|Club News Archives 2007
Flood Gates Open for Phil Gott – 9th October 2007
|Neil Godfrey (left), area governor Jim Robinson (centre) and Phil Gott
It never rains but it pours, especially, it seems, for Phil Gott. After being flooded out of his home in Stoke Goldington this summer, not once, but twice, Phil has struck twice in a manner of weeks to win prestigious speaking contests as a member of Willen-based North Bucks Speakers.
Having won the club competition in late September with his speech How To Lose Friends And Irritate People, Phil represented the club, and Milton Keynes, in the second round of the Toastmasters International annual humorous speech contest at the Herons Lodge Guide Centre in Loughton on September 30. He now goes on to represent the Beds, Bucks and Herts area in the third round, which is being held in Manningtree on October 20. The winner of that round will go on to represent the East of England in the Great Britain and Ireland national competition in Harrogate in November.
Underlining the quality of speaking on display in Milton Keynes, Neil Godfrey, representing the towns senior club, Elder Gate Toastmasters, too first prize for the improvised speeches contest, known as Table Topics. This involves speaking eloquently and convincingly for up to two minutes on a subject of which none of the competitors has any prior knowledge. Neil, too, who works in the PR department at Cranfield University, goes on to the division contest in Manningtree.
Double Flood Victim Bounces Back! – 6th October 2007
Phil Gott could have been forgiven for losing his sense of humour after being flooded out of his home in Stoke Goldington this summer, not once, but twice!
He didnt, though, and his irrepressible sense of humour has helped him through a difficult time, and taken him to a second successive victory in competition at North Bucks Speakers, the Willen-based branch of Toastmasters International.Phil beat off strong competition from fellow contestants John Olds and Margaret Bollen to win NBSs annual humorous speech contest with a speech based on the Dale Carnegie classic How To Win Friends And Influence People. John Olds won the clubs annual improvised speaking contest, with a touching tribute to his late father.Both would normally now go on to represent Milton Keynes in the second round of the competition, which takes place in the Herons Lodge Guide Centre, Loughton, on the afternoon of September 30. John, however, has a previous engagement at his local church harvest festival, and his place will be taken by runner-up Margaret Bollen.The annual competitions will culminate with the Great Britain and Ireland national competition in Harrogate in November.
Honours Even After Cock Fight – 28th September 2007
Loughton-based journalist and author Brian Bollen and Neil Godfrey of Cranfield University were happy to settle for a share of the spoils after the most recent speaking contests held by Elder Gate Toastmasters.
|Neil Godfrey and Brian Bollen (left and right from the viewer’s perspective respectively), with their trophies
and Elder Gate Toastmasters president Margaret Bollen
Brian won the annual humorous speech contest, at The Cock Hotel, last Friday (September 14) with a speech entitled French Letters, recalling a series of misadventures when he had to spend a year teaching English to French secondary school pupils as part of his university degree back in 1976-77. Neil took the trophy for the improvised speaking contest, which involves talking entertainingly for up to two minutes on a subject of which he had no prior knowledge.
Both now go on to represent Milton Keynes in the second round of the competition, which takes place in the Herons Lodge Guide Centre, Loughton, on the afternoon of September 30.
Im determined to do my best to make it to at least round three of the contests four rounds, says Brian. Both Neil and my wife, Margaret, have already competed twice at that level, but in my own two previous attempts Ive falled at the second hurdle. Its a big challenge but Im looking forward to it hugely.
The competition that will culminate with the Great Britain and Ireland national competition in Harrogate in November. If you would like to know more about Toastmasters International, a not-for-profit global group founded to help ordinary people acquire essential speaking and leadership skills, contact:
New Year, New Committee! – 17th July 2007
The new Toastmasters year, begun on July 1, brings with it a fresh new committee at North Bucks Speakers to face up to the challenges of the next 12 months.
Brian Bollen has taken over the mantle of President from Roger Crews. He is supported by a strong team, comprising Derek Pink (Education Vice President), George Drewett (Treasurer), John Schell (VP Public Relations), Jim Reynolds (VP Membership and VP Mentoring), Louise Mason (Secretary), Lynda Andrews (Sergeant-at-Arms and VP Leadership). Roger Crews is, of course, Immediate Past President.
Im very proud to follow in the footsteps of Roger Crews and, before him, NBS founder Dave Minzey, said Brian Bollen. I look forward to emulating their achievements since the club first saw the light of day in 2004, and taking it as far and as high as I possibly can. Its a great club, with many strong speakers and even stronger personalities. Keeping their natural enthusiasms under control at meetings can be difficult, but the communications, leadership and organisational skills you learn in the process are invaluable in todays world. Increasing numbers of people are realising that these skills are no longer a bolt-on option but an absolute necessity for anyone who wants to improve their professional, economic and social standing. I personally believe that North Bucks Speakers is part of the best, most rapidly acting and most cost-effective self-development programme on the planet, and will be working hard to encourage many more people to sample the experience.
