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!

The Minister of

Transformers Toastmasters
Explicate - Word of the evening
Transformers' table topics was taken to a new level on Monday when Mary, on the eve of the election, took control of the session and asked all participants/ministers to explain their new portfolio..

Before the new political posts where explicated, (which incidentally was Jerry's word of the evening), John-Peter breezed through his CC2 entitled "Laughter, the best medicine".
Transformers Toastmasters
Clarence, our Minister of Wildlife
Taking great care to provide all the facts and figures to back up his argument, he explained the scientific processes behind some of our bodies reactions during the fight or flight response, and how laughter can help.
Keith's CC5 covered the history of voting, from the States to Britain to New Zealand. Democracy is indeed still young and using his superb informational style he related a number of stats relevant to global elections of the past - a thoroughly enjoyable and informative presentation.

Transformers Toastmasters
John-Peter delivers as Minister of Gardening
The impromptu session saw 7 participants taking on Mary's challenge, explaining their view on their new political portfolios.
And the Ministers were as follows:
Keith - Minister of Happiness and Laughter
Clarence - Minister of Wildlife
John-Peter - Minister of Gardening
Jerry - Minister of Alternate medicine
Glenice - Minister of Dance and Music
Ruth - Minister of Literature
Rod - Minister of Verbal Communications

And the most convincing? John-Peter - the Minister of Gardening!

Join us on the 4th of May at 4th Dimension for the Division H contest.
Our next club meeting takes place the following week on the 11th.

Guests and visitors welcome!