Meeting report

11 July 2016

John Hicks

Fourteen of us (including two visitors) turned out for this meeting organised by Toastmaster Lisa Todd. 

New member and adventurer, Doreen Bestmann, delivered the first literal Icebreaker speech I have heard, commencing at latitude 79 degrees North off the coast of Spitzbergen with her boat pushing aside sheets of sea ice ... Doreen's accomplished speech covered a lot of territory and remarkably (because she managed to squeeze it all into her allotted time) she gave us a summary of her very full life to date: from her "useless" four year degree in theoretical algebra, to her career in investment banking, rocket science, murder/mystery nights and belly dancing. The very word "algebra" terrifies me, but "legal policy processes" and "operations management" even more - so I shall look forward to further challenges from Doreen. Toastmasters is a meeting point for disparate minds. 

Our second speaker, Lloyd Bathurst in "Please do not waste your vote" presented a few convincing arguments as to why we should participate in democracy - a talk obviously inspired by recent Brexit events. En route he enlightened us about Warren Buffet's concept of "ovarian lottery" and put Winston Peters to the sword. There was much of interest in what Lloyd said, but as his Evaluator, Michael Shand, pointed out, this was a quixotic speech given that Lloyd had recently given a presentation where he had tried to persuade us that voting was a waste of time! Lloyd makes an excellent devil's advocate - every club should have one.

Table Topics Master, Terelle Hegarty, came up with some great TTs. Top marks to Ali Scott who delivered the best punch line of the evening. Her topic was how to encourage children to play outside. Her solution: "Take away the house!" 

Ali later gave us an brief account of her trip to Jerusalem for therapy for her son Oskar. The audience requested she give a more detailed speech at a later date. That will be an evening worth attending.