New Year – New Committee Structure 

Learning we have taken from this year is that running as a weekly club, which we all benefit from, means there is a little too much work for committee members to carry out effectively.

Therefore, this coming year, we will have a slightly enlarged committee and some new responsibilities certain roles to ensure that everything we can achieve all the club’s objectives without overworking individual committee members.

Please check out the new sub section within the education section of this website where you will find further information about the changes and detailed descriptions of each role, including responsibilities. Below is a brief outline of the major changes for those without the time to read it in full.

This Toastmasters club is a success because of the commitment of it’s members, in particular those that put themselves forward for the committee or help in other ways. The skills and experience members gain from being on the committee help set themselves apart in their career and personal development. It really is a virtuous circle and the best time to volunteer is now.

If you are interested in any of the roles for the upcoming Toastmaster’s year, please speak to a current committee member asap. Our current club President, Terry Pullin, will also be giving a short presentation at our next club meeting so be sure to attend.

This is how the structure will look:


The committee is split in to 7 key areas: education, public relations, membership, mentoring, finance, events and leadership. The biggest difference is instead of having one person in charge of each we will have teams to share the workload.

The educational team will include both the Vice President of Education and a Club Success Manager.

The public relations team will have a Club Marketing Manager to support the Vice president of Public Relations.

The membership team will have a Club Membership Manager as well as the Vice President of Membership. A new meeting role of Guest Liaison Manager will be created who will help to answer guest’s questions and make them feel welcome.

We will have a Club Events Manager who will take charge of organising official events and club socials. The Club Events Manager will work closely with the Vice President of Membership and Vice President of Education to ensure club events contribute towards everyone’s education and enjoyment at London Victorians Toastmasters Club.

You!

Click here for full details of how things will be and then follow the links on the right to see the specific role descriptions.

 

London Victorians 100th Meeting!

London Victorians celebrated its 100th meeting this week! To mark this momentous occasion, we had an extra special meeting. Not only were there balloons, banners and cake, we had 6 amazing speakers and a centenary theme!

100th meeting celebrations

100th meeting celebrations!

Terry, our president got the audience pumped, with extreme cheering exercises! He set the scene of how the club has blossomed from just 3 members to over 50, now meeting weekly.

Terry handed over to Nuala, our fantastic Toastmaster of the evening. Nuala kept the energy going through the meeting while injecting humour and useful information. She welcomed each speaker to the stage with their answer to the question “If you had to do something at least 100 times, what would it be?” Answers included birthdays, detox, escape rooms, roller coaster rides, massages, speeches and holidays to name a few.

Nuala was supported by Pascale as Timekeeper, Paulina as Grammarian and Mickaela as Harkmaster. Cleo was Sergeant at Arms and warmly greeted the 10 guests.

Paulina our Grammarian

Mickaela introducing the Harkmaster role

Speeches – part 1

As this was a special occasion, the whole meeting was dedicated to speeches! There were 6 speeches in total, 3 for each half of the meeting.

First up was Charlotte, performing a number 2 speech, on how journaling can make you thrive. Charlotte gave a moving, well-structured account of how writing feelings down can really improve your mental health.

Charlotte delivering the 1st speech of the night

Next was Vahagn, with speech number 4. He used storytelling to great effect, encouraging us all to learn from other’s experiences. He talked about a positive, enthusiastic Chinese lady he met to clearly convey his message that personality makes the greatest difference in life.

Vahagn telling an inspiring story

The final speaker for the first part of the meeting was Diane, who performed speech 6. Diane was a natural at using vocal variety to induce interest, humour and suspense to her message.  She also used visual aids (chocolates) and a great structure to drive her point that distrust isn’t the best strategy!

Diane on how trust is the best policy

Evaluations – part 1

After the speeches, Isabelle, Lorenzo and Alexandro performed evaluations for Charlotte, Vahagn, and Diane respectively. Audience members also completed feedback slips.

Speech feedback tip of the week (from Lorenzo): Exaggerate the objectives relating to the competent communicator manual speech you are completing. Don’t forget about the objectives from previous speeches though.

Speeches – part 2

The second part of the meeting was for another 3 speeches.

