12 Oct 2016 Meeting: Trains!

By Paola K


2016-10-12-mike-sSergeant at Arms Ann M started the meeting and welcomed us. She thanked members for supporting her at the Area contest the previous weekend. She handed over to Acting President, Paola K. Paola greeted members, also thanking so many people for going to the contest to support Ann who represented Ascot in both contests.

Nour S, was the Toastmaster of the Evening. She explained the agenda and meeting protocols. She asked Paola K as Timer and Melvyn K as Grammarian to explain their roles. Melvyn introduced the word of the day: Ubiquitous.

Unknown ObjectPrepared speeches

Mike M delivered his second speech from the Competent Communication manual. He used a flip-chart with a prepared sheet as a prop. The title of his speech was “The Cold.” Mike used his experience working for a pharmaceutical company to “bust a few myths” about the common cold. He presented three simple ideas – such as blocked noses are from mucus – and explained why they were myths.

The second speaker was Chris C, also doing his second speech from the manual. His speech title was “101 questions about Jagz (but you were afraid to ask”. Jagz is the name of our meeting venue. Chris explained that’s based on the word Jazz (because it’s a music venue) and JG, the initials of the former owner. 101 became 5 (which is 101 in binary).

The third and final speaker was Jordan S, delivering project 4 from the Competent Communication manual with a speech entitled “Swim for your life!”. She talked about Yusra Mardini, a swimmer on the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team. Yusra had had to literally swim for her life to escape Syria, pulling a boat behind her. When taking part in the first outdoor 1 mile swim at the Serpentine, Jordan found strength in thinking about what Yusra had achieved.

Best Speaker, Mike M

Table Topics


Best Table Topic, Chris C

Nikita was the Table Topics Master this evening with questions all about trains. We had a long session with 9 speakers.


Reshmi B talked about which train station captured her imagination. She talked about King’s Cross Station for the Harry Potter reference.

New member Kasia C described the Japanese bullet train was her favourite locomotive.

Karolina E also talked about the bullet train, saying that she had visited Kyoto.

Ann M talked about the luxurious Orient Express.

Jordan S was asked about her worst train experience and remembered saying something she regretted on a train once.

Paola K talked about playing Pokemon Go in trains.

Finally, Nour S and Chris C were asked about trains. Chris wanted travel improved in London.


Hira S evaluated Mike M‘s speech. She noted that he’d used the flip-chart well. She suggested he introduce more pauses.

Hannah M evaluated Chris’s speech, commending him for his natural informal style whilst suggestion he challenge himself to make a more formal speech as if in a conference setting.

Karolina E evaluated Jordan S‘s inspirational speech. She commended Jordan for her strong story and phrases.

Reshmi B evaluated all the Table Topic speeches, managing to give commendations and recommendations to everyone, giving specific examples.

Grammarian Melvyn K gave his report. He commented on good uses of words and grammar for each person. He also gave a brief Ah/Um count.

Best Evaluator, Hannah M


Acting President, Paola K, presented the following certificates to members:

  • Best Table Topic to Chris C
  • Best Evaluator to Hannah M
  • Best Speaker to Mike M
Grammarian award to Nikita P

Next meeting

The next meeting will take place on 26 October 2016.

We look forward to seeing you then.

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