14th September meeting

80s nostalgia

Following a 7-minute delay as people continued to arrive, the evening kicked off with Tim opening the meeting in his role as Toastmaster for the evening.

Rebecca explained her role as Timekeeper and, in her very impromptu role as Grammarian, multi-tasking Louise introduced ‘discombobulation’ (meaning confusion) as her word for the day.

Jim took up the challenge of telling a tasteful joke, which involved a foul-mouthed parrot, a freezer and a frozen chicken.

Alison acted as our Table Topics Master for the evening and gave each of the participants a colour to speak about.

Paul talked about grey and battleships and how better colours can make things much more exciting.

Adrian approached his topic of green by linking it to nature and science.

Yiorgos was given the colour pink, which, he explained to the group, reminded him of ties and Athens.

John came up and talked about yellow, relating it to waking up. John also talked about colour perception, recounting a story where yellow had been specifically chosen for a presentation to designers.

First speaker Yiorgos gave his eighth speech ‘80s lifestyle… proud to have been there?’ and demonstrated the skill of being comfortable with visual aids. Yiorgos took us all on a journey back to shoulder pads, big hair and The Karate Kid.

Evaluated by Paul, who commended the clarity of delivery and content and use of slides but also noted the issue of crossing in front of the projector to click to the next slide.

Second speaker Daniel broke the ice with his first speech ‘A slice of mid life’ and introduced himself to the group by talking about his three degrees, wife and three children, whilst simultaneously demonstrating his sharp statistical analysis skills.

Evaluated by Jim, who commended the humour, use of triads and vocabulary. Recommendations were to consider the timing, prepare a 20 second close and to avoid looking down at notes.

Third speaker John gave a speech entitled ‘Explain like I’m 5’, informing us of his addiction to the internet and to one particular website – ELI5. This aim of this speech was to demonstrate the key skill of writing and delivering a speech at short notice.

Evaluated by Tim, who commended John’s subject, opening and delivery. A recommendation was made to consider the length of time the prop (a phone) was used for in order to avoid distraction.

In the gloom...

With lighting proving to be an issue and the darkness looming, General Evaluator Louise explained (with the aid of a torch) the value of giving feedback and the importance of allocating time for each speaker when evaluating table topics. This was followed by evaluations of the three evaluators, the meeting officials and the meeting as a whole.

On Presidential matters Jim reminded everyone that the 28th September is the Club’s Humorous Speech and Impromptu Speaking Contests and we now have some competitors. Please let Jim know if you would be interested in taking part.

Winners from our club competition will go on to compete in the Beds and Bucks Area Contest, which Cranfield is hosting the following Wednesday, 5th October, in the CMRI (Bldg 38) at 8pm. All members are warmly encouraged to attend this special Area event.

14 attended including 5 guests: Adrian, Carla, Jay, Chris and Wilson.

Carla commented on the amount of energy, even in the darkness and is keen to come again.

Jay explained that he didn’t know what to expect, but he was impressed with the fact that so many people got the chance to present and practice and is looking forward to attending again.

Adrian, having had previous experience of a Toastmasters Club, commented that it is a good example of a dynamic Toastmasters group, which is well structured with a lot of experience in the room, benefitting the club as a whole.

Chris explained that he thought the meeting might be more formal and was pleased to find that, although well structured and organised, it was fun and lively and provided good training for presentations and leading meetings.

Wilson highlighted the importance of developing these key skills and was impressed with the friendliness of the club and felt very welcome.


Best Speech – John

Best Evaluator – Tim

Best Table Topics – Paul

Best Humour – Daniel

Another hugely enjoyable meeting – thanks to all!

The meeting closed on time 8.00pm

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