“Energy conservation” was the theme but if any energy was being conserved, it was only by one person in the West Herts Speakers room at Aubrey Park this week.
Toastmaster of the evening Paul Goodman steered the evening in his consummate fashion, with a self-deprecating humour garnering an abundance of laughs. (And groans for the light bulb jokes.)
Table Topics turned into electric debates, led by Area Director John Kendall, who challenged paired speakers to argue such essentials as chocolate versus flowers and deep pan pizza versus crispy.
Judy Mallinson’s tale of a chocoholic husband enlisting their Border Collie to hunt down the dinner party chocolate won the debate for flowers for Valentine’s Day.
Cathal Gilbert was a master of powerful storytelling with Comical Punishment – tales of his Irish schooldays – and took the prize for best speech and could well have taken a prize for best stand up if it were on offer.
President Richard Beagle won Best Evaluator for his powerful summary of Gwendoline Alderton’s “Come out from behind the curtain” – a stylish and smooth performance of her transformation from wallflower to the compelling speaker she is today.
The most telling feature of the night was the energy the club is gaining through its new members and visitors – there was a record-breaking seven visitors this week.
We all hope to see them, and many more, at the next club meeting which is on 9 March at Aubrey Park Hotel.