First up was Robert, a guest from Early Bird Speakers. Robert performed speech number 6 speech on poetry, titled “Thank you Mrs Tonks”.  He started with a smooth mellifluous explanation about what poetry is and why he didn’t always identify with it. He finished with a poem, during which he embodied a drag queen to give his strong message!

Robert, our guest speaker

Next was Andrew, also with speech number 6. He cleverly linked 3 Olympic years, to his love of Salsa dancing and how he met his wife. Andrew had a great speech structure and injected vocal variety through a couple of humorous accents.

Andrew speaking about his 3 memorable Olympic years

The final speaker was George, with speech 9. His aim was to persuade the audience to use Ebay to make money. He gave step by step instructions using visual aids, while cleverly connecting each step to his love of aircraft.

George persuading us to sell on Ebay

Evaluations – part 2

After the speeches, Annabel, Fahad and Dan gave evaluations for Robert, Andrew, and George respectively. Audience members also completed feedback slips.

Speech feedback tip of the week (from Annabel/Fahad): A good way to show vocal variety is to embody someone else. Use dialogue to develop your speech in a 2-3 line exchange.

 

Congratulations to Diane and Robert, who won the best speech ribbons, and to Lorenzo and Fahad, who won the best evaluator ribbons. Thanks to all who helped make this historic meeting extra special. We look forward to everyone at next Tuesday!

Congratulations Diane!

Great job Robert!

Well done Lorenzo!

Fahad – the evaluation expert!

 

Speech Slots Survey

Speech slot survey resultsIn November 2016 we ran a survey to see how the club is running for members. The survey results indicated that there is a greater demand than the number of speech slots available. Please click the link for the survey: Speech Slots Situation 2016-17

Survey Recommendations

In May 2017, we published 6 recommendations to account for the growing club membership. You can read the survey recommendations here: Speech Slot Recommendations – April 2017. Members, please let the committee know your suggestions to improve the speech slot situation.

Holiday themed meeting

This week’s meeting had a holiday theme, with the hopes of extending the bank holiday even further. Not only did all speakers state what they got up to over the bank holiday, but there were also two speeches about holidays!

Fahad was acting President and gave an articulate introduction to the Toastmasters history and manuals. Fahad also encouraged members to consider becoming a member of the committee, with the Toastmasters New Year starting in July. He highlighted how serving as a club officer can really accelerate your development. Voting for committee members takes place at the AGM on 6th June. Click here for more information on the committee roles.

Fahad as acting President

Fahad handed over to Christophe, our Toastmaster for the evening. Christophe loves this role and has chiselled it down to perfection. He clearly described the role and welcomed each speaker to the stage with their bank holiday activities. Some activities were energetic, such as swimming, fitness classes and playing squash. Some were inspiring like walking on fire or presenting a workshop at a Toastmasters convention in Palma.

Christophe, introducing the holiday theme

Toastmaster Christophe describing the bank holiday theme

Christophe was supported by Thomas as Timekeeper, Alex as Grammarian and Vahagn as Harkmaster. Narayan took up his first role as Sergeant at Arms and greeted the 12 guests.

Alex, ecstatic that the word of the day, pragmatic, was used 9 times!

Vahagn getting ready to reward those who were listening!

Speeches

The initial section of the meeting was for prepared speeches. First up was Pascale, performing a number 4 speech, on Paradise. Pascale took the audience on an immersive trip to the Caribbean. She had the audience dancing at carnival in Trinidad to relaxing on an idyllic beach in Tobago.

Pascale, very happy to win the best speaker ribbon!

Next was Alexandro, who performed speech number 5 about why we travel. He used storytelling to great effect, describing his travels to Tehran, Dubrovnik and Kathmandu. Alexandro used body language to mirror his speech and to convey his message that traveling helps you learn and make the most out of life.

The third speaker Stephen, also performed speech 5. He performed an extremely well structured and clear speech, with three tips on persuasive techniques. Each tip was humorously highlighted with an active example about the audience should vote for him as best speaker!

Annabel gave the final speech of the night from the advanced Entertaining speaker manual on Obsessions. She used light hearted humour and rich content to describe the “cocktail for success”: morning routines, positive mantras and evening classes.

Evaluations

After the speeches, Diane, Paul H, Florian and Fahad performed evaluations for Pascale, Alexandro, Stephen and Annabel respectively. Audience members also completed feedback slips.

