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!

Are you a witness or an observer?

After the usual preliminaries, John-Peter Gernaat had us totally confused regarding the difference between witnessing and observing something. These two words threaded their way through the entire meeting and, considering it was the first time John-Peter was Toastmaster for the evening, we admired his persistence. He certainly fulfilled the role with aplomb.

Keith Bowen’s Toast of the Evening to “Observing” was certainly in line with the theme of the evening (was that because he was called on to do it on the last minute??). In true Transformers fashion, the person who’d been least regular in their attendance at club meetings was asked to respond – sorry, Clarence, we have to make the most of you when we see you!

Keith also provided us with the word of the evening – “spectacle”, meaning a lavish public show or a ridiculous sight. I guess you can observe and witness a spectacle!! Poor Clarence was pounced on again to be substitute Timekeeper, but he did this, as usual, with a smile on his face.

The only remaining Prepared speech for the evening was a CC3 (“Getting to the point”), given by Ruth Taylor. She shared with us how she’d made the most of the opportunities she’d been given by the magazine she works for when sent to places like Dubai and Sun City. She’d ridden a camel, gone over sand dunes in a 4X4 and even sampled some hubbly bubbly while in Dubai, and she and her daughter had tried out the Zipslide in Sun City. However, during her trip to Disneyland Paris, she’d not attended the Premiere of the Hollywood Tower of Horror, something she regrets to this day. So don’t let life pass you by – “carpe diem!”

Mary Byrne’s competent handling of Table Topics resulted in us all being in stitches. John-Peter kicked off by telling us about the car accident he’d had. By glancing up at a drop of rain, he’d missed the sign marking a concealed driveway and then was distracted by the enormous pink bow sported by the occupant of the car that was being driven out of this driveway, resulting in an accident. Ruth swears blind she did not have a pink bow in her hair but was convinced that John-Peter could not take his eyes off her. Clarence, who’d been behind the driver of the first car, said the lady in the other car had been sporting a pink Afro. Keith, on the other hand, who’d been in his garden fixing the water system, said that due to his wife turning on the water when she shouldn’t have, water had spewed all over the place, and the driver of the first car obviously couldn’t see where he was going. Ruth had been busy tying her pink bow and hadn’t been looking where she was going so it was, in fact, her fault. PC Rod Taylor declared that the driver of the second car had called the police and had then offered him one drink after another, after another… and then it seemed that things got a bit hazy!

Keith was very strict in his Wordmaster/Grammarian feedback session, when he only credited Rod with ½ point for using “spectacle” to refer to glasses! As was to be expected, John-Peter had most usages of the word of the evening, and also walked away with the Best Contribution award. Keith’s waterworks speech gained him the Best Impromptu award.

Ryan Ebedes was congratulated in absentia for being nominated Best Club VPPR 2008/9 in District 74. Transformers’ website was nominated Best Club Website in 2008/9 in District 74 and, since Ryan is the webmaster, this was his second award for the year. Congratulations from all of us, Ryan – we’re proud of you!

Join us for our next meeting on 8 June 2009, when Parliamentary procedure will be in action at our AGM. This is when our club officers for the next Toastmasters year will be elected too. So if you want to know before anyone else who’s who in Transformers for 2009/10, be there!

Listen up Mr Pres

Transformers Toastmasters
Cheryl-Lynn takes the stage
Monday night saw two speakers take to the floor, both to present advanced speeches, but each on vastly differing manuals.

Jerry was first up with his entertaining speech about his run-in with the law, and confusion over who was actually driving that taxi...As it turned out it wasn't your ordinary taxi driver behind the wheel, but a policeman himself!


Transformers Toastmasters
Jerry and Ruth share a fun moment!
Rod then conducted a cold-calling session with Cheryl-Lynn for his advanced assignment from the Interpersonal manual. He attempted to sell her training courses on Human Resources but soon found that it wasn't all plain sailing when it comes to closing the deal!

As table-topics master for the evening, John-Peter chose a theme cleverly linked to the Presidential Inauguration. He asked participants to become another famous person and deliver a speech to the president on points that they felt he needed to hear.

Transformers Toastmasters
Glenice speaks as Cecil John Rhodes
John gave his speech as an inhabitant of Mapungubwe whilst Rod was Oom Paul Kruger.
Ruth entertained as Mahatma Ghandi whilst Mary went where no man (and presumably women) has gone before, as Dr Spock.
Cheryl-Lynn was Herbet Baker, whilst I told our new Pres the way things really were, as Cecil John Rhodes!

This weekened sees the annual District 74 conference taking place in the Kirstenbosch gardens in Cape Town. If you are planning to attend you are sure to be in for a wonderful time, with everything from special guest speakers to District Final Contests and, of course, good food. Our President Mary Byrne will be taking part in the Evaluation final and from all of us at the club Mary, we wish you the best!
Transformers Toastmasters
John speaks on behalf of Mapungubwe


Join us for our next meeting on the 25th of May.
As always, guests and visitors welcome!

Mary through to Final

Once again, our President Mary Byrne has advanced through to the District final in the Evaluation contest.
All the best for Cape Town Mary - we know you'll do us proud!