第762回例会レポート / The 762nd Regular Meeting Report


第762回例会「エリア52合同例会」レポート / The 762nd Meeting “Area 52 Joint Meeting” Report

The 762nd regular meeting of YTMC was held as “The Area 52 Joint Meeting” at the main hall on the 5th floor of Hatoba Kaikan in the Minatomirai Area of Yokohama. A total of nearly 70 Toastmasters and guests, 41 at the venue and 27 online, from the five Area 52 clubs (Yokohama, Minatomirai, Ocean, Kannai, and Rock Music), gathered together in one place at the same time. Due to the Covid 19 situation, this was the first Area 52 Joint Meeting since the last one which was held in 2019. However, thanks to the passion and hard work of officers and representatives from each club, this was made possible. Yay!

The venue had a commanding view of the Port of Yokohama, Minatomirai skyscrapers, and the Red Brick Warehouse under the clear blue sky, which further added to the excitement of the event. The joint meeting was opened by the Ocean Club President E, who participated online. After the greetings by Area 52 Director TM K and Yokohama Club President TM S, the warm-up/ice-break stretching exercise instructed by Minatomirai Club President TM K followed. After fully stretching the body and taking deep breaths, everyone got ready to participate in the main educational session.
The first half of the educational session was conducted by TM I from the Yokohama Ocean Club, who came all the way from Niigata that day, and the second half was conducted by TM K of the Minatomirai Club as TMOD (Toastmasters of the Day).
The educational session started with one of the highlights of this joint meeting, “Club Pride Speech” by a representative from each club. Each club gave a short speech peppered with humor, including a stand-up comedy and team presentation.
This was followed by a Table Topics Session in small groups. Thanks to the efforts of TM I, the TMOD and Table Topics Master, and TM O, the Zoom host, who grouped the attendees in advance, despite the large size of the participants breaking out into small groups went smoothly. Usually, in the Table Topics Session in a regular meeting, only 5-6 members at most have a chance to speak, but this joint meeting was designed to give everyone a chance to speak, as well as to get to know the members from other clubs. Thanks to that I had a chance to talk with people from other clubs in a friendly manner, and I enjoyed it very much. After the group speeches, the TMOD (and Table Topics Master) asked for volunteers, and representatives from each group went up on stage or online to “brag” about their hometown, hobbies, and what they had done well this term, which made it a fun session for everyone. Originally, in a Table Topics Session, the questions are not known until last minute, but this time, due to the large number of attendees, we adopted the method of choosing and answering any of the three questions given to the participants in advance. I think it was the right call.

After a five-minute break, the Prepared Speech Session by representatives from each club began. The new TMOD, TM K, appeared on stage in the latter half by the introduction of the TMOD in the first half, and he introduced speakers one after another. The speeches, ranging from serious to instrumental, musical, and fun, were presented by four onsite and one online speakers with rich and substantial content.
The evaluation was also presented by four onsite and one online attendees. What impressed me the most was the fact that the speeches and evaluations were felt far more powerful and enjoyable to listen to in a large venue and from a big stage than from an online screen. The Toastmasters International has held its annual speech contest online for three consecutive years because of the Covid 19 pandemic, and the District 76 (Japan) finals were held “online” just one week ago. Of course, online speeches have their own advantages. But the sense of unity and rapport with the audience that I experienced at this joint meeting made me realize that it is an essential element for public speaking. Some of the five clubs still hold their meetings exclusively online, so I heard some of them saying, “It’s such a real pleasure to see everyone in person and hear live speeches for the first time in a long time!”
I hope that next year we will be able to hold the contest live, and every meeting live, too.

At the end of the prepared speech and evaluation session, the best speaker awards were given to TM A from Yokohama Ocean Club for Table Topics, TM A from Minatomirai Club for Best Evaluator, and TM A from Yokohama Club for Best Speaker. Congratulations to all!

Before adjourning, some members of the Rock Music TMC, which had chartered in this term, played a few songs with guitars and a vocal on the stage and was given a big round of applause from the audience.

The joint meeting ended successfully while enjoying a beautiful view of the Port of Yokohama with a soft sea breeze blowing in the air. I hope we can do it again next year. Thank you very much to the officers and members of each club for their efforts in organizing this event!

YTMCの第762回通常例会は、エリア52合同例会として、波止場会館5階大ホールにて盛大に開催されました。エリア52所属の5クラブ (横浜・みなとみらい・オーシャン・関内・ロックミュージック)のうち、会場41名、オンライン27名、合計70名弱のトーストマスターおよびゲストが大集合しました。エリア52合同例会は、コロナ禍のため、2019年の開催を最後に行われていませんでしたが、今年はぜひやりたいという各クラブ代表者の熱意により開催の運びとなりました。

晴天に恵まれた会場からは、横浜港や高層ビル群、赤レンガ倉庫などが眺望でき、ワクワク感がいや増します。オンライン参加のオーシャンクラブE会長により、高らかに開会が宣言されました。その後、エリア52ディレクターTM Kの挨拶、横浜クラブ会長TM Sの挨拶を経て、まずはウォーミングアップ/アイスブレークとして、みなとみらいクラブ会長のTM Kによるストレッチエクササイズが行われました。身体を十分に伸ばし、深呼吸をして、いよいよ本番セッションがスタートです。

教育セッションの前半部分は当日新潟から駆け付けたオーシャンクラブのTM Iが、後半はみなとみらいクラブのTM KがTMOD (本日の司会)を務めました。

続いては、スモールグループに分かれてのテーブルトピックセッションです。大人数にもかかわらず、グループ移動はスムーズに行えました。事前に出席者をグループ分けして下さったTMOD兼テーブルトピックスマスターのTM IとZoomホストのTM Oの尽力に感謝いたします。通常例会のテーブルトピックセッションでは、せいぜい5~6名程度のメンバーしか喋る機会はありませんが、この合同例会では、他クラブメンバーとの親睦も兼ねて、全員が喋れるように工夫が凝らされていました。私も他クラブの方々と親しくお話ができて、とても楽しいセッションでした。グループでのスピーチ後、TMOD兼テーブルトピックスマスターがボランティアを募り、各グループ代表がステージに上がって、またはオンライン上から、自分の故郷、趣味、今期頑張ったことをそれぞれ「自慢」し、みんなが楽しめるセッションとなりました。本来テーブルトピックスセッションでは、質問の内容は直前までわかりませんが、今回は出席者多数のため、事前に与えられた3つの質問の中から好きなものを選んで答える、というやり方を採用しました。正解だったと思います。

5分間の休憩をはさみ、いよいよ各クラブ代表による準備スピーチセッションが始まりました。前半TMODの紹介で後半TMODのTK Kがステージに登場し、次々とスピーカーを紹介していきました。シリアスな内容から楽器を使った楽しい内容まで、オンサイト4名、オンライン1名による内容の濃い充実したスピーチが披露されました。

充実したスピーチと論評セッションが終わり、見事ベストスピーカー賞を獲得したのは、テーブルトピックスではオーシャンクラブのTM A、ベストエバリュエーターはみなとみらいクラブのTM A、そしてベストスピーカー賞は我が横浜クラブのTM Aでした。みなさん、おめでとうございました!