28 February 2011
Valentine's Day has come and gone, and spring is in the air. The latest meeting of Camberley Speakers took place on Thursday the 17th of February, and despite quite a few last minute changes, was a successful and most enjoyable occasion. There were several guests from other Toastmasters clubs, and some guests making their first visit to a Toastmasters club. The total attendance was 18:
Members: Bob Nisbet, Christina, Deborah G, Gary Jenkins, Harry Fish, Maria James Mills, Martin Berry (Club President), Natalie Kay, Sarah Williamson Green.
Guest(s): Cathy Richardson, Dan Benton, Mark Jemison, Mark Thomson, Nell Op de Beek, Panos Panagou, Amanda Zwarts, Nicola Coutts and Samantha Babister.
The meeting room was prepared by several members working together, and the meeting opened by 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 who was our Toastmaster of the evening. Maria introduced Natalie, our Timekeeper for the evening, and Christina, our Grammarian and Ah Counter, and each in turn gave a summary of their roles. Christina's chosen "Word of the Day" was OBSEQUIOUS. This word was on display in the front and back of the room.
Panos ran the "Warm up" session, by reminding us that spring was on the way, and asked everyone in the audience to explain if they had spring cleaning plans, and if so, what they involved. This produced a wide variety of responses, many of them based on the need to clean up 1,000 plus e-mails, overloaded Facebook accounts, and other issues related to the age of technology.
The meeting continued with three speeches, as follows:
1) Evaluate to Motivate - by Bob. This was an educational speech, given by Bob to help emphasise this important part of the Toastmasters experience.
2) Nurses work schedule and patient mortality rates - by Sarah. This was an advanced speech by Sarah, using notes and handouts to cover a specialist topic, the need to be aware of the impact on health care standards by overworking staff and relying on limited resources.
3) A personal experience - by Gary. This was a moving speech taken from Gary's own experience of sustaining severe injuries, and how he fought against pain and despair to make a good recovery.
During the break, the assembled members and guests had informal discussions, and Deborah and Harry dispensed tea, coffee and biscuits.
The meeting resumed after the break with two speech evaluations. Nicola gave an appraisal of Sarah's speech, Amanda gave an appraisal of Gary's speech.
The Table Topics Master was Martin, who filled the role at short notice, and did well to find some interesting topics for those selected to speak on this occasion, who were: Nell, Mark T, Mark J, Deborah, Cathy, Christina, Harry and Panos.
The Topics Evaluation was carried out by Samantha, with a summary of the roles played by each speaker, and some useful feedback for everyone.
Christina 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.) Christina praised the use of good English, and those who had used well-structured phrases and the Word of the Day.
Harry gave his General Evaluation of the evening, with some constructive comments about the initial introduction to the Toastmaster, the timing of the evaluation speeches, and few other pointers, and concluded by saying that in his opinion it had been a very successful and invigorating meeting for all those who attended.
The meeting was then handed to Martin (Club President) who presented awards for:
Best Evaluator: Samantha, on Table Topics.
Best Topics speaker: Harry, with Deborah and Panos closely behind.
Best Prepared Speaker: N/A on this occasion, with only two speeches in contention.
Martin concluded the meeting, and many then went to the Four Horseshoes for light refreshments and informal discussions.
Next meeting: Thursday 3rd of March 2011, commencing 7.30 p.m.
Another date for your diary: Thursday the 17th of March, when the club will be holding a Speech Contest and Evaluation Contest on the same evening. In order to enter the speech contest a member needs to have completed 6 speeches from the Competent Communication manual. The speeches for this contest are timed for 5/6/7 minutes, with automatic disqualification if running over by more than 30 seconds. The theme of the speeches is "Inspirational" which gives you a lot of scope. You may use this opportunity to complete another speech in your manual if appropriate.
All current members qualify to enter the Evaluation Contest.
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: At the present time we have many members in the process of joining our club, including Cathy Richardson, Dan Benton, Darren Pilkington, Emma Earley and Mark Jemison. Do give them any assistance they may require on their 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 kindly agreed to help us create badges for new members and visitors, so that all are easily identifiable. Please let me or her know if you would like one made up for you.
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 come forward and say so, there is normally someone who will be happy to assist. If you have a meeting role, but need to cancel, please let someone know 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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)...............>>>>>>>>>
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 £36 twice-yearly, which will shortly increase to £39. 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.
- 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 give 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!