First Waverley Communicators Meeting of 2014

YorkPlace_barIf you weren’t at the first club meeting of 2014 in our new venue at the 28 York Place Hotel, you missed yourself.

When the hotel told us that our room was booked that evening and we would have to hold the meeting in a smaller room, we didn’t expect it to be quite as small.

That’s why at the start of the meeting there were thirty-five people crammed into a room the size of a large cupboard, some standing, some sitting on the floor.

But as ever, Waverley members rose to the occasion and, in the first half, we had role introductions; an invocation; three speeches; three evaluations and club business.

When the TME, Duncan Thompson announced the break, we gathered up the guests and our equipment and, with seamless efficiency, moved down the corridor into our new venue (the proper room) in time for tea and coffee.

The hotel staff were friendly and helpful and realising our predicament, managed to turn the room around in just under ten minutes.

By the end of the break club members had put up the banner, arranged the lectern, had tea, eaten all the biscuits and were ready for the second half.

After a round of Table Topics and the roleplayers reports, we ended the meeting and some of us moved upstairs to the hotel’s cosy bar which we had to ourselves.

The slight glitch with the room obviously didn’t put the guests off as three who were at the meeting, two for the first time, have now joined.

The last time we had to think on our feet and act quickly was a few years ago when we could not hold the meeting in our usual venue, the Central Library, because of a power cut.

Fortunately, it was the middle of summer, so we walked down to the Meadows and held the meeting there.

The ‘stage’ was a tree stump, the seating was the grass. We conducted a full two-hour meeting, much to the amusement and amazement of the cyclists, walkers, dog owners and random assortment of people taking advantage of an unusually warm and dry summer evening in Edinburgh.

Our next meeting is on 23rd January at 7pm in the 28 York Place Hotel (directions here) downstairs in the Milne Room (the big one). We hope to see you there.

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM

Vice President Public Relations

Waverley Communicators Christmas Meeting


Santa visits Waverley Communicators

For those who were not at the meeting on 12th December, as we say in Scotland, ‘ you missed yourself’.

In the first half of the meeting, we had 2 speeches and 2 evaluations which meant we were able to fit in several Table Topics.

The second half of the meeting was the traditional Christmas party. Members and guests had a chance to meet, chat, eat, drink and relax.

Thanks to the members who brought snacks and homebaking. And, of course, thanks to the members who brought the drinks.

Everyone had a good time and here is the evidence:


Eileen and Santa


Kevin and Talisker – cheers!


Kylie talking to Paul


Patrick and Graeme

Duncan's famous sultana cake

Duncan’s famous sultana cake

Paul talking to a guest

Paul talking to a guest

Gopal and Kevin being very serious

Gopal and Kevin being very serious

Eileen explains to Louise why she believes Santa Claus exists

Eileen explains to Louise why she believes Santa Claus exists

Duncan tells Aideen a joke

Duncan tells Aideen a joke

Club Meeting 3rd October 2013

Twenty-two members and ten guests attended our meeting yesterday evening.

 P1050253Louise Kirk was our Toastmaster of the Evening, helped by her team of role-players:

P1050258Timer (Gopal Lama), Ah Counter (Graeme Buck) and Wordmaster/Grammarian (Ross McCallum).

P1050265P1050261The Jokemaster is like the warm-up act, the bridge between the introductions and the main speeches. P1050264Duncan Thompson told us a joke about Chinese Juice and although the punch line induced a few groans from the audience, Duncan’s delivery and comic timing was spot on.


Patrick Bundy’s Dismal Railway Journeys of Scotland (CC4 – Mind Your Language) was more a catalogue of disasters that seem to befall Patrick whenever he travels by train – and that’s just in Scotland.


Alex Nuth, also delivering her CC4 began even before the meeting using alliteration and a triad in her title – Bed Sock, Bike lights and Blackberries.  Alex took us on a descriptive, nostalgic trip through autumn, blackberry picking (and eating), and jam making.


Brian Duffy evaluated Patrick’s speech; and Moira Beaton evaluated Alex’s speech.


P1050263After the break, Table Topics Master Richard McMahon claimed to have been looking at our diaries. Each topic began with ‘Dear Diary, today I woke up and…’  which gave members and guests scope to flex their imaginations and tell personal stories.


