Dear Members,

 Our meeting this week was a reminder of why it is good to stretch the boundaries of our comfort zones and to mix things up from time to time.   The meeting was held in Conference Rooms 1 & 2 – a much wider space than our usual Board Room, with the chairs laid out theatre style instead of chairs around the large oval Board Room table.

 The reason for the change?

 It was the night of our Humorous Speech Contest and Table Topics Contest therefore a less ‘corporate’ and a more ‘jovial’ atmosphere was called for, plus we had to accommodate a larger audience.

 As I opened the meeting, I quickly realised that I would have to change my usual stance &  stage position as the room was wider than I am accustomed to. Not only would I need to move around more, I would also need to make more obvious eye contact with the audience who were occupying a larger space and I would have to project my voice differently to my ‘norm’.   I felt a pang of empathy for our contestants and Contest Chairs as they too would have to take these things into account, stretching the boundaries of their comfort zones, more than they were already doing simply by taking part in the contest.

After leading us through a short table topic session to warm up the audience’s mirth-muscle, I handed the stage over to Katie, the Contest Chair so that she could kick-off the Humorous Contest.

  • Eve adopted a ‘David Attenborough’ tone as she talked us through two diametrically opposite approaches animals use to attract mates, before throwing in a 3rd option, which gave food for thought
  • Emma shared her concern for Zog, an archaeologist from the year 2219 as he dug through the artefacts of 2019, bewildered by our use of emoji’s and selfies
  • Jo acted out receiving phone calls & texting messages while driving; then made us aware of the risks of accidents & incurring penalties if we do this in real life
  • Kiran provided insight to the compromises one is forced to make (or not) when cohabiting with a loved one

 After a break for wine and nibbles, our Table Topics Contest Chair, Zori challenged the TT contestants (Lynn, Jane, Eve & Kiran) to dig deep and find an optimistic perspective of being hit with bankruptcy, which they did with great aplomb.  More networking took place while the Counters and Chief Judge were out of the room, tallying up the judges ballots.  At last, the winners were announced!!

 Humorous Speech Contest:

1st : Kiran

2nd: Eve

Table Topics Contest:

1st : Eve

2nd: Jane

Next Steps:

The winners have earned their place at the Area Contest on 29 October but as Kiran is unable to attend the event, Eve, as runner-up in the Humorous Contest and winner of the Table Topics Contest, will represent our club in both contests.  The winner from that contest, will represent Area L56 at the Division L Contest on 23 November

 Please check your diary and if possible, come along to both of these contests and support your club/support your Area.   Remember: a) there will be lots of laughter as the contestants are delivering humorous speeches and b) get out of your comfort zone, stretch your boundaries and mix & mingle with Toastmaster from other clubs.

 A big THANK YOU to:

–          Contest Chairs: Katie and Zori for organising the event and running the evening

–          Contestants: Kiran, Eve, Emma, Jo, Jane, Lynn

–          Counters: Laura and Rossana

–          Timers: Amina & Sin

–          SAA: Rowena & JT

–          Photographer: Aga

–          Judges: (anonymous)

–          Food & Beverages: Zori & Anju

–          Calligraphy: Laura

–          Audience: You know who you are!

Carrie Gow