Club meetings

Club Meeting – 15th September – Prosecco Night Part 2

Our Dunfermline Toasties Prosecco Party & Open Night was another tremendous success. Our club meetings focus on delivering communication and leadership skills by practicing public speaking in a safe and fun environment, and tonight we shared this with our guests.  We were also privileged to have our Area Director, Lorna Bruce, join us – proving a broken ankle is no barrier to achieving your goals!

President Sam Forsberg hosted the meeting as Toastmaster, setting the tone for the whole evening, and opening the meeting by explaining the concept of Toastmasters to our guests. Sam emphasised the importance of having the skill of impromptu speaking in our daily lives. By way of introductions, Sam then invited everyone to introduce themselves and state their favourite colour – a good way to get to know each other. We certainly learnt some of the rugby preferences of our members this way!

Sam progressed the meeting by asking the functionaries to introduce themselves – tonight we had Wynn as grammarian, selecting vagarious as the word of the day. Penny was the ah counter, reminding us of her role to help drive out crutch words from our speech, and Espen explained his role as timer and the importance of being aware of timing not only in our speeches but also in our lives.

Eoin then introduced the first speaker, John, who was delivering his fifth Competent Communicator speech. Eoin outlined the objectives of John’s speech as to “get to the point”, being able to project sincerity and conviction while also being clear about the general and specific purposes of the speech. John went on to deliver a fabulous speech entitled “F.O.C.U.S To Achieve Success” – a thoroughly enjoyable, motivational and life-affirming speech with a clear call to action.

Sudha then introduced the next speaker, Stephen, who was delivering his speech from the Advanced Communication Manual: Interpersonal Communication. Stephen’s Conversing With Ease speech was entitled “C.O.R.P.S To Converse with Ease” and the objectives were to demonstrate a conversation with a stranger, use open-ended questions and to develop a conversation. Stephen explained and then, through role play, demonstrated small talk, how to progress conversation to disclosure of facts and to transition through to discussing viewpoints and opinions. His amusing conversation with Nick in the setting of an airport terminal showed the stages of discourse with a stranger, which the audience was then invited to provide an evaluation of. This was a useful demonstration and a privilege for our club, as this was the first advanced speech we have had so far – thank you Stephen!

Next up we had Club Business from Sam, who updated us on our progress in relation to chartering, inducted a couple of new members – welcome Espen and Anas! – and also drew our attention to the upcoming speech contests on 29th September.

Eoin and Sudha then gave their evaluations of each speaker, drawing attention to the superb use of
language from both speakers, and how both successfully met their speech objectives. Eoin noted how John beamed conviction, and Sudha acknowledged the stretch out of the comfort zone that the advanced communication projects require. She suggested that for future role plays, speakers need to ‘forget the audience’ in order to deliver a natural speech.

The break was a lovely chance to mingle, top up on Prosecco, and get to know our guests and members. Then we were straight back to the impromptu element of the evening, Table Topics, led by Alex, on the subject of goals:
• Lorna was asked what goal she is working towards, and after making her way to the stage she announced that she was aiming to rest and recover so that she could get back to her passion, outdoor fitness;
• Peter delivered a charming speech about who inspires him and why, and while there is no one specific person that Peter identifies with as a role model, he did acknowledge his brother as someone that he looks up to;
• Pauline spoke about a goal she had accomplished that she was proud of – setting up and chartering Livingston Speakers;
• Cameron painted a picture for the audience about his ten-year plan – enjoying lovely holidays and being halfway to retirement;
• James shared his dream destination with the audience: the exotic Vanuatu.

The table topics were evaluated by Anas, who enthusiastically commended the courage of the guests to deliver a table topic, and noted the use of humour, language and use of the stage by each of the table topics speakers. Anas also provided a couple of recommendations that we can all benefit from – speak up, and don’t be afraid to own the stage – move about.

To wrap up the meeting, we had the reports from the functionaries:
• Espen provided the timings for each element of the meeting;
• Penny reported on the use of crutch words, particularly conjunctions;
• Wynn highlighted the good use of language in tonight’s meeting.

Finally, David provided the general evaluation which he began by asking if everyone had had fun this evening! It was a resounding yes, and David continued with a charming, energetic and informative evaluation of the meeting.

Overall, it was a fabulous and fun evening and we relished the opportunity to share this with our guests. We continue on with our mission to charter, and to prepare for our next meeting – the Humorous Speeches and Table Topics Contests on September 29th. See you then!

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