The theme today was “First time”, introduced by Toastmaster Alan Calder offering a number of examples on the theme, each with a Wow factor, but not the one that immediately springs to mind. Sergeant at Arms Vivien managed to allude to that – or was it the ‘last time’?
Moving on, Brent Ruru lifted our minds to contemplate ant philosophy – never give up, look ahead, do all you possibly can in the day, and stay positive. I wonder if the ants that occasionally scurry across my kitchen bench think like that when they see me approaching with the ant killer. I suppose that could give them some sort of Wow experience.
Sink or swim, overcoming challenges was the theme of Helen Macdonald’s speech for project 3, Getting to the point, from the CC manual. After buying a property to renovate, and faced with all the decisions, dilemmas and the mammoth job ahead, Helen kept herself on task by reminding herself of all those inspirational quotes such as ‘one step at a time, ‘a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step’ and ‘sink or swim’ of course. Any negatives such as fail or lose served to urge her on until her goal was completed, resulting in a complete metamorphosis of the house, as evident from her pictures. Great achievement.
In the past Steve Thomas has found that opening question at parties, over the cocktails –“What do you do” could kill any conversation very quickly. But now that he works for Hamilton Jet, his party line can last for 6 minutes of cocktail drinking. Speaking to Project 8, Get comfortable with visual aids, Steve’s speech, supplemented by slides, was very informative. He explained Hamilton Jet’s beginnings from Bill Hamilton making agricultural equipment, to designing his first hydro jet so that he could get his boat further upstream to indulge his passion for fishing. Fascinating to learn how the hydro jet works and to where it has evolved from that beginning.
From the man who embraces technology every second of his waking day, and maybe some of the night too, (as long as it’s an Apple product), was of course the speech titled ‘Embracing technology’ – project 4, How to say it. Danny de Hek’s entertaining speech led us through his day from waking with his iphone 6+, (his partner now having his hand-me-down iphone 5S), to his three-screen Mac computer, checking drivers’ actions on the cam in his car, and using voice technology wherever he happens to be in order to network and communicate with people. Sadly voice technology hasn’t extended to his Apple idog! But what a great tool if you are dyslexic and can build a caution into your voice message!
Table Topics continued the First time theme with speakers describing the first time they damaged their car, had a stereotypical/ingrained belief overturned, met their partner, realised they’re not bulletproof and immortal, bought a smartphone and had their eyelashes extended. Could be a Wow factor in some of those.
A smoothly and efficiently run meeting by Alan, complemented by well-prepared introductions, and thoughtful, helpful evaluations, made for another enjoyable meeting encompassing a variety of subjects. I learn something new at every meeting.