Of ghosts and desert islands

Transformers Toastmasters Club has a new committee. At a well attended dinner, the newly inducted Division Governor for Division H, David Preece, released the outgoing committee under the presidency of Mary Burne

Transformers Toastmasters
Mary Burne, outgoing Club President
from their duties and asked each member of the incoming committee to commit to the duties of the role they were taking on.
Transformers Toastmasters
Ruth Taylor, Club President 2009/10
The new committee under Ruth Taylor was then ceremoniously presented to the members of the club at table. Witnessing the induction were the immediate past Division H Governor, Graham Nicholls, and new Area Governor for Area H3, Andrew Timberlake.

Why Area H3, when the club falls into Area H2? With the close of the Toastmasters year, Areas within Division H (NE Johannesburg and Malawi) have been shuffled again as a result of the formation of new clubs during 2008/9. The Area into which Transformers falls is now no longer H2 but, once again, H3 as before the last shuffle.

The induction dinner on Monday, 13 July, took place at Mike’s Kitchen in Parktown, in an upper room. We were made comfortable in the upper room after our outgoing Sergeant at Arms, Rod Taylor, successfully had us extricated from the passageway to the bathrooms.

Transformers Toastmasters
The dinner table
No sooner were we seated, than our immediate past Division Governor announced that the room we were in was haunted by a ghost. The most ghostly occurrence of the evening was our diligent waitress upending a glass of Horlicks all over the floor, narrowly missing the lap of Ele Mandavha, our new Secretary.

Being the start of things new – a new Toastmasters year and a new committee – Keith offered a toast opportunity as the evening got underway. As this was both a more formal and more social occasion than our regular meetings, no prepared speeches were presented. Our Toastmaster for the evening, Ryan Ebedes, conducted a round of table topics or impromptu speeches in the form of a story that each successive speaker had to continue. Ryan sketched a situation of a scientist on a tiny desert island with a palm tree, two coconuts and a PanAm flight crash landing into the sea within sight. Five entertaining speeches took this scenario and had the scientist turn the palm tree into a raft in preparation for an escape, as explained by Keith, only to have the sea turn into a pond of hungry sharks. Graham discovered that he had better uses for the raft than to escape when a beautiful female passenger from the PanAm flight swan to the island. John-Peter, being gay, found a better use for the mermaid by sending her off in the leaky raft that had sharp spikes in the bottom guaranteed to cause bleeding and attract the sharks away from his escape route to a life raft, only to see the life raft up-ended by a surfacing whale. Lerato decided that the man-eating sharks and whales were certainly a dream and roused herself to catch a flight back to Johannesburg, but found herself staring at the Eiffel Tower when the plane landed. Nchabeng rescued the scientist and brought us all safely to the main course of the dinner.

Transformers Toastmasters
Division H Governor, David Preece
The formalities of inducting the new committee with speeches by the Division Governor and incoming President were conducted between the main course and dessert.

After dessert, we learned of member’s personal achievements in the last weeks: Ryan received the club award for Toastmaster of the Year for 2008/9, due to his sterling work as Vice-president Public Relations (VPPR) that resulted in him having been awarded Best Club VPPR and Best Club Website in District 74.

Transformers Toastmasters
Toastmaster of the 2008/9, Ryan Ebedes, receiving his trophy
Ele sported her new engagement ring, while Rod had achieved the Advanced Leader Silver award.

Underlying the pomp of the evening and the joys of socialising is the important task of Toastmasters in offering a valuable adult education programme in effective public speaking.

Join us for our next meeting back at the Uniglobe offices on Monday 27 July, at 18h00 for 18h30. We welcome guest and visitors.

Visit our committee page to view your new team for the Transformers Commitee 2009/2010!

Parktown Induction dinner

Join us on the 13th of July for our 2009/2010 committee induction dinner.
Meals for your own account.
All guests and visitors welcome!

An award of distinction

Transformers Toastmasters
Ruth receives Toastmasters'
highest honour!
Monday's meeting saw Transformers award Toastmasters' highest honour to one of the stalwarts of the club. Ruth Taylor received her Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) certification from Club President Mary, as well as a resounding round of applause from those present. Before I give my thoughts on this, let's take a look back at the two prepared speeches and impromptus that preceded this.

