had informal discussions, and Christina and Jonathan dispensed tea, coffee and biscuits.
The meeting resumed after the break with the speech evaluations. Deborah gave an appraisal of Dan's speech, Bob gave an appraisal of Mark's speech, and Martin gave an appraisal of Neil's speech.
The Table Topics Master was Natalie, who had selected a number of unusual book titles, and asked the speakers to describe the content of these books. Those chosen to speak on this occasion were: Jonathan, Maria, Marius, Katie, Nuno, Karen, Sukhy, George and Simon. Natalie's excellent selection of speakers meant that everyone present either had a role in the agenda, or had spoken in the Table Topics session.
The Topics Evaluation was carried out by Christina, using her well-practiced listening skills to give some useful feedback to each of the participants, and some words of commendation for the Topics Master.
Quang 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.
Harry then gave a General Evaluation of the evening, with some constructive suggestions for the participants, and congratulated the club on running an enjoyable and successful meeting, which included four new guests.
The meeting was then handed to Martin (Club President) who presented awards for:
Best Evaluator: Bob, on his evaluation of Mark's speech.
Best Topics speaker: Katie, on the book title "Across Europe on a kangaroo".
Best Prepared Speaker: Dan, with his No. 3 speech.
Martin concluded the meeting, and many then went to the Four Horseshoes for light refreshments and informal discussions.
Next meeting: Thursday 21st of July 2011, normal venue, meet 7-ish for 7.30 p.m. start.
Club's Newsletter: This newsletter is e-mailed to "Friends of Camberley Speakers" who are current club members, friends from other Toastmasters clubs, past members and prospective new members. The newsletter will also be posted onto the websites shown above, which you can access without a password.
New members: Please welcome our most recent joiner at Camberley Speakers, Marius Blaauw, and 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, and contact our new VP Memership, Quang Truong Le: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members' badges: Natalie Kay (our new VP Education) has created a badge template to help new members and regular visitors to be easily identifiable. Please let Natalie know if you need a badge: email@example.com
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.
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 (Natalie) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01252-650001.
I hope to see you at the next meeting. Happy Toastmastering All!
Harry Fish CC - (IT Support, Camberley Speakers)
Phones: 01276-35164 and 07860-201387
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 Martin or Quang 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 if you join part-way through the six-month period? - Membership cost is effectively £6-50/month. You get a pro-rata reduction if joining part-way through the normal half-yearly periods.
- 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.
You will also receive your monthly copy of the Toastmaster magazine, which contains interesting articles, and hints and tips from your fellow members around the world. You will also have access to the "D71" UK-based website, which contains more information about the clubs around us, and future events in the UK.
- 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.
If you decide to join..........Welcome to the world of Toastmasters!