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Three competitors lined up at the start line for the Club’s Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests at the NBC on 22 September.

Miriam Selwyn got the Humorous Speech contest off with a bang by recalling her experience of US border control. She was followed by Jonathan Worth describing his less than successful attempt at following fellow member Ty Harvey’s homemade pizza recipe. But it was Tony Fasulo who broke the tape in first place with his cautionary tale about his wife’s shopping habits (‘Danger – do not approach!’). Jonathan finished runner-up.

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Humour contestants Tony, Miriam and Jonathan

Club Treasurer Jenny Chalmers set the Topics question – The good fairy has granted you one wish: what would it be? Delving into folklore and mythology, Lynette Hill would like to meet a red dragon. Jonathan, recovering quickly from his pizza disaster, wanted long life and happiness to enable him to travel. Trisha Page, taking her cue from the blue suede shoes she was wearing, would travel back in time to meet Elvis at Graceland. It was Elvis – sorry, Trisha – who topped the charts, with Lynette at No 2.

Topics contestants Tricia, Lynette and Jonathan

Contest chair, John Dale, helped to make the contestant interviews almost as entertaining as the contests. Jim Reynolds (North Bucks Speakers) led the judging panel, comprising Rose Marie and Ian Calder (Vale Speakers), Emmanuel Bolade and Ian Haynes. They were assisted by vote counters Susi Jensen and Monet McGee, and timekeepers Mary-Ann Avotri and Patience Clottey. Special thanks to Jim, Rose Marie and Ian for their support.

Both winners and runners-up go through to the Area contests at Cranfield at the end of September.

Footnote

Area contest results: Eldergate members all performed well but were not placed in the Top 3… except congratulations to Dave Minzey who finished second in the Humourous Speech contest, in his alter ego as a member of Bedford Speakers.

Wow we did really well attracting somewhere over 60 people to the CMRI gallery, a venue that we rarely use.  The Open Demonstration Event is timed for the new intake of students. This year it coincided with the 90th Anniversary of the first meeting of Toastmasters.

Well done to the winners who were guest Ian (Table-topics), Humour (Andy), and Evaluator (Gustavo)

Joke Master Andy scoops the humour Award

Andy’s joke was the tale of three male hitch-hikers stuck trying to cross a wild river. They each prayed and asked for gifts and were granted them. One had the strength to swim across and one had the skills and equipment to row across. The one that asked for intelligence was transformed into a woman with a map and processed to walk across the river using the bridge a little further downstream.

The grammarian Vicky proposed word of the day “Passion”.

The Table-topics session was lead by Jim and based on mystery items from his garage that the speakers had to say why they had invented them.  The Pointy bit was Becky’s back scratcher. The bendy brush thing was Ian’s Saxophone cleaner mark 1. The strappy whip thing was Jin’s bundle securing strap. And finally the hoop with rollers was Maria dress making ribbon dispenser. Paul W evaluated the session.

Gustavo introduced our first speaker Minjie who gave a talk entitled “A Brief History of Mastering Toast…ies”. This talk was drawn from the Competent Communication Manual – 4 – How to Say It. It was fascinating to discover the power of words and why we are known as Toastmasters not Suschimasters or Noodlemasters.

Minjie launched the club’s new promotional video that she has been the videographer and producer of.

http://www.youtube.com/v/gUo1Yc0P1cg

Allison introduced his mentor and our second speaker John who gave a talk entitled “A Brief History of the Mercedes-Benz”. It was fun hearing a comical parody of the life and times of the engineer Gottleib Daimler and savvy marketer Karl Benz

Many thanks to those in leadership roles. Becky was the General Evaluator as well as covering her brief as the Vice President of Education. Minjie opened as Sargent at Arms.  Timekeeping was done by Matt the Timekeeper. Sunday counted ‘Ahs’ and Vicky was Grammarian. Maria lead the night in the hospitality role.  The club President Atma presided over the meeting.

CMRI Gallery with Atma on the floor

Toastmasters 90th Anniversary

The organization grew out of a single club, Smedley Chapter One Club, which would become the first Toastmasters club. It was founded by Ralph C. Smedley on October 22, 1924, at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California, United States. Since 1924, Toastmasters has served over four million people, and today the organization serves over 313,000 members in 126 countries, through its over 14,650 member clubs. Through its thousands of member clubs, Toastmasters International offers a program of communication and leadership projects designed to help people learn the arts of speaking, listening, and thinking.

