Malarkey? Not here!

Our celebration was joined by Gerard Mannix, Elizabeth Jordan, Ruslan, Laura and Aris. And, of course, Stuart Lawson who was given the gift of an Internet connection by engineer John Allsop

Margaryta Malyukova opened the meeting with an excerpt from Ithaka and Liz Burnett held a touching laudatio to Stuart.

Our speeches were opened by Stuart Lawson looking back on his Toastmasters beginnings, highlights and anecdotes. We learned that he retired on 4th of July 1995, one day after his 55th birthday after being a bookkeeper for 40 years. He started his career in 1955 with a stately weekly pay of £2.48. He came across Toastmasters by help of a colleague and thought he might meet a rich widow. He remembered his lunch amidst 30 ladies and meeting Dame Esther Rantzen in the Freemasons Hall in London. 600 Toastmasters meetings, 2400 table topics and counting! He was a founder member of West Herts Speakers and one of the founder members of our club.
This was his first ever speech on zoom, sat in an armchair, and we loved his debut!
Feedback. Friendship. Fraternity.

Andy Cowan followed wit A speech about something.  It was his first Level 2 speech where he had to talk about something specific (communication style) instead of choosing a topic himself. Toastmasters suggest 4 styles: Analytical, direct, initiating and supportive. To his own surprise, after taking the communication style quiz he found out he had a supportive/initiating style. He then explored how this shows by referring back to his 11 years in Japan and his adventures in a multi-player video game. He concluded that in order to be a good team player sometimes he needs to put his boss hat on. Well said!

Paul Bayliss concluded our speeches session wit “Paul’s Pit Stop“. He introduced us to the MAMIL: middle aged men in lycra. Referring to the cyclists who appeared everywhere in the first lockdown, making it impossible to get a bike repaired during the summer. Enter Paul’s Pitstop, his neighbour repairing bikes in his own garage and saving the day for many MAMILs. Paul came up with a PR strategy for Paul’ Pitstop:

  1. “Old school” business cards & flyers, as the MAMIL hangs around in cafes & shops in town
  2. Register the Pitstop on google so the QR code on the flyers has a landing page and the Pitstop can be found and reviewed
  3. Active Facebook page with regular fresh content

He then involved the club in his cunning plan and organised 20 new likes for the facebook page. Support your local business 🙂 and save the MAMIL.

Nina Morozova  centered Stuart in the table topics session and asked Nicky, John, Laura, Gerard, Elizabeth and Stuart himself questions related to a few of Stuart’s famous quotes and habits.  We were reminded of Stuarts motto “Why buy a book when you can go to the library?” and his soufflé expertise.

Our winners of the evening are:  Best speaker: Stuart LawsonBest evaluator was Peter Lane evaluating Andy (“Drop that supportive chit chat Malarkey”) and best table topics goes to Stuart Lawson suggesting Cary Grant as the actor for the movie about him. 

A big shout out to Ruslan Honcharov who he stepped up the timekeeper game massively. He  put a colour coded digital counter on screen. AMAZING.

I commend my report to the house.
(Another famous Stuart quote. Every single speaker ended their part on Tuesday with these words, the genius idea of our general evaluator Kevin Baggs.)

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