Thursday, September 16, 2010

Toastmasters are adrenaline junkies!

Last Tuesday’s meeting had Toastmaster-for-the-evening Craig Stephenson compare the Toastmasters experience to heart-thumping, white-knuckling and sweaty-palm-inducing activities like bungee jumping off a bridge and skydiving.

This comparison was apposite, considering that the fear of public speaking is the most common phobia. (Apposite was our word for the day, courtesy of Grammarian Nicholas Mitchell.)

Table Topics was hosted by Debbie Stephenson. She asked players to speak for one minute on the titles of Frank Sinatra songs like “Strangers in the Night” and “My Way”. E1 Area Governor, Marlene Van Wyk, took the prize for her impromptu speech inspired by Ol-Blue-Eye’s cover of the Beatles classic “Yesterday”. Coming in a very close second to Marlene was visiting guest, Jessamy.

The first speaker “to jump off that bridge” was Zuki Skade. Zuki was presenting his “icebreaker” speech. Zuki’s revealed the highlights and the lowlights of his extraordinary life. It was like a bestselling author reading a sample chapter from a thrilling biography. Zuki has certainly whetted the Club’s appetite for more.

The second speaker for the evening was brand-spanking-new member Chenielle Badenhorst. She was inducted just three weeks ago but was so eager to begin her Toastmasters journey that she jumped at the opportunity to present her “icebreaker” when another speaker had to drop out. For the enthusiasm she demonstrated she was awarded the “Top Toastie” floating trophy.

In another life Chenielle graced the stages of Europe as an opera singer. This might explain her thoroughly captivating stage presence and confidence.

Chenielle also introduced a neologism into the Club’s lexicon. She wondered what you would call a former Toastmaster – a “post-Toastie” perhaps.

Our third speaker was Louise Erasmus who marked a milestone by presenting her tenth speech to the Club and completing her Competent Communicator Manual. Louise’s speech was titled: “Coping with Cancer”.

Louise’s family has recently been touched by the dread disease but Louise explained that she has derived the strength to cope from the support of her friends and family, educating herself on the facts of the disease, and relying on her faith.

The final speech saw the welcome return of Quinton Jacobs. This intrepid weatherman has been away working in Jo’burg for the last three months.

His speech was a project from one of the advanced manuals. Quinton gave his audience some insights into science of meteorology. Did you know that a weather forecaster could be held liable for air crash deaths if a plane is downed by weather that the pilot was misinformed about? (Yikes!)

It was another successful and informative meeting. (Who needs DSTV!)

Our next Club meeting is Tuesday, 28 September.

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