Scotland was the first district to be organised outside the USA in 1946. By 1958 30 countries outside the US had toastmasters clubs and by 1962 the educational materials had been translated in to English, French and Braille.  Toastmasters was truly multinational and multilingual. In 1977 Edith Burgay was the first blind person to become the World Champion of Public Speaking.

Cranfield Speakers’ Clubwas established as Toastmasters club 1682231 in February 2011. Membership is open to anyone and includes a mix of students, staff, and faculty of Cranfield University, as well as many local residents not affiliated with the university.

Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cranfieldtoastmasters

TME’s write-up for Wednesday 8th October 2014

We had an eclectic mix of 21 characters participating, including 12 members, 8 guests and our Founding member, Yiorgos – all the way from Aberdeen via Greece!

Toastmaster of the Evening was Becky, who set the meeting theme of ‘The Muppets’ – taking inspiration from the Facebook post of a fellow member the previous week. We began by taking a minute to pay homage to ‘Mahna Mahna’, which reached out to the ears and soul of our audience via Bluetooth speaker: http://youtu.be/8N_tupPBtWQ

Our Grammarian, Steve, tied into the Muppets theme, by introducing ‘Jump’ as the frog-like word of the day. Some excellent examples were used as we jumped – seamlessly – from speaker to speaker.Allison confidently multi-tasked by doing anything beginning with T: Timing, Telling us a joke (involving Bill Gates and arranged marriages) and Topics evaluating. Maria did a great job backing up our Evaluation team as General Evaluator.

Our Topics session, led so capably by Minjie, saw Atma transforming into Kermit the Frog, explaining to Miss Piggy that he was off to do a PhD and she would have to wait to marry him. Maria continued the session by transforming into Miss Piggy and responding to this news. She decided she was going to look at developing her own career and perhaps look into doing a Master’s. Paul W took over as Kermit and decided to do a U-turn and marry Miss Piggy right now – especially as they had managed to survive Ikea together. Yiorgos rounded off the topics session by transforming into a thieving Kermit – travelling all the way from Scotland to steal the Queen’s prized Toastmasters Best Speech trophy, under guard at the Tower of London.

Daniel, evaluated by Atma, gave us 70 Reasons Why Mum (@70) is Special – a speech developed to propose the toast for his mother’s 70th birthday gathering at Longleat (Centre Parcs) last weekend. The audience was his mother, his three children, their three spouses, and the ten grandchildren. They were also joined by his Mother’s sister and his late father’s brother and his family. Daniel relayed some touching family memories and gave us all food for thought.

Matt, evaluated by Paul W, gave us a speech with an ironic twist: ‘Positivity is for Muppets’, where he made some astute observations (involving the sofa) and treating us to some of his unique sense of humour. This was Matt’s 3rd speech – How to Say It. You can read more about Matt’s journey where he explores positivity here: http://www.matt-lambert.co.uk/journey-positivity/

Our newest (and multilingual) member Gustavo, evaluated by Jim, heard about our club from the Internet and joined the club before he even touched down on the plane in the UK! He joins us from Neuchâtel Toastmasters Club in Switzerland and delivered the final speech from his Competent Communicator manual – Life is hard… Or is it? Where he highlighted that achieving success is dependent on your mindset when making decisions. Cracking speech, your Cranfield CC badge is on order, Gustavo!Gustavo also counted Ahs for us.

Yiorgos gave us a heartwarming speech at the end of the meeting and was presented -by his Co-Founder Jim -with the gift of a Cranfield memory stick with a top secret file loaded up on it! Atma, as President, reminded us all of our special

Demonstration event next meeting (to include a viewing of the afore-mentioned top secret file), which will be held in the Cranfield Management Research Institute (Building 38) – more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/756220487752682/

  • Best Speaker Award: Matt
  • Best Table Topics Award: Maria & Paul W
  • Best Evaluator Award: Jim
  • Best Humour Award: Matt
  • Smooth Talker Award: Jim
  • GE Award: Allison for his expert multi-tasking skills

Lively night of nine topics speakers discussing the seasons led by Table-topics Master Josie. We heard about Sue’s experience of being flat on her back sucking a lollipop in preparation for her honeymoon Egypt and coming to fear the rumours of zombie dogs. Well done guest Tony who swept the board as best topics speaker and best use of humour. Guest Alex took the General Evaluators Award for creative thinking in his debut table topics speech.

