The Road Goes Ever On

Bilbo Baggins’ walking song (J.R.R. Tolkien from Lord of the Rings) was the theme for the last Transformers Toastmasters Club meeting of the Toastmasters Year held on Monday, 24 June 2013. The Toastmasters year runs from 1 July to 30 June. The end of the year also coincides with a new club committee being elected and inducted and all the measures used within Toastmasters to measure success culminating. This often means that Toastmasters are scrambling to complete speeches to register educational awards.

This last meeting of the year had three prepared speeches, two from members of the club who both completed educational awards with these speeches and a visiting Toastmaster also heading towards completing an educational award.

The first speaker was Rod Taylor giving the 6th project from the Competent Communicator speech. This speech is about using vocal variety to enhance the speech. Rod told us about his swimming exploits as a child that culminated in him winning the biggest race on the school calendar in his final year beating the school hero. His gestures flowed naturally and the excitement was palpable in his tale.

Next, a visiting Toastmasters from CIMA Toastmasters Club, delivered the penultimate speech from the Competent Communicator manual: persuading the audience. She told us how hoarding had finally resulted in a stagnation in her life and how she had finally learned to de-clutter which had brought purpose and flow back into her life. Not only this but it had caused people around her to begin de-cluttering through the energy she started exuding. Her challenge was to each one of us to de-clutter.

Finally, John-Peter Gernaat presented a Roast from the Special Occasions Speeches Advanced Speaking Manual. Interestingly he elected to roast himself, placing himself as an imaginary person in a chair in front of the audience. He picked on his childhood ineptitudes, poking fun at his inability to comprehend sport although his nickname was ostrich. The nickname more aptly described his ‘head in the sand’ unawareness of life around him, being hit on at university and being totally unaware. Because the occasion was ostensibly the party before the induction to Toastmasters District office, he suggested that roasting himself demonstrated his lack of friends and network connections and that he should take stock and get to know himself before becoming too ambitious. In her evaluation of the speech Mary Byrne pointed to the facial expressions and eyes that turned to poking remarks to humour.

The Table Topics session run by Mary Byrne had the speakers comment on the meaning of names of towns as defined in the “Meaning of Liff”, a book by Douglas Adams (author of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) and John Lloyd. An example was Rod Taylor being asked to discuss the meaning of the word HASSOP (n.) as being “The pocket down the back of an armchair used for storing two-shilling bits and pieces of Lego.”

The Area Governor elect inducted the new Club Committee.

The outgoing Club President awarded John-Peter Gernaat with the award of Toastmaster of the Year for his contribution to the club and active participation outside of the club. This is the third consecutive year John-Peter has been awarded this honour. (It means that the “Pic of the Month” is again the pic of the month.)

We welcome guests to our club meetings and make you feel very welcome. There is no charge for visiting us and a meal forms part of the evening. You will learn from the experience and may even want to join Toastmasters and our club. We look forward to meeting you.