Posted by on Sep 20, 2014 in Meetings

The theme of this meeting was ‘Choices’ which seemed apt with the election only a week away and the Scottish referendum next week too. Pleasing to see that 26 people made the choice to get out of bed early to come to Boaters. Where were you Brent?? Claire away too ….

Doug’s word for the day was ‘tenacious’ which was well used during the meeting and which I think is a pretty good description for Toastmasters, especially those who choose to get up early on a Friday morning.

Shane’s icebreaker was called “What are you doing”. An enthralling first speech. Listening to Shane from Hokitika, he’s doing plenty! From being a bio-chemist writing his thesis, to speed reading, playing the piano and guitar, to training for the Coast to Coast, does this man pause for breath? He deserves his trip to Tonga with partner Kathryn. Lovely to see Kathryn at the meeting to support Shane.

Kevin Warwood followed with the project ‘Research your topic’ …… and guess what, it was about parking! Kevin is aiming for the (dubious) honour of being the first person to complete the competent communicator manual projects entirely on parking related topics. However, Kevin always manages to make his parking speeches entertaining. This one was about solving retail parking, but whatever the solution, we’ll always pay one way or the other as ‘the Council always gets its money’! Thinking on the fact that a third of the cars coming into the city are driving around looking for a parks, conjures up an image of sheep milling around aimlessly. Well it has been suggested that sheep be put to graze on empty red zone sections.

Roydon and his wife attended the Bob Dylan concert on Wednesday and this event was the inspiration for Roydon’s speech – ‘Style of engagement’. He looked at and compared the different ways that performing artists interacted with their audiences, in particular the interactive style of Cat Stevens and Leonard Cohen in recognising their audiences and their needs, as opposed to Bob Dylan’s less interactive style. All very pertinent thoughts for us to keep in mind when addressing audiences.

Table topics always provides a pot-pourri of topics and interpretations, and Kelvin’s choices, based on the day’s theme, delivered responses on what age you would choose to stay (Danny is eternally 25), books for high school students, memories – happy ones and loosing old ones, to flipping coins to solve problems. Never a dull moment.

Of course no meeting is complete without the introducers who performed the important and valuable role of setting the stage for the speakers, and the evaluators who gave their thoughtful, helpful and supportive commendations and recommendations which enables us to learn. John MacVicar (please note the spelling!) was first time general evaluator and gave an excellent overall evaluation of another rewarding meeting, which I had the pleasure of being the Toastmaster for.

One final quote: “You have two choices in life … Choice one is to be the same and be like everyone else … Choice two is to be yourself and be a difference maker”.

See you all next Friday.

Sandra Smith

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