AGM & Distinguished Toastmasters! (DTMs)

On Tuesday, 7th June 2016, Watford Speakers held their Annual General Meeting for 2016.

Kavita outlined the agenda for the meeting and later handed over to Graeme for the formal election of Club Officers and DeFacto Officer. Graeme carefully explained the rules and election process.

1. Minutes of the 2015 AGM were agreed with one amendment.

2. Highlights of the Year:

i. Distinguished Club Program (presented by Kavita)

  • We have achieved 7/10 goals and are set to complete another 2 by the end of June. Thus we will achieve 9 points and will achieve the President’s Ribbon

ii. Vice President of Education Highlights (presented by Jiten in Murali’s absence)

  • 20 new members to the club; Extra meetings & Speech-a-thons to accommodate club growth; Joke Master role introduced to provide new speaking role in meetings; Flexible agenda to ensure dropped speaking slots get filled; Events & reminders now recorded in EasySpeak; All EasySpeak issues resolved in timely manner

iii. Vice President of Public Relations Highlights (presented by Joe)

  • 2 Speech contests; Exceptional Evaluations workshop by Freddie Daniels; Started filming speeches (with speaker’s permission); Launched Watford Speakers new website; Launched Facebook page, Listed on Goggle+ and set up analytics tracking

iv. Vice President of Membership Highlights (Caroline)

  • 20 new members vs. target of 8; New member induction event; Mentors for new members; Decision made not to divide club in to 2 separate clubs; Limiting new membership to 2 per month; New Speech Craft session running for 6 weeks on Mondays to get new members started

v. Club Finances Update (presented by Matt)

  • Finances from 1st June 2015 – 1st June 2016
  • Total income was £3767
  • Total expenses were £3684
  • Net profit was £83
  • Fees increase from $38 to $45 this year but more members in club means we can currently cover these costs
  • Projected net profit for next year is £350

vi. Club Secretary Highlights (presented by Kavita in Piotr’s absence)

  • Using MailChimp for meeting minutes; Set up of EventBrite for events (including promoting and tracking sign up)

vii. Sergeant in Arms Highlights (presented by Jean)

  • Responsibilities include setting up room, getting milk for network break etc.; Club stock orders placed & will last until end of year; Club members are encouraged to help set up room before meeting (list of jobs will be displayed); Table Topics criteria list compiled

Election of Officers 2016/17. Term to commence 1st July 2016.

  • 8 people stood the floor for the 7 Club Officer roles
  • 2 people stood for the position of Vice President of Education – Mick Salami and Steve Brewer who stood on behalf of Peter Janik
  • Graeme explained that when more than 1 person stands for a position a “Speak Off” is held, during which each candidate has 2 minutes to explain why they should be elected
  • After the “Speak Off” Mick & Steve left the room while a private ballot took place to elect the new Vice President of Education position
  • Graeme announced that Piotr Janik had been elected as the new Vice President of Education
  • All new Club Officers were then voted in by Caroline
  • Confirmed Club Committee for 2016/2017:

Club Officer Positions 2016/2017

President – Dave Collins
Vice President Education – Piotr Janik
Treasurer – Matt Hall
Vice President PR – Joe Simmons
Vice President Membership – Jiten Sharma
Secretary – Naomi Tuttle
Sergeant at Arms – Jean Flower

In addition, Caroline Haines and Kavita Dulai will take on Mentoring roles for 2016/2017. Kavita Dulai becomes Past President of Watford Speakers. Yogesh Dattani and Sofia Geraghty will help support the club by taking on new roles as Deputies.

A warm welcome to Sonal Somaia, our newest member voted in during this meeting.

Before the network break, Coralie led a short Table Topics session where Mike had to talk about “learning to swim”, without using any body language. Ranjan had to act out Mike’s answer using body language only.

Alan McMahon led the 2nd part of the evening which was a session on ‘Leadership, Part II: Developing your Leadership Skills‘. Alan facilitated an interactive session in which the below areas were explored:

  • What is a Leader
  • An Effective Team
  • Contracts Between Team Members
  • Stages of Team Development
  • Expectancy Model
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Creating a Positive Environment
  • How to Reward
  • The Coaching Process
  • A Good Leader

At the end of the evening, Alan led a workshop exercise, where he split participants into groups of 3.

Each group had to assign a Leader/Coach, a team member and an observer. Teams were then given 1 of 4 case studies which they had to act out.

Leaders/coaches had the task of coaching their team members through a problem. Observers then reported back with summaries of their group’s case study and how the coaching process was used.


  • Friday, 17 June 2016 –  Distinguished Toastmaster Dinner for Coralie Frances & Alan McMahon