London Victorians is a public speaking club based in Victoria, London. We are part of Toastmasters International, a non-profit organisation founded by Ralph Smedley in 1924 for developing one’s public speaking and leadership skills through practice and peer to peer feedback.
Tonight we were reminded why we joined Toastmasters. For some, to eliminate the butterflies and others to speak like broadcasters All in all, we want to improve ourselves in an area we can grow And one day be treasured liked a painting by van Gogh
We heard some savvy sales pitching tips from Susanne Which we can use to sell to anyone, even the milkman
Cyril taught us that there is power in remaining silent Which is superior to being violent We ended the prepared speeches with Camila’s leadership style And discovered she is extremely versatile.
The Evaluators were direct, compassionate and inspiring Their suggestions and praises will never be expiring
We dived into terrific table topics and the speaking level was high The victims did not disappoint and answering the questions as if they’d hit bulls-eye
The Grammarian, Time keeper and general evaluator were sound in their approach Their reports reminded me of a game play given by a football coach
All in all, a magnificent time we all had. Do join us next time, comrade
London Victorians moved to online meetings in March 2020, in response to the emerging coronavirus pandemic. Two months on, virtual meetings have become our new normal: anchoring our weeks, teaching us new skills, and giving us the unique opportunity to chat to fellow Toastmasters and most welcome guests from across the globe.
In recent weeks we’ve had visitors from all four corners of the world – including Italy, Poland, The US and Nigeria – join us each Tuesday for speeches, evaluations, and table topics. Visitors get the chance to participate in our meetings, and we in turn get the unique opportunity of finding out first-hand what life is like right now in far-flung parts of the world.
Together, we are mastering the art of Zoom meetings (who know you could assign people to break-out rooms?!), perfecting our public speaking and speech writing skills, supporting each other with thoughtful feedback, and continuing to keep our vibrant community of speakers connected.
Our online meetings follow the same format as they did before the lockdown, albeit virtually. Following an introduction from our president Paulina, the toastmaster of the evening – in this case the bubbly, vivacious Lucy – took to the stage to introduce our functionaries. These roles, which include timekeeper, grammarian, and meeting reporter, offer all members of our club the chance to take to the stage and build varied skills. Members then delivered prepared speeches, which were followed by evaluations. Evaluations are a key part of the Toastmaster journey, offering speakers the chance to grow and improve week after week. Following a break, where members and guests alike chatted and got to know each other, we moved on to impromptu speaking slots in the form of table topics. This might sound scary, but it truly is one of the best ways to improve your speaking skills and your ability to think on the spot. The evening finished with a report from our guest general evaluator, to ensure that every speaker and functionary received an evaluation to support their development – and the evening closed with awards and updates from our president.
Wherever you are in the world, and whether you’re a member of a Toastmasters club or a curious guest, we’d love to welcome you into our club one Tuesday evening. If you’re looking for a friendly community to learn from, a supportive place to practice your public speaking and leadership skills, or if you just want to chat to some friendly faces, join us at our next meeting on 26 May, from 6:45-9pm.
* PPE (personal protective equipment) reference hunt, written by Agatha
Hello there! The London Victorians Toastmasters community
has not been so exciting as in recent times. The opportunity which the current
pandemic presents in terms of personal development is evident and utilised in
our online toastmasters meetings. Some of those opportunities include; Organising
and chairing online meeting, Use of online tools to facilitate meetings e.g.
poll taking, Communication skills. We were delighted to have a first time guest
and other returning guests.
Our meeting on Tuesday was just after the Easter
celebrations, many of us might have had a different experience from previous
Easters. For our Toastmaster Anabel, her egg hunt did not go quite as planned,
and so, in this week’s meeting report, there are PPE related references for our
readers to participate in a hunt, also as a tribute to our frontline healthcare
The meeting was packed with as much energy as usual.
Florian, our first speaker shared the story of the Siberian
conquest with us. His online delivery was very engaging, Florian even employed
the use of a fur hat prop appropriately donned and doffed to avoid distraction
from his message.
David was our second speaker, with speech titled ‘An
Unwelcomed guest’ the audience was already anticipating what the speech was
about. But David did not divulge this quickly, with a careful, slow,
unravelling style he finally unmasked the unwelcomed guest – The Evening News!
David also advised us to socially distant ourselves from the news.
Evaluators’ tips come in useful as ever not only to speakers
but for all in attendance. The evaluators reminded us for what is important in
online speech delivery; audience awareness, eye contact and having a clear
We had good table topics participation with 11 speakers. All
topics involved speakers exercising their abilities in impromptu speech with
questions relating to emotions during this pandemic. Facilitated by our Topics
If you feel like you do not know what to do during this
pandemic, here are few words from the Queen’s speech on the 5th of
“… I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take
pride in how they responded to this challenge… The pride in who we are is not a
part of our past, it defines our present and our future”
According to the Queen’s speech, whatever we are doing, working
from home in our dressing gowns or the doctors and nurses in their visors and
coveralls, or researchers and scientists in their gloves, this is going to be a
part of our proud history.
Similarly, at London Victorians we are adopting the same
philosophy, strengthening our community and supporting each other’s public
speaking goals is what we do now, what we’ve always done and what we’ll be
doing in the future.
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
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
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.