Our meeting began as usual with Pat, our President, welcoming everyone, especially the guests, and informing everybody of the upcoming Christmas Party to be held early in December. He then handed control of the meeting over to Dennis as Toastmaster for the evening. He quickly ran through the program and after an explanation of the timing by Timer for the evening Mike and Barry, standing in as Sargent at Arms, telling us the exits and to turn of our phones, the first speech of the evening was given.
The first speaker was Mandy, an experienced Toastmaster who has held numerous roles within the club such as President and within the wider Toastmaster structure, such as Area Governor. Mandy gave a PowerPoint Presentation to explain the Leadership Manual which is all too often forgotten by members, explaining each Stage of it and what a person would have to do to progress to the next stage. She did this by using an example of one of the Stages and finished with the benefits for both the club and the person the manual provides. The second speaker was Robert, a new member, who gave his Ice-Breaker speech. He spoke about his up-bringing in Kerry and how sport played a huge part in his life, and many humorous stories of his time being educated in Glenstal Abbey.
The third and fourth speeches were both Stage 3 speeches, asking the speakers to “Get to the Point” in their speeches. Kayleigh gave a speech on employment law in Ireland, something she has an expertise in given she works in the area. She explained how new policies and legislation shortened the appeals process and that numerous courts were being merged into a two-tiered system. Lisa delivered the final speech, and spoke about how a number of people have begun to use surfing and cooking as a way of integrating people in the Gaza Strip and bringing the Israeli and Palestinian people together. She even included a quick Hummus recipe for us all!
Following the speeches was the debate on the motion “That we should become vegetarians,” with John O proposing and Jim opposing. John spoke about how the world would need to produce 70% more food to feed the world’s population by 2025 and growing food for vegetarians requires less inputs. Jim, in opposition, spoke about the need for meat for a healthy diet, especially for children growing up. After numerous contributions from the floor and summary speeches by the debaters, a vote was taken and the motion was narrowly carried, by 11 votes to 10. We then had our break for tea.
We resumed with our Topics session and Noel took control of the meeting, asking people about who the best person is to replace Giovanni Trappatoni, exercise making people happy, nicknames for cars, love conquering all things, among others. They were all very well interesting and a nice mix of different subjects.
It was then time for the Evaluations. Michael evaluated the first speaker Mandy, and was very complimentary of her speech, mentioning how prepared she was and the speech was well delivered. He particularly liked how she gave a hand out to everybody about the Leadership Manual. The second evaluator was Sinead who spoke about Robert’s Ice-Breaker. She liked how he grabbed the audience’s attention at the start, had a good structure, was confident and had quite a lot of humour in the speech. She suggested he used some hand gestures, though recognised that this would come in time.
The third evaluator was John H who evaluated Kayleigh’s speech. He thought it was a very relevant topic for the speech that had lots of material that needed to be organised and she used good linking words and phrases. He suggested that she might perhaps have been better to use a PowerPoint Presentation for this speech. The final evaluation was for Lisa by Rose. She liked how Lisa was very confident and spoke about a very interesting topic for her speech. She suggested having a better structure, and to speak a little slower but louder.
It was finally left to Martin as General Evaluator to speak about his thoughts for the meeting as a whole and it was largely positive. He learned a lot from the speeches and thought the debate was very interesting. He had a couple of suggestions for the evaluators themselves, but thought they did a wonderful job though. The meeting was then handed back to Dennis and Pat and after a few thank yous, the meeting finished and everyone left for home.
Best Contributor Mandy
Best Evaluator John H
Best Topic Response Colette