9 December 2013

The meeting started ‘nearly on time!’

Apologies were received from: Nina Cirana, Chris Mitchell, Richard Foster-Fletcher, Kala Flynn and Miriam Selwyn. We welcomed Susi Jensen and Sarah Cooling as guests of Ian Haynes and Varsha Chandarana respectively.

Our President told us there will be a special Toastmaster Workshop run in the Ridley Suite at the MK Christian Centre in Oldbrook on Wed 12th Feb 2014, from 8am till 9am and again from 10am till 11am. The aim is to show local businesses what Toastmasters can offer. All 3 local clubs will be involved in presenting short ‘model’ Toastmaster meetings for guests invited from local companies and organisations.

Emmanuel Bolade was Toastmaster of the Evening (TME).

The word of the day was Eloquent/Eloquence and was very well used (especially by our TME!!)

Speeches were very varied, from speech No 4 (How to Say It) from the Competent Communicator manual (Tony Fasulo  – “Double Take” – 6.07 mins) to No 2 Advanced Bronze from the Interpretative Reading Manual (Phil Chippendale – “Journey of the Magi” by TS Eliot – 5.37 mins) and lastly No 9 Advanced Silver from the Speciality Speeches manual (Ian Haynes – “Parklife” – 11.54).

The Topics session was very capably run by Beverly Kepple on the subject of Christmas.

Topics speakers were John Dale (1.43), Matt Orton (0.51), Vicki Greenwood (1.05) and Jenny Chalmers (1.40)

Evaluators were Jenny evaluating Phil (2.19), Gonza Avila evaluating Tony (2.30), Varsha evaluating Ian  (4.02) and Trisha Page evaluating the Topics session (4.02)

Varsha was General Evaluator; Vicki (a new member) was the Timekeeper; Matt (also a new member) was the Grunt Counter. Ty Harvey was the Grammarian. John made himself useful as President, Sergeant at Arms and General Evalautor of the meeting!


Best speaker: Ian. Best Topics Speaker: Jenny. Best Humour: Jenny. Best Evaluator: Varsha. General Evaluator’s award: Vicki. Emanuel was also congratulated on his performance as TME – his first time in the role.

Next Meeting

13 January 2014

25 November  2013

The meeting started just a little late. Apologies were received from Nina Cirana, Beverly Kepple, Chris Mitchell, Gonza Avila, Richard Foster-Fletcher, Kala Flynn and also from our prospective new member Steve Whiting

Varsha Chandarana was excellent as Toastmaster of the Evening, particularly her warm-up where everyone took turns to add a sentence to a story.

The word of the day was ‘vexatious. Emmanuel Bolade (Grammarian) gave a very thorough explanation of the word which was very well used.

Speeches were very lively and visual. Trish Page delivered a speech from the Advanced Manual: Speciality Speeches (‘Sell a Product’) with “An offer you can’t refuse” (11.52) which was evaluated by Ian Haynes (2.55)

Ty Harvey presented speech 3 from the Competent Communicator manual (‘Get to the Point’) entitled “Bread” (7.50) and gave a full demonstration on how to make tasty bread … and brought along some yummy examples! He was evaluated by Margaret Bollen (2.55)

Lastly, was Tony Fasulo (6.17) also on speech 3, with “Courage overrated”. Tony was evaluated by Phil Chippendale (2.45).

The theme of the topics session was ‘Choose your own ideal Xmas present’ with Jenny Chalmers as Topics Master. It was a lively and humorous session. Matt Orton spoke about a house brick (1.55); Patience Clottey on a 3 month cruise (0.48); Jose, our guest, about an ‘Oxfam cow’ (1.11); Vicki Greenwood, our new member in her first Topics speech, on Mandarin lessons (0.33); and Brian Bollen about 12 wooden spoons! (1.56)

Topics evaluator was John Dale (5.40).

Other roles were filled as follows: Brian Bollen – General Evaluator; Dave Minzey – Timekeeper and Sergeant At Arms; Vicki Greenwood – Grunt Counter


Best speaker: Tony Fasulo. Best Topics speaker and best humour: Brian Bollen. Best Evaluator: Margaret Bollen. General Evaluator’s award: a tie between Ty (!) and Varsha.

Next meetings

The tall tales evening and Christmas meal will be on 2nd December, 7 for 7.30 at the Slug & Lettuce.

Next club meeting is on Monday 9th December.

