We had a very exciting evening last Wednesday, when Carrie hosted a special event for us in RBS’s impressive Media Suite instead of our usual 10th floor meeting room. Despite her relative inexperience in the role, Carrie led us confidently through the programme as our Toastmaster, using the theme of “Your Toastmasters Journey” to set us all thinking about our first and best experiences with the organisation – which tied in very neatly with our speeches.
We had three speakers from our club in the first half of the meeting, starting with Eliza’s second speech from the CC manual entitled ‘Way-oh! To Rio’. Her presentation started by describing Vinicius, the mascot for this year’s Olympic Games which represents the diversity of Brazilian people, and in an organised fashion delivered a wealth of statistics on the preparations for the Games and the problems they have had to overcome, ranging from logistics, supplies, transport, jobs, legacy and of course the current political and economic turmoil as well as the health challenges facing the country as a whole – and all this in just 6 minutes! Our second speaker was Rowena, now on her seventh CC speech, who convinced us that we could turn our bad luck into good by being in control of our frame of mind…so we should expect good fortune if we always look on the bright side of life (using Michelle Pfeiffer rather than Monty Python’s Brian as an example here!).
Our third speaker was Armelle, our outgoing Vice President of Membership, who gave us an advanced technical presentation entitled ‘Should we have a Mentor Scheme in our Club’. She explored the role of a mentor, including the dynamics of pairing mentors with mentees, the expectations of both parties as well as touching on how the club could best develop and support a scheme for members at all stages of their Toastmaster experience. As time was short, Armelle drew her presentation to a quick close with no time for Q&A, so we will re-open the subject with her at another meeting very soon. In the meantime, please do send any comments or questions you may have on the subject to me or Armelle so we can be sure to incorporate them, whether or not you are able to attend the meeting when Armelle re-presents her speech.
These speeches were evaluated by Andra, Susan and Helen respectively, and Susan was voted best evaluator whilst Rowena won the best speaker ribbon. Our newest member Zhenzhen kept us all to time and Lana was our grammarian for the evening, encouraging us to use the word “duly” (which most of us duly did).
Instead of Table Topics, we were treated to a whistle-stop tour of Jan Gow’s life so far, from her own family roots in Australia, her bold decision to voyage alone to England when let down by her travelling companion, leading to meeting and marrying her husband and eventually settling into married life in New Zealand. However she didn’t stop there! Through her many social, community and committee roles she was introduced to the world of public speaking, and swiftly progressed until in 1981 she won a national contest, resulting in a trip to the world finals in the USA and her first brush with the world of genealogy. These two passions have opened multiple doors for Jan in the world of education, business, public speaking and media appearances. She is endlessly curious, amazingly energetic as well as being a generous-spirited and resourceful lady; it was a real delight for us all to get a glimpse into her wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for pursuing life’s opportunities.
Julia kindly stepped into the role of General Evaluator for us as our scheduled GE was unable to get to the meeting at the last minute, and delivered many helpful recommendations and commendations for our evaluators and all other roles that had not been evaluated earlier.
Before we closed, we welcomed our many visitors for the evening and gave them an opportunity to introduce themselves to us – we hope to see them back again soon, and our membership team will be in touch with you to give you any further information about us that you may like.
After the meeting, Carrie invited us to enjoy her baking (which we had been waiting for eagerly since our last meeting!) as well as drinks and nibbles, which gave us an opportunity to network with each other, meet some of our visitors and chat to Jan informally.
A huge thank you from me to everyone who was involved in making this, my first formal meeting as your Club President, such an entertaining evening, from the time-keeper through to Nadine who valiantly vacuumed up the cake crumbs before we left the room!