10 January 2013

Our Toastmaster of the Evening was Aideen O’Malley, sporting a plaster cast on her wrist. This was following a recent skiing accident, resulting in her New Year resolutions being put on hold.

Aideen O’Malley, Toastmaster

Aideen O’Malley, Toastmaster

Aideen reminded the audience of our new Toastmasters club in Livingston on 17 January and encouraged members to spread the word. Aideen asked anyone who is putting off their speeches to have a go, participation is the key to Toastmasters. Good advice all round!
Ritchie Brown was the Ah Counter for the evening, and Pauline Dix graciously stepped in as Timekeeper with a split-second’s notice. Moira Beaton, Distinguished Toastmaster, was our Wordmaster/Grammarian for the evening.
Aideen invited members and guests to reveal their New Year’s resolutions. Among the responses were: “to attend more Toastmasters meetings”, “to improve in public speaking”, “to live in Edinburgh for a year” and “to be a nicer person.”
Kevin McKay was our Invocator for the evening and provided a poignant proverb with “a green winter means a full kirkyard” and encouraged us to listen to personal stories to enable us to learn from the past.
Delivering their first Icebreaker speeches were two new members, Alex and Patrick Bundy. Alex’s speech was entitled ‘Eating an Elephant in One Bite’, she told us about a difficult career decision made last year. Alex captivated the audience with a humorous account of her dilemma, before delighting (and inspiring!) us with her new plans. She encouraged the audience to break down problems and use ‘worry-time’ effectively. We wish her well on her new adventure and look forward to hearing all about her travels when she returns to the club, no doubt sporting a suntan, later this year.

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Patrick Bundy

Patrick, in his speech entitled ‘Gourmand or Gourmet’, entertained us with anecdotes based on his love of fine food and loathing of bad dining. He described two meals he had experienced, both of which were memorable for different reasons. Patrick explained that his love of good food stretched back to childhood when he enjoyed meals in the south of France.
David Dick delivered the final speech of the evening, entitled ‘The good friend I have never met’. This was his sixth speech from the Competent Communicators Manual which focuses on vocal variety. David delivered an amusing account of email exchanges he had had with an eccentric pen-friend acquired during a house-swap. After negotiating various contentious pre-holiday issues including burglar alarms, cat-sitting arrangements and newspaper deliveries, David enjoyed a wonderful holiday in California.

David Dick

David Dick

Club Business

Brian Duffy, Club President, commended the two ice-breaker speakers, and presented them with their Toastmaster ribbons. Brian also presented Paul Bailey with a certificate for completion of the Competent Communicators Manual. Well done Alex, Patrick and Paul!

Paul Bailey

Paul Bailey, Competent Communicator

Burns Supper – there was a reminder to everyone of the approaching Burns’ Supper event on 24th January. We are looking for volunteers for speaking roles on the night, including poetry readings.

International Speech and Evaluation contest 21st March – all members who have completed six or more speeches are encouraged to enter this fun event. Please contact Stephen Dix, Vice President of Membership, for speaking roles/contest information.

After a doughnut enhanced tea break, it was time for Table Topics, chaired by Graeme Buck. Graeme’s topics related to song lyrics and song writing and were designed to help the creative juices flow.

Graeme read out a line from a well- known (and some not so well-known) songs from the last five decades and invited speakers to explain the inspiration behind the lyrics. Lyrics included “In the blink of an eye, I was falling from the sky”, “How could you believe me when I said I loved you when you know I have been a liar all my life?”. Table Topic Best Speaker Ribbon went to Kevin Miller for his convincing explanation that existential angst was behind his penning “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you…”

Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller, Best Table Topic

Paul Bailey rounded the evening off perfectly with his general evaluation of the meeting, during which he neatly summed up the smiling faces and jovial atmosphere which had pervaded the room all night – people enjoying themselves at Toastmasters!
Written by Kirsty Urquhart, Member Waverley Communicators
Edited & Posted by Kirsten McKenzie, VPPR

“Special thanks to Kirsty Urquhart for providing the blog content“

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