Fun, inspiring Award Winning Evening

I had the pleasure of being stand-in President for the evening with Charlie away for an early Easter break with family.  Another fun, inspiring and uplifting evening, led by Toastmaster Dan Magill.  Fresh from winning the Division H International Speech contest the day before, Dan was in fine form.  Congratulations Dan, and good luck at District 91 finals on 4th May.   

The evening included an experienced cast of fellow toastmasters from other clubs, supporting our growing team of members.  We had Tereza, from Croydon Communicators, who led the Warm Up and evaluated Angela’s Ice-Breaker speech “Adventures, Accidents and Affirmations”; Ellis from Brighton & Hove Speakers, who evaluated Paul’s speech “10”; Chris, from Epsom Speakers, evaluating Leon’s third speech at the club, “Amicus Curiae”.  And I had the pleasure of evaluating Kirk’s Ice-breaker speech “Kirk Dack, on Track”. 

As the Club enters its sixth month, it was time to introduce Feedback slips – a normal feature at most TM clubs.  Everyone in the audience was encouraged by Toastmaster Dan to jot down a few words to each speaker about what they liked (commendations) and suggestions for improving the performance next time (recommendations).   This practice not only gives the speakers a wealth of valuable feedback, it also helps each and every one of us to be attentive, honing our listening and observation skills – all essential skills in becoming a better and more confident speaker. 

After the break, our SAA (Sergent At Arms) Silvia led the Table Topics session.  Using quotes from  Maya Angelou, one of her favourite and inspirational writers, Silvia posed a variety of thought provoking questions to each Topics speaker.  Questions such as:   What decision of the heart have you made?, What’s your greatest blessing? What untold story is waiting to be told?  Well done to all Topics speakers, especially to first time guests Shalwa Nantume and Sonam Bligh (formerly from London Corinthians club). 

A big hand to Drew Woolger for rising to the challenge of being Topics Evaluator for the evening, and doing this for the very first time.  Drew demonstrated his listening and observation skills well, as he picked on salient points each speaker had made, adding a touch of humour and appreciation.

Thanks to Dan for organising not only a full and fun evening, but also for some awesome mini-Oscar awards.  Another first for the Club, we voted for Best Speaker, Best Evaluator and Best Topics speaker.  Walking away with their mini-Oscar trophies were: Angela, Best Speaker with her gripping story of world-wide adventures; Ellis, Best Evaluator, for a master-class performance in evaluating; and to Tereza, Best Topics, for her aligned Head, Heart, Gut decision to marry Mr Right.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 29th April, due to Easter Monday falling on the 4th Monday of the month.  And remember to register on our Meetup page to get notifications of future meeting dates: https://www.meetup.com/The-Reigate-Rhetoric/events/

Until then, wishing you all a very happy Easter.

Doris Sew Hoy

For The Reigate Rhetoric