Parktown Induction dinner

Join us on the 13th of July for our 2009/2010 committee induction dinner.
Meals for your own account.
All guests and visitors welcome!

An award of distinction

Transformers Toastmasters
Ruth receives Toastmasters'
highest honour!
Monday's meeting saw Transformers award Toastmasters' highest honour to one of the stalwarts of the club. Ruth Taylor received her Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) certification from Club President Mary, as well as a resounding round of applause from those present. Before I give my thoughts on this, let's take a look back at the two prepared speeches and impromptus that preceded this.

Jerry once again wowed, and in some cases confused, us all with his entertaining speech about dreams and explosions. The golden rule in speaking is to never be boring, something Jerry most certainly never is! Thankfully the lead character in his story, Joe, survived, but as for the rest of them, well, I'm unfortunately still not sure! But an entertaining speech nonetheless, and another one under the belt.
Transformers Toastmasters
Rod captures the essence
of volunteers
Rod gave us feedback on one of the projects in his High Performance Leadership program, and it was certainly interesting to hear what works, and what doesn't, when trying to get voluntary information from others. "Be nice!" seemed to be a good place start!

Ruth then took control as Table Topics master, and asked everyone to define or describe some rather unusual words. Some of them seemed rather exotic indeed, with examples such as "Hakim", "Pogee" and "Woad" making it onto the list.
Transformers Toastmasters
Nchabeng defines Hakim
A few members did manage to get their definitions right, but for some strange reason it's always the total failures that entertain us the most..

As mentioned above, Ruth was awarded her DTM at the end of the meeting, and from all of us at the club Ruth, our hearty congratulations. It's something every Toastmaster should strive for, and achievements of this calibre, so close to home, provide wonderful milestones for the rest of us. Well done!

Join us for our next meeting on the 13th of July.
Guests and visitors welcome!

Court is in session - don't try me..

Transformers Toastmasters
Nchabeng shines in Ice Breaker
Yesterday's court proceedings were one for the books, as various participants came to the fore to deliver their facts and opinions on the case at hand..
If you have no idea how a court session might fit into a Toastmasters meeting, then sit tight..

Before that took place, Transformers welcomed Nchabeng to the stage to deliver his CC1 ice breaker.
It always fascinates me to see how people relate their stories to a Toastmasters group, but invariably the most exciting are those where the speaker adds a certain psychological twist to the speech. And this is what made this ice breaker shine. Nchabeng's story, entitled "I am James", was a journey through his childhood in Kathlehong, with fond memories of his father. It evidently took him some time to accept that he was no longer his father, James, but himself, and that to succeed he had to find his own path. We get many stories for a CC1 but when they are as thought provoking as this, they etch themselves in our memories - well done Nchabeng!
Transformers Toastmasters
John-Peter's speech was just as well prepared and executed. He presented his CC3 entitled "Why I am afraid of spiders!"
After a rough ride down memory lane on his bicycle, where a number of falls occurred, he then explained how an incident with one of his relatives forced him to realise that spiders aren't as friendly as he'd made them out to be. How did we ever let our relatives dictate our lives! A thoroughly deserved Best Speaker award soon followed.
Clarence was outstanding, and took home the most improved speaker award for his speech on the new Bus Rapid Transport System. His speaking skills improve significantly with every speech and this CC4 was exciting, well executed, and had all of us in the palm of his hand.
Transformers Toastmasters
Clarence delivers the BRT
Rod, using outstanding debating and negotiating skills, negotiated with me for a higher salary, and a Mercedes Benz C300 to boot. Clearly he has a highly developed skill in this arena, since, well, he got it! Questions from the floor indicated it was probably not as realistic a negotiating session as would be expected in the real world, but at least it was good practice!

