Tonight we had our sixth virtual meeting via Zoom with the theme being “The winter solstice” which celebrates the longest hours of darkness. Yes, this is winter! We had an attendance of 14 people including one external visitor – Dylan who was from the Western Lecturn Toastmasters club.
Vicky made a toast to getting back to normal during the colder months. She reminded us not to get too complacent too quickly.
Word of the night
André reflected on the word “time”, something we all want more and how 6,000 years ago the moon was used to reckon time. The Egyptians replaced this lunar calendar with the accurate solar calendar. Having precise time reminds us that “time waits for no one”.
Johnny made us all laugh about another time-related matter, comparing marriage to getting time in jail.
Johnny stepped in as the unplanned Table Topics master with questions around keeping track of time, such as:
- Which activities make you lose track of time?
- Which is worst, failing, or never trying?
- What is the most defining moment of your life so far?
- What would you do different if no one will judge you?
In response Shirley emphasised the importance of trying and placing lesser focus on failing. Clare’s defining moment was when born and taking the first steps with new projects. Chris shared his new starts, such as getting married and starting a business and career. Mel answered a similar question, and shared her new ways of doing things.
In the second half of the meeting, we had three speakers, Mel, Aanchal and Mark.
Mel’s “How to place an ad to get ready for City to Surf” was an actual example of an adertisement she would place in the local newspaper to get clients to consult with her physiotherapy clinic. The ad outlined the content such as a pre-assessment and a preparation program to set one up for a successful run/walk. Per Jonathan’s evaluation, Mel was well focussed, met speech purposes, had the right tone, good humour, and, engaged the audients. Areas of learning were eye contact, fewer filler words to replace with pausing.
Aanchal’s “Three changes to education” covered real-life experiences and the lack of essential life skills, much needed for the kids of the future. Per Chris’s evaluation, the speech was practical, well delivered, us to hearing every word, ending with a strong conclusion. Further improvements could be to place a greater emphasis on the key points, causing more outrage on the statements, repeating things, adding more humour and more questions.
Mark talked about “My Leadership Styles” noting the different styles depending on the team, projects involved. A great opening with Canadian philosopher Matshona’s quote: “The real power of a leader is in the number of minds he can reach, hearts he can touch, souls he can move, and lives he can change.” Mel’s evaluation noted the great start, having a right tone, good examples, and conclusion. Adding more fun to the speech was one of the recommendations.
Shirley’s summary complimented Vicky’s Timer’s Report which covered only the time exceptions and Clare’s excellent review following each speaker. Shirley flagged that it is best for evaluators to have a conclusion that summarises the key points, rather than to abruptly end on a specific point such as the speaker was looking away and reading notes. This is where one loses points in a contest.
Like speakers, evaluators were reminded to have an intro and a conclusion to round off evaluations.
Our visitor’s (Dylan) observation was re-affirming our club’s strong point – that everyone cares for each other.