In the table topics the final tally was Dave and Mark favouring Autumn, Winnie and Tony favouring Summer, Alex favouring the football season, Julie and Keith favouring Winter, and Sarah and Lynda favouring Spring.

The crew were Dave as General Evaluator, Lynda as Grammarian, Vice President of Education, and Sergeant at Arms, Sue as President, Craig as Time keeper, Tony as Grunt counter, and Daniel as Toastmaster of the meeting. Anne and Julie deputed as evaluators and did a smashing (word of the day) job.

Every seat at the boardroom table was taken by eight members and five guests. The five meetings running up to Xmas will take on themes for Halloween (Oct 20th), Bonfire night (Nov 3rd), and Xmas (Dec 18th). We have yet to decide if we want tall tales, impromptu theatre or thematic table topics.

A round up of comments!

An Excellent lively meeting, despite only having one speech. I should say it was smashing as this was the word of the day. Dave

I enjoyed giving my speech and got some really good feedback from everyone. It’s great to be back. Sue

It was an excellent meeting with guests participating fearlessly, promising to return next meeting. We look forward to seeing you all again. Lynda

The conkers theme plays off Northamptonshire hosting the World Championship of Conkers on the 2nd Sunday in October. It began, in the modern era, in 1965 in the village of Ashton, but has since moved to Southwick. in 2004 500 competitors were watched by 5000 people and there are now championships held in Ireland and North America. The sport itself dates a long way back, but is documented in 1848 in the Isle of Wight. It is also known in various regions as obblyonkers, cheggies, or cheesers. Although a cheeser has a flat side, being one of a twin or triplet: http://www.worldconkerchamiponships.com

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/northamptonspeakers/

Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/MK-Toastmasters-promoting-excellence-in-public-speaking/

More information: http://www.northamptonspeakers.org.uk/

Our winners are:

Congratulations to Sunday for winning the Humorous speech contest with his talk entitled “Silly moments”

Congratulation to Allison for winning the Table Topics contest

 

Support these guys at the Area 44 contest round on the 27th September Hurrah!

The contest was a fun night support by seven members and nine visiting Toastmasters and the capable chairmanship of Minje with the support of the chief Judge Jim. Dave M and Louise kept time and Daniel acted as usher and Sergeant at arms. John S was Table-topics master. The competition counters were Delphine and Cecile

 

Humorous speech contestants (in draw order):

  1. Matt “What I know about Humour”
  2. Atma “How to have an arranged marriage”
  3. Sunday “Silly moments”

Table topic speech contestants (in draw order):

  1. Atma
  2. Sunday
  3. Allison

The topic question set by John focussed on not repeating the first world war and why life is different now and lessons have been learned.

During the judging we were entertained to some table-topics based on a famous character transported to improbable period in time and space.

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cranfieldtoastmasters

Find us on Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/MK-Toastmasters-promoting-excellence-in-public-speaking/

SmileCecile wins the speech contestStar.
SmileLouise wins the topicsStar.

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Both winners come from North Bucks speakers,and go forward to the next level on the 11th October. For details of all contests see: http://mktoastmasters.co.uk/2014/08/22/autumn-2014-contests-dairy-humorous-speech-and-table-topics/

 

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Elena was 3rd in topics, Sue was second.

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Delphine came 3rd in the humorous speech,and Dave was second.

 


Here’s the round up of what we saw today,as the 4 clubs went head to head in the next round of the contest.
The topics asked the question…what character would you be in a book?
Atma said he would be a hero,and change the world.
Elena was a touch risqué in being Anastasia Steele ( a shade naughty).
Johnathon wanted to be Sir Winston Churchill.
Delphine eventually decided on a fairy,noting French books were not so inspiring.
Trisha fancied taking on the carer role in Mice and Men.
Sue wanted to be Hermione in Harry Potter,but wanted a more burly husband.
Louise,who was first up,explained her son was mistaken for Harry Potter,and subsequently as his mother appeared,she was mistaken for his real mother.Stories of gothic clothes,capes and snakes won the competition.

