Happy new year, and welcome to the first report of our club meeting for the year. We had a full room last night, with guests from other clubs in our area, neighbouring areas, and as far afield as Brighton, and Vancouver Island.

The meeting was well organised, with our own Feargal Hogan as Toastmaster. And he led a great programme.

As is fast becoming our tradition, plenty of the roles were filled by TRR members. George was timekeeper, and kept the meeting on time, as well as giving us reports on how each speaker did. A guest from Brighton, Ellis Byrne, was kind enough to look after the videographer’s role. And Leila took care of the warm up, giving us a great topic of “happy memories” to keep us warm on this cold evening.

Then came the prepared speeches. Leon Gadson gave us his icebreaker, which allowed us to get to know him better. We found out about his love of drumming, engineering and his family. He spoke well and also used some interesting slides.

And Silvia spoke about her passion of having a vision. Her speech, entitled “new year’s revolution” used the examples of Tony Robbins and Che Guevara as her inspirations of having a compelling vision and a clear plan.

The speeches were evaluated by Chris Terry from Epsom Speakers, and me. We both offered specific comments on what our speakers did well, and offered a few recommendations for improvement.

After a break we had a great table topics session, by Drew Woodger from Epsom Speakers. He gave 6 of the audience a challenge of thinking on their feet, with some quite tough questions about beliefs. For example – “what would your superpower be?” “what advice would you give to your younger self?” All the speakers were evaluated by Tom Thompson. A very good evaluation, with commendations and recommendations for each speaker. And we had our first club vote – Ellis won the best topic speaker, with a topic on “which period of time would he like to go back to?”

The evening came to a close with a mini evaluation of the evaluators from me. And we were delighted to welcome two guests who received their badges and are now members of The Reigate Rhetoric. Welcome Clare and Angela, and good luck on your Toastmasters journey.

Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting, and we look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Monday 28th January.

Charlie Warshawski