Then, it was into the court room...for table topics...and here was the scenario:

Glenice owned a farm in the Klein Karoo, and had accused Jerry of stealing one of her prized Springboks. This required various witnesses and private investigators, and the drama unfolded as follows:

Glenice, stated her case against Jerry, clearly implicating him in the theft of her Springbok.
Nchabeng, as Jerry's best mate, stepped up to defend him. He confirmed they did enjoy hunting trips and biltong together, but that the accused was certainly not a venison thief.
Ruth, as chief witness for the prosecution told how she noticed strange goings on between the fences of the two farms on the night of the alleged crime.
Keith then stepped up as the Private Investigator for the accused, and provided new evidence in the form of a new disease, called Springbok Lame Leg Disease. This was clearly the cause of Glenice's missing Springbok.
Mary, as chairperson of the small book club in town gave us the "inside info" on the real culprit behind the crime. Unfortunately her 'evidence' was struck from the roll as 'simple hearsay' when Chief Judge Rod issued his verdict later in the proceedings.
Jerry then stepped in to defend himself, and seemed to indicate that he may have had some part to play in the loss of the animal.
But the verdict?


Transformers held it's Annual General Meeting directly afterwards and the new officer positions will be announced shortly...Watch this space!

Join us on the 22nd for our next meeting.
Guests and visitors welcome!

Are you a witness or an observer?

After the usual preliminaries, John-Peter Gernaat had us totally confused regarding the difference between witnessing and observing something. These two words threaded their way through the entire meeting and, considering it was the first time John-Peter was Toastmaster for the evening, we admired his persistence. He certainly fulfilled the role with aplomb.

Keith Bowen’s Toast of the Evening to “Observing” was certainly in line with the theme of the evening (was that because he was called on to do it on the last minute??). In true Transformers fashion, the person who’d been least regular in their attendance at club meetings was asked to respond – sorry, Clarence, we have to make the most of you when we see you!

Keith also provided us with the word of the evening – “spectacle”, meaning a lavish public show or a ridiculous sight. I guess you can observe and witness a spectacle!! Poor Clarence was pounced on again to be substitute Timekeeper, but he did this, as usual, with a smile on his face.

The only remaining Prepared speech for the evening was a CC3 (“Getting to the point”), given by Ruth Taylor. She shared with us how she’d made the most of the opportunities she’d been given by the magazine she works for when sent to places like Dubai and Sun City. She’d ridden a camel, gone over sand dunes in a 4X4 and even sampled some hubbly bubbly while in Dubai, and she and her daughter had tried out the Zipslide in Sun City. However, during her trip to Disneyland Paris, she’d not attended the Premiere of the Hollywood Tower of Horror, something she regrets to this day. So don’t let life pass you by – “carpe diem!”

Mary Byrne’s competent handling of Table Topics resulted in us all being in stitches. John-Peter kicked off by telling us about the car accident he’d had. By glancing up at a drop of rain, he’d missed the sign marking a concealed driveway and then was distracted by the enormous pink bow sported by the occupant of the car that was being driven out of this driveway, resulting in an accident. Ruth swears blind she did not have a pink bow in her hair but was convinced that John-Peter could not take his eyes off her. Clarence, who’d been behind the driver of the first car, said the lady in the other car had been sporting a pink Afro. Keith, on the other hand, who’d been in his garden fixing the water system, said that due to his wife turning on the water when she shouldn’t have, water had spewed all over the place, and the driver of the first car obviously couldn’t see where he was going. Ruth had been busy tying her pink bow and hadn’t been looking where she was going so it was, in fact, her fault. PC Rod Taylor declared that the driver of the second car had called the police and had then offered him one drink after another, after another… and then it seemed that things got a bit hazy!

Keith was very strict in his Wordmaster/Grammarian feedback session, when he only credited Rod with ½ point for using “spectacle” to refer to glasses! As was to be expected, John-Peter had most usages of the word of the evening, and also walked away with the Best Contribution award. Keith’s waterworks speech gained him the Best Impromptu award.

Ryan Ebedes was congratulated in absentia for being nominated Best Club VPPR 2008/9 in District 74. Transformers’ website was nominated Best Club Website in 2008/9 in District 74 and, since Ryan is the webmaster, this was his second award for the year. Congratulations from all of us, Ryan – we’re proud of you!

Join us for our next meeting on 8 June 2009, when Parliamentary procedure will be in action at our AGM. This is when our club officers for the next Toastmasters year will be elected too. So if you want to know before anyone else who’s who in Transformers for 2009/10, be there!