Communication and Leadership Skills

What Does the Future Hold?

Toastmasters St Kieran’s Zoom May 27 2020

The theme for the Toastmasters St Kieran’s Manly Vale meeting on May 27, 2020 was, “What does the future hold?” A compelling question in this COVID-19 world and the perfect theme on a night when we had an icebreaker speech from a new member, Ilona, and we held our Club Executive Elections 2020-2021. 

Once again, this meeting was held on Zoom. We agreed that we are grateful that we can run our meetings remotely, but we miss being together in person. 

We had 15 members present and two guests.

Kieron chaired the meeting.  Whilst he is a seasoned veteran at chairing Toastmasters meetings, this was his first time to chair a Zoom meeting and he did a terrific job. He brought his usual commentary and  insights that guided us through the evening as we transitioned from one part of the agenda to the next.  He also did a great job of explaining what each part of the agenda was about, which is of great benefit to guests who often don’t know what to expect at a Toastmasters meeting.

Warm Up – What Does the Future Hold?

As always, we started the meeting with a warm-up where all members talked for 45 seconds about “What does the future hold?” And as always, we had a wide variety of perspectives shared. For the most part, members of all ages were optimistic about the future and humanity’s ability to innovate in difficult times. People also talked about the importance of wellbeing and mental health. One of my favourite lines from the night was that it is important that we “Give the world our own healthy psyche”.

Angela held the role of timer for the meeting and Eva was the Grammarian. Eva’s word for the night was “obtuse”. 

Toast for the night – “The Power of Thought”

Karen delivered the toast which complemented the theme. She spoke about how none of us can truly know or control the future, however we CAN control how we react to it by being aware of our thoughts, the stories we tell ourselves about what is happening and choosing how we react.  Members toasted, “The power of thought.”   

Prepared Speeches

We had two speeches on the night.  Paul’s assignment was to deliver a speech that used a story or brought storytelling into the speech.  His speech was called “School, What’s in it for Me?” and he shared several touching and humorous stories from his childhood schooling experience and what he learned from them. 

Ilona delivered her icebreaker speech and shared her fascinating background with us including why she came to Australia.  We are thrilled to have such an articulate, intriguing and interesting new member! 

Club Executive Elections 2020-2021

Gary then hosted the Club Executive elections. He opened by reminding us that there are 15,600 clubs with over 365,000 members across the world! 

Our Executive Committee for 2020-2021:

President – Scott (who will be serving his second term)
VP Education – Paul (who has served numerous roles and is an amazing VPE.)
VP PR – Karen (who will be serving her second term)
VP Membership – Eva (we welcome her to the committee and thank Angela for her dedicated service in FY 2020)
Treasurer – Jeff (who will be serving his second term)
Secretary – Bacchus (who has served several roles through the years)
Seargeant at Arms – Kesh (we welcome him to the committee and thank David for his service in FY 2020) 

Table Topics – If you could…

The Table Topics session was conducted by our Table Topics Master, Jeff. The theme was “If you could…” and members delivered impromptu speeches on such topics as:

  • If you could bring back any item of fashion, what would it be? (Filimon delivered a hilarious speech about turtleneck sweaters)
  • If you could be part of a fictional family, which would you choose and why?
  • If you could transport to anywhere, where would it be and why?
  • If you could go back in time, when would you go back to and why? 
  • If you could commit any crime and get away with it, what would it be and why?
  • If you could be any supernatural creature, what would it be and why?
  • If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
  • If you could instantly learn a new skill, what would it be and why?

Both of our guests – Sam and Chris – had a go and did a terrific job.

Wrap up

The meeting wrapped up with a general evaluation presented by Gary, a Timer’s report and the Grammarian’s report.

Overall, it was another successful meeting and we continue to learn new communication and speaking skills in the Zoom world as well as practice keeping to time in an online meeting (something that is proving much more challenging online than in person).

Next Meeting – Be our guest! 

Our next meeting is Wednesday, June 10, 7:00 pm and will be held on Zoom. Guests are always welcomed. Contact our VP Membership at:  toastmastersmanlyvale at outlook dot com (or click on the Vice President Membership link at the top of our home page. Click here).