11 November 2013

With our secretary Trisha Page indisposed at the last minute, thanks to Jenny Chalmers for taking a note of the meeting.

The meeting was not endless – ‘endless’ being the word of the day.

On his return to the fold following a lengthy absence, Richard Foster-Fletcher stepped in to replace Trisha as Toastmaster of the Evening. Apologies were received from: Nina Cirana, Varsha Chandarana, Chris Micthell, Trisha Page, Tony Fasulo, Phil Chippendale. Steve Whiting attended as a guest and joined at the end of the meeting.

Miriam Selwyn gave her icebreaker entitled ‘A bit about myself’ (6.59). Gillian Hogg gave her fourth speech ‘Remember, remember’ (5.34). VP Education Beverly Kepple spoke on ‘How to use the Leadership Manual’ (7.40).

The Topics Master was Ian Haynes and his theme was Security. Steve Whiting spoke for 1.55; Brian Bollen for 2.57; Matt Orton for 1.27; Vicky Greenwood for 0.54 (well done for a first attempt); and Ty Harvey for 1.30.

The evaluators’ timings were Beverly Kepple (Miriam) 2.40; Jenny Chalmers (Gillian) 2.36; Dave Minzey (topics) 5.26. Beverly’s speech was the subject of a written evaluation by Margaret Bollen as her 9th speech from the Competent Communicator Manual (Persuade with Power).

Other roles were filled as follows: Emmanuel Bolade – General Evaluator; John Dale – Grammarian; Kala Flynn – Timekeeper; Ty Harvey – Grunt Counter; and Dave Minzey – Sergeant at Arms.


Best speaker – Gillian; best Topics speaker – Ty; best humour – Miriam; best evaluator – jointly to Dave and Jenny; GE’s award –  Miriam, for her icebreaker speech.

Next meetings

Monday 25 November.

The ‘Tall Tales’ evening and Christmas meal will be on 2 December and people were requested to: sign up as contestants, advise Trisha of their meal choices, and pay her £11.

2 meetings in the New Year will include short (15 minutes) educational workshops on evaluation techniques –  13 January and 24 March.

The club speech and evalaution contests will be held on 10 February.

28 October 2013

With our secretary, Trisha Page, otherwide engaged as both Topics Master and a speech evaluator, many thanks to Varsha Chandarana for stepping in at the last minute to take notes of the meeting.

The meeting began just after 6 and finished just after 8. It was conducted gaily – ‘gaily’ being the word of the day. 4 guests were welcomed – Saeed, Vicki, Jose and Lynette.

With his speech number 10, Emmanuel Bolade persuaded the room to ‘Be better’. In his second speech, Ty Harvey not only demonstrated how to structure a speech well but instructed everyone on ‘Internet Dating’. Patience Clottey broke the ice with her lovely introduction ‘Going round in circles’.  The speech times were Emmanuel 10:43, Ty 8:10, Patience 6:44.

The theme of the topics session was Time. Tony Fasulo told the room about the ‘time of his life’. John Dale gave his views on the USA and whether they should have kept Halloween to themselves? Varsha Chandarana spoke about the use of herbs – parsley mainly although ‘thyme’ was mentioned. Emmanuel provided a post watershed bedtime story ‘once upon a time’. The topic timings were Tony 1:40, John 1:42, Varsha 1:17, Emmanuel 1:59.

The evaluators timings were Trisha Page (Emmanuel) 2:45, Ian Haynes (Ty), 3:06, Gonza Avila (Patience) 3:15, and Beverley Kepple (Topics) 4:50.


Awards were made as follows: best Speaker – Patience, best Topics speaker – Emmanuel, best humour – Emmanuel, best – Evaluator Beverley. Jenny Chalmers gave the General Evaluator award to Patience for her icebreaker speech. By completing his 10th speech, Emmanual also achieved the ‘Competent Communicator’ award.

Next meeting

The next meeting will be on 11 November.

As part of any other business it was noted that the tall tales evening and Christmas meal will be on 2 December.

NB There will be no meeting on 23 December (the 4th Monday in the month)

14 October 2013

A lively meeting. 17 people in attendance, including 4 guests. Apologies were received from Nina Cirana, Tony Fasulo, Gillian Hogg, Chris Mitchell, Richard Foster-Fletcher, Patience Clottey and Gareesh Madhas.

We started 3 mins late and finished late too. Ian did a great job as TME…. his warm up about things to do for free in MK dove-tailed perfectly with John’s Topics Session!