Jerry once again wowed, and in some cases confused, us all with his entertaining speech about dreams and explosions. The golden rule in speaking is to never be boring, something Jerry most certainly never is! Thankfully the lead character in his story, Joe, survived, but as for the rest of them, well, I'm unfortunately still not sure! But an entertaining speech nonetheless, and another one under the belt.
Transformers Toastmasters
Rod captures the essence
of volunteers
Rod gave us feedback on one of the projects in his High Performance Leadership program, and it was certainly interesting to hear what works, and what doesn't, when trying to get voluntary information from others. "Be nice!" seemed to be a good place start!

Ruth then took control as Table Topics master, and asked everyone to define or describe some rather unusual words. Some of them seemed rather exotic indeed, with examples such as "Hakim", "Pogee" and "Woad" making it onto the list.
Transformers Toastmasters
Nchabeng defines Hakim
A few members did manage to get their definitions right, but for some strange reason it's always the total failures that entertain us the most..

As mentioned above, Ruth was awarded her DTM at the end of the meeting, and from all of us at the club Ruth, our hearty congratulations. It's something every Toastmaster should strive for, and achievements of this calibre, so close to home, provide wonderful milestones for the rest of us. Well done!

Join us for our next meeting on the 13th of July.
Guests and visitors welcome!

Court is in session - don't try me..

Transformers Toastmasters
Nchabeng shines in Ice Breaker
Yesterday's court proceedings were one for the books, as various participants came to the fore to deliver their facts and opinions on the case at hand..
If you have no idea how a court session might fit into a Toastmasters meeting, then sit tight..

Before that took place, Transformers welcomed Nchabeng to the stage to deliver his CC1 ice breaker.
It always fascinates me to see how people relate their stories to a Toastmasters group, but invariably the most exciting are those where the speaker adds a certain psychological twist to the speech. And this is what made this ice breaker shine. Nchabeng's story, entitled "I am James", was a journey through his childhood in Kathlehong, with fond memories of his father. It evidently took him some time to accept that he was no longer his father, James, but himself, and that to succeed he had to find his own path. We get many stories for a CC1 but when they are as thought provoking as this, they etch themselves in our memories - well done Nchabeng!
Transformers Toastmasters
John-Peter's speech was just as well prepared and executed. He presented his CC3 entitled "Why I am afraid of spiders!"
After a rough ride down memory lane on his bicycle, where a number of falls occurred, he then explained how an incident with one of his relatives forced him to realise that spiders aren't as friendly as he'd made them out to be. How did we ever let our relatives dictate our lives! A thoroughly deserved Best Speaker award soon followed.
Clarence was outstanding, and took home the most improved speaker award for his speech on the new Bus Rapid Transport System. His speaking skills improve significantly with every speech and this CC4 was exciting, well executed, and had all of us in the palm of his hand.
Transformers Toastmasters
Clarence delivers the BRT
Rod, using outstanding debating and negotiating skills, negotiated with me for a higher salary, and a Mercedes Benz C300 to boot. Clearly he has a highly developed skill in this arena, since, well, he got it! Questions from the floor indicated it was probably not as realistic a negotiating session as would be expected in the real world, but at least it was good practice!

Then, it was into the court room...for table topics...and here was the scenario:

Glenice owned a farm in the Klein Karoo, and had accused Jerry of stealing one of her prized Springboks. This required various witnesses and private investigators, and the drama unfolded as follows:

Glenice, stated her case against Jerry, clearly implicating him in the theft of her Springbok.
Nchabeng, as Jerry's best mate, stepped up to defend him. He confirmed they did enjoy hunting trips and biltong together, but that the accused was certainly not a venison thief.
Ruth, as chief witness for the prosecution told how she noticed strange goings on between the fences of the two farms on the night of the alleged crime.
Keith then stepped up as the Private Investigator for the accused, and provided new evidence in the form of a new disease, called Springbok Lame Leg Disease. This was clearly the cause of Glenice's missing Springbok.
Mary, as chairperson of the small book club in town gave us the "inside info" on the real culprit behind the crime. Unfortunately her 'evidence' was struck from the roll as 'simple hearsay' when Chief Judge Rod issued his verdict later in the proceedings.
Jerry then stepped in to defend himself, and seemed to indicate that he may have had some part to play in the loss of the animal.
But the verdict?

NOT GUILTY!

Transformers held it's Annual General Meeting directly afterwards and the new officer positions will be announced shortly...Watch this space!

Join us on the 22nd for our next meeting.
Guests and visitors welcome!