Posted by on Mar 29, 2015 in Meetings

If what we do at Toastmasters is to rock up each and every Friday morning to be enthralled by three speakers, what if there were six speakers – would the enthrallment be double? Absolutely!

And this was the Toastmaster of the Day Esther Newman’s intent at leading the meeting with the theme ‘What If.’ However, what if the Sergent at Arms did not show up to fulfil the role in preparing the room, shuffle all to seats and then introduce Esther – which actually happened? It was a timely reminder of how we are sometimes faced with situations out of our control and therefore, to keep going with what we can control for which Esther did. Wonder if Esther gave the SAA ‘what if’ afterwards?!!!

Kim is a new member and had already delivered his ice breaker (introduce yourself to the club) except what if you delivered your ice breaker to another club as a competition test speaker? He did. We were none the wiser until he repeated his ice breaker to us today. From his marrying his childhood sweet heart through to his marriage with technology today, this was a story woven with threads that life is about the decisions you make. What if you forget your props for the speech? Kim did that too … and that’s life.

What if you rent and were told that the rent was going to be increased? This was the scene set by Alana B’s speech role play -where the art of argument was transitioned into the skill of negotiation. Together, both the art and skill of communication were important to get a win/win outcome, as is the Commend-Recommend-Comment (C-R-C) evaluation technique having value in any given situation. Audience interaction allowed for Alana to take some feedback and hopefully, keep her roof over her head for a fair and reasonable price.

Alana V was stolen by her grand-mother when she was a hippy baby! This had nothing to do with today’s speech (it was a previous speech given). Except, as we get to know fellow Toastmasters and what drives them to become who they become, it’s more the events that make the person versus their DNA. Today, Alana shared her journey of going from laughing at the people who complete an Ironman event … to being laughed at by becoming one of them. She shared her journey to become an Ironwoman finisher that had inspiring humour that wasn’t a laughing matter for Alana at the time! What if you exit the water after the swim to be one of the first out of the bike transition, to then have 90% of the bikes pass you? Ironman competing is now iron-ically in her DNA.

What if your place of employment was like a bus? The bus is the company or organisation. The bus driver is the leader of that organisation and is responsible for ‘who’ is on the bus. Do they have the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats? Tina posed this mindset concept that could be attributed to a number of areas in our lives and whether we should be self examining if it is time to get off the bus, to get on a new one. The ticket to clip for surety is that the bus you get on and the seat you sit in, are aligned to your OWN values or kuapapa.

Greg presented pearls of wisdom around the differences between wine produced the old fashioned ‘in a barrel’ way versus the modern technique of ‘mass in a vat.’ The battle between traditional mother nature versus entrepreneurial intervention each had their quality for a palatable aroma and flavour. It had the audience swaying between old and new as if from the effects of having drunk the stuff, what if the break for a cup of tea during the meeting should have been a break for a sip of wine … an old tradition for the new!

Helen M delivered an educational on ‘Executing Effective Evaluations’, using artistic illustrations to amplify the methodology. Uplifting any speaker when evaluating incorporates some pre-meeting contact with the speaker to get some background information and then post-speaker speaking, delivering a micro-speech themselves using the C-R-C approach. A key for any Evaluator is to speak as yourself, i.e. what you see and, less is more. A timely lesson with some fantastic pointers.

The meeting agenda allowed for three Table Topics participants with the ‘Toastmaster Award’ being presented to the last participant – Tyrell. A visitor who’s fair of speaking reminded us all how taking that first step to just get up and utter words can be so terrifying, yet, the words spoken can bring a tear to the eye and a lump to your throat. It strengthened the significance as to why we all rock up each and every Friday morning.

To be enthralled.

What if, Tyrell hadn’t of spoken?

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