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.


Area 30 Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest 2012

Our two Waverley contestants at the Area 30 contest on 30th September were Pauline Dix, Humorous Speech contestant and Moira Beaton who was runner up in the Table Topics contest.

Moira Beaton and Kevin Lee

Congratulations to Jim Boyd, winner of the Humorous Speech contest.

Jim Boyd and Kevin Lee

and to Steve Priddle-Higson, winner of the Table Topics contest.

Steve Priddle-Higson and Kevin Lee with Medha de Alwis

Both Jim and Steve are members of Linlithgow Speakers and will represent Area 30 at the Division E contest at Donnington Park racecourse on 21st October.

Medha de Alwis

Medha de Alwis , Area 30 Assistant Governor, chaired the contest with grace and enthusiasm, and Gerry Dunn, President of Glasgow Toastmasters was Chief Judge.

Kevin Lee, Area 30 Governor, presented the awards and gave the vote of thanks at the end.

Kevin Lee

It was one of the most enjoyable Area contests I have been to and it was a chance to catch up with Toastmaster friends in the other Area 30 clubs as well as meet new ones.

The next Area 30 contest – the International Speech and Evaluation contest, will be hosted by Waverley Communicators in Edinburgh.  The date has yet to be confirmed but it will probably be around March or April 2013.

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM, Vice President Public Relations

A Toastmasters Journey – Neil MacLure

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM, Vice President Public Relations

This series of  ‘Toastmasters Journeys’ is meant to help, inspire, amuse and give courage to those who are setting out on their own journey, or those who have been on the journey and have faltered along the way and need picking up. 

Neil MacLure delivering his ACB speech


Neil MacLure ACB CL has been a member of Toastmasters for 12 years. He was a member of  Capital Communicators in Edinburgh until 2009 when he co- founded Waverley Communicators with Moira Beaton. 

Here is his story:

My Journey

It has taken me more than a few years to get to Advanced Communicator Bronze, mainly because in my early years I  put a lot of effort into leadership roles at the expense of making progress in my own speaking.

When my duties were eventually over, I even considered not renewing my membership. I  became  a sometime member instead of a regular member.  

Then I read an article by the international president  Michael Notaro in the September 2011 Toastmaster about building a better personal brand.

“Are you a a reliable consistent Toastmaster?” he asked. 

No I wasn’t.

He went on   “nothing kills a brand like sporadic  bursts of activity interspersed with extended absences” .

I  realised then that I  was only  letting myself down. So I began to attend the meetings more regularly.

At the same time my good friend Eu Jin Teh challenged me to complete my Advanced Communicator Bronze by June 2012. It was the push I needed and I am grateful for that degree of caring in Toastmasters.

The Bronze Award

I found every speech project from the Entertaining Speech and Storytelling manuals challenging in that they all had different goals requiring a specific approach, i.e. specific type of content  or style of speaking.

None of them were particularly comfortable to prepare and my mentor Moira had to keep me on  track in line with the project objectives and away from my comfortable track where I  was prone to wander.

It has been a satisfying journey. I have learned new skills and it has reinforced, for me, the power of maintaining a mentor relationship throughout the journey.

What is next for me?

My next two manuals are Interpretative Reading and Speciality Speeches.

I know I still have basic issues to deal with, such as poor voice varaition, even after being a member for 12 years and I am considering redoing some of my earlier speech projects in an attempt to polish these up.

Guest Blog Post: The Lexophile

Guest post written by Paul Bailey, member of Waverley Communicators

Paul Bailey

When you are cheesed off with the rain, become a lexophile ( a lover of words) and have some fun.

After all laughing & chuckling are good for your health.

There is a veritable cornucopia of websites to enjoy.

For instance the Uxbridge English Dictionary defines words merely for a laugh, e.g bipolar – “ a bear who is all grizzly one moment and all white the next”.

If you like puns go to

 “Don’t join dangerous cults: practice safe sects.”

“Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.”

“Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.”

Even better is a site which has a variety of fun

Here you can find oxymorons like military intelligence,  …..or cockney slang like having a butchers  (from butcher’s hook = look), or using your loaf ( loaf of bread = head).

Palindromes (words or phrases reading the same backwards) are great fun.

“You can cage a swallow can’t you, but you can’t swallow a cage , can you?”

Anagrams are best when the anagram relates to the original word.

Therefore to say that Eric Clapton was a narcoleptic is quite clever but unfortunately not true.  

What about Monica Lewinsky Nice Silky Woman ?

Or for Madonna Louise Ciccone, you have a choice – “One cool dance musician” or “Occasional nude income”, both very appropriate.  

Go to this site and waste hours making up your own anagrams :  

For a start you can type in “President Clinton of the USA” and see what you get.

Malapropisms –  Dan Quale, noted for his spelling of  “potatoe” made this unfortunate statement when extolling family values:

“Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.”

Similes can be fun, but this one makes me cringe:

I recall a teacher writing on the reports when I was a schoolboy “Works with the speed of a crippled snail.” 

I like this one: “Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.” 

Or this nonsense makes me chuckle “John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.”

Acronyms are words made up of initial letters like SCUBA diver (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus).

Online dating needs acronyms.

You might know what a YUPPIE is (Young Urban Professional), but a SINBAD is less obvious – “Single Income, No Boyfriend, Absolutely Desperate.” 

George Bush in his innocence used to refer to the War on terror as “The War Against Terror” but this was swiftly changed.

David Cameron should have brushed up on his acronyms when he texted “lol” (laugh out loud) to Rebekah Brooks, thinking it meant “lots of love” but  it was even more embarassing for the chap who wrote on a sympathy card –

“So sorry to hear your mum has passed away – lol”.

Witty quotations can bring a smile and Stephen Fry is rapidly became the modern Oscar Wilde for witticisms. 

“Education is the sum of what students teach each other between lectures and seminars.”

He is said to have attended just 2 lectures in his 3 years at Cambridge and you can find more of his quotes at

Also, a new series of Fry’s English Delight begins on Thursday morning at 9am & 9.30 pm on BBC Radio 4. 

So become a lexophile, have fun with words and bring a smile to your face after a hard day at work.

Video: Table Topics Tips

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM, Vice President Public Relations

Whether you are thinking of entering the Table Topics Contest on Thursday 6th September or just want to improve your Table Topics skills, here’s what you need – a simple  ‘how to’ guide.

Lorna Slater is a past member of both Waverley Communicators and, before that, Capital Communicators. She has won both the club’s Table Topics Contest and the Humorous Speech contest.

We persuaded her to show us how she considers, constructs and delivers Table Topics with such apparent ease in the short space of 2 minutes. The secret? She has a method.

She shared this method with the club in an education session and delivered it again at Capital Communicators so that it could be recorded. 

The video is in 2 parts because of the Youtube time restrictions – Part 1 is 6 minutes and Part 2 is 10 minutes. 

And , if you have any feedback on the videos, on Table Topics in general, or any tips that would help members, please leave them in the Comments box.