Live Report 23rd August 2021, by Oghale Akpobome

The meeting started smack bang on at 6:30pm, perfect timing. Julian opened the door after an awesome time as a greeter, welcoming guests.

Everyone was present and eager, having pointed to their locations on the map. 

We love innovation, don’t we?

Julian opened the meeting with his usual zest and invited Colette, who stood in for Mr President, who we expect to be back with us soon. We missed Nik.

Krishn, the TMOD, set the theme of the Day “Your Why”.

‘Breakthrough’ was the word of the day, said Grammarian Colette.

Have you ever seen a timer with 3 physical bells and 3 background colours? Well, we saw one today in the person of the ever-vibrant Dec Cluskey DTM. I’ve never seen a timer so dramatic, one had to watch every move as you listened to a timing report. Simply amazing. 

First Speech was by Mehul Shah who, by the way, expected toast and tea at his first Toastmasters meeting. He gave depth as he spoke about his life and journey, giving the quote: You grow with value and value sticks with you.

Audrey gave her story of leadership, her High-Performance Leadership (HPL) asking the question:  

Are you a leader or follower? 

She learnt by doing – what a way to learn while working on her club website, leading and collaborating.

Oghale did a back pocket speech on loss, showing up, being there, despite how you feel and ‘breaking through’.

Antonia Harrison was the Table Topics Master, giving interesting questions that started with “Why?”.

When asked “why did the chicken cross the road?” Rinku asked rather jokingly “why did I get married?” and followed up with “why did I get called to evaluate?” Ha ha, this chicken question never gets answered, does it?

Rinku was evaluated by Julian – Nah, he did not answer the chicken question either.

Krishn approached the question “Why is the sky blue?” with “What colour do you expect it to be? Red or orange.” Bla bla bla… He went on to science, bla bla bla, environment, bla bla bla. Then he pivoted to say “Join Toastmasters & attend the convention” ?. Well, how about that as an answer to the question “Why the sky is blue?”

Krishn was evaluated by Pamela, who said Krishn ended up doing a switcheroo on a switcheroo on a switcheroo. Pam went on to name Krishn the philosopher of the day. Very nice, Pamela.

Guest Giannis Kanlis – Why would you go with aliens who land on earth tomorrow and offer to go with them tomorrow? He would go in faith expecting something positive out of the adventure.

Giannis was evaluated by Mehul, who said every Table Topic is an opportunity to do a speech, and use a structure.

The fourth question – “Why is it that the people we love are so good at pushing our buttons?” was answered by guest Ami Kotecha. She opined that it has to do with the sense of victory and jubilance from a really close person. Let’s call it building memories in relationships, part of human nature.

Ami was evaluated by Ijjou Akentour who supported her relationship building idea.

TM Prince evaluated TM Mehul Shah praising language, clarity, confidence, proposing some body language and structure for a more powerful appearance.

TM Vincent spoke from Spain, celebrating her use of language, structure, transitions and use of technology. Then he challenged Audrey on body language, eye contact and smiling, urging her to work a little bit on the ending next time.

TM Rinku evaluating OG – “one breakthrough is all it will take to change the world”. Points to praise and points to ponder. Content stood out the most, narration. And she added credibility with calm and composure. Ponder – facial expression on sadness. Will prefer standing. Follow the rhetorical question with a pregnant pause.

Next Session was the Open Feedback moment managed by TM Pamela Benjamin. 

Feedback for Mehul:

Julian – keep the voice, very nice

Colette – no filler words

Krishn – Expand on one personal story when you have so much to share

Ijjou – recommended background with information about his speech

Pamela – add a little bit more story to the little boy as the anchor

Feedback for Audrey:

Mar – congrats on Prezi video

Colette – absolute excellent structure

Julian – good Prezi presentation, use more professional Prezi and practice stagecraft next time

Ijjou – share club urls in the presentation

Giannis – clear structure, however, share with us the leadership traits you used and how you incorporated these into your own journey. 

Feedback for OG:

Julian – she used powerful pregnant pauses

Krishn – she emotes, awesome

Pam – she was fishing and reeling us in slowly, pulling us deeper and deeper. Pausing with drama and transparency. It was a moving and intense experience.

The word of the day “breakthrough”, marched on to success, as it was mentioned 13 times. Colette, our grammarian quipped that ‘Nik’ could have been a word of the day given the number of times his name was called. She further suggested we follow @GrammarUpdates Twitter feed to help with tenses.

Mar Cano did the GE as an international news caster. What a joy to watch! 

Once again, another amazing session at Digital Communicators, who stayed back to chat at the end of the meeting!

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