Meeting Theme: Top Temptations and Top Tips for Focus
Word of the Day: Diversity/Diverse
President’s Message for the club​: Improve your feedback and tell our speakers where they can improve.

We are a strong and thriving club, however, feedback that I receive as President indicates that we aren’t providing sufficient feedback to our experienced speakers on where they could ‘up their game’.

Rightly so, our feedback to new & inexperienced members focuses on things they did well so as to bolster their confidence, with just one or two recommendations on ‘quick win’ improvements they could try to incorporate next time. Our experienced speakers need to hear what they did well too – but more important for many of them is to hear where they can focus their attention next time. What is the one thing that would significantly enhance how their messages lands? Could they use more vibrant language? Could they bring their speech to life with more stage movement? Do their hand gestures distract and detract from the message?

This feedback should still be given in a manner that cultivates one’s confidence – it is an observation & a suggestion, not a criticism.

Providing thoughtful evaluations is key feature of Toastmasters and it is a skill that can be transferred to all walks of life, both personal and professional, friends and families. Let’s ensure that our feedback is diverse and that we don’t just focus on the positives – identify opportunities for growth as well.

Meeting Summary;
Ailsa was the Toastmaster for the evening, leading us through the meeting with her usual energetic and enthusiastic style. She asked the speakers and role-holders in advance for an insight into a guilty pleasure of theirs and what tips they could share with the club on how they remain focused. See some snippets of these at the end of this note.

Dena delivered Who is your Role Model? This was her Icebreaker speech which has the objective of introducing herself to the club and letting us learn a little bit about her. The audience were captivated by her story of who she chose as her two role models; Dr Catherine Hamlin and Charles Darwin, and why they continue to motivate her to this day.

Anastasia​’s speech was titled ​The Journey that Matters​ and she told us about Momo who has inspired her with his mindset of ​life has happened ‘for him’​ rather ​than ‘to him’​ and how this has helped her over the years.

With ​Rough Night​? Kiran spoke on the time she slept ‘rough’ raising funds for the City’s homeless and shared some of the main factors to the UK’s increasing numbers of rough sleepers. Kiran alerted us to some uncomfortable aspects to the Vagrancy Act before suggestion a few potential solutions.

The speeches were evaluated by ​me, (Carrie) Aga and Emma​ respectively. Our newest member, ​Georgina​, was our ​Timer​, Rowena was our ​Grammarian​.

In the second half of the meeting, our ​Table Topics Master, Eve​, asked for Volunteers (with a threat of ‘Voluntolds’ if none were forthcoming) to deliver impromptu 1-2 minute speeches. Over the next 10 -15 minutes we heard from Kiran, Emma, Laura and two of our guests, Demelza and Andrea on subjects such as ‘the best door I’ve ever walked through’ and ‘childhood heroes’ to ‘the thing I notice about the world’. The TT’s were evaluated by ​Siobhán​.

Best Speaker: Anastasia
Best Evaluator: Emma
Best Table Topic: Andrea
Icebreaker Ribbon: Dena
First Role Award: Georgina

A selection of ​Guilty Pleasures/Time Wasters​ from those at the meeting:

  • Surfing/Searching /Scrolling through Social Media and Sites
  • Reading anything (even the back of the cornflake packet) rather than tackling the tasks
  • Roasted Salted Cashew Nut cravings
  • Speciality Tea-Bags
  • Procrastination

Top Tips to Stay Focused:

  • Keep you phone out of sight
  • Turn off phone notifications
  • The Pomodoro Technique
  • Be in the present and focus on that one thing

Book Recommendations​:

  • Deep Work by Cal Newport
  • Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy
  • Indistractable by Nir Eval
  • A Kellogg’s cornflake packet

Please click here for details of our next club meeting

Carrie Gow