Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It was a busy night for the Club’s newest member – Reinhardt Botha

This past Tuesday saw Reinhardt Botha inducted as the Club's newest member – but wait, there's more! Reinhardt was awarded the Top Toastie floating trophy by Colleen Love and he picked up the prize for being the best Table Topics impromptu speaker. That is the second time in a row that Reinhardt has taken the Table Topics prize.

Table Topics Master for the evening was Pauline Wilson. The scenario was this: your cruise ship is sinking fast and you can only take one item with you to help you when you "go into the drink".

Reinhardt took knitting needles. He thought it would be a good idea to use them to harpoon dinner and once he and the other survivors made it to deserted shores he could go island boar hunting with these twelve inch acrylic needles of death!

Between bloody hunts he could use the knitting needles for their original purpose. Reinhardt hoped that the sight of a burly gent knitting socks on the beach might attract the lady survivors looking for a hunter-killer-knitting type to populate the island with.

The three prepared speakers for the evening were Mimi Makupula, Craig Stephenson and Marianah Lourens. Mimi was doing her second speech from the Competent Communicator Manual. Mimi took a lesson from her own life to inspire the audience to use forgiveness to build a bridge from one's past to one's future.

Intrepid traveller Craig was out to dispel the myth that travel to exotic lands was only for the young, the rich and the irresponsible, by laying out a plan that could get anyone off their bums and out onto the road and seeing the world.

Marianah did an interpretive reading from an Advanced Communicator Manual. She read from Mitch Albom's For One More Day and utilised her experience as an actress to use gesture, body language, pitch and tone to make the reading come alive for her captive audience.

Our Toastmaster for the evening was Gillian Nutt who kept the meeting well ordered by performing her vital role in a wonderfully understated way.

Our next meeting will be 10 August. The usual format will give way to allow for our Club's humorous speech contest. Prepare yourself for some side splitting fun! Watch this blog and your email inboxes for details.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The World Cup is over, but the new Toastmasters year has just begun!

Tuesday’s meeting was our first for the new Toastmasters year. Toastmaster for the evening was Elaine Stewart-Coyne who seized on this fact to offer pointers on how members could reignite their passion for the Toastmasters experience.

Some of Elaine’s suggestions included mentoring new members and participating in Toastmasters conferences like the Mexicon coming up in October. Another was for long-term members to redo a speaking manual, which is exactly what Ricky Woods has done.

Ricky, a Distinguished Toastmaster and a member for 14 years, went all the way back to the beginning and delivered the very first speech from the Competent Communicator Manual: “The Icebreaker”. Ricky revealed that there have been many changes in her life since she gave her first “Icebreaker” speech, but that the Toastmasters experience and the friendships she made had served as a constant in her life.

Alison Immelman’s third speech was delivered while wearing a knitted Lapland hat. The hat may have been funny but Alison’s subject was seriously though provoking. She asked us to always consider the true agendas behind the media messages we receive.

Both Candice Finkelstein and Louise Erasmus were all about the “hard sell”. Both delivered their ninth speech from the Competent Communicator Manual.
Candice presented us with some hot cooler boxes we should never be without, and Louise pushed the benefits of Burmese cat ownership. Who needs Eskom on a cold night when you have a Burmese cat on your lap?

Comedian-in-residence, Antoinette Baatjes, entertained her audience with another one from the Humorous Speeches Manual. Fancying herself something of an amateur social anthropologist, Antoinette introduced us to some new subspecies of humanity: “know-it-alls” (KIAs) and “incompetent fools” (IFs). Apparently these KIAs and IFs are responsible for much of the angst in our lives. Antoinette advised us that we are doing ourselves no favours by biting our tongues and that the best way to promote inner peace are toe-to-toe confrontations with these acronyms - or you could buy a Burmese cat.

For the second time this year, a visiting guest beat out the membership to take the prize for best Table Topic impromptu speech. The Table Topics Master was Debbie Stephenson who asked participants to put their case to the IOC as why their particular activity should become an Olympic event at the 2020 Games in South Africa. Reinhardt won for suggesting that kite flying and South Africa’s blue skies would go great together.

And closing off the meeting, Mimi Makupula passed the Top Toastie floating trophy to Colleen Love for efforts in introducing others, like Mimi, to Toastmasters.

The next meeting will be on 27 July. Until then watch this blog for profiles of members who were recently awarded Competent Communicator, Leader and Advanced Communicator Awards.