From the humour point of view,we were entertained from start to finish.

Atma explained the perils of arranged weddings,Indian style.
Sue talked about planning a honeymoon,and the subsequent vaccines and other risks of exotic travel.
Tony cheekily told us about the embarrassment of his wife’s shopping habits.
Johnathon showed his attempts at pizza skills,and the subsequent disaster.
Delphine’s speech was the repercussions of not putting her birthday details on Facebook,and her mother forgetting the day. Delphine came third.

Daves attempts at DIY were hilarious,as he managed to create more damage than repair.He came second.
Cecile led us through an incredible journey of the perils of translating languages.All I can say,is that she really was awesome,and will wow the next level.A well deserved first prize.

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There was a lot of work behind the scenes,and people were thanked.
Red,our division governor,explained about the next levels of the contest,and how the programme is changing.
It was an incredible day.Please support your area representatives on the 11th October.

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Republished Daniel Sandars 1/10/2014 from original material on Facebook by Louise https://www.facebook.com/events/671701122916565/

Hey Dan. I was told the TME had to do a meeting write up. Here it is buddy… Thanks [Paul Wright] Cranfield Speakers Meeting. 24.9.2014

It was another great meeting for the Cranfield Speakers. We had our usual regulars that came to support and we also had a few new faces, which was great to see.

Paul Wright was our Toastmaster and he set the theme for the meeting which was “Being United’. This was inspired by Scotland voting to still be part of the UK. Becky Piper, the Grammarian and Ah Counter, jumped on the theme Bandwagon and made the Word Of The Day ‘United’. One guest was especially pleased about this as it gave him the opportunity to talk about Manchester United’s recent football performances. I say no more.

The Timekeeper for the evening was Matt Lambert. His role was more practical and didn’t involve a lot of speaking however, he managed to use the Word Of the Day which was sneaky, brilliant and deserved a pat on the back.

Just before the Topics Master came up Atma the Joke Master delivered his joke but unfortunately forgot the punch line! Atma later that evening explained what went wrong and then hit us with the correct punch line. I don’t think that has ever happened in a meeting and I’m sure the guests enjoyed it

Maria was next up being the Topics Master. She gave us all a challenging topic to speak about and it was a well thought out and great concept. A volunteer had to persuade a Movie Director why their chosen job would be great in a given movie.

John was up first being a plumber in a Jurassic Park movie.
Alex blew us away with his knowledge on StarWars.
Atma was a captain in a Harrry Potter film.
And Becky was hanging out flower pots on the Titanic Ship.

Next were the Speakers! 3 Speeches in total.

First up was Alex and he delivered a great speech. He showed class and great presence on the stage.
Second up was Sunday. Great volume and a fascinating subject on Energy.
Third up was John. A very entertaining speech on the history of the Mercedes Benz.

After the speeches and a quick break we then had the evaluations. These evaluations were delivered by Becky Piper, Minjie and Atma. All very thorough which gave the speakers excellent feedback.

Daniel the General Evaluator evaluated the Evaluators and the meeting as a whole. He made a very good point about putting more enthusiasm into the applause when welcoming a speaker or anyone that comes up to the stage. Dan the man made his voice heard because afterwards the following applause had volume and festival whistles.

The last part of the meeting were the Awards.

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Alex delivered a great speech and topics so he had two awards to take home.
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Becky taking best Evaluation
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John taking best humour.
[Paul took General Evaluators award for his début night as Toastmaster of the Evening[

A lovely evening held by all. My one recommendation is to not allow Becky to draw the table layout on the white board but apart from that, it was a great meeting!

