miércoles, 19 de enero de 2011

19th Jan 2011

I'll go into details of the meeting in a second, let me just give you the big news first:
- January 26th is a special meeting for club officer training
- next normal club meeting is February 2nd,
- next renewal in March will be 36 Euros for 6 months (rather than 72 for 12 months)
- no more members will be accepted until April
- no more new guests will be invited until April

I'll come back to this new members/guests topic towards the end.

We started on a different note: our new President MA was giving a nice introduction to another PACKED room of this week's SPANISH meeting. He explained once more that the TableTopics (TT) have moved to after the prepared speeches and speech evaluations, simply because we keep a moment of suspense, as well as managing better our time that we spend on TT. (Side note: maybe we should update the timer's template sheet, and put TT on the bottom there, too.)
Then MA called upon myself, Kai, Treasurer of the club, to present the report of 2010 and a special proposal. Last year we spend slightly more money than we took in, yet we still have healthy club finance because during some years with a weak dollar rate the club had quite some surplus. One change for 2011 is that we will have renewals in March and September, for 6 months each time. The special proposal was to help the new BCN Pride Toastmasters Club with 400 Euros sponsorship + 400 Euros loan for their initial spending, and this has been approved by vote of all active members attending.
During the presentation of Roles Marina explained how important the timing is, also in foresight to the Toastmaster competitions that are held twice a year: 30 seconds after the red light means you get disqualified. Laura's word of the day was Expert. TME Pilar also shared with us a very personal story on how her dad in Mexico beat her to become a Competent Communicator after the 10 first speeches from the CC manual - and she was there over Christmas to watch it - and evaluate his speech. Wow!

We then had our own first prepared speaker, an Icebreaker by DTM Dale, in Spanish. I really liked how he used a Toastmasters flier and had put notes inside, so that he could hold it up and read from there rather than from the notes on the lectern. His speech "En las Nubes" - in the cloud - was talking about his TM past, his relocation to Barcelona, and how is now looking for a job with the help of the cloud, LinkedIn for example.

Second Speaker Patricia was answering if becoming your own boss might be "¿Una buena idea?" - a good idea? She talked about teamwork, leadership skills and long term (financial) benefits of running your own business.

Third up was Rob with his speech 3 - "Tengo un problema", talking about obesity and giving great recommendation on how this problem needs to be tackled.

Our forth speaker had quite an impact on the whole room, when she asked what she and Kurt Cobain would have in common. This was a very informative talk with many different sources of information, all wrapped into a packing personal story that many of us will remember ... Wow!

Our evaluators were kind, as always. Maria commented on how brave Dale is to face a Spanish speech delivery, while obviously he is still struggling with grammar and vocabulary after living here just 3 months. Djanira recommended that Paty could as well work without notes, as they were not used, and that body language could help reinforce a great speech structure. Jose T was giving recommendations on transitions, and Kathryn confirmed that Sue had reached all our hearts and minds, while recommending to work on organisation to avoid any dead moment.

Antonio then presented his Table Topics, and his volunteers were Jose Luis (on the Catalan "Caganer", Lucie selling some magic drops, and Laura counting cows instead of counting sheep.

On the other reports and General Evaluator, let me point out how well Laura highlighted both great use of words, as well as suggestions for alternatives - this is very useful especially for foreigners like me, since we learn public speaking and improve our Spanish at the same time. GE Joan pointed out how important it is that everyone that has a rule on the agenda should arrive between 30 and 15 minutes before the start - otherwise those that are there already will be busy looking for alternatives ;) Another suggestion was that the Ah-Counter report should be compacted, so that it doesn't get boring.

The meeting was then handed back over to our President for more club business. M.A. announced the role of the Blogger, which will be done by 1 volunteer each week, and doing this role twice will count for the newsletter assignment of the CL manual.
We then came to the most difficult topic: closing down the entrance to the club. VPPR Marina confirmed that those guests who were confirmed for this week had been waiting since November. I was able to add to this (as treasurer) that we went from 16 renewed members to now 59 signed up members in just 10 months. M.A. hence put the committee's suggestion forward to a general club vote, that we won't accept new members nor invite new guests until April, and this was carried: all 29 attending members voted in favor, 0 against, 0 abstentions. We'll monitor the situation, the upcoming renewal (many thanks Maria for paying 36 already), and how membership develops as soon as Pride charters. At the same time we are looking for additional rooms and a larger room for our Wednesday meeting.