Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Meetings

Toastmaster Brett Snow danced us through this morning’s meeting with plenty of anecdotes and quips related to dancing to keep us on our toes. Embrace change – move with it and enjoy the dance; dance like nobody is watching; and dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire!! Mmmm…. the tango, yes, line dancing ….???

Kelvin had us doing a bit of heel-toe tapping to warm up, followed by a wonderfully stirring haka led by Brent Ruru, accompanied by Mark, Steve K, Danny and Brett, which really get the meeting underway.

Bard Deb McAlpine gave a hilarious rendition of a mature woman wanting to buy a suitable swim suit. The mind images created were amazing, for example, the leopard-skin-look lycra suit – think Tarzan’s Jane, pregnant and having a bad day. Loved it, Deb can always make us laugh. Great tonic for early Friday morning.

The three prepared speeches danced from rhubarb to intentional ignoring and back to organic produce.

Brandishing a freshly picked stick of rhubarb, Rodney Ford began his speech “I’ve been radicalised where eating oil” for CC project Persuade with power. The rhubarb was there to illustrate that it needs nitrogen to grow, as do many things, and the nitrogen is disappearing from top soil. From there we get to oil, as oil produces nitrogen. If the oil runs out, nitrogen runs out and then it’s curtains for everything, including us! So Rodney ‘Ford is crazy’ is now set to eat only meat and veg to live – he’s radicalised to that to that so there will be nitrogen for his rhubarb! Have I got this right! Did flying over the Middle East generate this train of thought for Rodney? Or the fickle growth rate of his rhubarb?

Did you know that about 100,000 words come our way each day? How many of those do we ignore as we operate on auto pilot? Roydon Gibbs’ speech illustrated that “the art of intentional ignoring” is important to good listening. Sounds contradictory at first, but Roydon’s ABC acronym for listening explains that it is not so. A is for attending, focus completely on the speaker, ignore everything else; B is Be present, not only physically but ensure the brain is in the present too, and not intentionally ignoring by being in the past or future; C for confirm, using tools to stay in the present, such as formulating questions and summarising. Excellent advice, as many of us at times would be guilty of ‘drifting away’ and being elsewhere when supposedly listening.

Back to produce for Colin Clapp’s “Entrepreneurial grocers and power of the past” for project 2 of the Storytelling manual, tell a personal story. His story was an entrepreneurial roller coaster of life and business, beginning from his first dip into this venture in 1995 when he attempted to set up a home shopping business, after witnessing the bedlam of shopping in Tescos in UK (Countdown on steroids). Like many entrepreneurial adventures this came to a sad end, but undeterred, Colin brushed himself down and began again. Move forward to present time and, resulting from a couple of serendipitous moments, Colin and Elly are now taking on an organic home shopping business, so the entrepreneurial dance continues – with Colin the grocer! Colin finished with a delightful ditty on this, but I couldn’t get it written down in time. Ask the man in question for the lyrics.

Jenn Chowaniek continued the dance theme into table topics. Flamenco dancing inspired Helen McLeod to stamp feet about the zig-zag lane markings on roads, or no markings at all; hip-hop led Mark to describe the free-style building of his house; the rain dance illustrated guest Darryn’s belief that the more you put out, the more you get back; robotic dancing is imitating what others have done, which Rachel applied to her landscape designing; and even though rock and roll was suggested for Steve K, he went with line dancing, feeling that the structured nature of the dance is more in keeping with an accountant.

It’s always enjoyable and fascinating how each week everyone adopts the theme of the meeting and runs with it, with innovative results.

This is my last blog/meeting write-up for the time being as the new leadership team takes over the reins next week. A change of blog writing style will be welcome.
Have fun, keep warm, enjoy the dance through life. See you next week.

Thanks Sandra for all of your fantastic blogging!

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