29th June 2016 Meeting Summary and Highlights

Ivy set us all thinking about change management as our Toastmaster for the evening, observing from her own experience that change usually brings out the best in all of us when dealing with adversity, as long as it does not happen too abruptly!  She guided us competently through our three prepared speeches and evaluations in the first half of the evening.

Alexia was our first speaker and of the evening, and she delivered her second speech from the Competent Communicator (CC) manual entitled ‘Treat your job search like an assembly line’.  She certainly achieved her objective of presenting a very well organised speech, using the memorable acronym LAMP to help us remember how to approach the task of looking for a new job systematically – a very useful tool when you consider that the average person changes jobs between 10-15 times in their life.

Our second speaker Carrie did an excellent job of persuading us that it is better to bake rather than buy birthday cakes for your colleagues, family and friends in her fourth speech from the CC manual, even if it means staying up late in the kitchen! She gave us three good reasons for this: cost, memories (past and future) and meditation / mindfulness whilst cooking, and used very evocative language and devices to stimulate our senses.  The main recommendation from her evaluators was to bring some samples for us to taste next time, and despite the lack of any delicious incentives, Carrie was voted best speaker of the evening.

Our third speaker Elizabeth delivered her fifth speech from the advanced manual ‘Speeches by Management’ which is designed to show us how to deliver bad news tactfully and sensitively. She certainly achieved this when announcing planned job cuts at her fictional bank, topically as a result of anticipated changes in team structure and location following the Brexit vote.

These speeches were evaluated by Eliza, our former member and one of our guests for the day Lana and Julia, who was voted our best evaluator of the evening.

Our Table Topics master was Armelle who began with asking a question on the theme of change, and went on to pose a number of questions many of which were based on personal experiences, which made us all think and gave the speakers, including our newest member ZhenZhen, the opportunity to tell some interesting and inspiring personal stories.  Eliza was voted our best table topics speaker of the evening in a speech about dreams, and Brana capably rose to the task of evaluating all six speeches within her time allocation!

A big thank you to our time-keeper for the evening Jane, one of our newest members as she performed her first ever role, and also to Andra who was our grammarian, setting Arduous as our word of the day – well done to all those who managed to include it in their presentations.

Apart from Lana, we had one other visitor for the evening: Jan Gow (Carrie’s mother), here to observe us in operation ahead of our special event at our next meeting on 13th July, which is being organised by Carrie to complete one of her Competent Leader manual projects; in the second half of that meeting, Jan will be talking to us about her own public speaking journey and other achievements, in a presentation entitled “Somewhere Over the Rainbow: peeping over the rainbow, from both sides, especially looking at the Good Witch ITC (International Training in Communication).”

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