Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Believe us..... NOTHING is trivial - 08 November

Once again we had an intimate gathering of only 16 members (and for the first time in a long time, no guests) – the pressures of year end are beginning to bite, clearly.
Some business...
Join us on 22 November for a club bring and share (and a little bit of Christmas cheer) – to
celebrate the joys and growth of the year. Trivial pursuit has been postponed.
We will aim to get together early in the new yr to bond – before we become so berserkly busy

We are soon going to have to bid a sad farewell
to a loyal, involved member of Algoa: Chenielle
Jeffries- Badenhorst. Chenielle has opted to
relocate to the big smoke, Johannesburg. We’ll miss you, friend. Would that all members were carved from your stock. Don’t forget us – we won’t forget you!

Quinton is considering starting a web page to facilitate meeting organisation – WATCH THIS SPACE! He’s planning to pitch the proposal as part of his AC programme. Prepare to be there so you can be part of the discussion.

As her theme for the evening, Colleen Love chose a Trivial Pursuit montage. So here goes –
Did you know that coke was originally green in colour (eeugh!), and that the word TIPS was an acronym for “To insure prompt service” (and yes, the Americans strike again, because we who speak English know that it should be “Ensure”, and therefore TEPS...); The names of all the continents end with the same letter that they start with Asia, America, Australia, Europe, Antarctica. Each KING in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades – King David; Clubs – Alexander the Great; Hearts – Charlemagne; Diamonds – Julius Caesar.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

Wearing HEADPHONES for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.

ELEPHANTS are the only animals that can't jump.
RATS multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over million descendants.

Time Keeper was Reinhardt Botha who had even more fun with the new-tech gadget.
Um and ah counter was Belita von Steiger who described those nasty little bugs as “bridges” in speech – a good metaphor, because they certainly help us to get from here to there.
Again we showed an improvement: Belita said that she only detected 2!
There is some interesting stuff on the net at the moment, which suggests that the odd um or ah adds an undeniable humanity to our speech – just putting it out there...
Grammarian was Alison Immelman and the word of the day was Berserk, stemming from the Viking marauders of Hagar’s ilk. It describes behaviour that is violently or destructively frenzied; wild; crazed; deranged. Seven people used the word, Marianah thrice.
Table Topics were conducted by Jessamy Kromhout, who, I thought, used title of her favourite books as a prompt. Being far too honest, she admitted that it was actually “famous” books and that she hadn’t actually read Crime and Punishment or War and Peace!!! (has anyone?). Speakers had a whale of a time, describing a Brave New World as some staggering IT development, while Death in the Afternoon must be the graveyard session when exam candidates have to pretend to be creative in the heat of high summer

The Prepared Speeches

Rosemary Sampson presented her CC2 (organise your speech) entitled “Of baubles, Bells and Christmas trees” in which she offered some interesting ideas about our behaviour at Christmas, including politically correct Christmas (or holiday) trees! She maintains that no-one should apologetic about their beliefs, and that there are surely more pressing issues. Amen sister!

Rhona Murchie presented her CC7 (research your topic), “Wearing a Green Belt”, which was a moving tribute to the Kenyan tree lady Professor Wangari Maathai. This Virtue in Action lady had to face the prejudice that it was totally unacceptable in her traditional culture for a woman to have a mind of her own, and proved it by winning a Nobel Peace Prize!

Marianah Lourens reminded usof the TMI motto, “Where leaders learn”, in her Educational on the CL manual.
Really easy, guys! Just remember to bring your manual on your off weeks and get evaluated on your other roles. Watch this space for pointers for the various roles (otherwise Google Toastmasters International – or a most useful website called “6 Minutes” – I guess because that’s how long you get to make your impression through speech-making. – you can also get a regular post sent to your mailbox)
No more excuses!!
Remember to tell programme organiser so you can be scheduled in one of your roles.

All the continents end in the same letter that they start with!!

Glenis – area report – madiba bay – meet once a month on a Monday – a most moving experience.

Toast of the day: Marianah
Single moms – 9 of the 16 women
Wearing headphones for an hr incrs the bacteria in your ear by 700%
TIPS to ensure prompt service
Don’t even try and lick you elbow.

Some useful advice
Evaluators: denise - slow down and enjoy speaking – will ensure that you will fill your allotted time.
Catchy opening – gets the audience’s attention.
Quinton -

GE – mimi makapula

Um and ah – we’re getting better – especially our 2 prep speakers who didn’t use any

2 1 1 1 1 1 7
marianah plax mimi louise s deborah jessamy alison
the collective SA - how deep are the footprints of Nelson Mandela

how wonderful that we share the ability to deep and lasting friendship in SA

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Its that time of the year again - 25 October

On Tuesday, 18 of our stalwarts turned out. We had many apologies, especially from our teacher members– I guess it’s that time of year again!
A special welcome to our 2 guests: Irna van Zyl and Deon Basson. Hats off to Erna who went to the ends of the earth to track us down. We hope we made it worth your while.

We were particularly happy to see Michael Warren again. In essence we were guests at his stag party because in 10 days, 20 hours and some minutes Michael Warren becomes a SMUG MARRIED PERSON. We expect lots of fireworks on the 5th November, Michael!

