By Melvyn K
Excitement buzzed around the hall as Ascot Speakers hosted their first Humorous Speech and Table Topics Competition at their All Souls’ Church venue in South Ascot.
Before the meeting began Jacqui H, the club’s former President, briefed the Speakers and explained how to fill out the forms. Also experienced Toastmaster and member of the club, Nikita P, declared the speech order.
The meeting began like every other meeting with Sergeant-At-Arms Melvyn K’s friendly face welcoming everyone to the meeting and introducing our President: Ann M. Nikita P was our Contest Chair; she explained how the contest would work and that the speakers had ‘drawn straws’ for their places.
Before the competition began, Mell S, one of our star guests and an experienced speaker from Windsor Speakers helped to give us a wonderful warm up session in which everyone participated. The subject on which everyone gave their 20 second response was ‘what smells resonate with you & the reasons why’. We had some evocative responses including the smells of citrus, cut grass & roses to pear drops, diesel, coconut oil and scotch whisky.
The contest began with the Speech competition. First up was Ifiok O with his great story entitled ‘Rivalry’, retelling the tale of his competitive but always good natured battle with his younger brother from early childhood to the present.
Our second Speaker to talk was Mark M who spoke on the subject of ‘Around the world in eighty foods’, taking us on a delightful journey, Phineas Fogg style, with Ryanair to such exotic places as Lebanon (lamb goolies), Ecuador(roast guinea pig), Australia (spagbol with kangaroo meat) and the UK (beans on toast).
The next person to perform was Adam S with his story on ‘Winning and Losing’. Adam told us about his these two options, the former the most favoured option and the second the less desirable one through his childhood story of the ‘Boat Race’. A story of the battle of wits with his sometimes smug brother in the aftermath of a rainstorm.
Our final speaker was Chris C, giving us his lively, historical account entitled ‘The Order of Ascot’. A very well illustrated story (with overhead slides) detailing the history of Ascot by way of looking at the Racecourse, the Railway Station and the site of All Souls Church. He also posed the question can you say ‘ which one came first’?
It was certainly good to see all the speakers tell their wonderful stories with such confidence and eloquence .
Table Topics Competition
The first speaker in our second competition for Table Topics was Olivia who nonchalantly and eloquently responded to the following question. ‘Imagine you live in Maidenhead and you meet Teresa May. What is your burning issue and how would you get her to recognise your perspective’. The other other other 4 contestants all faced the same question one after the other after emerging from an upper sound proofed room.
Judging and Entertainment
The judging slips were handed to Chief Judge Jacqui and Counter Melvyn K. They vacated the room whilst the rest of us were left in the hands of Mell S who had a group activity to pass the time during the counting and writing of certificates.
The aim of the game was that everyone had to speak for 20 seconds and add to the storyline. Mell started with a theme and the story progressed from there. Just as the last person spoke, the Counters and Chief Judge entered the room.
Awards and Closing
Everyone who participated was awarded an official Toastmasters International competition certificate.
Results of the Speech Contest:
- Ifiok O [winner]
- Mark M
Results of the Table Topic Contest:
- Ann M [winner]
- Julie H
- Adam S
The next meeting will take place on 11 October 2017 .
We look forward to seeing you then.