Thanks to all. Paul
[Editing and social media pitch Daniel 30/9/2014]

[Well done Alex for Sweeping Best Speaker and Best Topics Speaker. Fab job Becky taking Best Evaluator. Fantastic improvised speech and Humour Award for Area Governor John. Paul did a great debut job as Toastmaster of the Evening and won the General Evaluators Award. Everything was about ‘Being United’ We were joined by four guests and returning guests. Daniel]

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cranfieldtoastmasters

Find us on Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/MK-Toastmasters-promoting-excellence-in-public-speaking/

Umbrellas it was for theme and topics. Fifteen in the house! That is a great number for the mid summer holiday season! There were three new guests, three returning guests, eight members, and a visiting Toastmaster. Top honours to Best Speaker (Josie), Best Evaluator (Craig), Best use of Humour (Julie), and best table topics speakers (Kelvin, Jo and Julie)

Sue opened the meeting by going round the table inviting people to tell us all about their favourite holiday destinations. The destination were wide ranging from backpacking Vietnam to the Bright lights of Las Vegas, from Canada to Australia, and from Hawaii to Atlantis. Within Europe we had two in Andalucía (Spain), one in Venice and another over in Istanbul.

The Toastmaster of the Evening (Daniel) adopted umbrellas as theme of the meeting. A choice inspired by Northampton’s recent Umbrella festival and England’s inclement August.

Prepared Speeches

We were fortunate to have three prepared speeches and thus a was on the cards.

Maxime, a visiting Toastmaster from Cranfield Speakers, gave his project nine Competent Communicator speech on challenging ourselves to leave our comfort zones. Happiness is one step outside the comfort zone. It is easy to become creatures of habit, but there is always a need for the thrill of novelty. Maxime’s own life has seen him travel from France to Cranfield University to do his Master’s degree, into Cranfield Speakers to obtain his Competent Communicator with 11 months (picking up the inaugural Award of Cranfield Toastmaster of the Year), and earlier in the month a 6000km road trip to Andalucía.

Derek gave his maiden icebreaker speech on his life told through his ties. Derek fished out his first tie –from the Royal Artillery to start his life story as a Meteorologist that lead on a career path to becoming a trainer via a tie from the Territorial Army’s Tyneside Scottish. The inspiration for using Ties to tell a life story came the day before whilst Derek was attending to his laundry.

Joise gave her project three Competent Communicator speech entitled “A brief experience of mindfulness” Josie used grapes and chocolates to give us all a practical example of the heightened experience of the moment that is possible if take time to savour all the sensory details. Mindfulness is put forward as the wellbeing enhancing antidote to people over thinking the past or the future.

The Speech-evaluators were Daniel, Maxime, and Ganesh respectively.

Table Topics

Lynda Table Topics Master, picked up the Umbrellas theme and circulated various exotic umbrellas designs to set the context. The table topic speakers had to come forward and tell what they were thinking about when they invented, an as yet unseen, umbrella design.

Julie imagined the shower curtain umbrella that economically allowed its occupants to freshen up whilst they walked, clothed or otherwise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reena imagined the ever practical self standing umbrella that saved on all the bother of finding an umbrella stand at home or whilst out visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

Jo was intrigued by this backpack umbrella that left one hands free to drink wine or as the picture stereo-typically suggests carry the shopping home. This example, in Black, is clearly marketed to men for Valentine’s day inspiration. In a lad’s case this brolly is also ideal for himself to mooch about with iPhone and a pint of beer in total dryness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelvin dreamed up the upside down umbrella to help dogs stay dry and owners get wet unless they are fitted out with matching backpack umbrella.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The table topics session was evaluated by Craig.

The Crew

Lynda and Hamid kept time as the Time-keepers. Lynda is also Vice-President of Education. Sue is President and for this meeting was also General & Meeting Evaluator and Sergeant at Arms. Reena was the Grunt counter.

Umbrella Trivia

There are many synonyms of the word umbrella. Which of the following was popular towards the end of the 19th century?

    Bumbershoot. Bumbershoot is an American term for umbrella that came into existence in the late 1890’s. Brolly is a synonym for umbrella that is commonly used in countries such as Britain and Australia. Other synonyms of umbrella include gamp, sunshade, rainshade and parapluie.

What were umbrellas originally used to protect people from?

    Sun. People have been using umbrellas for thousands of years to protect them from the sun and its heat and only a few hundred years for rain protection.

In Ancient Greece, umbrellas were a fashion accessory used only by men.

