14th July 2014 – under new management!

Beverly Kepple welcomed 16 Toastmasters to her first meeting as president:

Dave Minzey, Beverly Kepple, Jonathan Worth, Trish Page, Ian Haynes, Gonza Avila, Miriam Selwyn, Patience Clottey, Sandeep Sharma, Mary-Ann Avotri, Jamie McGee, Monet McGee, Emmanuel Bolade, Ty Harvey, Jenny Chalmers.

The S@A, Trisha Page, started the meeting on time.

Club Business

Beverly Kepple (President) : a Xmas event was being planned. Grapevine, who we have shared a venue with in the last two years, are going elsewhere – suggestions for alternative locations were invited.


Ian Haynes was TME. Gonza conducted a World Cup warm up on favorite teams, goals and best moments from the tournament. The word of the day from our Grammarian, Sandeep Sharma, was Magnanimous.


1) Patience Clottey gave a No 6 speech entitled ‘I am not superwoman’ (7.30)

2) Miriam Selwyn gave her No 3 speech (Get To The Point) called “Fishy Business” (7.45)

3) Ty Harvey rehearsed his wedding speech (6.51)

The Table Topics session was run by Jonathan Worth whose theme was the Seven Deadly Sins. Speakers were

1) Mary Ann on Pride and what it’s like to lose it at the hands of your 10 year old daughter (1.19)

2) Monet on Lust and she saw that the world seem to run on Lust (1.31)

3) Beverly on Envy which she felt if it was removed would solve a lot of the world’s problems (1.6)

4) Trisha on Gluttony and the need to distract yourself from food (1.59)

As General Evaluator, Jenny gave a short speech on how to evaluate.


Dave Minzey evaluated Patience Clottey (3.40). Gonza Avila evaluated Miriam Selwyn (3.20). Steve Whiting evaluated Ty Harvey (3.00). Emmanuel Bolade evaluated the Topics session (5. 54)

Jenny Chalmers was GE and Meeting Evaluator; Jamie McGee was the Timekeeper; Sandeep Sharma was Grammarian and Beverly was the Grunt Counter.


Most Grunts: Steve Whiting. Best Speaker: Ty Harvey. Best Topics Speaker: Monet McGee. Best Humour:  Gonza Avila. Best Evaluator: Steve Whiting. General Evaluator’s award: Ty Harvey for his Wedding Speech and the improvement from the previous delivery.

Dave Minzey gave z brief outline of the option for a December Christmas event at the Crown in Stony Stratford. Prices to come.


Nina Cirana, Susi Jensen, Prakash Shah, Tony Fasulo, Lynette and John Dale.

Next meeting

Monday 28th July

24th March 2014

We started the meeting 2 minutes late. Meeting attendance: 18 including several guests (Chris, Gavin and Sarah). Apologies were received from: Nina Cirana, Gonza Avila, Prakash Shah, Vicki Greenwood, Darren Marshall, Mary-Ann Avotri, Steve Marshall and Phil Chippendale.

President John Dale reminded us about the Area Speech and Evaluation Competitions which starts at 1pm at Cranfield on Saturday 29th March. Tony Fasulo (in the speech contest), Beverly Kepple and Trisha Page (both in the evaluation contest) will represent Eldergate. Treasurer Jenny Chalmers reminded members that renewal fees are due.

Dave Minzey was Toastmaster of the Evening. The word of the day from our Grammarian, Lynette Hill, was ‘exhort’. It was well used by many.

There were 3 main speeches. Beverly achieved Competent Communicator with her number 10 speech – ‘Dreams of New York’ (10.04) – well done Beverly! Patience Clottey delivered speech number 3  – ‘Just Do It!’ (5.40) and Miriam Selwyn entertained us with speech number 2 – ‘From Mr Smith to Wordsmith‘ (5.59). They were evaluated by Ian Haynes (3.03), Trisha Page (2.39) and Ty Harvey (3.19).

The Topics session was run by John Dale – inspired by a recent weekend away in Lincolnshire – on the theme of favourite places, weekend breaks and ideal holidays. Topics speakers were Suzi Jensen (0.47), Lynette Hill (0.35), our guests Sarah (0.29) and Gavin (0.49), and Varsha Chandarana (2.14). The Topics session was evaluated by Tony Fasulo (4.28).

Jenny and Varsha were General Evaluators; Emmanuel Bolade was the Timekeeper; and Ty Harvey was the Grunts Counter.


