5th Jan 2012 – Leeds City Toastmasters meeting report

Where were you all last night?

There I was ready to hug, kiss or shake hands with the more reserved members and wish you all a happy New Year.

Euan Bayliss, our President, was going to be Toastmaster last night; however there was an incident on the train line to Leeds .

At 6.15 he phoned Anthony Day to ask him to step into the role and get the agendas printed. Being a Distinguished Toastmaster he stepped up to the mark, got the agendas ready and took on the role of Toastmaster as those who know him fully expected.

I had volunteered to be Meet & Greet and amazingly managed to avoid frightening away any of the 9 visitors we had.

With no Sergeant at Arms I stepped in reluctantly, being such a shrinking violet, and opened the meeting.

Anthony welcomed all our visitors and told us a little about what Toastmasters was all about. He then introduced our Timekeeper to explain their role.

Geetha Mazarelo has been a Toastmaster at Riverside Communicators in Richmond on Thames who is now living near Bradford . Geetha brilliantly stepped into the role and did an excellent job all night.

Next Anthony introduced our Grammarian Dinesh Kaulgud who explained he would be looking out for good grammar and also the use of the Word of the Day – ‘Flagrant’

Anthony then introduced Jane Craggs as our Ah Counter who told us she would be looking out for all the crutch words such as Err and Umm.

We had two formal speakers – Stuart Eakin doing his Icebreaker and John Fletcher doing his Speech 6 – Vocal Variety. Both were introduced by their respective Evaluators Michael Bottomley and Peter Millen.

Stuart gave an entertaining insight to three parts of his life that seemed to involve pole dancing and wearing a bikini! John talked about the anger and frustration he felt towards the 8 hour working day.

Stuart Eakin was voted Best Speaker – well done Stuart

The Toastmaster next introduced me to deliver an Education session I’d been asked to do that day. I talked about ‘Evaluate to Motivate’ and how evaluation is the ‘powerhouse’ of Toastmasters. I gave some ideas if how to evaluate in a manner that helps the recipient improve and grow.

After a break I called the meeting back to order and introduced our Toastmaster. He introduced our Evaluators Michael Bottomley and Peter Millen.

Both did an excellent job of giving positive feedback to the speakers and where they could improve. Peter, unfortunately, did have a bit of a problem keeping to time and was disqualified from the vote for Best Evaluator.

Next we moved to Table Topics. Anthony was supposed to be the Table Topics Master; however he’d taken on the Toastmaster role. With very short notice Vaishali Kaulgud, who thought she’d just have a quiet meeting, agreed to take the role.

The Table Topics theme was ‘What would you do in a particular situation’ which lead to some quite humorous explanations such as getting out of going to a party, dealing with the visit of an elderly aunt or even scuba diving when you can’t swim.

The Best Table Topics Speaker was a visitor, though soon to become member, Chris Wolfolk – well done Chris.

Anthony introduced our General Evaluator, Celia Berrell visiting from Australia . Celia outlined her role as evaluating the whole meeting including introducing the Grammarian and Ah Counter to feed back plus the Table Topics Evaluations.

Jane Craggs was our Table Topics Evaluator and clearly gave well done where speakers did well and areas where they could improve.

Jane was voted Best Evaluator – well done Jane.

Celia then gave excellent feedback on the whole meeting and even senior members such as I gained some valuable points to consider in how I conduct myself. Thank you for that Celia.

With the President, Euan, missing and also the Vice President – Education, Trevor Hatib, having given his apologies, it was up to the Immediate Past President and Area Governor, Dinesh Kaulgud, to make the awards and close the meeting just after 9.10 pm.

Next meeting is on 19th January and I hope to see you all there. Please go to www.d71.org and book a role for the meeting or record your apologies. It is good Toastmaster practice to send apologies so the Toastmaster knows who will be attending.

If you do volunteer for a role please don’t forget your Competent Leader manual so you can get your written evaluation of the role. This way everyone is working towards their Competent Leader award as well as their Competent Communicator award.

Look forward to seeing you soon and Happy New Year.

By Michael J Clarke (DTM)