Monday, October 31, 2016

Meeting #701 Wed 26th October 2016. Theme: Halloween. Report by Ursula Beatty

What a wonderful inspiring, entertaining and informative meeting we had on  Wednesday. It even inspired me to write this article!

Each week, we have a different theme, chosen by the Toastmaster for the meeting.
Over the years we have had a huge variety and range of themes or topics and sometimes (but not very often,) like today, the themes repeat.
What can make the theme more unique is the intro question that each member gets to answer based on the theme. I will come to that shortly.

Christine was our Toastmaster (TM) for the day. She set the scene for today’s theme (Halloween)  by placing lots of spiders and bloody severed fingers on each table. Yuck!  Various people came along dressed in black with some orange thrown in to get in to the ‘spirit’ of the occasion.

Ian, our newest tribal elder brought along this rather sinister lookingtreat dispenser’ which contained jelly beans. If you tried to take a treat, this mean witchy creatures came to life, scaring the bejebers out of you as it  talked and went to bite your finger off!! Good one Ian. That is bound to cure any kid from coming to your door on Halloween! (hmm… Maybe some of us could borrow it…what do you think *Mary?)  

Nick, the Sargent at arms started the meeting at 7 am sharp with some thoughts on the theme and a couple of jokes to get us started or warmed up. Mind you, with all those spiders, chopped off fingers and a witch that bites your fingers off, most of us were already warmed up! BTW,  Christine, is that how you got all of those loose bloody fingers?  From those that persisted in getting a jelly bean out of Ian’s mean witchy dispenser. 

Julie Anne presented the word of the day: “Pumpkin” with her beautiful artistic touch.

She gave us an interesting and informative spiel on pumpkin and its association with Halloween.
I always learn something new at every TM meeting and get entertained in the process.
  Julie Anne encouraged each of us to use the word during the meeting and she reported on the use of this word, other interesting words and grammar, plus use of filler words such as umh’s and ah’s in her grammarian report. (Presented towards the end of the meeting). Eliminating unnecessary filler words from our speech is something most of us try to achieve, but it can be a hard habit to break.

TM Christine chose the intro question: What would you have as trick or treat?” which each person (guests and members) in the audience answered. I think everyone  had a good laugh with many of the responses. Some of the tricks were hilarious and one member, who I shall call Mary* (not her real name) really made me laugh when she told us she didn’t like Halloween much, and preferred to pretend she wasn’t home, leaving the lights off to deter those pesky “trick or treaters”.   I’m sure many of us could relate to that!

Next on the agenda was Ian with his ice breaker speech. A 4-6 min speech about his life. Although he is a “veteran” toastmaster, he is new to our club, so it was good to hear his “lucky me” story. Thank's Ian, I think we are lucky to have you in our club.  

Which Witches hat?

I led the Table topics or impromptu speaking section. A little bit different this time. Each participant  (Julie Anne, Nick, Paul and Nicole), got to choose a piece of paper which contained 1 or two words relating to the theme of the day. The participants then had to give a 1 min speech on the topic selected. Again, the responses were interesting and entertaining. Well done guys!

Evaluations are a key factor in all Toastmasters meetings, Paul evaluated Ian’s speech and Zach, evaluated the table topics participants. Well done to both and Zach in particular, as I think that was your first evaluation?

Next on the agenda was a forum led by Hannah (a student nurse and one of our youngest members). Hannah dragged her younger sister Laura out of bed to assist as her scribe and both did a wonderful job. I love the Castellijn sisters (there are 5 of them), as they remind me of growing up with my own 4 sisters (plus a few brothers) back in Ireland.    

The topic for the forum was:  Increasing jobs for young people on the Gold coast.” There was a very lively discussion with some very interesting and useful points or suggestions raised by various members of the audience, many whom are involved in small business and/or management. This section was both inspiring and informative. Inspiring to see what a good job Hannah did leading this forum with such a relevant topic. Plus, Laura did a great job as “scribe” with her neat legible handwriting on the flip chart.   Informative with the thought provoking points raised by the audience.

It was nice to hear feedback via Hannah afterwards, that Laura was so impressed with her first TM meeting at our club, she said “She has to join Toastmasters.” Which she plans to do when she turns 18.  

Thanks to everyone who participated in today’s meeting and to the TM of the day and president Christine who did a great job.  All in all – a wonderful, inspiring, informative and highly entertaining meeting. A reminder to all that Helensvale daybreak is truly a dynamic and fun way to start the day.

By Ursula Beatty  ACG. ALB ;  VPPR    

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