Best Speech: Beverly; Best Topics: Varsha; Best Evaluator: Ty; Most Humorous: Patience. General Evaluator Award went to Varsha for being Jenny’s little helper!

No post-meeting gathering at The Slug and Lettuce this month as it is closed for renovation.

Next meeting

Monday 14th April.

10 March 2014

We started the meeting 6 minutes late. Apologies were received from Nina Cirana, Matt Orton, Brian Bollen and Margaret Bollen. We wellcomed several guests (Chris Alcock, Jamie and Monae McGee)

President John Dale reminded us there was a committee meeting after the club meeting.

Trisha Page was Toastmaster of the Evening. The word of the day from our Grammarian, Ty Harvey, was ‘meticulous’: it was very well received and used during the meeting.

There were 3 main speeches, all icebreakers!

Vicki Greenwood – ‘From Nervous State to Eldergate’ (5.52); Steve Whiting – ‘A Mixed Bag’ (7.56) and Prakash Shah – ‘The Seasons of My Life’ (8.11). They were evaluated by Lynette Hill (1.05), Tony Fasulo (2.04) and Gonza Avila (1.56). This was the first evaluation for Lynette and Tony and they both excelled.

The Topics session was run by Dave Minzey on the theme of pets. Topics speakers were Gillian Hogg (2.07), our guests Monae (2.03) and Jamie (1.14), and Darren Marshall (1.28).

Ian Haynes and Emmanuel Bolade were General Evaluators; Jenny Chalmers was Topics Evaluator (3.28); Varsha Chandarana was the Timekeeper; and Mary-Ann Avotri was Grunts Counter.


Best Speech: Prakash; Best Topics: Monae; Best Evaluator: Gonza; Most Humorous: Emmanuel. The General Evaluator Award went to Lynette for her first Evaluation.

Next meeting

Monday 24th March.

24 February 2014

We started the meeting with 21 people and finished with 24! There were several guests including Darren, Esha, Jay, Kingsley and Susi. There were apologies from Nina Cirana, Patience Clottey and Vicki Greenwood.

President John Dale presented a badge to Kala Flynn for achieving her Competent Communicator award. The word of the day from our Grammarian, Matt Orton, was ‘tumult’ or ‘tumultuous’.

The 2 main speeches were by Tony Fasulo and John Dale. Tony’s speech, entitled “We are not alone” was his 7th (Research Your Subject) and was timed at 7.09. John’s speech – ‘Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones’ – was part of the Time Management project in the Competent Leadership manual (7.26). They were evaluated by Dave Minzey (3.18) and Gonza Avila (2.24) respectively.

The Topics session was run by Trisha Page, broadly on the subject of neighbours. Topics speakers were Varsha Chandarana (1.09), Susi Jensen (1.31), Lynette Hill (0.43), Mary Ann Avotri (0.55) and Kala Flynn (2.02). Congratulations to Susi on her first Topics speech and welcome back to Mary Ann! The Topics session was evaluated by Emmanuel Bolade (5.38).

As a start to thinking about who will be on the committee next year, the TME introduced a “Get to Know Your Committee” session … a genius idea, as Emmanuel said – where members of the committee introduced each other in turn. Dave Minzey emphasised that the club can only be as good as the people who run it.

Jenny Chalmers was General Evaluator; Ty Harvey was the Timekeeper; Richard Foster-Fletcher stepped in as the Grunt Counter. The TME chaired an open evaluation of the meeting. A brief note was requested summarising who’s who on the committee and their responsibilities (in hand). With a full meeting room again, it was noted that the TME should print 30 copies of the agenda in future.


There was  no Best Speaker award as there were only 2 speeches. Best Topics speaker was Kala. Emmanuel won both Best Humour and Best Evaluator. The General Evaluator Award went to Ian Haynes for his brilliantly run meeting.

At least half of those present then adjourned to the Slug and Lettuce for food, drink and conversation.

Next meeting

Monday 10th March.

27 January 2014

There were 24 attendees, including guests: Gavin, Amy, Dashn, Prakash, Susie, Darren, Hubert and Lynette. Apologies were received from: Nina Cirana, Margaret Bollen, Brian Bollen, Chris Mitchell, Richard Foster-Fletcher, Kala Flynn, Mary-Ann Avotri and Gillian Hogg.

