Old friends and new came together for our first autumn meeting – a lively session and we were delighted to welcome many guests. Contributions from everyone in the room added to the fun and excitement, the meeting ably run by experienced Toastmaster Patrick Ebbs.

Fatai was our job-sharing Sergeant at Arms tonight, keeping us all in order, organising the room and welcoming guests. Norman was our Timekeeper, Gary, the Videographer and Elizabeth our Ballot Counter.

Willorna gave us a topical theme for the ‘Warm-up’ – what is your favourite season? Mine is autumn – ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, as Elizabeth reminded us – but answers ranged right around the calendar, with our past-President, Ian Upton, declaring himself ‘a man for all seasons’!

Lloyd entertained us with ‘Strategies for pre-emptive Mid-air Collision Avoidance in Budgerigars’ – fascinating insights into how the natural world organises itself, and he even had the T-shirt to go with it.

Doris told a gripping story of her first evening at Toastmasters – I think everyone in the room could empathise with her feelings of nervousness and be inspired by how far she’s come since those far-off days (7 years ago).

Penny gave us some insights into how to make your relationship with your boss work really well for YOU! We were asked to consider what interests our manager, what is important and even, how do they prefer to communicate? There are lessons in there for everyone: ‘The art of communication is the language of leadership’

After three great speeches, our evaluators bravely faced the challenge of giving helpful comments. Amanda evaluated Lloyd’s speech, showing us the skill with which he had transformed a dry academic paper into a story for his audience.

Mark showed us the many excellent qualities of Doris, as a speaker, and Phoebus gave a considered analysis of Penny’s presentation, encouraging her to ‘keep your inner smile’ (we all appreciate Penny’s lovely, warm smile).

After the break, Dave Goodman ran an expert Table Topics session, with the intriguing theme of ‘little jobs’. Many members and guests took part, Anjana on the little jobs she looks forward to (Face book?), Ian on a job he had been putting off (‘flushed with success’ – he finally managed to replace the toilet seat). Dan Magill evaluated the session, giving helpful comments to all participants.

Finally, our hard-working VPE, Costa Nicolaou was General Evaluator for the whole evening.

Winners were:
Best speech, joint first:  Lloyd and Doris
Only two evaluators were within time, so no vote on this.
Best Topic: Ian Upton

Next Meeting   17th September:  Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests

And  finally, an Important Reminder:
On Saturday October 6th there is a Special Workshop on Story-Telling and Table Topics
At Surbiton Speakers from 1 – 5 pm

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/table-topics-storytelling-workshops-area-h53-tickets-49644689603

This will be a really special afternoon – I’ve booked my ticket, just £5. If you’re interested, book quickly, as the organisers will be opening ticket sales to the whole of London Toastmasters later this week.

See you soon,
Gillian Prior
President

Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash