By Jordan S
Ascot Speakers chartered with 21 members on 23 April 2016. It was founded in April 2015, with the demonstration meeting on 13 May 2015.
To celebrate our Toastmasters milestone, we hosted a chartering dinner on Saturday, 14 May 2016.
Celebrating our charter
We held our chartering celebration dinner at Northcote House, Sunningdale, Ascot.
As a maverick club, we decided to abandon the usual black tie dress code; instead we wanted everyone to feel comfortable. Our theme was: ‘Be comfortable, Be Yourself, Be Awesome!’
Everyone looked marvellous.
The guests who attended included members and former members of Ascot Speakers, supporters from other Toastmasters clubs, Area 21 Director, Nick Bailey and Dorothea Stuart from the District 91 Leadership Team.
The evening kicked-off at 7pm, where guests were welcomed into the Inner Hall at Northcote House.
In the centre piece of the room was were messages of well wishes from our friends who were unable to attend the evening.
People mingled over a few drinks before we were called into dinner.
Club President, James H, welcomed everyone with a speech. He praised Club Sponsor, Paola K, for having the initiative to set up a club and the motivation to work hard and to grow the club to chartered status.
Dorothea Stuart, from the District 91 Leadership Team, had arranged for a surprise delivery of charter member certificates. James called up all the charter members to receive their certificate from Toastmasters International.
Getting to know you
Throughout the meal, we enjoyed interactive table activities so that people could get to know each other.
The first one was two truths, one lie: guests at the table had to say two things true about themselves and one lie – the other guests had to guess the lie.
The activity for the main course was to describe which people – from past or present – you would invite to dinner and why.
The dessert activity was for people to agree at each table which four times they would want with them on a desert island.
The meal was wrapped up with a few words and surprise certificates for the winners of the activities at each table awarded by Club President, James H.
Paola awarded certificates to the Sparkly Party Committee and to former Mary C for travelling the furthest for the dinner.
Club Sponsor, Paola then gave a short speech contrasting the reasons she originally joined Toastmasters and why she’d started Ascot Speakers with the resulting bigger achievements. She ended her speech thanking the club committee, asking each committee member to stand up for well-deserved applause.
Organising The Event
VP PR, Jordan S volunteered to chair the Sparkly Party Committee. She formed a committee with 4 other members: Paola, Julie H, Karolina E and Ruth M. Between them, they organised the entire night, from train station shuttles, to choosing a venue, seating plans, guest lists and activities to do on the night.
The event was organised as projects 6 and 10 from the Competent Leadership manual: organise (and help organise) a club special event.
The date for the dinner was chosen as one that all members of Ascot Speakers committee could make. Paola and Jordan both agreed with the theme of the evening after some deliberation with the club committee.
Paola was in charge of inviting outside friends and Toastmasters from other clubs. Jordan’s main focus was to invite current members, former members and potential members. Jordan and Paola liaised most days to ensure they had everyone’s menu options and payments. Jordan liaised with the venue and organised a venue visit for the SPC before the event.
Ruth, Karolina and Julie brainstormed many ideas for fun activities people could do at each table that involved talking to do during the dinner.
Ruth organised the taxi from the train station and also liaised with Karolina and Julie to arrange the table activities.
On the day Jordan and Paola set up the room and made sure everything was in order. Paola set up a display of well wishes from people who couldn’t attend.
Jordan made up the centre pieces for the tables and cocktail glass of sweets for every guest.