A very special night tonight – our Summer Party, our Open Night – our Prosecco Evening! Welcoming members, fellow toastmasters from local clubs, as well as our most welcome guests, we set some time aside at the beginning of the meeting for some informal networking, socialising, and of course a glass of prosecco for those who were so inclined.
Sam as Toastmaster then kicked off the meeting with a wonderful introduction to Toastmasters, providing some history of the organisation, and how she came to set up our club, Dunfermline Toasties. All 27 of us were then given the opportunity to introduce ourselves, and describe how we were feeling in one word. This brought nods of agreement, some smiles and plenty of laughter as we went round the room!
Alex then gave her first speech from the Competent Communicator Manual, her Icebreaker entitled “Mind the Map – Life Stories of a Glossophobe.” Alex talked about her fear of public speaking and shared some anecdotes with the audience. This triggered some smiles and some laughter and also reminded us of how Toastmasters can help develop confidence to overcome such fears.
Our second speaker Penny then delivered her speech, her 5th project from the Competent Communicator Manual, entitled “International and Personal”. This was a fantastic speech, beautifully and confidently delivered, and Penny really engaged the audience with her speech about Toastmasters International, the benefits it brings, and Penny shared some personal stories to really emphasise her message.
Alex’s speech was evaluated by Pauline, who gave a warm and supportive evaluation, with some excellent tips on how to improve for the next speech. Alistair did a fabulous job of evaluating Penny’s speech, picking up on all the fantastic elements of Penny’s delivery.
Our Educational session was delivered by David, who provided excellent insight into how to structure a speech using the “power of 3” as well as how we can all continue to support, promote and grow our Dunfermline Toasties club. He reminded us to “talk it up” – something we can all do!
Eoin led the Table Topics – with the delightful theme of ‘friends’ –
- To start off the Table Topics, Eoin asked Max the enigmatic question, what is a friend? Max gave a lovely impromptu speech on what friends are, and linked it back to Toastmasters to remind us that we are all friends here.
- Sheena was asked to describe the most recent friendship she had made, and gave a very touching account of some friends in the room she had recently met.
- Lesley gave a very powerful response on to how to keep friendships – citing a personal example of when keeping friends might not necessarily be the best course of action, and reminded us that true friends will always stay with you, and that it is appropriate that friendships that don’t serve you are allowed to move on.
- Stuart talked about how his mother was his oldest friend, sharing some moving examples of how his family had supported him over the course of his life.
- Sam was asked “are diamonds a girl’s best friend?” Sam answered this warmly, with a clear and definite yes!
- Eoin cheekily asked Alan if platonic relationships between men and women were possible – Alan gave a pensive response, describing his personal experiences, leading us down a path, and then at the last minute – going out on a limb – assured us it was.
Stephen, our Table Topics Evaluator took us through the table topic speakers providing an insightful and thorough account of the impromptu speeches, and providing handy hints and tips which we can all benefit from in our own speeches. It’s always a pleasure to be evaluated by Stephen!
As our Grammarian, Wynn gave us a fabulous word of the day – ambrosial, and reported on the correct (and sometimes incorrect!) use of this throughout the evening, demonstrating his focused listening skills. Wynn also showed off his contortionist skills, by approaching the stage from under his desk in order to provide his report!
Our Time Keeper, Raju, did an excellent job throughout the evening, keeping us all on track though we did run a little over time – probably due to all the fantastic socialising amongst the guests and members throughout the evening! Raju then delivered a thorough and witty report.
Peter, our Ah Counter for the evening, admitted he had scarce opportunity to use the clicker throughout the evening, which is indicative of the effectiveness of the Toastmasters experience. Yet he still provided a fantastic summary of the evening – highlighting the Umms and Aahs and other filler or crutch words that were deployed during the meeting, demonstrating excellent listening skills – he keeps us on our toes!
Holly was the General Evaluator, and gave clear and thorough feedback for the whole evening, echoing everyone’s thoughts that the prosecco was a great idea! She clearly paid keen attention throughout the night and her evaluation was as fabulous as she is.