    False. Umbrellas were first used by women in Ancient Greece in the 5th century BC. The men did not use them as they were not considered to be manly enough. The tradition of Greek women with umbrellas continued for thousands of years.

In Egyptian mythology what was thought to be the underbelly of a god that stretched from side to the other like an umbrella?

    Sky. Ancient Egyptians believed the sky was the underbelly of a god and looked like a giant umbrella. This was why Pharaohs and other notable people were often seen under the shade of an umbrella.

In the 1400s sailors from Portugal that were destined for the East Indies carried an umbrella over their captain’s head when they landed on a new island. Why did they do this?

    To show his authority. Like many cultures, the Portuguese also saw the umbrella as a sign of authority and status. The same ships also carried umbrellas to offer as gifts to the native royals that they encountered on these islands.

John Hanway was the first person to introduce an umbrella to England. What was the main reason the English coachmen abused him when they saw him pass by?

    They feared the umbrella would affect their business. John Hanway bought the first umbrella to England from Portugal in the 17th century. He had the coachmen worried that would lose business and they often abused him.

In the 1700s umbrellas were in regular production in Britain. What material was most often used for the ribs of the umbrellas?

    Whalebone. That’s right, they chose to use whalebone. Whalebone is the structure in the mouths of whales that the animals use to filter out the small food such as krill from large mouthfuls of water. The whalebone was used because it offered both strength and flexibility.

Gosselin of Amiens is credited with inventing what type of umbrella?

    Fold-up umbrella. The fold-up umbrella has been around since the 1750s and the original model comprised of four steel rods and was designed to fit inside pockets.

Some British soldiers took umbrellas with them into the battles of the Napoleonic wars.

    True. The Napoleonic Wars took place in the early 1800s. Umbrellas were carried by some soldiers until the British military decided that they were not a fitting image for fighting soldiers. Soldiers from other countries including America also took umbrellas to some wars such as the Indian wars.

Brolliology is the study of umbrellas.

    True. Brolliologists usually study the origin and history of umbrellas. They can not however, agree upon where the umbrella originated as there is evidence that they have existed for thousands of years in civilisations such as the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.

Source: http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/Things-You-Never-Knew-About-Umbrellas-329537.html

Just a quick summary of the forthcoming autumn contest dates around Area 44.

Dates for Diaries Event Location/Notes
Wednesday, September 3 Cranfield Speakers’ Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest 6:15pm at the Cranfield Students’ Association (CSA) lounge www.mycsa.org.uk. NB Also the farewell party for our MSc leavers. Contact cranfieldtm@gmail.com
Thursday, September 11 Bedford Speakers’ Humorous speech and topics contest 7:15pm Fox & Hounds, 178 Goldington Road, Bedford, MK40 3EB
Thursday, September 18 North Bucks Speakers’ Humorous speech and topics contest 7:15pm at The Well at Willen. thewellatwillen.org.uk For details contact: mktoastmasters@gmail.com
Monday, September 22 Eldergate Speakers’ Humorous speech and topics contest 6:30pm at the MK National Badminton Centre www.nbc.uk.com. Optional follow on drinks and meal at Slug and Lettuce pub. Contact dalejohn@aol.com
Saturday, September 27 Area 44 Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest Cranfield Management Research Institute (CMRI), Cranfield Campus www.cranfield.ac.uk. Contact cranfieldtm@gmail.com
Saturday, October 11 Division G Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest The Huntingdon Golf Course www.cgcc.co.uk
Friday, November 7 to Sunday, November 9 District 71 Conference (Humorous Speech & Table Topics Contest final round) Belfast www.titanicconference.com

Northampton Speakers are still a prospective club and will not host a contest this time.

Prepared by Daniel

Deep into the holiday season we were delighted to see two new guests, three returning guests, and seven members virtually taking every seat in the boardroom at 53 Billing Road.

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Josie débuted as Evaluator and promptly take the award for the best evaluator! Well done!

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First time guest Julie storms in with a joint share of best Table Topics speaker with Derek and goes on to get best use of Humour as well as the General Evaluators award. Brilliant simple brilliant Julie and well done Derek as well!

Sue opened the meeting with by asking everyone to introduce themselves and comment on summer festival that hey would love to attend. We leaned a lot about everyone ranging from music, to dance and from food to farming, etc. The word of the day was chosen a festive or festival.

