Posted by on Jul 26, 2015 in Meetings

Meeting 788
24 July 2015

Today’s meeting was another cracker.

Our champion Toastmaster Deb McAlpine took on the role of Sergeant of Arms as Helen McLeod was missing in action. But the meeting was appropriately themed as ‘Forgiveness’, so before Helen’s bum touched the seat, she was forgiven for forgetting her role. Deb ran a great meeting with lots of both humorous and thought provoking forgiveness stories and quotes throughout the meeting. My personal favourite was: ‘Always forgive enemies, nothing annoys them more’.

Terelle was the Grammarian/Bard. This was Terelle’s second opportunity in this role. Her first round, she wasn’t prepared as she hadn’t realised she had this role. She sought forgiveness from Helen McDonald with an offering of a purple can of Coca Cola. Terelle challenged all speakers to use a word not often uttered nowadays and she challenged the evaluators to recognise use of this word. For the evaluators, it is their version of where’s Wally…where’s the word?!

Our first Introducer Caleb came up with his wonderful energetic and enthusiastic presence. Caleb gave a great introduction to new member Brent who was doing his ice-breaker. He also managed to get in a “cheeky Speights plug”.

Our first Speaker Brent Chatterton gave a cracking ice-breaker taking us through his adventures to date which started with training for the Speights Coast to Coast which led to him meeting his very lovely, very competitive wife Claire. Brent is also very competitive going back to compete in the Coast to Coast for a second time after his wife Claire beat him by 30 minutes the previous year. Brent told us his motivation for joining Toastmasters was that he has recently taken on the Chairman role of his professional organisation. Brent told us how his adventures from Coast to Coast led to cycling from Nairobi to Dar es Salam, climbing Mount Kenya to owning his own business, having Old McDonald’s farm to having three children. A fantastic ice-breaker from Brent who received the Toastie award. I’m looking forward to hearing more of Brent’s adventures.

Our second Introducer, Steve Thomas introduced Tina Mackie. Steve gave a great introduction telling us about Tina’s job and the work that she does. And of course we love his winning smile.

Our second Speaker Tina gave an emotional and passionate speech about the work she does at Youthline. This was a non-manual speech and Tina took the opportunity to refine some of her speaking skills before proceeding to her final two Competent Communicator manual speeches. Tina took us through a journey of how Youthline’s services have evolved from 1970 to present day. In 1970, young people could contact Youthline via the phone. In 2007 young people didn’t want to phone so Youthline adapted and offered a text service and now in 2015 they are introducing webchat. Although it seemed unbelievable that a therapeutic relationship could happen through text, it has proved successful and in line with Youthline’s values on communicating with young people using technology that young people choose. Using text and webchat opens up the service to so many vulnerable young people who were blocked out by being reliant on a phone call. The work Youthline does sounds incredible. This was a great speech from Tina whose personal goal was to use no notes. Great job Tina, can’t wait for your next speech.

Our third Introducer Jenn whatshersurname introduced Steve whatshissurname. It turns out it wasn’t the first time Jenn has introduced Steve. They’ve had the opportunity to work together outside of Boaters. Jenn gave us some great background about Steve and also his motivation for his speech on the rewards of confrontation.

Our third Speaker Steve delved into confrontation. Steve told us about the types of confrontation and how it can be healthy as silence doesn’t solve a problem. Healthy confrontation addresses an issue and unhealthy confrontation assaults a person’s dignity. Steve gave us 6 points to bear in mind when it comes to healthy confrontation; 1. clarification; 2. change; 3. improved relationships; 4. purity; 5. respect and 6. security. A great speech and it certainly gave me a lot of food for thought. Well done Steve!

Table topics master Alan Calder didn’t fail to deliver an entertaining table topics session playing on the theme of forgiveness. Speakers David Clarkson, Royden Gibbs, Rachel Walton, Helen McLeod, new recruit Louisa and Mark all did very well to entertain and give a great impromptu speech. David shared a new word to Terelle’s delight and overshared his bathroom habits. Royden told us how he forgives his wife’s driving skills. Rachel told us that she saw the bank increasing her credit card limit as a licence to spend more without any conscious. Helen shared that she forgives her neighbours for their inability to park where they should. Louisa told us about how her son pulls the covers off her. Finally, Mark told us about his very adventurous cat who he forgives for bringing home a duck and a hare.

Finally all the evaluators gave useful commendations and recommendations for all speaker. Some of the key things for everyone to keep in mind:
1. use vocal variety
2. watch out for hand clasping
3. use body gestures
4. for quieter speakers, raise your voice so you can heard down the back and beyond
5. when speaking don’t rely on words alone

Well done everyone. Looking forward to next week’s meeting already!

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