Speech feedback tip for persuading people (from Florian): Use open hand gestures, with palms facing the audience to convey sincerity. Focussed eye contact (rather than scanning around the room) is also essential for persuading people.

Fahad - best evaluator

Well done Fahad for winning the best Evaluator ribbon!

Table topics

The second section of the meeting was for Table Topics. Negin took to the stage as Table Topics Master. She gave each participant 3 words: a person, a place and a thing, which members and guests had to link together into a 2 minute table topic.

Great job David for your entertaining table topic about the Pope, a temple and a tiger!

For his second role of the day, Thomas gave some fantastic tips as Table Topics Evaluator. These included:

  • Run with the first thing that comes into your head
  • Make the topic into a story that you can relate to
  • Smile to increase the energy of your words

Well done to Florian, Narayan and guests Andrea, Dee, David, Bola, Abi and Manik for taking part!

Congratulations to Pascale, Fahad and David, who were tonight’s respective speech, evaluator and table topics winners and to all who helped make this a brilliant meeting as usual. We look forward to everyone at next Tuesday!

 

Spontaneous themed meeting

This week’s meeting celebrated being spontaneous. Andrew, our Toastmaster for the evening, signed up to the role the previous night in true spontaneous style. In his introduction, he emphasised that while it is good to plan, it’s also great to be spontaneous. Andrew then guided us through the meeting with a smile, welcoming each speaker to the stage with a spontaneous story. Examples ranged from attending an Italian Toastmasters meeting without knowing the language, to skydiving on the spur of the moment to romantic rendezvous.

Andrew: our spontaneous Toastmaster

Andrew spontaneously takes up the Toastmaster role!

Negin (Timekeeper), Florian (Grammarian) and Pascale (Harkmaster) supported Andrew in functionary roles. Andy was Sergeant at Arms and greeted the guests with gusto.

Florian introducing word of the day: versatile

Speeches

The initial section of the meeting was for prepared speeches. First up was Isabelle who delivered an extremely moving speech no. 7 about the controversial subject of Euthanasia. As a journalist, Isabelle used first hand research to support her views. Consequently, she captivated the audience with her personal stories.

Next was George, who performed speech number 8. He used visual aids seamlessly to educate us all about high level and low level aircraft. George wowed us all with video clips of these planes alongside his informative description.

Terry gave the final speech of the night from the advanced public relations manual. He passionately discussed his campaign to stop the government from using people migration as a negotiation tool. He physically moved people to show who would be affected by Brexit, and also used humour to great effect. At the end of the speech, Terry persuaded us to take action and visit his “Do not Brex them” website.  If you also feel strongly about this subject – click here.

Well done Terry for winning the best speech ribbon!

Evaluations

After the speeches, Fahad, Nuala and John performed evaluations for Isabelle, George and Terry respectively. Audience members also completed feedback slips.

Speech feedback tip for using visual aids (from Nuala): If you are using a pointer to demonstrate visual aids, use open body language to increase viewers’ engagement. Think about what hand you are pointing with, to avoid blocking off the audience with your arm.

Speech feedback tip for persuading people (from John): A good persuasive technique is to use lots of facts to back up your points.

Great job John on winning the best evaluation ribbon!

Table topics

Table Topics took up the second section of the meeting. As Table Topics Master, Eleanor H presented the original theme: what story is behind the headline? She read out real, yet unusual news headlines, then the name of the unsuspecting member or guest.

Well done Paul for a winning table topic about a 1-eyed ferret in Liverpool (street station)

Afterwards, Alex evaluated all table topics succinctly and energetically. He advised all future table topic speakers to compose themselves by taking a deep breath. Well done to Christophe, Narayn, Paul H, Paul M, Bruna and guests Manik, Joe and Ajanta for taking part!

Florian headed the final part of the meeting, with a grammarian tip to avoid using “and” and “so” as verbal crutches. Pascale then faced the rather raucous/hungry audience, as harkmaster, to reward those who had been listening with home-baked brownies and flapjacks.

Brownies and flapjacks for those answering Pascale’s harkmaster questions correctly!

Congratulations to Terry, John and Paul M, who were tonight’s respective speech, evaluator and table topics winners! Thank you also to those who helped make this a fantastic versatile meeting. We look forward to seeing members and guests at our meeting next Tuesday!