Despite the absence of several members through half term children duly there was good turnout of 22 members.
Our alternative meeting agenda was used this week to accommodate an Education Session provided by Len Maylin, a Public Speaking Coach. The essence of our alternative meeting is that we limit ourselves to the 60 second round together with the referrals round thereby leaving a reasonable period of time for Education or other matters in the second half of the meeting.
The 60 Second Round
We went straight into this round which this week was themed. Our loves and likes in relation to our daily toil, all of which stimulated by Tuesday’s Valentine’s Day. The presence of a theme seemed to stimulate everyone to make the extra effort in their presentation. Dipping into the presentations there were several gems; not least Marcelle Saad who explained that the birth stone for February was the amethyst. Its colour is apparently caused by radiation and iron deposits and the darker it is the more valuable it is.
Donna Evans explained how she took pleasure in helping people make the right choices. She had recently helped someone who had the wrong paper and the wrong sofa……shades of Wallis and Gromit. They took her advice and lived happily ever after with the curtains she provided. I assume they also got rid of the paper and the sofa, but she did not say. She unsuccessfully also tried to elicit our sympathy by explaining that her Valentines evening was spent with a packet of maltesers and a bottle of wine. I think it simply stimulated envious thoughts in most of us.
Alan Shaw, back at his whimsical best, stood up with a Bunteresque exclamation of “Oh Crikey!!!”. It seems he proved to be the perfect husband by providing a bottle of Champagne to share with his wife. Unfortunately his wife was not well and he was therefore not able to share it with her. He would not own up to drinking the whole thing but he then swiftly moved on the explain that he designed houses.
Kevin Brooks has rediscovered love. He and his wife had never “done” Valentine’s Day but this year they reconnected with texts, tweets etc. although he still did not buy her flowers.
Jo Eastwood’s message, given the nature of her business, was more direct. Her two shops had had record takings for Valentine’s Day which was good to hear.
Terry Maylin produced some of the tools of his trade that gave him pleasure. They amounted to the equivalent of hand cuffs, a piece of rubber tubing and some rather unpleasant looking tweezers that looked ideally suited to pulling fingernails. These are apparently only used for “small claims”.
Stuart Smallcombe caught our attention by making data cabling sound sexy. The Cat 5 is the equivalent of a Ford Mondeo; the Cat 6 a BMW;… and fibre optic is the Ferrari amongst cabling. It was quite clear from this demonstration that width does not matter. He also managed to make a bit of red cabling, suitably put together, look just like a heart. Who says that romance is dead!!
Brian Painter made a concession to our theme of love by not subjecting us to the usual rigours of description as to the effect that smoking has on smokers.
If red roses are a symbol of Valentine’s Day, Howard Bullock symbolically presented with a red checked shirt that owed more however to the sort of attractive table cloths you find in French Restaurants. He also declared that his greatest love for doing his work was getting paid, and in retrospect we all probably would subscribe to this view.
With regard to my own offering I am comforted by the fact that all of you are now aware that it is Sonnet 18 that begins “Shall I compare the to a summers day…”
In Matt Barry’s absence and last week’s Oscar winner, he was replaced by Len Maylin who awarded the Oscar to Kevin Radford. I can only think it was as a result of his demonstrable versatility that the award went to him in what must have been a close call. Our Bard sang as well as rhymed and he described RMK as glue giving all round protection. You cannot get more romantic than that!
May I finally thank Dean Caldon, our stand in bellman, who administered the bell with the right amounts of firmness and generosity to ensure that the 60 second round was indeed a memorable one.
This weeks statistics and points of note
Scott Griffiths presented the Meeting Secretary’s Report and confirmed Matt Barry to be in the lead in the Performance League. The referrals and testimonials round that followed produced 20 referrals and approximately £15,000 worth of business written.
We were treated to an excellent presentation by Len Maylin as to the do’s and don’ts as far as presenting generally and more specifically our 60 seconds. Notes of his presentation will be separately posted but one or two items of interest.
- The Gettysburg address only lasted for 2 minutes….. If this was all it took to deliver this monumental declaration, no wonder somebody shot him when he next visited the theatre.
- Be organised, protect your voice and keep the message simple.
- Maintain eye contact and beware of the overhead projector, use it sparingly.
Hopefully some of us will be inspired for next week.
Exhortation of the week
Try and use what you learnt today for next week’s 60 seconds.