This meeting marked another first for me in my Toastmasters journey. It was my first meeting as President for City Women Speakers. I am excited about the next 11 months as we have a new & vibrant committee made up of 7 members, each of whom is bringing fresh ideas and great energy. Stay tuned for changes!
Simonetta was our Toastmaster for the evening with a meeting theme inspired by Sheryl Sandberg – “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” As Sim was battling a cold, we were afraid of spreading bugs so rather than the usual handshake greeting of speakers on and off the stage, we did a fist-pump which brought smiles to everyone’s faces. It’s good to mix things up.
We had two prepared speeches plus a table topics session.
One of our newest members, Nayeli, delivered her Icebreaker Speech, giving us a little insight into how to get on with a Latin American neighbour who has invited you to their party; don’t arrive on time as they won’t be ready for you, greet them with a kiss and get ready to party and dance all night long! We are ready, Nayeli – where is our party invitation?
Our second speech came from Veronica who opened with a question to the audience regarding our use of make-up. She challenged our reasons for why we apply products to our faces, making us aware of not only how bad cosmetics are on our environment (all the packaging) but also the harm done to the animals (product testing), and the potential long-term harm to our own health (all the nasty chemicals in the contents). Veronica closed her speech with a challenge us to go make-up free for a week and to see if we enjoyed the time-saving, money-saving, environment-saving and liberating effect.
The speeches were evaluated by Siobhán (Nayeli) and Katie (Veronica).
In the second half, our guests introduced themselves. It was surprising to discover that out of the 8 guests, 4 of them were from ‘not-for-profit’ organisations and another from a charity, 1 from the cyber security industry, one is a solicitor and one guest was visiting from other Toastmasters club. What a mix!
Esmé led us through a very entertaining impromptu speaking session (Table Topics) asking us to provide details on unusual job titles such as Head of Potatoes, Chief Happiness Officer for Animals at a local zoo, to Master Pet Food Taster.
I had the fun role of evaluating the Table Topic Speakers.
Our Timer, Eve, kept a close eye on the stopwatch, ringing the bell when a speaker went to the red-zone. Grammarian, Katie, kept a keen ear open for the use of good language, of which there was plenty, but despite the audience being incandescent with pleasure over the humour & originality of responses to the TT questions and Veronica being incandescent with her fervour regarding cosmetics, the Word of the Day was only used a couple of times.
As we only had two prepared speeches, we didn’t aware Best Speaker however Best Table Topics went to Aga and Best Evaluator to Katie.
Our next meeting is 7 August – please register your attendance on easySPEAK (members) or EventBrite (guests).