Many thanks to all those of you who attended last nights meeting. Jennie Dalton was our Toastmaster for the evening, her first time in fact as Toastmaster and she did us proud. The Toastmaster role is certainly very challenging because the evening is a reflection of the energy that the Toastmaster brings, plus they have to make sure that the meeting runs on time and that we cover everything that’s set out in the agenda for the evening, in the order that it’s set-out. Well done Jennie!

The speeches for the evening came from Christine Wallach, Caroline Brewer (with Doug’s involvement) and Beverley Hepting. The Best Speaker Award was presented to Christine with her speech entitled “Homeless”, where she recounted the awful experience of having her house burnt down by a firework prankster. It wasn’t all doom and gloom however, and in typical Casterbridge Speakers fashion Caroline turned the experience from one of initial sadness to gratitude that her most important belongings were saved – her family!

Our Table Topics Master was David Smith and he picked out Steve Graham, Rosie Barfoot, Siobhán Davis, Linda Parkinson-Hardman, this evenings Guest Phil Clarke & Steve Richards to speak about a range of topics such as “what animal would you like to be and why” to “what’s your mission statement”. Steve Graham wanted to be a cat and Linda Parkinson-Hardman’s mission was to procrastinate less. Siobhán Davis convinced us that poverty is not a state of mind and is very much a reality for some in society. The Best Table Topics Award however went to both Rosie Barfoot and Phil Clarke. Rosie had to give some Health & Safety advice to Humpty Dumpty about jumping off walls, which she did wonderfully, whilst Phil recounted his most memorable memory from the past year which was to ditch accountancy and instead study psychology. It takes a brave person to decide, half way through a degree, to press the reset button and he also displayed this bravery tonight by getting up and presenting his first Table Topics. Well done Phil and Rosie.

Our Table Topics Evaluator was Douglas Pigg and General Evaluator was Linda Parkinson-Hardman. This evenings Best Evaluator award went to Andrew Knowles for his evaluation of Christine Wallach’s speech. His use of the stage to demonstrate the effectiveness of Caroline’s delivery and the structure of his evaluation were clear winners. Andrew and Rachel Knowles are experienced speech evaluators and it was a pleasure, as well as highly educational, to see both of them in action tonight.

This is my first blog post as new VP of Public Relations here at Casterbridge Speakers. The website has had a much welcome facelift and it’s now cross-platform compatible, so those of you on mobile devices can now navigate with ease. However if you notice anything untoward please let me know via the contact page. The injection of a few more photos is on the “to-do” list, photos certainly do add more colour to a website and in fact this post would have been a lot more fun if we had some action photos. See you all again, and hopefully some more brave guests, in two weeks!

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