It was a great turnout for the meeting, and I was really pleased to see most of you. Thank you for all your support.

The meeting had a different format compared to our usual Toastmaster meeting. It started with a 40-mins Pathways teach-in session, which was followed by two prepared speeches & evaluations, and ended with a brief discussion on the club transition. There was no table topics session. Thanks to Esmé for leading us through the evening as Toastmaster with the perfectly matched theme “Change for the Better”.

Sayara, one of our past presidents and an experienced Toastmasters member, is the Pathways ambassador for our Area. With the Pathways programme due to roll out on 20 March, there is certainly a lot we need to learn. If you were not at the meeting, don’t worry. In the next few weeks, the club committee will work closely with Sayara to come up with ways to engage and support you through the transition from CC / CL / ACB manuals to Pathways. More announcements will follow.

For the prepared speeches session, Marianna was first up with her project #6 in the Competent Communication manual “Vocal Variety”, with the speech entitled “Goals, Strengths, Dreams / Desires”. In the 7 minute speech, Marianna shared with us a framework that helps set up goals in 2018. This involves an understanding of your Goals, Strengths and Dreams & Desires. It was very informative, and she even asked us to do some exercise during the speech!

With the teach-in session on Pathways and Marianna’s educational-style speech on the goal setting, followed with another educational speech entitled “Introduction to Fintech”. In the speech, I gave a quick run-through on blockchain, data analytics & artificial intelligent and why we should embrace fintech in 2018 if we haven’t already done so. Remember, embracing doesn’t mean you need to accept all fintech ideas, instead, it means following, observing, identifying risks & opportunities and preparing yourself to use it wisely.

By now, you probably could understand that, with three educational presentations, we were “crying” for a break. Therefore, we decided to only briefly discuss the club transition and voted on a few operational matters to allow the club committee to progress, but deferred the main items, i.e. the club name and value, to our next meeting on 7th Feb.

Thanks again for your attendance, and it would be great to see you again at our next meeting. The club name and value are certainly two of the most important matters for the club. The value states the obvious itself, whilst the name should deliver the message on our value, so they are interlinked. Again, the vote on the club name and value will require a majority vote from active members.An email on the voting and the agenda for the next meeting will follow shortly. Please, could you kindly confirm your attendance for the next meeting on EasySpeak. If you can’t attend the meeting, your view and ideas are also very welcome, though you won’t be able to vote as it requires people to be present at the meeting. 

Thank you to our evaluators Shola, Ailsa, our grammarian Zhenzhen for providing the word of the day Empower and to our timekeeper Ailsa & Jane.  Special thanks to Ailsa and Jane for stepping up and taking the timekeeper role with last minute notice.

As we only had two speakers and two evaluators, we didn’t vote for the Best Speaker and Best Evaluator.

As always, we had guests; Ellen Richardson, Maud Cuenin and Fozia Jelani. This meeting was more relevant to members, but we do hope we could see you again in one of our normal meetings to get a better feel and have full benefits of the meeting as much as we do. We will get in touch with you to arrange for a separate visit.