Getting to know the members behind the screens

By Stephanie.

This Toastmaster’s meeting we were able to see into each other’s home as well as our online speaking skills.

Here are some things I have learned from London Victorian members and guests.

  • Agatha, the first speaker, admires people who have struggled, are academic and can solve problems. She is best suited to a mentor she appreciates. In the past, most of her mentors departed before Agatha was ready, yet from every relationship she has grown.
  • Nikki, the second speaker, enlightens people to think about how they speak to themselves. She taught us how positive compassion increases opioids in our brain and decreases stress.
  • Phillip, the third speaker, enjoys informing people about coffee. He knows a thing or two on the different types and how much it costs. It seems that Phillip does not agree on fee of a coffee. He enjoys buying single origin coffee and making it himself. He also has a fabulous plant in his home.
  • The fourth speaker, Camilla, opened our eyes to the reason people have been panic buying. She identifies people panic buy because they are disgusted, mirror other and need control. If you need any help understanding your panic buying behaviour, she is your girl.

From what I could gather, the evaluators want each speaker to improve. They encourage them take leaps and congratulate them on their speaking achievements. They all had some great voices and we can all learn from their advice, which was less filler words, more vocal variety online is needed and that we can all focus on our language.

Now onto the table topics enthusiasts.

  • Charles, a guest, is a doctor and can work home from with ease
  • Mike, another guest, misses his friends and would start an isolation band
  • Raj,  who looks like a cat person, told us about how the airline and events companies would join forces and become stronger through alcohol
  • Rolan, another guest, has experienced a lot of high and lows during this uncertain time

There were other members who I think we would all appreciate knowing about.

  • Paulina, club president, is a believer in kindness and connectivity.
  • Mohammad, the toastmaster, speaks motivationally and enjoys virtual backgrounds.
  • Lucy, the timekeeper, enjoys turning into different colours of a traffic light and reports on time in a unique way.
  • The grammarian, Chris, showed us all some Liberty and we can work on our “ums” and “ahs”.
  • Jackie, the sergeant at arms, a friendly and kind soul, can really make people feel welcome.
  • The general evaluator, Priyenden, pushes the members to improve their roles.
  • And lastly David, the table topics evaluator, he has an eye for the distance one should sit from electronic devices and facial expression are a way forward with online meetings.

There is a place and role for everyone at London Victorians and if you want to push yourself, visit us and become part of this great club.

Zoom Top Tips

Weekly meetings are now online. Here are some tips for roles that have changed:


  • Mute: Everyone must stay on mute when they aren’t speaking.
  • Applauding: As everyone is on mute, there’s no need to clap. Wave your hands around to show you’re clapping! Remember to show your support in funny parts of speeches so the speaker get’s immediate feedback.
  • Votes: All votes should be sent to the Sergeant at Arms using the chat function. Don’t chat everyone!!
  • Functionary Roles: Remind everyone with a role to include their role in their name on Zoom. Just click rename on the right hand side:


  • The beloved lightbox will not be coming online so you will make your screen the colour!
  • Step 1: Save the 4 backgrounds you’ve been sent
  • Step 2: Add your 4 backgrounds to Zoom
  • Step 3: Practice changing backgrounds before the meeting.
  • Dinging the bell: If the speaker has gone over time change to the BELL background and mute them immediately. If you cannot mute, then just say DING!
  • Remember: Time easily slips away from us in meetings, and online is no different.


  • Word of the day: Make this your background so the whole club can see it when speaking. 

Sergeant at Arms

  • Guests: Welcome as normal and ask them to put ‘Guest’ in their name
  • Counting Votes: As the votes come through on chat, keep a tally and then private chat them to the President at the end of the meeting.


Following today’s development regarding coronavirus and social distancing. Today’s meeting, 17th March, of London Victorians will now be online. This will be our very first online meeting and very much a “sandbox” exercise where we’ll learn to get to grips with the technology.

The Zoom details are below, we’ll start at 18h30 as usual 🙂


Hello London Victorians – we hope you’re all well in this turbulent time.

Following a committee meeting this morning, we have made the decision to move to online meetings as of next Tuesday 24th March. This week’s meeting will still go on as planned with an amended agenda and a discussion with Q&A about our online meetings at the end.

Although the move is a necessary precaution, we feel that moving our meetings to Zoom will be a great benefit to all our members. We’ll all learn new skills about online presenting, have an opportunity to record our speeches and will still get some much-needed human contact during Covid-19 lockdown.

All the details you’ll need will follow later this week (on all our platforms), but for now just know that tomorrow is the same time, same place as usual.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible tomorrow, for what might be our last face to face in a while.

Thanks – The Committee

A Night of Poetry

It is a Tuesday night, what might transpire,

But a Toastmasters meeting at London Victorians tonight

The stage is set alright, the speaker in the spotlight

Members and guests alike, would contribute to make the highlights

A night of poetry, the theme of the evening set by our Toastmaster Lucy

We came to learn more about public speaking we left with that and more

From blue skies in Zambia to grey skies in London,

Our first speaker, Ismail delivered his icebreaker

How do you want to be remembered? Washington our second speaker is clear,

For his children to say “he was always there for us”

Yorkshire puddings aren’t from Yorkshire! Our third speaker, Jackie

Gave us all the secrets to make a perfect Yorkshire pudding

Malice, paranoia and superstition were the threads to this tale

An interpretive reading from our fourth speaker, Eleanor from The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Speeches are delivered as part of workbook assignment from Toastmasters pathway program

Which help to build skills in communication and leadership.

But a meeting is not just made up of speakers as already highlight before we have a Toastmaster for the evening. And joining Lucy was a team to make sure the meeting was run in time (timekeeper), reported (meeting reporter), enagaging (harkmaster), welcome our guests (sergeant at arms) and grammatically superior (grammarian).

But that’s not all, if you know about toastmasters, you know we thrive on feedback so we have evaluators to evaluate speakers and evaluate the meeting too (general evaluator).

The second part of the meeting consisted of impromptu speaking [Table topics] run by Kelvin topics master. Best table topics winner was a first time guest.

Do join us in our next meeting on Tuesday 10th March 2020 at 6.30 pm

Written by Agatha