helping to develop speaking and leadership skills 
Wokingham Speakers Club

News, February 2014 

"You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore", a quotation by Andre Gide 
18th February 2014 
Mell Sheppard 
 
We were treated to a fun packed, energy fuelled, Ice Breaking bonanza of an evening down at Wokingham Speakers Club! 
 
The session got off to a bang as Seargant at Arms, Jen Compton, opened the evening in her usual delectable style! 
Our President Steve Catchick welcomed our guests and visiting Toastmasters before handing over to Toastmaster for the Evening, Mell Sheppard who introduced the evening’s theme ..... “Adventure”. 
 
Our rehearsed speakers quickly took to the stage and we were entertained by four very different, but immensely enjoyable performances. Gonzalo Ruiz broke the ice with the topic, “The Power of Colours”, explaining that different colours represent different sides of our personalities and Kunaal Patra also giving us his first speech, who told us about “La Conquete Du Monde” and left us questioning the consequences for the actions we take. Richard Moore enlightened us with his speech “The Trouble with Bouncers”, a neat little speech running through some of the technical moves in the game of cricket (nice spin there Richard!!) and finally before the break, we heard from Jorge De La Calle giving us a persuasive performance entitled “Healthier than Ever” on which he spoke of the different ways to stave off that terrible disease, cancer. 
 
Richard Moore won the award for Best Speaker. 
 
Tea and biscuits were served by our Breakmasters (thank you Mandy Sunner, Paul Gardner and Jen Compton) and after a little socialising, we took our seats again for the second half. 
 
Table Topics were hosted by impromptu impromptuist, Therese Edkins, who kindly stepped in for Cathy Wells who unfortunately couldn’t be with us. Therese used the theme of Adventure to develop a set of interesting questions around the Winter Olympics. Using the Motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius” for inspiration our Speakers were challenged to recall some of the top moments of their lives so far and form a mini speech. In the end, Mandy Sunner, with her ‘Lightning Bolt’ opening and fast thinking, took the spoils to win Best Table Topic Speaker. 
 
We then moved on to the evaluation part of the evening. Evaluation is paramount to ToastMasters’ success as it is what allows us to learn and develop as Speakers. We had five great evaluations by Richard Shearing, Jen Compton, Tsi Tsi Madzinigra, Marce Colucci and Amanda Bouch (who was evaluating Table Topics). 
Amanda was crowned Best Evaluator. 
 
The evening finished with a wrap up by Faisal Mooraby in the role of General Evaluator, who gave us his own constructive feedback on the session and we heard from our Grammarian, Neil Berryman who gave us a very thorough report on use of language. Many thanks to Timer Mia Towndrow for doing such a great job with the lights and keeping us all to time! 
 
All in all, another great evening at Wokingham Speakers. 
 
From perfect to poker 
4th February 2014 
Marce Colucci 
 
Well we had quite the memorable meeting at Toastmasters last Tuesday, the 4th of February. Firstly we were plagued by the tube strike, leaving several members tentative to whether they would make it or not. And with some of them having key roles for the night, it meant some last minute juggling and the help of other members volunteering to step in at a moment’s notice. But thanks to the help of everyone there, the night went off without a hitch (and everyone who was meant to be there was there!) 
 
But the fun didn’t stop there. The theme for the evening was “Dreams” and everyone had their own unique slant on what dreams they had, from travelling into space to dancing the Lindy Hop when they’re 90! 
 
We first off had an educational talk by veteran Toastmaster Alistair Schreiber entitled “There’s no such thing as Perfect”. Alistair laid it out in simple terms how to prepare your speech, deliver your speech and most importantly manage yourself when rehearsing and delivering any talk. His reference to a real-life work scenario really drove home his points.  
 
Himanshu Sahni gave us all some insight into the risks and rewards of poker and how we can use those same principles of ‘chance’ in our everyday lives. That was followed by a walk down memory lane by Brian Moffat who took us back to his childhood and then back into the present with his speech entitled “Stardust Memories”. And the highlight of the evening was a most amazing and entertaining speech by Mell Sheppard. Done entirely in ‘old English’ rhyme she told the story of the “The Beard and The Bust”. I must say at times I thought she was speaking a foreign language but the humour came through brilliantly. 
 
Best Speaker was awarded to Mell Sheppard
 
The second part of the evening was highlighted by Mia Towndrow’s Table Topics. With the theme of “Heroes” she drew reference to several of our past and present heroes from Sir Winston Churchill to Anne Frank. She helped bring out the hero in all of us!  
 
Again, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable evening at Wokingham Toastmasters.