by Kirsten Gronning
On a sizzling evening President John Craddock reminded us that it was an evening of firsts: the 1st July; the first meeting of the new committee and the first time he got the chance to show off the Chairman’s bling! John is keen to get more people involved in the club and is looking for New Member buddies to support new members for that first month where it can take ages to master the basics.
Dorothea Stuart seamlessly led as the evening’s Toastmaster by first acknowledging the scorcher of a day. Our timekeeper Ian Harrison admitted that despite being a long standing member, he had never fulfilled this role before. Grammarian Tom Biswas introduced the word of the day ‘invigorate’ as in ‘invigorated by good weather’ and new Membership VP Errol Williamson introduced the guests – ‘our lifeblood’ – to ‘The Best Club in the World’.
We were in ‘Geneva’ for Sharath Jeevan’s #2 speech with Sharath appealing for support from social entrepreneurs working with his retraining teachers programme to raise outcomes of children in schools. Sharath cleverly alluded to a partnership – a marriage – between organisations and how it could achieve so much, for so long – ‘Til Death do us part’. Anil Ramchandani also took us on a journey – a family holiday to Orlando – with his #5 speech. Anil’s ‘Tom Tomology’ almost caused them to miss the flight home. Faced with a long queue and the prospect of having to re-purchase airline seats, it was lucky that there was a ‘diabetic’ in their group in need of insulin and a fast check-in. He won’t be ‘flying by the seat of his pants’ again!
After the break, award-winning Table Topics Master Andrew Klimaytys asked why people were afraid of impromptu speaking? After all, we won’t die or go to prison. Table topics presented were skilfully matched to the speaker and had a pre-dominantly summer flavour – from ‘Real ale or chilled lager on a sunny afternoon?’ to ‘Managing bugs at picnic time’ and with guest Jennifer suggesting sending a husband to the spare room in order to keep cool at night! But the Best Table Topics award went to Glen who ‘teetered on the fence like all good politicians’ when confronted by parents angry at paying more for summer holidays and demanding a more plausible response than ‘that’s supply and demand.’
Sue Kennedy’s neat summing up of a long but blistering table topics session earned her the award for Best Evaluator. Holborn Speaker’s Dominique Fourniol neatly summed up an invigorating and fun evening and Sue Kennedy reminded us of the garden party at Jenny’s in Hampton on Sunday 12nd July. John reminded us of two dates: 2nd September for the Table Topics workshop and 16th September for the Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest.