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Apr 24 2014

Notes from the HOD Speakers Club – April 24, 2014

toastmasters_logoWell, quite a turnout at the Civic Centre tonight for the HOD Speakers Club. Around half those presents were first-timers to a toastmasters group, and the organisation was spectacular – the agenda was timed down to the minute, which was good to see.

So, what happens?

It appears that members of the club get a number of speeches to work through, as they progress in competency in speaking – after ten of those, you’re officially a competent speaker, so we had two people at varying levels speaking. One was quite fascinating, about her commute to work, incidentally. After those, there were some rapid-fire off-the-cuff speeches, with subjects like “If you could, would you travel to outer space?” or “Should CCTV be allowed in school classrooms?” where those chosen had to think of their feet to speak about the subject for a couple of minutes.

A few councillors were also present, a number of which scurried out at half time pleading heavy casework or resident visits to attend to. There was also a great chance to network (I got ambushed by Cllr Jean Lammiman over my note last year that she was playing with her Blackberry during a Council meeting – she didn’t defend her watch polishing though!), and somebody else who thought I might be Cllr James Bond (no, I have slightly more hair than him!).

The Mayor was on fine form, as usual, as was Bob, her driver, both refreshed from their trip to Ghana, no doubt.  Mid-time refreshments were provided by the Mayor – the banana fritters were apparently well received! – and accompanied with juices.

So, the toastmasters themselves? A fascinating and wonderfully entertaining bunch. I think a less-public session would be more useful to a newcomer to it all, and should you want to try that, they meet on the first and third Thursday of every month – get in touch with Mike Freedman at mf@pkstudio.co.uk for details. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating evening, showing you what you could achieve in a very short space of time, and well worthy of another visit.

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