Keeping It In The Family – 14th July 2007
Margaret Bollen has taken over from husband Brian as the new President of Elder Gate Toastmasters, for the year that began July 1.
Flanking her on the committee are Dave Minzey (Education Vice President), Phil Chippendale (Treasurer), Esmé Driver (VP Public Relations), Roumiana Kurktchian (VP Membership), Martin Price (Secretary), Sarinder Gidda (Sergeant-at-Arms), Neil Godfrey (VP Leadership and VP Mentoring).
Roumiana Kurtchian is webmaster and Brian is, of course, Immediate Past President.
Anything Brian can do, I can do better, said Margaret, on taking over the seal of office. But he and his own predecessor Danny Moody both scored a perfect 10 in the Distinguished Club Programme in their time as President. That is a hard act to follow, but Im sure we can do it. Elder Gate is a club with a long tradition dating back to its roots as a corporate club with the Stone & Webster Group, but it is busy reinventing itself as a community-based club since leaving the companys premises in September 2005. Ive been part of that change, actively working to make it more welcoming without losing the essential formality that keeps the anarchy at bay. Meetings are lively, to the point of rumbustiousness at times, but I believe that helps members develop skills in handling different kinds of audiences that they might not normally have. I echo Brians comments about the value of the Toastmasters programme and point to myself as a perfect example of what it can do for people. Before I joined I wouldnt stand up and speak out. Today they cant get me to sit down and shut up! Id love to help more people make that same transformation.
|Neil Godfrey Marches On – 28th March 2007
Esme Driver (international speech
competition, first round) and Neil Godfrey (speech
evaluation contest) with Milton Keynes deputy
mayor Mike Barr (far left) and his wife Cheryl,
deputy mayoress (second from left).
Esme Driver took first place in the Elder Gate Toastmasters
round of this year’s International Speech Contest with
a thought-provoking inspirational speech entitled: Who
do you think you are? Unfortunately she was unable to
repeat the feat in the Area Final in Totternhoe on March
25, but she finished a very creditable third.
Neil Godfrey won the Area round of the Speech Evaluation
contest, and goes on to represent Area 4 in the Division
final at Yaxley on April 15. Members are encouraged to
go and support Neil if at all possible. Car-sharing can
Eldergate president, Brian Bollen
(centre) presenting a modest donation to the Mayor’s
charity for 2006-07, Inter Action MK – Raising
Funds for Shed MK – the only theatre project in
Milton Keynes that provides a place for young
people that are disabled, non-disabled, disadvantaged
and from all walks of life to take part in theatre
together, increasing their self-esteem, patience,
teamwork and social interaction skills. For further
information visit their website at www.interactionmk.org.uk/shedmk
Ready – 1st February 2007
Herons Lodge, the home of Eldergate
Elder Gate Toastmasters hosts its first round of the International
Speech and Speech Evaluation contests on February 26.
Usual time and place: 5.30pm for a 5.45pm start, at Herons
Lodge Guide Centre, Bradwell Road, Loughton, directly
opposite the National Badminton Centre. A splendid time
is guaranteed for all, with a strong line-up of contestants
and a buffet with drinks for the interval and post- contest
celebrations. Please feel bring to bring along a contribution
to the buffet, whether in the form of sandwiches, cake
or wine, or all three.
The deputy mayor and deputy mayoress have promised to
come along and make the prize presentations, adding an
extra dash of glamour and civic pride to the evening.
It would reflect well on the club to have as good an attendance
Guests are welcome, as always, so please feel free to
bring a friend. The winners of this heat will represent
the club in the area competition at Dunstable Town Cricket
Club, Dunstable Road, Tottenhoe on Sunday, March 25, starting
Speech Contest – 1st February 2007
L to R: Brian Bollen, Mayor Brin
Carstens and Phil Gott.
Phil Gott won the North Bucks Speakers’ International
Speech Contest first round on Thursday 1st February, while
Brian Bollen successfully defended his Best Evaluator
title, fighting off strong competition from Leon Welsh,
George Drewett and Jim Reynolds.
Margaret Bollen finished second in the speech contest,
Brian came third. Leon Welsh and Lynda Andrews were favourably
mentioned in dispatches.
It was a fantastic night, with a large turnout, and a
buffet table groaning under the weight of food and wine
and beer and even the occasional soft drink. The Mayor
and Mayoress, Brin and Audrey Carstens, were in attendance
and hugely enjoyed themselves. The Mayor presented certificates
Phil’s speech was about the horrors of a young boy’s first
medical examination at school, Margaret’s was called 2+2
= 5, about her fate as a dyscalculate.
Phil and Brian go on to represent NBS in the Area Final
at Dunstable Town Cricket Club, in Tottenhoe, on March
25. Please try and go along to lend your support.