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Agreed at the meeting on 24th June 2015 following a reshuffle due to the changed availability of the previous elected incoming officers.

Congratulations to my fellow Toastmasters:

Office Toastmaster District 71 Easyspeak
profile & contact
President Daniel Sandars
Vice President Education Maria Pawula
Vice President Membership Matt Lambert
Vice President Public Relations Minjie Cai
Treasurer Esther Marchant
Secretary Gustavo Imhof
Sergeant-at-Arms Vicky Lester

Special Meeting with broadcaster Tom Sandars

Flirted! Fondled! Seduced! The art of great oratory is how it leaves you feeling. One of many powerful messages from Tom’s educational speech.

Twenty four Toastmasters, visiting Toastmasters and most welcome guests gathered for a hugely memorable and entertaining evening. Tom took Best Speaker,Award,  John took Best Evaluator, Andy took Best Tabletopic Speaker, and Paul took Best use of Humour, the Smooth talker Award and was presented with his Icebreaker pin. Further (back dated) Icebreaker pins went Amani and Alex. Jim took the General Evaluator’s Award for an excellent introduction and evaluation of Paul and his Icebreaker talk.


As Jokemaster, Karel warmed the night up with a joke hinged around his favourite excuses for not handing homework and assignments in. If his zip drive hasn’t just blown up then his printer has just caught a virus and is in strict quarantine, but in the limit on medical grounds it comes down to sore eyes, eyes that never sore a good reason to do the work in the first place.

Becky and her son Dylan choose a selection of toys to inspire the table topics sessions. Their evaluator was Amaia.  Becky named her topics speakers:

  1. John had the toy Nissan Mx and put it into a race, but it lost out Mercedes pulling a trailer loaded with a lawnmower.
  2. Atma had Buzz light-year and took him along with three million others into a stampede to catch the first flight to Mars before remarking we should in fact stay and look after the Earth better.
  3. Andy was given two green maracas which he tried out as earrings before preferring to use them as  noisily as possible and deciding everyone should buy them for the children of the frazzled looking parents.
  4. Tom was given a bag of marbles and decided not to open them as he didn’t want to loose any when presenting to a live audience.

Amaia’s evaluation picked out good approaches and great messages in the session. She recommended that Tom would improve with greater use of the stage area, that John didn’t need to stress the detailed model numbers of his toy cars, and that mention of Toystory would gave Buzz light-year a better context.

The were four prepared speeches including Tom’s educational Speech:

  1. Jim introduced Paul with his Icebreaker talk entitled “An unexpected career path”
        Ironman Paul had become frustrated at being excluded from 18th birthday parties in pubs on the grounds of being under-age.   He was inspired and tackled the intricacies of graphic design software and produced his own fraudulent proof of age ID and it worked a treat on the doormen. Emboldened he forayed further into graphic design through college, through university and then into a career, but alas the counterfeiting got left behind!!
    Jim, in his evaluation, noted how proficient a performance it was for any speaker let alone and and could be tweaked by omitting the us of notes.
  2. Andy stepped up to introduce Amani, who at 20 minutes notice came up with a “Story of hope” as her fourth Competent Communicator Project “How to Say it”
        Amani’s story related to a cousin learning to walk and talk. He was not a baby but a 26 year old man who had been caught up in a car crash. Her family were repeatedly told there is no hope that they should switch of life support and then that he would never walk or talk again. The never lost hope and they kept going. He lived and in time tried to walk and couldn’t, and tried to walk and couldn’t, and tried to walk and did just a little.
    In his evlauation Andy really commended Amani’s ability to step up with little notice and give such a strong talk in simple clear and colourful words. One never needs to apologize for chocking up with emotion just make allowance for it in that touching moment.
  3. Maxime introduced Daniel and Tom’s Talk-show role play entitled ‘Climate change science today’. Tom interviews Daniel for his second advanced Communicating to Video project.
        At the heart of the interview is the new EU science project on high end climate change abatement up to 2100 that has just been won by a consortium involving Daniel and Cranfield University.  The interview touched on Climate Change Scepticism, the evidence for climate change, what that actually means, the project, the nature of its team of principal investigators, and its global collaborations with key stake holders such as America and China.
        The evident planning and clear concise answers with anecdotes were amongst Maxime’s commendations in his evaluation. The recommendations focussed on better managed eye contact between camera, host and audience, better vocal modulation, and greater use of hand gestures.
  4. John (Club President) introduced Tom Sandars with his educational talk entitled “Small is beautiful in a big way!”A short talk about radio and television broadcasting – how it works as a means of mass communication, and the contrasts with public speaking.
       With an opening roar of “HELLO WEMBLEY”and help of Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton’s oratory and broadcasting Tom drew out many contrast and similarities.  Broadcasters don’t have the distractions of the audience and aim to have a relaxed conversation where their microphone is their best friend. Orators need to up the tone and energy and roar in short catchy memorable poetic stanzas. They are both about creating connection to the audience, a connection that can be lost by the slightest detail, such as a questionable tie or a questionable way a word was pronounced.  Everyone needs to put 10% more omph into speaking via radio/ electronic media to avoid sounding flat.  Practising and videoing it is a really good way of ironing out any off details and making changes.
    Bill Clinton was offered as an example of a great public speaker who could connect with the audience of a stadium in an intimate conversational style creating a rapport with everyone and leaving each of thousands of women feeling individually flirted with simultaneously. People remember little of what you say but a lot of how you make them feel, Bill Clinton treats speaking like Jazz in the you have a structure but also improvise.
        John’s fun evaluation heaped commendations on Tom for his hair and great blue eyes. Why isn’t Tom a Toastmaster already was the recommendation. It is Toastmasters’ loss. The talk was a tour de force summary of the entire Competent Communicator manual.

