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Wokingham Speakers Club

News, January 2014 

A tale of brothers, self esteem and innovation 
7th January 2014 
Faisal Mooraby 
 
Our first meeting of 2014 started with a bang with a packed programme and brilliant speeches. The theme had to be the New Year’s resolution. Although the festive period was not so long ago, it was business as usual at Wokingham speakers. We had a full room, including 4 guests. 
 
The first speech of the night was delivered by Paul Gardner. His speech, “A tale of two brothers” brought us historical, and yet very personal to him. Paul told us a very vivid tale which was described with lots of gestures and vocal variety and which started in Patrick Stewarts’s Christmas Carol Broadway style. 
 
Our second speaker for the night was Sandra Rodwell. Sandra was a very confident speaker who delivered her speech “Self-esteem”. As usual, Sandra delivered her speech in a very colourful manner, with lots of props. We certainly learnt about the main components of being self-confident. Her speech rang with the core reason of why we attend the meetings at Wokingham speakers. 
 
Richard Sheering delivered a fantastic presentation entitled “Innovation, should I be bovvered” – yes, the last word written in Catherine Tate’s style. What impressed me with Richard’s speech, it was very technical, historical (literally brought us back to the caveman era), and yet delivered with lots of examples and props (including a caveman tool) and very friendly and humorous manner. 
 
Last speech, and certainly not the least, was delivered by Anthony Stears. His speech entitled “It’s good to talk” was only his second at Toastmasters, yet it was very detailed, delivered at perfect pace, with a great vocal variety and volume. Anthony was also very good at engaging the audience through asking questions. 
 
In the second half of the evening, we had a fun table topics session as presented by Amanda Bouch. The topic was New Year’s resolution. We learnt in a fun way different ideas and experiences of some regarding resolutions. Most importantly, all the impromptu speakers spoke on their feet and delivered greatly. 
 
One of the pillars of Toastmasters is feedback. We improve through constructive comments from others. An important part of the evening is the evaluation section. We had five great evaluators: Alistair Schreiber, Rachel Tinker, Mia Towndrow, Mel Shepphard and Table Topics evaluator – Christina Macguire. All evaluators had very good observations of the delivery of the speeches and also high quality tips on how the speakers can improve. 
 
Gary Cranford was our grammarian of the night in order to keep us on our toes and to encourage us to use good grammar (and new words). Gary did a wonderful job by observing interesting phrases and keeping a count on the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’. 
 
Almost everything gets evaluated at Toastmasters. We had Therese Edkins (General Evaluator), who gave us an evaluation of the evening (which included me as Toastmasters, and Neil Barryman who was our time keeper) and the evaluators. I loved Therese’s evaluation because she had great tips for all of use and I loved her choice of words, which painted a constructive feedback and very dignified. I say almost everything, and not all, gets evaluated at the meeting because the General Evaluator does not get evaluated. 
 
It was a fantastic meeting with lots of quality speeches, fun moments and most of all, quality feedback. I was honoured to start the year of Wokingham speakers as the chair of meeting. It is always so much fun and constructive at Wokingham speakers. If you have not attended our meeting, I would certainly recommend you come and see it for yourself. 
Lessons in communication and yoga too 
21st January 2014 
Alistair Schreiber 
 
Last night was another exceptional meeting at Wokingham speakers. Laughter was a common theme in the evening surpassed only by much amusement.  
 
We had three great speeches, firstly Marce Colucci presented his speech "Shut up and talk", explaining verbal and non-verbal communication. Steve Catchick gave an insighful presentation on visual aids. Thirdly, Carole Connolly fascinated us all with the 8 limbs of yoga. There was a tie for best speaker which was gallantly shared by Marce and Carole.  
 
Evaluations of these speeches were expertly delivered by Therese Edkins (on Marce), Mell Sheppard (on Steve Catchick) and Faisal Mooraby (on Carole).The best evaluator was won by Mell Sheppard. 
 
Richard Shearing delivered an amusing and engaging table topics section of which Christina MacGuire won best speaker.