The Jotter – 6th and 20th Sept 2022

Jotter for meeting of Sept 6, 2022, by David Whyte

There were 11 at our last meeting including 2 guests: Melissa is a guest in name only, and it was
nice to good Anna again. It was interesting to note how some of us fit our fortnightly meetings
into already busy lives. Dean was going to go to Port Mac that evening but decided to attend the
meeting instead and then get on the road by 8am next morning. For Claire it was yet one more in
a week of meetings on top of her teaching hours. Melissa of course is in her HSC year, and Gerry
could only attend till half time before hurrying off to other duties. And those are just 4 examples of
busy lives.
I’m sending a wave to Fran and Elaine with best wishes for speedy recoveries from illness and
injury. We hope to see you both soon.
In the one major “speech” of the evening Mark gave a 15 minute presentation with online display
on the topic of Pathways, followed by 5 minutes of Q and A. Pathways is the Toastmasters
training program. Mark summarised the program, demonstrated how to navigate the website, and
explained how achievements are ticked off by Base Camp Managers.
The session highlighted age old difficulties, (Computer Age-old, that is), of imparting computer
skills to a mixed group.. These are difficulties that arise from varying abilities and different starting
points, and from combining subject matter with use of the computer tool. We needed to listen to
Mark, read the screen, follow the little white arrow as it darted around like a demented fruit fly, and
mould everything into a coherent lump to be absorbed by brains. That said, Mark did a fantastic
job: his presentation was confident and fitted neatly into the time available. It would have been
enlightening to get feedback from us individually. Claire for one, a new member, said she gained a
much better overall understanding of Pathways.
Contest season is upon us. Contests put us on our mettle: contestants speak to set criteria;
contest officials (chair, time keepers, judges etc) fulfil demanding roles; the audience observe and
hear best efforts. The 4 contest categories are:- International (or “regular”) speeches, Humorous
speeches, Table Topics, and Evaluation. Club and Area level contests are this year, and Division
(north coast) and District (NSW north of Sydney Harbour) are early next year. How we do Club and
Area contests this year with reduced numbers has yet to be determined.
That’s all folks. See you at the next meeting

Meeting – 20 September 2022 by Karen McFadyen

Theme of the evening…. Spring
Gerry brought the meeting to order with just the right mix of enthusiasm and formality.
Mark energetically opened the meeting, then Gerry welcomed the members and
introduced our wonderful guests – Anna (welcome back!) and Eric.
Toastmaster Ernie turned up with a new look and a spring in his step (literally!). Gerry
continued her multi-tasking and led the Warmup by highlighting the things in her
environment which indicate Spring. Members and guests all shared their thoughts on the
arrival of Spring.
Dean had us sitting on the edge of our seats as he described the lawyer/client
relationship under various scenarios – in a case where the client was guilty of murder. To
say that we all learnt a lot is an understatement!! Barbara provided a thorough, and
extremely helpful evaluation where she highlighted the importance of the opening
sentence, meeting our speech objectives, our physical gestures, stagecraft, and
audience engagement.
The Spring theme continued in Table Topics. David M told a delightful story about
betting on the Melbourne Cup and Eric shared his experience with a stubborn, grumpy
horse. Our memories of flowers are really our memories of family and friends (David W)
and there are cases where air conditioning is essential (Mark). David M’s general
evaluation was thoughtful and encouraging.
Thank you, David W, for your patient timekeeping and kind reporting. Gerry sincerely
thanked and congratulated both our brave guests for joining us – we hope to see you
again soon.