Atma was General Evaluator (and Vice President of Education) and picked many features of this action packed meeting. He was very encouraging of the efforts of everyone especially those in a role for the first time and some at little notice.

  • Minjie was very effective as Sergeant at Arms calling order, organising the room, and the ballots.
  • Matt kept the night on track as Time keeper.
  • Stephen was Ah Counter and noted numerous offenders including Tom.
  • Amani came to the rescue to cover as Grammarian with her word of the day “Spring”. Spring was used one to two times by many people and overall the levels of Grammar were high.

Prepared by Daniel Sandars (Special event chair)
Thanks guys you ALL made this happen

Fifteen toastmasters and three most welcome guests enjoyed a lively night with a packed agenda in the learning and development room at Cranfield University. WELL EARNED Awards: Andy Table-topics, Paul Humour, Atma General Evaluators award, Maxime Best Speaker, and Andy Smooth talker award. HUGE Congratulations: founding father Jim on his award of Distinguished Toastmaster  (after  8 years work), and John on his election as next Area 44 governor. Next meeting 14th of May with VIP visits from broadcaster Tom Sandars and Area Governor Lynda Andrews.


  1. Isaiah outlined plans for the gala awards dinner with inauguration of the new toastmaster of the year award on 18th June, thus hold this date and await full announcement,
  2. Becky proposed the new executive committee for 2014/2015 who were voted in unanimously and they are:
    President: Atma Prakash
    Vice President Education: Becky Piper
    Vice President Membership: Isaiah Allison
    Vice President Public Relations: Daniel Sandars
    Treasurer: Becky Piper
    Secretary: Maria Pawula
    Sergeant-at-Arms: Minjie Cai
    IT Support: Jim Reynolds
    Immediate Past President (and Area Governor Elect) John Schell
  3. Daniel outlined plans for the next meeting on the 14th May which is a special event with broadcaster Tom Sandars.

The meeting

Paul gave us the word of the day ‘Action’.

Atma gave us the joke “laughter maybe the best medicine, but not if you are laughing at your new bride’s mistakes.”[1]

Jim developed a fun table-topics session around St George’s day.

  1. What modern dragon would you slay? Minjie decided to find favour with the spiritual dragons from the East to calm the seas.
  2. How should the English celebrate? Paul fancied time out for a nap and a bottle of scotch
  3. What would you be sainted for? Andy was too dark a character to be a saint but wanted to be remembered for preventing war and violence by teaching people how to communicate, reflect and reconcile.
  4. Who would you make a saint? Début table-topics speaker Jee decided that she would canonize anyone who can communicate well.

Allison gave us a commanding talk on “the power of words” for his fifth Competent Communicator (CC)  project “your body speaks”. He showed us how water behaved very differently with the type of noise and that pleasant harmonious noise lead to the most beautiful structures. Mankind is 70 percent water, thus we benefit from calming positive words.

Maxime gave a really fascinating talk on “perspective” sparked by his observations of his changing view of England as seen by air. This was also a fifth CC project talk. It was fascinating to learn that base 12 counting use the phalanges (proximal, intermediate and distal) of the hand’s fingers.

Becky tackled one of her Advance Leader Bronze educational speeches entitled “Service and leadership”. These speeches are heavily predefined and the challenge to the speaker is to bring them to life. To aid her in this endeavour she used hand made power point slides and threaded in personal anecdotes. A good leader should aim to make staff look good rather than self look good.

The meeting leadership roles were carried out by: Amani (Toastmaster of the evening), Daniel (General evaluator), Atma (Timekeeper, Vice President education, Joke master, sergeant at arms), and Paul (Grammarian, and Ah counter).

Prepared by Daniel Sandars 23/4/2014

CONGRATULATION to the elected incoming 2014-2015 Executive Committee

President: Atma Prakash
Vice President Education: Becky Piper
Vice President Membership: Isaiah Allison
Vice President Public Relations: Daniel Sandars
Treasurer: Becky Piper
Secretary: Maria Pawula
Sergeant-at-Arms: Minjie Cai
IT Support: Jim Reynolds
Immediate Past President (and Area Governor Elect) John Schell

The transition begins at the Gala dinner on the 18th June and occurs at the end of the club meeting on June 25th. The new and old committees will then have a joint meeting.

Well done Atma, Becky, John, Minjie, Isaiah, Jim and Maria. I look forward to working with you all over the coming year at Cranfield Speakers

Prepared by: Daniel Sandars 24/04/2014