Speeches

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1) Izzy delivered her Icebreaker entitled “fears”, such as the fear of public speaking and explored her fear of spiders.

Competent Communication Manual #1 – The Ice Breaker(4:00-6:00 min)
Speak before an audience; Use existing speaking skills; Introduce self to fellow club members.

Izzy has a propensity to do the crazy lady escape the spider dance if one of the wee beasties gets remotely close. As a mathematics trained scientist she graphed her fear against leg count and concluded that eight legs was the worst of all invertebrates by a significant margin. Lovely hand drawn visual aids showing an artistic flair inherited from her mother.

Josie evaluated Izzy and picked out the great content and story and then recommended that Izzy develop her delivery to include more use of the stage area and body language.

2) Lynda came to the recue, on the spur of the moment, with a speech entitled “Eek” based on the Competent Communicator manual project 5 “Your body speaks”. 

Competent Communication Manual #5 – Your Body Speaks(5:00-7:00 min)
Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact to express the message and achieve the speech’s purpose; Make body language smooth and natural; Focus on methods of delivery as well as speech content.

Lynda described how one drizzly day in the dark predawn stillness she heard a sudden demonic screeching. Jumping to the conclusion that her Guinea pigs were under attack she leaped out of bed in total darkness and made her way out across the cold and sodden lawn. All was well, but Lynda was as wet as a drowned rat with her pyjamas doing justice to any wet t-shirt contest. Making her way back towards her front door she was horrified to see looming out of the darkness the silhouette of a strange man standing inside the open door of her home. In an instant the stranger spotted her and both screamed in shock and fled. It transpired that it was the milkman on his rounds and he was startled to find the house wide open and dark and he ventured over the threshold to see if anyone needed help.

Derek bravely came forward as a debut evaluator and did very well picking out a lot of strengths and made several intelligent recommendations.

Table Topics

Ganesh was débuting as Table Topics master and adopted the approach of providing a series of slightly obscure words and inviting speakers to come forth an hazard a definition for each word

  1. Adumbrate –Sue described her overshadowing festival –fairy light enhanced -shelter to prevent excess sunburn
  2. Hackneyed –Derek described the well hackneyed banter of hackney cab drivers
  3. Malediction –Kodi described how any of his addictions always seemed to be bad for him and thus maledictions (and thus presumably the search goes on for a good a one, i.e a benediction?)
  4. Pugnacious –Lynda described how her son had managed to turn her car into a pungent pugnacious mobile when he did the oil change…eventually she narrowed it down to him leaving his hamburger under the bonnet on a very hot pipe.
  5. Parsimony –Julie developed a definition from the old French of an elegant way of describing a woman who chooses not to marry.
  6. Vicarious – Reena spoke of the vicarious vicars who are privy to all the best gossip in town during the confessional.

Daniel evaluated the session and commended the way Ganesh was able to creatively manage the time and extend the session to include more people and compensate for the late loss of one of the planned speeches. In time, as Ganesh gets more familiar with the role, it will be easier to set up a good introduction and then summarise before asking for votes. It was also a tough test of impromptu speaking and Ganesh handled it well allowing people to say NO, but in the longer term other approaches will make sessions more accessible to novices. One recommended approach is the familiar set of questions…If you could go to any point in time when would that be and why? If you ruled the world what would you do?…If you had a super power of you choice what would it be and why?

The Motley Crew

Sue starred as President and Toastmaster of the Evening. Lynda was General & Meeting Evaluator and minded us all to keep tidy handovers with hand shakes. Daniel doubled up as time keeper and Kodi counted the grunts.

Next Meeting

18th August 14 at 19:15 at 53 Billing Road, Northampton

Members take your roles: http://northampton.toastmasterclub.org

Club website: http://www.northamptonspeakers.org.uk/

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/northamptonspeakers

Find us on Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/MK-Toastmasters-promoting-excellence-in-public-speaking/events/197779522/

Note the club aims to be present with a stall at the Umbrella Fair 16 & 17 August at Northampton racecourse (http://www.umbrellafair.org.uk/). All welcome to volunteer to man the stand. Liaise with Sue Savage please.