written by aseem kapoor
Club President Croydon Communicators
Our first meeting of 2021, happy new year to all!
Now the formalities are out of the way, in terms of the Toastmasters calendar we find we are already half way through the year, so let's focus on achieving those educational goals we set ourselves in July, or better yet adding even more!
It's been five weeks since Croydon Communicators last met, back in early December, but our members have returned looking rested, reinvigorated, and raring to go.
Florence led the way by taking on Zoom Master responsibilities for the first time (and doing a great job!), as well as opening the meeting in her role as Sergeant at Arms.
While we are still meeting on Zoom, I encourage every single member to take the opportunity of enhancing their digital skills, and add the experience of managing (at least) one of our online meetings.
Those of us that have been doing the role will be happy to show you the ropes!
Our Toastmaster for the first meeting of 2021 was the ever genial Norma who explained her theme of 'Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda' and introduced each role player.
Pamela, taking on the Timekeeper role for the first time, in fact her very first role at the club, did a brilliant job, skillfully managing her virtual backgrounds to signal our speakers.
During the post meeting chat, Pamela even checked if she should submit her timer's report - now there is an idea, should we keep an official record of which members overrun the most often!
Luqman was Grammarian, introducing us to the word-of-the-day 'Copacetic', so commonly heard across the pond in the USA, but not so much here in the UK, so a great choice to expand our vocabulary.
Following his memorable 'guess the lie' exercise in the last meeting, Stephen once again took on the warm-up role and got us thinking about our goals for the year.
Our first speaker Matt shared his fascinating concept of working in teams that have cognitive diversity (and its benefits), with his speech titled "Harnessing diverse thinking".
Our next speaker Aminat beginning a second educational path (Strategic Relationships) gave us a sequel to her icebreaker with a speech titled "The Malachite part II" ... will there be a part three ... if there is I think Aminat will have to get us all to practise saying the word 'malachite'!
Our third speaker was Gina, who like Aminat was beginning yet another educational path (Presentation Mastery) which meant another ice breaker speech, and we found out how Gina first discovered Toastmasters in her speech titled "It is not the mountains we conquer but ourselves"!
All three speeches are well worth watching back - look out for a link to the recording on our WhatsApp group.
Roz, Loreen and Kamontip showed they had been paying close attention as they stepped up to provide their thoughts on each speaker they had been assigned to evaluate.
Following a short comfort break, Florence reconvened the meeting and handed over to our Table Topics Master Dan.
Drawing on Norma's theme for inspiration, Dan pulled out a list of pop songs that had reached number one in the charts in 2002, asking us to use them as titles for topics speeches to be developed around.
Not the best year for pop music based on Dan's sample, but that didn't affect our table topics speakers!
Pamela once again took the stage to confirm timings of the table topics, and Luqman followed confirming the meeting had been 'copacetic' and delivering a detailed Grammarian's report on the language used this evening.
Matthew Robertson VPE at Bloomsbury Speakers was our General Evaluator, and proceeded to give his thoughts on the meeting providing feedback to everyone that had not been evaluated.
Thanks to visiting Toastmasters Roz (who needs no introduction at our club) and Mon (Riverside Communicators) who both helped us fill the agenda as speech evaluators.
It was also wonderful to welcome guests Celia, Rupa, Arif, and Edith.
Club officer training run by the Area is on Monday 25th January and open to all members, details to follow.
A great meeting to kick off 2021 thanks to all who attended - our next one is on 28th January.