Hello Lovely Toasties,

Thank you for making our meetings so welcoming, supportive, and successful this year. You make the club what it is. And it is so good.

Tonight was up there with the best of them. We got to know each other a little more with an intro session run by Laura, which as you know is normally reserved for guests, but today everyone joined in. My goodness, the talent and the tea-loving! We’re in very good company.

Kiran was smooth as ever in her Toastmastering.
Jenny raised the bar with festive cards as our timer.

Sadiqa was our grammarian, taking the role for the first time (well done!), and offering us the word pellucid.

Georgina was our SAA keeping everything going behind the scenes, even when her connection was struggling – a beautiful reminder that we can adapt and improvise in the moment.
Jo and Sin shared their speeches with us, closing the year in fine fashion. They spoke with clarity, attention to detail, and careful pacing – Jo refining her previous speech, and Sin rhyming her additional one. 
They were evaluated by Katie and Shruti respectively, who drew our attention to the benefits of being able to look directly at the camera, working without notes where possible, removing disclaimers and apologies from commentary about our work, and enjoying the language we’re using.

Aga ran an inventive table topics session, using images, objects, and unusual situations to get our minds working differently. The answers were awesome and included:
Jo regaling us with zombie survival strategies
Shruti explaining why she had that picture in her wallet #thuglife
Esmé elucidating the odd sounds outside her windowSam raising a mug to (and our standards of) tea drinking
Sadiqa exploring a somewhat ambivalent relationship with her phone
Katie stunning the crowd with the use of the word herbacious
I announced the wrong person as the winner. Shruti won. (Sorry Esmé). Sometimes, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

Laura gave us useful evaluations, and invited us to consider being bolder with our physicality, the power of having clear starts and clear endings, and smiling when appropriate.

Everyone made an effort with the dress code – be it with zoom backgrounds, snow flake earrings, santa hats, glamming up the make up, or by dressing ourselves like xmas baubles. It was a close competition between Katie and Ailsa, and by the finest of tinsels, Katie won. The prize, beyond the glory of the moment, is a personalised planner (bearing the optimism that we might actually be able to plan next year).

We won’t talk about the travesty of taking the picture, we’ll just include it here…

Finally, we will have our next evaluation and speech contest in February 2021. So if you’re thinking you might like to compete then let us know and we’ll support you all the way. And we’ll be looking at running a joint meeting with another club in January to get to learn from more people. So, there’s lots more to come in 2021.

Have a safe and super holiday season. Looking forward to seeing you on 6th January.

All the best

Eve Parmiter

President, City Women Speakers

Toastmasters International