Dear Epsom Speakers,

As always, the room was all set up and ready for what turned out to be most enjoyable evening. Well done to the Sergeant at Arms for this meeting, Chris Terry. Bang on time he brought us all to order so the meeting could begin.

As Gillian was unwell,  I was the stand in president for the evening. I welcomed the members, and the many guests in the room, and wished Gillian a speedy recovery (Hope you feeling better).

I then asked the question, why, with the nights closing in and the weather turning nippy, do we still venture out to attend a club meeting. I think it’s because we all want to improve out communication skills and our leadership skills. Must be some truth in that, as the room was jam packed! So much so that the SAA had to get extra seats in. Twenty three club members and six guests. Then I gave a brief outline what and who Toastmasters are, and how people all over the world attend meetings very similar to our meetings.

I had spoken enough so handed the meeting over to our Toastmaster of the Evening, Mark Peacock, who was doing the role for the first time at the club. Well done Mark. A smooth and slick run program, and on time

Timekeeper Matthijs explained the role of the lights and how important timekeeping is. And like magic the white light bulb turned green, when he turned it on. Gary Argent was the Videographer, and explained his role. Gary gave us two interesting tips when we watch the video of our speeches. One is to watch it with the sound off, and then watch again, but only to the sound (no picture). You get a different impression of your speech.

The warm-up session was run by Amanda Zwarts, asking us ‘How do we get out news?’ Every member and guest had something interesting to say.

Then we moved onto the speeches. Kim Pleatman presented her Icebreaker. Well done Kim. So too John, well done also. The Toastmaster speaking journey begins!!

We were honoured in the meeting to have the Director General of the BBC come and speak to us, and to apologise about the gender gap in pay rates between the male and female talent at the company. He spoke well. Obviously has had TM training.

The floor was then opened for a Q&A session. Some very hard hitting questions by the audience, and I was told later that none were planted. Who would have though our members could be so vocal and angry at the Director! Well done Sir for remaining calm and collected despite the attacks on you and your pay and the way the Corporation is been run!

For those of you that attended, you will know that the DG was Charlie Warshawski.

Penny evaluated Kim, Paul (nice to see you attending regularly again!) evaluated John and Dan evaluated Charlie. Paul especially commended John in using vocal variety, gestures and body language in an Icebreaker speech.

Good evaluations all round and good recommendations and feedback.

After the break we had a really fun Topics session led by Dave Lane as Topics Master. He explained the reason for topics and then led us into an good session

The theme was things.

  • Dave G: Worst item you have lost –  In true Dave style hilarious. He lost his purpose in life!
  • Matt Tuff: Best thing you have found – Nothing, loose more than find
  • Willorna: Hoarding or Obsessive tidiness –  If an item is not used in 6 months it is dumped, except lipstick and other beauty products.
  • Leon (Guest): Favourite childhood activity –  Still a child apparently. Played drums as a child, and still does.
  • George (Guest): Favourite children TV character –  Bard Simpson.
  • Jennifer (Guest): Best gift you have been given –  Ivory chopsticks from her grandmother.
  • Paul (Guest):  Best or worst thing you have ever bought – Mountain bike
  • Elizabeth: Best or Worst present you have given – Elizabeth told us about the worst gift she had received. Expensive perfume from France by her husband, which caused her to break out in a rash!
  • Amy: Dullest thing you have ever bought – Nothing as she is a good shopper, and buys practical things, and then told us about losing her passport and finding it again soon after.

Well done to all for giving us an entertaining session, and for Dave L for making the session ‘easy’ for all the participants. Nine speakers in total. WOW, and a mix of members and guests.

Ian Upton (good to see you again) gave an evaluation of the Topics session with a commendation and recommendation for all the speakers, and the evening was rounded off by Doris as our General Evaluator, who raised some good points, but overall said, in a seductive voice, that the meeting good.

Winners were:  Charlie for Best Speech, Dan for Best Evaluation and Amy for Best Topic.

The next meeting will be Monday October 15, with Phoebus Apostolidis as Toastmaster, and Gillian will be back as President.

See you all then

Costa Nicolaou
VPE

PS: Area 53 Humerous and Table Topics Contest will be held on Monday, 29th October 2018 at Bourne Hall. Please come along to support our  Club winners Dan and Amanda. Go ESC!!