22 Mar 2017 Meeting: Goof-off

By Chris C


Successful Toastmaster at Ascot Speakers Karolina E.

Karolina E opened the meeting as Sergeant at Arms and introduced Jacqui H, our President. She welcomed our guests and new member Emily A.

Toastmaster Kasia C had chosen “Goof Off” as the theme of the meeting. An American sort of holiday – being silly or passing the time through the most unproductive means possible.

Grammarian Emily A said “watch out I’m listening carefully” before introducing the word of the day “Procrastinate”. Nikita P introduced her role as Timer.

Prepared Speeches

Melvyn K spoke first with his speech “That unread book on the bookshelf” as Competent Communication project 3 – Get to the Point. The book was “The Iodine Crisis” subtitled “What you don’t know about Iodine can wreck your life” . We heard that in 1811 Iodine was first isolated as an element when seaweed was accidently burnt as a substitute for wood ash in the making of gunpowder.  Iodine has been used for medicinal purposes, to help people recover from cancers.

Reshmi B then spoke about “A Social Networking Guide by Microbes” as Competent Communication project 6 “Vocal Variety”. She said 99% of human cells are microorganisms. They can form cities of “Biofilm” e.g. plaque with no cell walls, so penicillin and disinfectants don’t work.

Karolina E told us “Ascot Speakers made my dream come true” as Competent Communication project 8 “Get comfortable with visual aids”. When she joined she wanted to learn how to own the stage. She found Ascot Speakers was a safe and supportive place to practice. She had gained a new found confidence and had conquered her fears. It had helped her to gain a job in California, so she would be leaving the Ascot club shortly to join the club there.

James H told was the final speaker and won Best Speaker. “Why it’s so long since my last speech” as Competent Communication project 10 “Inspire your Audience”. His wife had given him a 6 week course in standup comedy last summer, culminating in a performance at the Comedy Club last October. He encouraged us to scan the furthest horizons for opportunities, to make the leap and see what happens.

Nikita P as Timer reported all speakers were in time.

Best Speaker and Least Um’s & Ah’s award for James H from Club President Jacqui H

Table Topics

Karolina E was our Table Topics Master with the theme of “Goof  off”.

Anastasia (guest) was asked to talk about when she had too much to drink at Christmas office party. She told us about a work study programme, goofing off every Friday and drinking Manhattan cocktails.

Chris C spoke about the time he entertained at a children’s party. He procrastinated well at the start by standing with his back to the audience as long as he dared!

Reshmi B conveyed spoke about how people stared at her when banking a cheque. Someone similar had stolen items. A case of mistaken identity.

Hira S spoke told us what happened on a recent holiday to get 100 likes on Facebook. She had posted a picture of 3 empty alcohol bottles despite being teetotal.

David  D spoke about being asked to leave Windsor Castle when on tour. “Procrastination is the thief of time”. He thereby won Best use of Word of the Day and Best Table Topic.

Nikita P reported that all speakers were within time.

Best Table Topics Award Winner David D


Evaluations teach us how to deliver constructive feedback well.

Nikita P congratulated Melvyn K on improvement since his first talk. It’s a big venue so we all need to project to the back.

Mike M liked Reshmi B‘s speech. Good vocal variety. Could increase volume. Longer pauses needed. Came across very well.

Hira S said Karolina E on had nailed the visuals and liked her vocal variety. She had used the power 3. Love for toastmasters – liked the emotional connection.

Anna G said James H had delivered on inspiration. Liked his grammar and found his speech entertaining, amusing with much confidence.

Evaluating Table Topics, Nicola M for said she really liked Anastasia‘s use of quotes, with drama and humour. Chris C stood with back to audience for as long as he could and had procrastinated with the food preparation. Reshmi B had a complete story and Hira S had a good opening body and conclusion to her talk. David D had used procrastination extensively. Nikita P as Timer confirmed all speakers were in time.

Emily A as Grammarian had been counting ums and ers. She said Melvyn K had lots of good phrases and liked that Reshmi B had said “Team work makes a dream work”. James H who had no ums or ers said he was “tingling from the applause”. Anastasia had “3 days of throwing up cherries” and Chris C had only 2 ums and ers.

General Evaluator Jacqui H commented that even though we started a bit late that we had fabulous evening nonetheless. Jacqui H (in her other role as Club President) concluded our meeting with the awards. Jacqui also expressed our sadness at Ascot Speakers that Karolina E was leaving for her new job in the U.S. but also gladness that she has found a local Toastmasters club in California to continue her successful public speaking. Sergeant at Arms Karolina then closed the meeting and wished everyone a fond farewell. (She will indeed be missed for her hard work behind the scenes in her role as VP Membership organiser).

Best Evaluator Mike M with Club President Jacqui H
Most Expressive use of English Award Reshmi B with President Jacqui H


  • Best Speaker – James H
  • Best Evaluator – Mike M
  • Best Table Topic – David D
  • Best Use of the Word of the Day – David D
  • Most Expressive Use of English – Reshmi B
  • Least “Ahh”‘s and “Umm”‘s – James H

Next meeting

Our next meeting will take place on 12th April 2017.

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