Saturday, October 1, 2011

Words are all I have........... - 27 September

How wonderful it was to be able once again to greet old and new friends: 21 members, 1 truant, and 2 look-sees. We extend a special welcome to Johannes and William. Hope to see you again soon.
Warm congratulations go to Plaxcedes Ndlovu who has reached the milestone
of 5 speeches. We look forward to hearing number six!!
Toastmaster for the evening was VP Membership, Marianah Lourens.
Here’s a thought: Did you know that every time you carry out a role in Toastmasters,
(as Marianah did last night) you can be evaluated and make progress in your
Competent Leader Manual? These evaluations can also help our club achieve a
“Distinguished Club” status – Don’t forget!!
Marianah chose “Talking” as her theme for the evening – after all, we are Toastmasters!
Marianah also asked the role players what qualifications they have, and how these have
prepared them for tonight’s proceedings.
Marianah’s theme reminded me of my mother, who claimed that women have 3000 words that they need to get off their chests every day. I knew that when she started a phone call with those words, that I should just pull up a chair, pour a glass of red wine, and get ready to say “Yes Dear” every five minutes or so for the next hour and a half!

Barry Serfontein, apart from having qualified with a Marketing degree, worked for Watches of Switzerland for several years. This, we decided, made him more than eligible to be a superlative Timekeeper. Um and Ah counter was one of our newest members, Rosemary Sampson.
Grammarian, Louise Erasmus encouraged us to use the language correctly, beautifully, creatively. She challenged us with the Word of the day, PRESUMPTUOUS (the state of assuming things that perhaps you oughtn’t!) which was used by 5 people.

Belita von Steiger (our Table Topics Master) has a myriad letters after her name, including an MBA, but suggested that her best training has been the 55 years that she’s been on earth!
Her topic for the evening was “learning lessons for life”, OR “How would you talk your way out of ... “
Mimi Makapula did a good take on receiving a disastrous piece of news, via her cell phone;
Guest Johannes convincingly talked his way out of the time he asked a chubby friend when her baby was due;
Plaxcedes didn’t have the money to pay the debt. It was in her wallet, really it was...
Alan Hunter suggested that if you bump into your manager when you’ve taken a day’s sick leave, props are essential – like a Dischem packet. Alternatively, attack is the best form of defence: Shouldn’t you be at the office...?

Annette argued that if her non-baby friend insisted on holding her colicky baby while wearing her power suit, she certainly wouldn’t apologise if the lambkin oopsed all over her. After all, she chose to hold the cherub!
Quinton sent an sms to the wrong person, and suggested that the only thing to do was to pretend like it didn’t happen.

Alison Immelman flicked friends and went to the club when she said she wanted to chill at home. Her way out? Pretend you’re having an out of body experience, and you really don’t know them. (My name’s Alison, and I’m an inveterate liar).

William Tapson fell into the full mailbox trap. It wasn’t his fault that he didn’t get the email!

Craig Stephens (welcome back, buddy) didn’t get his Homework signed. It was all his mom’s fault. After she had an unfortunate reaction to the Botox treatment, she couldn’t possibly sign something she couldn’t see. Now there’s an improvement on the “dog ate my homework” line!

Well done, William and Johannes, for taking the plunge!
And, by the way, don’t ever think that Toastmasters doesn’t teach you anything!

What an exciting line up of speakers Tom organised for us, with four of our newer members proving that they were definitely on their way through the CC manual.
Two speakers, Ayanda Ngwabe and Jessamy Kromhout, both broke the ice with their CC1s

Ayanda spoke about his conviction that God is present and alive, and paid tribute to his parents who gave him the gift of a brighter future. If a boy of his background can make it so far, how can there be no God? He used a touching parallel with Martin Luther King’s famous I have a Dream, only Ayanda’s dream is that we can build a beautiful future for all South Africans.

Jessamy coined the word “Mundanity”, but, unusually, allied it with Magic. Her belief? That there really is magic in the most routine of tasks. She told us that she had had some of the best teachers in the world: she was taught to think by her father (the greatest teacher ever in Jessamy’s view), while her mother taught her to love, and led by example.

We were delighted that Deborah Stephenson honoured us with her long-awaited CC2. She used 25 years of fly fishing as a metaphor for life. Lessons she has learnt include patience, gratitude, appreciating beauty in nature and especially how to relate to people – not to mention “Mrs Simpson at the evening rise”.

Liandra Schoultz (also doing her CC2) entertained us with tales of hysterical travels through Brazil. She entitled her speech Garota de Ipenema (or, the girl from Ipenema). Her experiences included dodgy taxi drivers, playing Survivor in the Amazon with piranhas staring at her from her plate, and egg sandwiches for Christmas dinner

Going from the sublime to the truly awe-inspiring, Nicholas Mitchell undertook his AC 26!! This project entailed delivering the key note address to a group of students: Life is like a Box of Chocolates. Because (something all men should know) what interests women? Chocolate!! Nicholas used chocolate to illustrate a series of valuable life lessons, including that life is a gift, that appearances can be deceiving, and that we should do everything in moderation – even if we really want to gobble the box all on our own.
Nicholas rounded off his speech with a nod to John Donne. Don’t be an island, because life is best shared – and proved this by showering the house with the real McCoy.

The Toast of the day was offered by Liandra Schoultz. Furthering her theme of travel she toasted to safe travel – most appropriate when you consider the state of South Africa’s roads

Evaluators for the evening included Mimi Makapula who has a degree in motherhood with 2 teenage distinctions. She says she can’t wait to get her life back!Also up were Colleen Love (a lady who wears many hats), Alison Immelman, whose years of study have qualified her for absolutely nothing (which is why she’s a teacher, because those who can do...), Tom Horne whose forty-one years of Toastmastering (did he start when he was 12?) have made him ready for anything – but especially gentle, positive feedback, and Annette Lovemore, an advanced Toastmaster (Bronze) herself.
The Top Toastie award was made to Ayanda for his exceptional effort with his icebreaker, and sharing with us a message from the heart, proving that dreams really do come true. The best Table Topic was presented by Alan Hunter.

In closing :

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