Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Meetings

The meeting started out with Brent Ruru wearing a Santa’s Hat. That was very appropriate because it almost feels close to a North American’s Christmas. Caleb Vercoe, our Toastmaster, tied it together with the theme of Winter Surprises. Has it really been 5 years since the last great snow in Christchurch? Caleb reminded us why we should look forward to winter- snow, new lambs, and cold frosty crispy mornings… Can I push the FAST forward button, and stop at summer?

Sustainable was the word of the meeting- best practice for/ in the environment. Alannah Vickery, our grammarian, told us about the 3 pillars of being sustainable 1) environmental, 2) economical, 3) social well being. She wondered though, shouldn’t sustainable also include ‘giving back to the land’. I think it should. Do you?

Speech 1
Helen McLeod introduced Sandra Chatterton’s Winter Garden’s Speech. Helen cleverly got our attention by mentionning George Clooney in the same sentence as garden.

What does George Clooney have to do with gardening? George is the name of Sandra’s dog, and Clooney’s wife is into gardening.Hope I got that right…

Hope I got that right…

Sandra gave a brief introduction into her garden. She divided her garden into rooms. I thought this very clever but later learned that it is a gardening term. Sandra gave a vivid picture of her many ‘rooms’. In her rose garden, she has Dog Wood. No it’s not a wooden dog. That’s how much I know about flowers and garden. It’s a name of a tree that has brilliant red leaves. Her middle room has cherry trees and a BBQ and the back room is where her vege garden does all the work to feed her family.

Sandra left us with some reminders for us:

  • Sharpen your tools
  • Start planting your winter garden
  • Dig over the crops, keep your garden sustainable
  • Plant roses, perennials and don’t forget to prune your roses.

David Cooper evaluated Sandra’s speech and commended her on great use of visual words, using the rooms to help us guide our mind, and giving us a ‘job tip’. Some suggestions for her — make as if you are talking to someone in the back room to raise the volume of your voice, and bring some photos of your garden!

Speech 2
Louise Green introduced Brent Snow and told the audience that he’s been travelling up north visiting family in Keri Keri. They have a farm and snuck in the word of the day… are they farming sustainably?
Brent’s non manual speech was titled Power Listening. He went through the 4 types of listening:

  1. Cosmetic– blah, blah blah, and not really paying attention to the speaker. (We don’t do that at Toastmasters!) He got a chuckle from the audience when he said that he put the phone down while his sister was talking, thinking he had enough time to make a coffee. He got caught!
  2. Conversational—general talking with general interruption. Listen-talk-think
  3. Active- more effort in put into listening & the process. You want clarification, and you summarise what the speaker has said. This blog made me listen actively this morning, that’s for sure!
  4. Deep- those conversations that you have that are rare in your life (well, mine at least) – where you feel a connection with the other person, and you almost finish their sentence. You are quite clearly on the same wavelength. Super natural…
    Brent challenged us to ask open-ended questions, to listen and response and to ask yourself if the speaker is using visual, auditory or kinaesthetic when they talk. Reflect this in your own speaking.
    Alan Calder evaluated Brent’s speech and wondered if Brent could have use ‘the challenge’ throughout his speech. Alan liked his delivery, and commented that the opening and the closing reflected each other. Well done.

Speech 3
Rodney introduced Alana Bogart and was looking forward to her speech. He told us that it was a humourist speech and it just fitted nicely between 5 to 7 minutes!Alana certainly brought humour to our morning. She talked about supermarket shopping which we can all relate to. More than that, she made herself to

Alana certainly brought humour to our morning. She talked about supermarket shopping which we can all relate to. More than that, she made herself to topic of humour. You certainly can’t offend anyone then!

“I am one of those” she repeated throughout her speech—from the person who bangs into person with the trolley, “I am one of those” , to the person that makes the mountain of fruit fall on the floor, “I am one of those”, to fondling soap and doing the sniffer test with laundry soap. And of course, who doesn’t know the experience of waiting in a queue to finalise your shopping (“I am one of those” ) ONLY for the person behind the trolley to run out to get the last minute items- like… the diarrhoea tablets.
Royden Gibbs had the hard task of evaluating her speech because she did such a great, entertaining speech. One thing that he did suggest was to watch for rhythm & pace. Use the Pause Effect. The difference between the gap (like gasping) vs the deliberate action (stop and hold)

Table Topics
Claire Ruru used the Winter Surprises theme to create a murdered Santa Scene… Who, what and how did Santa get knocked over? Six people had to convince us why they were innocent of the crime while at the same time pointing the finger at someone else. That was a great table topic. I loved participating as did Veeja, Courtney, Greg and one of 4 of our guest (sorry, didn’t catch your name).

The Toasty Award went to Alana Bogart with her supermarket speech “I am one of those”
Congrats Alana !! ending this tale of our morning of June 9 2017 on a high note!

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