BIRTHDAY WISHES this week go to Toastmasters International, which celebrated its 87th birthday this week. Sharing that milestone was Alison Immelman, who reached her HALF-CENTURY!!!!
Also celebrating in the next fortnight are Barry Serfontein on the 3rd and Denise Pudney on the 7th of November.

Some business mattersQuinton Jacobs is organising the programme at the moment. Please contact him with your speaking needs (His number is 0828194445, or email him on Quinton.Jacobs@weathersa.co.za). Remember our quest for a third year of distinguished club status – and your own personal growth plan.
Don’t forget that everything that you do during the evening, quite apart from your speeches, can be evaluated towards your COMPETENT LEADER standing (for our new members, that’s the other manual you received when you joined Algoa).

Do you want to win aAll you have to do is design a header for the Blog, or suggest a catchy slogan. For the official entry form, mail Alison Immelman on alistaude@yahoo.com, and she will send you one. Send your entries to this address, too, or bring them to the next meeting.
Entries close on 8 November

Who’s up for a challenge? Wethinks that ANDREW THE TRAVELLING GAVEL
has been at Madiba Bay for far too long. All we need to do is to visit their club with five of
our members to claim him for Algoa. Let’s go, guys. Listen out for the looting plans.

Toastmaster for the evening was the ever-cheerful Nicholas Mitchell. We know he is busy with his 4 children and his newish law partnership, but he never turns down a job, lending truth to the suggestion that one needs to ask a busy man if one wants something done. Nicholas has been appointed a club coach for USpeak to help them to get back to charter strength (at least 20 paid up members) meetings are between 8 and 9 on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. Please support them if you are able. Meetings are short and to the point.

Just when Michael Warren was greeted joyously, and felt it was a case of “Honey, I’m home”, he received an impassioned plea: “We need a timekeeper!” He pointed out that this is one of the most important lessons that we learn at Toastmasters. Imagine if everyone spoke for just one extra minute. We would be here for an extra ½ hour. Which is why Michael was so excited to use our new alien invasion, zooty time machine – his very own “concorder” (with apologies to Star Wars and their “tricorder”). He said he would have come back sooner if he’d known he’d have such fun!

Grammarian for the evening was Jessamy Kromhout. As Word of the Day she chose “imbroglio” – Italian in origin – meaning mess, or entanglement. Four members used it in their offerings.
Um and ah counter was Liandra Schoultz. She identified only 6 uses of those pesky verbal crutches – quite an improvement on last week. Perhaps there is hope!

Table Topics master was Tanja Gauss. She elected to keep the planet green by presenting a LUCKY DIP, wrapped in recycled paper. What an original, entertaining set of items – from stripy socks to mini fans, and a personal mini magic carpet to a tasteful, bright orange, plastic jack o’ lantern. Our job was to promote the item in-store. The whole house took part, and did we have fun! Perhaps the best sales pitch came from Nicholas, who suggested that if all else fails, re-gift – to your mother-in-law!!

Prepared Speeches

Barry De Klerk undertook his CC3 (Get to the point – try to avoid using notes) with a speech entitled “Energy Anyone?” He told us about a product initially designed to cure jetlag: Red Bull. The cute cartoon ads emanated from a lack of marketing budget. And they had quite a job to do: imagine trying to sell 100 ml less of a drink for double the price of a normal soft drink – and it tasted vile. In clinical trials it has been established that the only harmful substances are sugar (less than a can of cooldrink) and caffeine (about the same as one cup of coffee).

Belita von Steiger delivered her CC4 (Select the right words to communicate the message effectively; avoid jargon) with a “dream” of a speech about “The World Cup that Wasn’t”. Striking images included the sickening “Body hits body, bone hits bone and cauliflower ears get a little more scrunched”. But, alas, it was only a dream because we didn’t even get to the stadium.

Marianah Lourens is moving on apace with her Advanced Communicator projects. Tonight, she presented her AC4 (use principles of voice and inflection to convey a story) from the reading manual. Marianah delighted us with her animated interpretation of an extract from Risk by Dick Francis.

The Toast of the day was offered by Alison Immelman to “growing old humorously”. She quoted Francis Bacon who put it this way: “I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.” And perhaps that’s the secret: to live, laugh, love, and be happy.

Evaluators for the evening were Mimi Makapula, Denise Pudney and Quinton Jacobs. All gave extremely positive, helpful evaluations, bearing out the truth that we learn by doing, and grow by learning. General evaluator was Antoinette Baatjies who pointed out that we are all at different levels of confidence, which is one of the things that makes us so interesting. She reminded us that Tom Horne was the guest speaker at the Westering Prize-giving, while another Toastmaster spoke at Lawson Brown, the first guest speaker ever to receive a standing ovation (27 yrs after she matriculated from Lawson). Antoinette herself found herself delivering an impromptu devotions session which she had forgotten to prep, which is why she’s proud to be a Toastmaster.

The Best Table Topics was awarded to Chenielle Jefferies Badenhorst with her spray gun which she suggested could be used to control unruly exam candidates!

Top toastie of the evening was awarded to the King of Table Topics, Michael Warren, because he’s only going to be king for the next 10 days, and then Lindi takes over!!