Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Preserve the peace by telling a lie or three

Tuesday’s meeting was a full house with four guests joining the membership to sample the Toastmasters experience. Setting the tone for the meeting was the lighting-witted Thomas Duthie who kept proceedings light and fun as Toastmaster-for-the-evening.

If Dancing with the Stars can have a double elimination then our club can have a double induction. Louise Solomons, VP of Membership, did the honours and inducted the Algoa Club’s newest members: Angie Kivido and Chenielle Badenhorst.

In a week that saw the teaching profession in the news for all the wrong reasons, educator Alison Immelman, asked those participating in Table Topics to pretend to be difficult parents at a Parent Teacher Evening.

Thomas Duthie picked up the “stand-in” Best Table Topics Shield for his turn as a crusty schoolmaster, with accents of Winston Churchill, extolling the virtues of corporal punishment.

Our speakers for the evening were Reinhardt Botha, Craig Stephenson, Louise Solomons and Antoinette Baatjes.

Reinhardt, a professor of Information Technology, presented his “icebreaker” speech titled: Me, Myself and I, where he revealed the three aspects of his identity: family man, technophile and academic.

Craig presented the second instalment in a series of talks about independent travel. Craig offered suggestions on how a traveller can design their own one-of-a-kind travel itinerary.

Louise wanted to know why the ideals of Freedom Charter, one of which promised that the doors to education would never be closed to those who wanted to learn, have been forgotten.

Louise can never seem to find a library open on a Saturday and during the week many libraries in the Bay Area have to close due to staff shortages. Literacy rates are falling in South Africa and more alarming is that aliteracy rates (can read but uninterested in doing so) are on the up.

With this speech Louise completed the requirements of her Competent Communicator Award.

Louise’s sobering “reality check” was followed by Antoinette’s own irreverent take on reality.

The effortlessly funny Antoinette presented a speech from the Entertaining Speeches Manual. She argued that lying in fact preserves the peace and that we must accept that we all have to lie from time to time so not to court Armageddon.

Coming off the back of Antoinette’s speech was Debbie Stephenson’s appropriately titled Toast-of-the-day: Laughter is the best medicine. Debbie toasted the physical and psychological benefits of laughter.

The Club will meet again on Tuesday, 14 September. In the meantime go out this Friday and support the contestants in the Area Humorous Speech Competition.

Keep laughing and remember to lie, lie, lie! You’re live longer, and according to Antoinette so will everyone else.

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