Our President, John Dale, welcomed our Area Governor, Lynda Andrews. He highlighted the Area 44 club meeting to be held at the Slug and Lettuce on 4th November, 7.30pm. John reminded us that layout of the room (including whether or not a projector and laptop are required) needs to be requested by the Friday prior to the meeting and that coffee for our meetings requires a small contribution of £1 each.

Jenny Chalmers gave us the word of the day, which was MISCELLANY, referring to a mix of things.

We had 2 formal speakers and a workshop from the ‘Better Speaker’ series on Impromptu Speaking led by Ian Haynes. The first speaker was Dave Minzey (9.30) evaluated by Emmanuel Bolade (2.50). His speech was the bringing-history-to-life project from the advanced manual on Storytelling – ‘Nature cannot be fooled’, about the Challenger space shuttle disaster.  The second speaker was Gonza Avila (8.28), evaluated by Trisha Page (2.40). For the vocal variety project in the Competent Communicator manual, Gonza invited us to play the part of a panel considering his request for investment in new computers.

Topics was conducted by John Dale with the subject of Milton Keynes. Following on from the educational workshop, speakers were given 15 seconds to think prior to speaking. The topics speakers were 1. Beverly Kepple on whether or not MK should continue to expand (1.26); 2. Phil Chippendale on his experiences of A&E at MK Hospital (1.57); 3. Jenny Chalmers on a life-changing experience in MK (1.10): 4. Matt (a guest) on HS2, trains and transport in MK (1.27): and 5. Ty Harding on what MK would be like in 50 years time (1.22)

A special interactive evaluation session was led by Ian (9.15) where it was noted that Ty had made a magnificent improvement in ‘Impromptu Speaking’.

Margaret and Beverly shared the role of General Evaluator.

Miriam took on the role of Grunt Counter for the first time.

Emmanuel was very informative in his role of Timer.


As there were only 2 formal speeches, there was no Best Speaker award. Best topics speaker was Beverly, best evaluator was Emmanuel, most humorous speaker was Gonza! The General Evaluator’s award went to Ian.

Next meeting

28th October when we will be meeting at the Slug & Lettuce afterwards for nosh and natter, including a committee meeting.

23 September 2013

Members were almost outnumbered by visitors as there were 6 guests and 11 members. The meeting started late but somehow we finished early! There were apologies from Nina Cirana, Chris Mitchell, Tony Fasulo, Varsha Chandarana, Margaret Bollen, Brian Bollen, Gareesh Madhas and Mary-Ann Avotri.

Our President, John Dale, mentioned that the Area Contest is on Saturday 28th Sept at Cranfield Speakers, from 10am till 1pm. (Please do come along and support your Eldergate entrants: Tony Fasulo in the Speech Contest and Emmanuel Bolade and Trisha Page in the Topics Contest. Unfortunately, Richard Foster-Fletcher is unable to make the competition). John also reminded us that we should have a committee meeting following the second meeting of October.

Our Toastmaster for the evening was Jenny Chalmers and she started us off with a very amusing warm up of sentences starting with successive letters of the alphabet… from A going right through to Zed!

Formal speeches were given by Emmanuel (speech no 9 from the first manual) “Plan Your Exit Strategy” and by Dave Minzey (speech no 2 from the High Performance Leadership project) “Speechcraft in India”. Both speakers went over their allotted times (Emmanuel 8.06 minutes and Dave 20.03 minutes)

Their evaluators, Ian Haynes and Beverly Kepple were excellent in their roles, giving good feedback.

As we were  ‘short on the ground’, Dave Minzey also took on the role of Topics Master, with his very popular theme – inspired by Michael McIntyre’s ‘spice jars’ sketch – of talking household objects! First up was Ian Haynes as a frying pan (1.54), then Ty Harvey as a 3 year old credit card (.35), Matt (a guest) as a vacuum cleaner (1.09), Steve (also a guest) as his front door (1.19) and finally Miriam Selwyn an alarm clock (1.14).

Our Topics Evaluator was Gillian Hogg. Gillian kept good timing with 3.42 mins. She praised Dave for his excellent Topics subject.

Our Grammarian was Ty with an excellent choice of word: Audacious or Audacity and several members were audacious enough to use it, including our guest Susan.