President John Dale presented badges to Emmanuel Bolade and himself for achieving their Competent Communicator awards, plus Advanced Communicator awards to Jenny Chalmers (Silver) and Trisha Page (Gold) and the Distinguished Toastmaster award for Dave Minzey. He noted the speech and evaluation competitions will be the next meeting and it will commence at 6.30pm to allow for guests from outside our area.

The word of the day from our Grammarian, Ty Harvey, was ‘vex’, ‘vexes’ or ‘vexed’ and was well used. Main speeches were by Patience Clottey, Tony Fasulo and Varsha Chandarana. They were evaluated by Ian Haynes (2.53), Jenny Chalmers (2.43) and Trisha Page (2.10) respectively. Patience delivered her second speech (organise your speech) called “Is Technology an Enabler or an Intruder?” (7.00), Tony his fifth (the body language project) entitled simply “Caught” (6.28); and Varsha the folk tale project from the Advanced Manual on Storytelling (12.21) – “What would you do?”, a new twist on the familar tale of the emperor’s new clothes.

The Topics session was run by Emmanuel Bolade. Topics speakers were Ty Harvey (which planet would you like to visit?) (54 secs), our guest Amy (my favourite colour) (33 secs), Steve Whiting (my favourite actor) (52 secs), and guest Prakash (prime minister for the day!) (59 secs). The Topics session was evaluated by Gonza Avila (4.30).

John Dale and Dave Minzey were General Evaluators of the evaluators and the meeting; Matt Orton was the Timekeeper; Vicki Greenwood was the Grunt Counter.

Beverly Kepple was excellent as TME.The meeting ran late but this was out of the control of our TME.


There was no award for best speaker as only 2 speeches were within the time limits for their projects. Best Topics speaker – shared by our guests Amy and Prakash; Best Humour – also shared, by Tony Fasulo and Gonza Avila; Best Evaluator: Gonza.

Next meeting

The Eldergate speech and evaluation competitions on 10th February, starting time 6.30pm

13 January 2104

The meeting started ‘nearly’ on time!

John Dale was Toastmaster of the Evening. Emmanuel Bolade was voted on to the club committee as VP Membership.

Apologies were received from: Brian and Margaret Bollen, Nina Cirana, Kala Flynn, Richard Foster-Fletcher and Vicki Greenwood. We welcomed three guests: Susi Jensen, Darren Marshall and Gavin.

The word of the day from our Grammarian, Beverly Kepple, was ‘exquisite’ and was well used.

There were two formal speeches and one training session. Ty Harvey delivered his 4th speech from the Competent Communicator manual – ‘Flying the Nest’ (5.55), about leaving home for the first time to work in an Alpine ski resort. The objectives of this project are all about the use of words – vivid descriptions, sensory language – and Ty’s very clear recollection of a night out dressed in women’s clothing certainly met the speech objectives!

Matt Orton followed with his icebreaker (6.42), in which he introduced us to himself, his ‘exquisite’ Slovakian wife, some very large fish and finally, the reasons why he had decided to join Toastmasters. Great start Matt – well done!

The training session on Evaluation was led by Dave Minzey DTM and concluded with a very useful Q&A session (11.55). A second training session on evaluation is scheduled for 24 March with the aim of encouraging more of our newer members to take on evaluation roles at meetings.

The Topics session was run by Trisha Page, taking a range of inspirational words and asking what they meant to the speaker. The Topics speakers were Jenny Chalmers on courage (1.40); Lynda Andrews, our Area Governor, on teamwork (1.50); Darren Marshall, our guest, on trust (1.37); and Gonza Avila on vision (1.40).

Evaluators were John Dale evaluating Ty Harvey (3.24); Emmanuel Bolade evaluating Matt Orton (2.54); and Ian Haynes evaluating the Topics session (5.28).

Dave Minzey and Jenny Chalmers were the General Evaluators – of the evaluators and the meeting respectively. Tony Fasulo was the Timekeeper. Miriam Selwyn stepped in as the Grunt Counter at the last minute.


As there were only two formal speeches, there was no vote for Best Speaker. Best Topics Speaker: Darren Marshall. Best Humour: Ty Harvey. Best Evaluator: Emmanuel Bolade. The GE’s award went to Trisha for demonstrating that Topics can be about fun rather than fear!

Next meeting

Monday 27 January, and afterwards at the Slug & Lettuce

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