Zahra Yarosan gave a balanced evaluation of each speaker and awarded the Best TT ribbon to Duncan Thompson.


General Evaluator, Ritchie Brown, evaluated the whole evening and offered a few suggestions for improvement.


Club Business was conducted by the President Kevin Miller who congratulated the three club members, Moira Beaton, Eileen Scott and Paul Bailey for representing the club at the recent Area 30 Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests in Linlithgow. Kevin also announced that Moira and Eileen would go to the next round, Division S Contest, in Dundee on 13th October, and invited everyone to attend to support them. He also invited members, who have not renewed their membership, to pay their six monthly dues to the Treasurer, Ross McCallum.


Competent Communicator – Kevin Miller

Congratulations to Kevin Miller who achieved his Competent Communicator award at the last 2012/2013 club meeting on Thursday evening.

All members who achieve awards, especially the first award of Competent Communicator (CC), are an inspiration to other members.

They know first-hand the dedication it takes to reach that goal – going to meetings, preparing speeches, delivering the speeches and being evaluated by the other members.

Not only will attending regular meetings help members to progress but they will also inspire other members with advice on how to reach that goal, the coveted CC.

Kevin delivered his 10th speech on Thursday – Dare To Be Happy.

The objectives of the speech are to “Inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives, challenge the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement; Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama”

Kevin certainly achieved all the objectives, and more.

It was a heartfelt and brave speech, and it’s a testament to the club that Kevin felt he was with good friends, and comfortable enough to share his topic in public for the first time.


Post written by Moira Beaton DTM, VPPR

Club Meeting 18th October 2012

The second evening in our new venue, Old St Paul’s in Jeffrey Street, got off to a prompt start when TME, David Dick, banged the gavel at precisely 7pm.

New members, Patrick Bundy and Fiona Savage, were given their first roles as Ah Counter and Timer respectively, and Graeme Buck took to the stage as Wordmaster /Grammarian with his word of the day anathema

Ross McCallum was the Jokemaster with a very funny joke about a preacher, his wife and 3 eggs, and if you want to know the punchline, contact Ross – my lips are sealed. 

Ritchie Brown

Ritchie Brown was the first speaker and in his CC4 speech – Three Delectable Delights of Singapore –  took us on a tour of some of his favourite spots in Singapore.  Ritchie’s speech was evaluated by Linda White, a guest from Trojan Speakers in London. 

Johanne Burns


Johanne Burns, also delivering a CC4 speech – Night Night – told us a story about a child, a dream, and her grandma.  Pauline Dix evaluated Johanne’s speech. 

Moira Beaton

I tackled the first project in the Speciality Speeches manual, Impromptu Speeches. I had to give my evaluator Eileen Scott, 5 speech topics I thought I could speak on and she had to choose one at random. The first time I heard my topic was when the TME, David Dick announced it. I was relieved to hear the title Setting Up A Blog. 

If you are an advanced speaker who has become too comfortable in your speaking, I heartily recommend this project.  

After the break, Brian Duffy, in his role of  Table Topics Master solicited some advice about furnishing his new 3 storey townhouse.  Brian was advised to install wooden floors, a futuristic entertainment room, a self-cleaning bathroom in the form of the sea (not too bizarre as he lives in Prestonpans), and a luxury bedroom scented with candles from The White Shop. 

Kevin Mackay evaluated the Table Topics and awarded the Best Table Topic ribbon to Alex N, one of our guests who had weighed up the pros and cons of living in the town or country. The town won. 

Duncan Thompson evaluated the evening in his role as General Evaluator. 

After the meeting, some of the members and guests go to a local bar for a nightcap or two. It seems we have settled on one not too far from the new venue and it’s aptly named The Waverley Bar in St Mary’s Street.  When I was looking for the address I came across this link which gives you an idea of the bar’s extensive history. To give you a taster, the review begins Don’t be fooled by its somewhat disheveled appearance – The Waverley Bar is a bit of an Edinburgh institution.   Read more at  

The next meeting is on 1st November.  Hope to see you there.   

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM, Vice President Public Relations