Happy New Year Waverley Communicators

Post written by Johanne Burns, Member

Happy New Year Waverley Communicators!

The first meeting of 2012 got off to a very good start with lots of visitors attending and a new member signed up. Toastmaster for the evening was Kirsten McKenzie who started with topical introductions on the subject of New Year’s resolutions.

Pauline Dix entertained the audience with a joke about a magician on a cruise ship who consistently had his magic tricks spoiled by the captain’s parrot telling the audience how he did it. Unfortunately the ship had the same misadventure as the Titanic, leaving the magician and parrot drifting together on a piece of wood, with the parrot unable to guess how he had made the boat vanish, telling the magician that “enough was enough and bring back the boat!”

The first speaker of the New Year, Aideen O’Malley, delivered her Ice Breaker Speech. Entitled Where do I begin? Aideen discussed relocating to Edinburgh from Italy in 2006, settling the family into their new life and retrieving the family dog from quarantine! Languages are important to Aideen, who relayed to the audience the challenge of serving on a board at a college on the Isle of Skye where Gaelic is the primary language, but not a language Aideen knew well. Aideen talked with passion and enthusiasm about her experience and has since joined the board of the College of Highlands & Islands, now Scotland’s newest university.

Next to the floor, Kevin Miller researched his topic and took us on a journey in time and into ‘The Future of Medicine’ (speech number seven from the Competent Communicator manual). Future advances in medicine, he argued, will rely on powerful information technology and careful simulation of biological process by computers. Computers allow us to unlock the secrets of our DNA and offer the potential for personalised medicine. Kevin has used his knowledge to help him shape his current lifestyle and reduce his risk of illness in later life. If this is where we are now, what does the future hold for medicine? Hopefully, computers won’t decide that humans are too much effort!

Following Kevin, Brian Duffy entertained the club with an education session on how to deliver table topics. This is an area Brian is very interested in and most recently has represented Waverly Communicators at the Area 30 2011 Table Topic Contest. Table topics can be an area both visitors and guests are cautious of and Brian provided examples of four key points to alleviate the nerves: Preparation, delivery, content and timing.

Moira Beaton was Table Topics Master for the evening and asked a series of different questions of participants, with a twist! She challenged speakers to deliver their topic confidently and with a smile. Topics included: what would you want to change with a session of hypnotherapy?, what tips would you give Sweetie the panda at Edinburgh Zoo to attract the male panda Sunshine’s attention?, which sport would you represent in the Olympics?, Is luck something that happens to you or do we make our own luck?, and what would your New Year’s resolutions be as a new Prime Minister of Britain? Winning the Best Table Topics ribbon was Andrew Newman.

It was a very enjoyable evening and a great start to the year.

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If you haven’t already booked your place for the Burns Supper on Friday 27th January at the Royal Scots Club, Abercromby Place, Edinburgh, do it now! The cost per person is £25 for a three course meal including wine and entertainment. To book your place, please contact Duncan Thompson duncant7062@yahoo.co.uk.

A second date for your diary is Saturday 11th February when a day of workshops will be held covering exceptional evaluation, applying your Toastmaster’s skills to deliver results and speeches for competition. The cost per person is £10 including tea/coffee. For further information contact Eu Jin Teh at eugeen1983@yahoo.co.u

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