A night of icebreakers

Despite many any of our regular members being away on their summer holidays, last Wednesday’s club meeting, at The Noke in St Albans, had such a buzz to it – with 2 icebreaker speeches – that you’d have thought we were all there.

‘Being British’ was the theme of the club night on Wednesday 26th July, introduced by our toastmaster of the evening Jill.

We welcomed our Area Director, Steve Campion to the meeting as the only guest of the evening.  He took on one of the evaluator roles and provided an inspiring evaluation of our first speaker Andrew, who’s experiences at a Jazz festival in Rotterdam had led him to question the adequacy in the provision of public toilets!  Steve also won Best Table Topics Speaker for his impromptu speech on his history with toastmasters.

Anthony presents Steve Campion his table topics speaker award

Chris delivered his icebreaker speech – the first speech in the Competent Communicator Manual given to all new toastmaster members.  He overcame his nerves and delivered an excellent speech, that was superbly evaluated by Corinne.

Chris breaks the ice

Then we had yet another icebreaker speech – this time for Saulius, our newest member.  Saulius’ personal story about how he didn’t become a pilot earned him the ‘Best Speaker’ Award for the night, while his evaluator Judy was crowned ‘Best Evaluator’.

Saulius wins Best Speaker for his icebreaker
Judy wins Best Evaluator

The word of the day, selected by Grammarian Matt, was ‘umbrage’ but attendees might have mistook it for ‘flannelling’ after table topics master Paul M threw some challenging questions at our more experienced club members Anthony Brennan and Judy, around the subject of how to improve toastmasters.  They handled themselves expertly, as did our other impromptu speakers Chris and Ajeet, who both made us laugh with their own personal anecdotes.

Our ‘ah-counter’ was Ryan was superb – he put a unique and amusing slant on his report back to the group about which of us had used those killer filler words: ah, ummm, like, so… etc

Ryan as ah-counter

Just when we thought we were going to finish ahead of time, our general evaluator (and resident comedy genius Paul G) decided to ignore the red light signal of timekeeper Barrie (which tells our speakers when their time is up) and treat us to a very candid, yet very humorous review of the night.

Paul evaluating generally…

Club President, Anthony Brennan, then handed out the awards and brought the meeting to a close.

Thank you everyone who attended, it really was another great night.



New toastmaster year begins

The 12th of July meeting really was a brilliant one.  The energy in the room was at the highest we’d seen it for a while; laughter filled the room and everyone really enjoyed themselves.

Our toastmaster for the night was our former president, Anthony Boboe, who capably guided us through the agenda.  Aparna, the table topics master, threw us a curve-ball by completely changing the format for this part of the evening.  She held a debate on whether our increased reliance on IT was a good thing.  Well done to Anthony Brennan for winning best table topics speaker.

We had two excellent icebreaker speeches from two of our newest members – Ryan and Werner.  Next was Ajeet, who used his 5th speech from the competent communicator manual to tell us how we should listen more effectively.  Our final speech was delivered by Jill on how to live long and prosper, like a Vulcan.  It was speech number 6 for Jill and earned her the Best Speaker Award for the night.

Jill wins Best Speaker Award

The second part of the evening consists of the evaluations and this meeting we heard Corinne, Jack, Judy and Paul Goodman give their commends and recommends to our speakers.  All were superb at offering useful advice, but it was Paul who received the Best Evaluator prize on this occasion.

This meeting was also the first in the new toastmasters year, under the charge of new President Anthony Brennan and the new committee:

Jack Rick (Treasurer), Judy Mallinson & Paul Goodman (co-VP of Education), Jill Faiella (VP of Public Relations), Ajeet Maurya (VP of Membership), Aparna Pesala (Secretary), Andrew Louis (Sergeant at Arms).

The new committee is introduced

Next meeting: 26th July, 2017.