John also multi-tasked this meeting, being timer and grunt counter. Dave received the duck for the most grunts! (but then he did talk the longest – Ed)


As there were only 2 speeches, there was no best speaker award, but best Topics and most Humorous Speaker went to Ian, with Ian also sharing best Evaluator with Beverly. General Evaluator was Trisha Page who gave the GE award to all the guests who really joined in.

Next meeting

Monday 14 October

9 September 2013

For a report on the Humorous Speech and Topics Contests, please see the Eldergate Members Blog page.

19 August 2013

Our meeting started and finished on time. Dave Minzey (Sergeant at Arms) opened the meeting and gave us an interesting warm up session which showed that only two members actually knew their own blood group!

Our President, John Dale, noted the apologies: Jenny Chalmers, Varsha Chandarana, Nina Cirana, Chris Mitchell, Phil Chippendale, Martin Pebody, Deborah Dow, Tony Fasulo, Richard Foster-Fletcher, Brian Bollen, Margaret Bollen. We had one guest, Charlotte.

Minutes from the last meeting were acknowledged and seconded.

Our Vice President of Education, Beverly Kepple, handed round both the up and coming schedule and the schedule for our contests (Humorous Speech and Table Topics) on 9th Sept and asked for volunteers as both speakers and officials.

Our Grammarian, Trisha, chose ‘Decorum’ as the word of the day. It was used by 2 people once and 2 people twice!

Formal speeches were all from the Competent Communicator manual: Gonza Avila (5), The Silver Peugeot; Gareesh Madhas (2), It’s a Secret; Ty Harvey (1), The Tree of Life. They spoke for 6.48, 7.09 and 5.12 respectively.

Our Topics Master, Dave Minzey, chose the topic of ‘Fracking’. His chosen speakers were Emmanuel Bolade (1.44), John Dale (1.44), Miriam Selwyn (1.04), Patience Clottey (.20) and Beverly Kepple (1.51)

Speech evaluators were John Dale (3.27), Emmanuel Bolade (3.29) and Beverly Kepple (2.41). and Gonza Avila as Topics Evaluator (4.09).

Gonza had virtually a clean sweep, winning best humour, best evaluator and best speaker! Beverly won best topics speaker and the General Evaluator’s award went to Patience for her first role as Grunt master.

Our President presented Icebreaker pins to both Ty and Gareesh for doing their first speeches (the latter a few weeks ago).

9 members met up for food and drink at the Slug and Lettuce after the meeting.

Next meeting
Monday 9th September: Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests

12 August 2013

Another lively meeting. 17 people in attendance, including 4 guests. Apologies were received from Varsha Chandarana, Nina Cirana, Chris Mitchell, Richard Foster-Fletcher, Gareesh Madhas, Deborah Dow and Martin Pebody.

We started on time and finished one minute early, despite juggling the Topics Session to after the refreshment break.

Phil Chippendale did a great job as Toastmaster of the Evening … his warm up was both relaxing and invigorating at the same time!

Our President, John Dale, mentioned our up and coming Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests on 9th September and asked for volunteers in all roles. We voted to hold a social gathering at the Slug and Lettuce after the contest. John also mentioned that the North Bucks Speakers competition is on 19th Sept. Please do put your name forward to help them if you can.

Emmanuel Bolade was voted in as our newest member.

The word of the day was CAMPANOLOGICAL which refers to ringing the changes/changing (campanology…bell ringing)

We had 3 formal speakers. Ian Haynes (13.16), Tony Fasulo (5.44) and Emmanuel Bolade (7.25). Ian did speech 8 towards his Advanced Communicator (silver) award. Tony and Emmanuel presented speeches 2 and 8 respectively from the Competent Communicators manual.

The Topics Session was conducted by Trish Page with the subject of accidents. Gonza Avila (1.12), Patience Clottey (1.07) Brian Bollen (1.42) and Miriam Selwyn (.27) all spoke.

Evaluators were Brian Bollen (3.30), Jenny Chalmers (2.30), Gonza Avila (2.14) and Dave Minzey (6.32) (Topics)


Best speaker was Tony Fasulo, best topics speaker was Brian Bollen, best evaluator was Jenny Chalmers, most humorous speaker was Tony Fasulo + crutches!

The General Evaluator’s award went to Miriam Selwyn, one of our guests, for attending and participating despite a 3rd degree burn on her arm (mistaken as evidence of having given blood!)

Next meeting

Monday 19th August due to the Bank Holiday on 26 August.

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