written by Aseem Kapoor
Club President Croydon Communicators
It was the final meeting of the 2020/21 Toastmaster year at Croydon Communicators, a year that has flown by, or rather 'Zoomed by' given that every single meeting has been conducted online!
After I opened the meeting and delivered my final 'President's address' I handed over to our Toastmaster for the evening Susan.
At the same meeting last year (the final one of 2019/20), Susan was giving her ice-breaker speech, and now a year on it was wonderful to see her confidently in the Toastmaster role leading us through the agenda and running the whole meeting.
We had a poignant moment as Susan asked us all to pause for a moment's silence and send our best wishes to fellow members Norma and Pamela. A really thoughtful and lovely gesture.
Troy explained his Timekeeper role, Aminat introduced the word-of-the-day as the Grammarian, and then went on to lead the warm-up session which involved members letting their imaginations run wild while weaving a fun story.
Our first speech of the evening was "Why Am I Doing This?" from Matt, speaking about his vision and personal values.
Gina was next up with her speech "The Power of Yes" about leadership and having a growth mindset.
Our third speaker was visiting Toastmaster Mohammed Salih who told us about Jinn in his speech "Are Ghosts Real?"
Speech evaluations were delivered by Afia, Florence, and visiting Toastmaster Flavia the Club President at our neighbours Liberty Speakers.
The second half of the meeting kicked off with the Knowing Me Knowing You segment where I had the privilege of interviewing special guest Emmanuel Karamagi Club President at neighbours Speakers of Croydon and incoming Area H15 Director.
Thanks to Emmanuel for taking part and diplomatically dodging my question on the best Toastmasters club in the Area!
Table Topics Master Rupa asked speakers to talk about what animal they would be and went straight to one of our guests Gaynor, who declined, but later in the session bravely stepped up and had a go!
Meeting awards were presented to Paul Imm and visiting Toastmaster Katy Hursh (from Minnesota) as joint winners for Best Table Topic. Flavia was voted Best Evaluator, while Best Speaker went to Matt, and the President's Award went to our guest Gaynor!
There were two end-of-year club awards to be presented, although every one of our members has been impressive over the past 12 months and deserves an accolade.
Most Improved Toastmaster of the Year was awarded to Luqman Dawud. Highlights included his four speeches, competing in the recent Spring club speech contest, and also taking on the challenging Contest Chair / Toastmaster role at our Autumn club speech contest, the first one the club held online.
Toastmaster of the Year was awarded to Aminat Omotosho. Impressively taking on the demanding VP Education role just a couple of months after joining the club and Toastmasters! Aminat organised all our meetings, workshops, club contests (serving as Chief Judge at one) and was also a fantastic ambassador for the club, representing it at meetings and events at all levels of the District, and beyond.
What a great meeting to end my tenure as Club President, a big thank you to the rest of the committee for all your hard work and service, and with great pleasure I will be handing over to our incoming President Aminat and the new committee on 1st July 2021!