Another crisp Christchurch morning at Boaters Toastmasters, with Brett Snow rounding in the troops as Sergeant at Arms. Brett welcomed in the Boaters and our 3 guests, and introduced the Toastmaster for today, Lloyd Manson.
Lloyd presented our theme for today, “Battle Scars” – recognising stories about the scars we wear today (some of which aren’t always visible), and how these experiences shape and influence who we are. Due to last minute changes, we were advised that there would be 2 speakers this morning, with an extended round of Table Topics.
Vijay was our Grammarian this morning, and presents our Word of the Day – “Attitude”. Despite some sticky-tape related technical issues, he explained the ease of keeping a good attitude when things are going well, but also that we should be mindful of our attitude when it comes to failure, as failures provide opportunities for us to learn and improve.
Louise introduced our first speaker of the morning, David Pottinger, who revisited his earlier speech on Kiwisaver as part of his Pathways project. David presented some fascinating insights around the average age of retirees, optimal ages to start saving for retirement, and the ways we can use our Kiwisaver funds for other purposes, such as buying a house or emergency situations. He reinforced the importance of starting early, and regularly reviewing our funds based on our appetite for risk and stage of life.
John McVicar presented our second speaker, Allanah, who presented her speech as part of her Pathways – Evaluation section, titled “Don’t Let Your Children Do Anything That Makes You Dislike Them” – a concept based on Jordan Peterson’s book “12 Rules for Life”. Alannah outlined and discussed the belief systems of her children compared to her own, the differences in experience, values and priorities between parents and children throughout the stages of their lives.
Our extended Table Topics session was hosted by our Table Topics Master of the morning, Vivien. Our table topics were based on the theme of this morning, “Battle Scars”
- Courtney was up first, and was asked to tell us a story about battle scars she had suffered. Courtney discussed a mystery knee injury which occurred after a night out, with recurring issues giving a constant reminder of such events
- David Clarkson was up next, and gave us a story around the worst accident he experienced at Mount Hutt, with a collision that left him with an injured shoulder, and screaming for assistance in a rather isolated location
- Imelda was one of our guests to Boaters, and was asked to describe the last surgery that she required. Despite no personal experiences, she described a situation with an acquaintance where surgery needed
- Mark was asked to describe a scenario where action was needed to save a life. He described a scene with impatient driver attempting a risky manoevure, resulting in an incident where the car had flipped, leaving with driver in a state of shock. With a bit of goading, Mark was able to bring the driver back to their senses.
- Sandra described the last accident she was involved in, which a near miss with a truck en route to a jetboat race. Her vehicle had veered off the road, but luckily survived the incident with no injuries (with enough time to see the end of the race!)
Second round of Table Topics was based on a popular segment from the series 7 Days, where Vivien would hand our speakers a piece of artwork, asking our speakers to describe the scene that “they had drawn”
- Sabine was first with her picture depicting a blue sea filled with fish, describing an experience she had after first arriving in NZ catching snapper
- Our guest Rob described a scene of an open meadow, with a big blue sky and bright sun, and some interesting looking mushrooms?
Evaluator for our first speaker was Anton, who outlined David’s goals to deliver his speech with more life and energy, with less reliance on laptop and notes. He commended David on his content and structure, and had improved overall since his first speech. Anton’s suggestions included presenting with a bit more energy, less reliance on the laptop for notes, and awareness around the use of ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’.
Dion evaluated Alannah’s speech, and applauded Alannah on her clear delivery, use of pitch and tone changes, and a captivating use of grammar and phrases. He recommended that she use more of the stage, and reduce the pace in some parts. Dion acknowledged her clear and confident delivery, and that notes were not required.
Denise evaluated the first round of Table Topics, and acknowledged some excellent storytelling from our speakers, good eye contact with the audience, and great voice projection despite some background noise throughout the morning. General recommendations included increasing the use of movement and body language on the stage, or maintaining eye contact with certain parts of the stage longer than others.
Courtney evaluated our second round, and commended both speakers on their entertaining speeches, natural presentation, and relating back to this morning’s theme. Her suggestions were to hold the picture at an angle where the audience had a clear view, and project more volume to ensure that those near the back can hear.
Timekeeper for the morning was Steve, who advised that all speakers went slightly over their allocated time, and delivered the breakdown for each speaker.
Grant was our General Evaluator this morning, and offered some great feedback and advice to our evaluators. He commended the speakers on their content preparation, eye contact with the audience and maintaining composure despite background disruption. He advised that speakers should move the lectern before starting their speech, and to carry on with the speech should uncooperative props interfere with the presentation.
Table topic evaluators were praised for their “textbook” intros, structure of the speech (keeping a beginning, middle, end), and use the days theme as part of the speech. Recommendations included advising guests of the table topics in advance, maintaining the time of the speech, and to avoid speaking “to the front of the room”.
Timekeeper was thanked for his handling of the time despite our disruptions, last-minute changes, and reading the times for each individual speaker. Toastmaster of the morning was acknowledged for this advice to update availability on Easy Speak, got the meeting running amongst last minute change and a good theme that was plugged throughout the meeting. Grant concluded that it was a great meeting, and loved the topics.
Sandra conducted our bulletin, and started by thanking Vijay for meeting his target and launching the new website this week! (Blogger Note: Well Done Vijay, it looks fantastic!)
The Pathways workshop cleared some confusion, which was noted to be ‘easier than we thought’, and mentioned that uploading evaluations was an optional piece.
The session on Friday 31st August will be a Table Topics contest, and we’re looking for volunteers to be a contest chair – Sandra to provide more info on what’s required in this role. A reminder was given to update Easy Speak and confirm any assigned roles for the week, keeping things up to date, and communicating via phone or email.
Our Toastie award was also presented by Sandra, and our winner of the morning was our guest, Rob. Congratulations Rob, hope to see you back again soon! 🙂
Blogger Notes: This meeting marks my first (of many) assigned roles as an official Boater! The hardest part of this job was keeping notes while being so engaged and entertained with this mornings’ speakers! While there were a few last-minute changes, we managed to persevere while keeping a positive attitude. We all left relatively unscarred, but came away with some good stories and ideas for improvement – GH