Toastmasters, Trophies and Tall Tales

This may be a longer post than usual as we have been up to all sorts recently, so brace yourselves!

Club Meeting

The meeting on Thursday, 16th June was of the usual high standard with 18 members and 8 guests.  Duncan Thompson was the TME and he managed the meeting with good Toastmaster skills and humour.  His introductory question, ‘What is your favourite holiday destination? elicited responses from Antarctica to the Scottish Highlands, via Hawaii, Colorado, Vancouver and New York.

Two members, Pauline Dix and Mansur Kutlubaev, completed their IceBreakers and received their IceBreaker ribbons.  Pauline talked about her love for Scotland, Munro bagging and the folk group Runrig.  Mansur took us on a journey from his native Russia to Edinburgh, improving his English along the way.  Penny Haywood Calder gave us an education session on how to control your nerves when speaking.

At club business, the members voted in and welcomed Tom Lennie as a new member to the club.

After the break (no biscuit dramas this week), Barbara Otibou presented her first session as TTM. The theme of the TT’s was a Mediterranean cruise and speakers were asked to describe their role as one of the ship’s crew.  The ribbon for the best TT was won by Leigh McIntyre, one of the guests with a very funny account of what she would do as the ship’s entertainments officer.

Annual Dinner, Tall Tales Contest 

Neil presents Stephen with the Tall Tales certificate and prize

The club’s Annual Dinner and Tall Tales Contest on Saturday 18thJune was a great success with good food, good wine and, of course, excellent speeches.  The stories in the Tall Tales Contest had everyone enthralled as we tried to guess whether the speakers were lying or telling the truth.  Louise Kirk tried to convince us that a stag ran away wearing Louise’s jeans on its head when she was camping, aged 7, in Scotland; Duncan wanted us to believe that he nearly fell out of a private plane, piloted by his brother, as he (Duncan) had forgotten to shut the door properly; Oscar took us on a trip to the Middle East; Kirsten tried to make us believe that a family of rabbits had taken residence in her flat – after climbing up an air vent and Stephen told us of a dramatic incident that happened to him when he was walking on St Kilda’s.  Stephen was the runaway winner when he revealed that he has never even been to St Kilda’s.

After the dinner, I delivered project 5 in the Entertaining Speaker Manual, the After Dinner Speech. This was a double strike, intended to complete my ACG and DTM in one evening.   In my speech, I spoke about the club’s successes over the past year, evidenced by the very favourable comments left by guests on the feedback forms, and I put this success down to – biscuits.  It was a tongue in cheek report on the club, but I do believe that our club attracts many visitors to each meeting and retains members due to warm hospitality, friendly and supportive members, well run meetings, and a desire to help members achieve their goals.   Kevin Lee of Armada Speakers in Plymouth (and former member of Glasgow TM) gave a very polished, balanced evaluation of the speech, which was a lesson in itself on how to deliver an excellent evaluation.  

Avril presents Moira with her DTM award


Avril Stringer DTM, President of Linlithgow Speakers, very kindly said lots of nice things about me and my journey through Toastmasters, read equally encouraging messages from other Toastmasters in other Scottish clubs, and presented me with both the ACG award and the DTM award.  

Then Neil MacLure presented Stephen Dix, winner of the Tall Tales contest, with a certificate and Amazon gift voucher. 

 I was delighted to present the Waverley Communication Achievement Award to Duncan Thompson; the Toastmaster of the Year Award to Eileen Scott;  and the President’s special award to Penny Haywood Calder; as well as certificates for Outstanding Committee Members to the outgoing committee. Congratulations to all!

Eileen – Waverley Communicators Toastmaster of The Year
Penny receives the President’s Award
Duncan is delighted with his Communication Achievement Award


Flourish 2011

I have just become the Booking Manager for the Flourish2011 District 71 conference to be held in Glasgow, on 11 – 13 November this year so you will be hearing more about the conference from me from now on.  To find out more visit .  Also, if you book now, you can take advantage of the Spring Early Bird Booker – book a Conference Package by midnight on Wednesday 29 June and you will be entered into a Prize Draw to win the package you have booked for FREE.  If you don’t win this top prize, you will be automatically entered into the Summer Early Bird Booker prize drawbook a Conference Package by midnight on Wednesday 7 September and be entered into a Prize Draw for a First Prize of £250 vouchers for QMH UK Hotels and two Runner-Up Prizes of a FREE ticket for the Gala dinner/evening entertainment at Flourish 2011 on Saturday 12 November (worth £60 each).

Focussed Women’s Network Gets A Taste of Toastmasters 

On Monday, 20th June, Eileen Scott, Kirsten McKenzie and I went along to RBS at Gogarburn to give a Toastmaster Demo Meeting, at the invitation of one of our newer members, Jacqui Thomson, Chair of Focussed Women’s Network Scotland.  It went very well and the 14 attendees not only survived the Table Topics session, facilitated by Kirsten, but even enjoyed it.  Eileen delivered her CC7 on the subject of anxiety, why it happens and how to cope with it when it does attack which I then evaluated; and I gave an overview of the Toastmasters organisation.  It’s good to get out and speak to people outside the club, otherwise we can become too comfortable. In the immortal words of Darren Lacroix, 2001 International Speech World Champion, ‘No –one joins Toastmasters to speak at Toastmasters’. Why did you join? Let us know in the comments below.

This is my last blog post as President of the club as Eileen Scott, will be taking over after the next meeting, as the new President. I hope you have enjoyed reading the posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

All the best


The next club meeting is on 30th June 2011 7-9pm.



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