By Nour S
Sergeant-at-Arms Ann opened the meeting and welcomed everyone before handing over to Club President, Jacqui.
Jacqui welcomed new member, Swati and a guest, a former member of Windsor Speakers who had been the Toastmaster of the Evening at Ascot’s demonstration meeting in May 2015.
Our Toastmaster for the Evening was James, who described the agenda and protocol. He also explained how the meeting was quite different as a Speakathon, which featured six prepared speeches and evaluations, but no Table Topics, Grammarian, nor General Evaluator.
Nicola explained her role as Timer and demonstrated the lights.
Chris delivered his first speech; the Ice Breaker. Chris talked about his history and memories with public speaking, and explained why he joined us in Toastmasters. He also gave us a glimpse of his future plans to acquire Jagz (free Ascot speakers meetings, yay!).
The second speech was by Salter, who delivered his second speech from the Competent Communication manual. He talked about our perception of beauty, what it means, how it’s engraved in different cultures, and how we’re all being conditioned when it comes to what constitutes beauty, from make-up, to footbinding (ouch!).
Neelam, was our third speaker, doing project 3 from the Competent Communication manual. She gave a vivid illustration for her trip to Sweden at Christmas 2015 when she had a panic attack. She recovered from this with a very helpful technique to combat such attacks, Neelam also demonstrated her technique and shared it with the audience.
The fourth speaker was Nour, also doing the third project from the Competent Communication manual. Dressed in red from tip to toe, she began by playing an instrumental version of Lady in Red by Chris de Burgh. She talked about her journey in life from childhood; her work, passion, kids, and how the number 10 and the color red played such pivotal roles in her life.
Karolina was our fifth speaker, doing project 5 from the Competent Communication manual. She took us on a journey through human history, as a species. She described how our capability to communicate and discuss abstract thoughts gave rise to currency, how trust helped us to reach out to the future and to build communities and economies, and how our curiosity gave rise to science and accumulation of knowledge.
Last but not least, Ann was our sixth speaker, doing project 7 from the Competent Communication manual. Ann told us the history of the forgotten Queen Ann. She related it to the establishment of nearby Ascot Racecourse and the establishment of Royal Ascot. She explained how this was all related in a way to Queen Ann’s poor eyesight, and how this pushed her into becoming passionate about horse riding.
Ian was Chris’s Speech Evaluator. Ian started off by commending the amazingly humorous start by Chris. He also commended Chris for sharing bits and pieces about his work, life, kids. Ian suggested that Chris’s speech could have had more of a structure with transitions. Ian closed by commending Chris for his strong closing by using a drum!
Sheila evaluated Salter’s speech. She liked the structure Salter used in his speech and the fact that he did not use any notes. Sheila gave feedback on how pauses and vocal variety would help add value to Salter’s upcoming speeches. Sheila closed her evaluation by commending Salter on his use of visual aids, and the novelty of the topic.
Julie was the third evaluator and she evaluated Neelam’s speech. Julie commended Neelam on her confidence and for sharing such a personal experience with us. Julie mentioned that she’d have loved to see Nee smile more and to use more facial expressions to capture the audience’s attention. Julie closed by commending Neelam’s use of descriptive and illustrative language.
Jamie was the fourth evaluator. He evaluated Nour’s speech. Jamie commended the use of music to capture the audience’s attention, and how the volume was lowered to ensure that the audience was not distracted by the music. Jamie recommended that Nour use fewer themes to ensure that the audience is not overwhelmed and allowing her to focus on themes in greater depth.
Jacqui evaluated Karolina’s speech. Jacqui commending Karolina’s good use of consistent body language and gestures despite the difficult topic. Jacqui also commended Karolina on her use of descriptive and illustrative use of language. Jacqui suggested that Karolina could have used the stage more defiantly to add to the value of her speech. Ending her evaluation, Jacqui commended Karolina on her confidence and for taking her time to prepare herself when she came to the stage.
Our final evaluator was Hira, who evaluated Ann’s speech. Hira highlighted how enjoyable the speech was. She said she liked the structure of the material and how that helped deliver a historical overview. Hira described how she enjoyed the vocal variety which Ann demonstrated throughout her speech. Hira suggested the use of more dramatic pauses to enhance enjoyment. Hira closed by commending Ann on her story-telling ability, how seamless Ann’s sense of humour was, and how well Ann had researched the topic.
Club President, Jacqui presented the following awards:
- Ice Breaker: Achievement Unlocked – Chris
- Best Evaluator – Jamie
- Best Speaker – Nour
- Most Improved – Karolina
The next meeting will take place on 10 August 2016.
We look forward to seeing you then.