The Mentoring Meeting 6th September

At the start of every meeting, my goals are twofold, to learn something and to enjoy myself.

As is the case nowadays, we had numerous visitors and some of them even spoke so well done to all and we hope to see you back.

Our Toastmaster for the evening was our resident DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) Duncan B and he did, as always, an excellent job. His enthusiasm always engages the crowd but not only that he always gives us something to think about and last night he talked to use about listening and how listening to others is a valuable skill to have. Duncan challenged us to listen and throughout the evening we were tested on our listening skills by being asked questions on the speeches that had gone before.

Louise B was out timer, great job for the first time and Simon B was our Grammarian who gave us our ‘Word of the Day’ which was ‘Resonate’……

We had some varied table topics from Annie and her theme was centred around possible conversations at dinner parties and we had some very good efforts, our winner for the evening was Simon B who was asked how he had helped someone out. He gave a very good topic speech about how he had helped initiate a table topics session in a working environment and one of the ladies who appeared very nervous and timid, ended up bouncing out of the room as she completed numerous table topics. It’s great to see the benefits of toastmasters being taken into the real world so well done Simon.

One of our main aims as a club is to develop our members into proficient communicators, and as an aid to this we had a guest speaker (Thanks to Paul Ovington from Oxford Orators) who gave us an overview of mentoring and how it had been used successfully over the past 10 years at Paul Club. Paul talked about how mentoring is not only useful for new starters but how everyone could benefit through peer to peer mentoring, no matter how experienced a speaker that person might be. Our Toastmaster used a phrase similar to… ‘No one is so inexperienced that they can’t help others and no one is so experienced that they cannot be helped by others’… and this phrase really Resonated with me.

Our other speaker was Roger M whose speech was entitled ‘killing bugs’. This was all about how, as an IT professional, Roger was frustrated with people not helping him to help them! He argued people could do much more to help the experts such as Roger to solve problems quicker!

James D evaluated the topics and did a great job as always, he has come an awful long way since joining about 3 years ago and has become very proficient in the evaluations, offering a lovely balance of praise and advice to speakers. A real Toastmasters success story.

Denise H co-ordinated a feedback session for Paul Mentoring presentation which went very well and I’m sure everyone, Paul especially, got a lot out of that general feedback. Then our last evaluation was Stephen D who gave a very good appraisal of Rogers speech, again praising his progress since joining the club.

All in all, excellent time had by all. I learnt something and I enjoyed myself.

Rich B