Cranfield Speakers 25th June Meeting Write-up

Cranfield Speakers 25th June Meeting Write-up

Another good evening at Cranfield speakers club, or should that be on board “The Good Ship – Toastmasters”. Maria was the TME or Captain for the evening, complete with her Captain’s hat, celebrating “25th June – World Seafaring Day” by setting a nautical theme for the night of “Ahoy there !”. “Ahoy” was also chosen as word of the day by Rose Marie, which most speakers mentioned a couple of times.

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Thirteen people attended (good, considering the full fixture list for World Cup that night), plus one welcome special guest, Allison’s daughter, who probably the youngest guest that has attended a Cranfield Speakers meeting.

Maria’s ship’s officers for the evening were; Stephen debuting as timekeeper, Rose Marie as grammarian, Evangeline as “Ah counter”, Becky as General Evaluator, Sunday as Sergeant-at-arms, Maxime as Tabletopics master and Daniel as tabletopics evaluator. Allison was the jokemaster and started the evening with a funny tale about a woman, her makeup, and a visitation of angels.

Becky as VP education gave us a quick recap on importance getting involved in and continuing with the competent communicator and competent leader programs using an interesting prop that her son Dylan had designed and decorated, the green Guitar-Scooter, with the take home point being don’t let the wheels come off.

Maxime’s carried on the nautical theme for the Table topics session, taking us on a adventurous voyage on the high seas with inspirational slides. First up was Jim who had to procure us a ship, which he did, whilst he was “three sheets to the wind”, gammy leg and all. Second was Rose Marie, who was our cartographer and had to decide our destination. On consulting a crystal ball, the sails of our ship were set for Manhattan in New York. Next was Paul J, who gave us a lot of laughs negotiating with the pirates we came across, to let us, a small defenceless ship through unharmed as we had nothing worth pinching. We finally reached our destination and found a treasure chest beyond our wildest dreams. Last up was Maria, who had to tell us about the treasure and what we would do with it. She decided to divide it fairly, have a party, then sail back; but not before buying some cannons and cannon balls, to defend us from the pirates on the way home.

There were only two prepared speeches, as two members weren’t able to make it at the last minute. First was Evangeline with her ice-breaker speech, entitled Ev Sucre. She gave us a tour of her personal history accompanied by slides; telling us about her family, her schooling, and what she is doing at Cranfield University. She then went on to tell us about her favourite things and hobbies, so we feel that we definitely know her a bit better now. John gave her evaluation.

Next was Allison, who was delivering his sixth speech, evaluated by Maxime; which concentrated on giving us plenty of vocal variety. Allison eloquently described his great joy about finding out from the ultrasound scan after waiting many years (after the birth of his son) that he was finally going to have a daughter. He brought us up to date with how scans were now able to provide more sophisticated 3-D images of babies in the womb, and linking this to developments with 3-D printing, that it would now be feasible, to print a 3D replica of your child to be in the womb. He would have loved for this to been available when his wife was having their daughter, so that he could anticipate her arrival even more.

So many common phrases in the English language can be traced back to nautical origins, due to our strong sailing and naval history. Maria set a challenge for the evening, to see who could give the best example of a common nautical phrase still in use today, and who could use the most nautical expressions during the evening. She got the ball rolling by explaining the origins of phrases such as; “No room to swing a cat”, “Flying colours”, “Posh” and “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”.


The AWARDS of the evening went to; Paul J for best table topics speaker, John for best evaluator, Paul for best use of humour and John for smooth talker. No award was given for best speaker, as there were only two speeches. The evening’s challenge winners were Jim won the best example of a nautical phrase prize for his depiction of three sheets to the wind, and John for mentioning the most sailing and nautical terms during the evening.

Next meeting will be on 9th July 2014. All welcome.
Prepared by Maria.

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