Past meetings

From Down Under to Front Leader

Paul MCoy The Toastmaster

Fahad – the stand in presedent – this is becoming a habit now, talked about the importance of using and following the manuals from Toastmasters International. Paul MCoy from down under in Australia was the toastmaster taking charge of everything that moves within the room, off course no shyness shown, instead courage, humour and leadership.

Fahad stand in president, use these 2 manuals

Paul spoke of a great night of 2 speeches, evaluations and impromptu speeches.
His first speech in Austerial down under was delivered under harsh weather conditions of 40 degress heat and to 8 people, “My first speech, my heart was pounding” but off course later on relaxed with the club London Victorians, what a journey of courage well done Paul.

Thomas: When losing your mobile drink coffee

Thomas sprung up on stage like mounting on a horse and announced that “My role is feed you candies, your role is to gain those candies by carefully listening” to every single one that comes up on stage tonight. Fair enough Thomas. By the way they call chocolate candies over there in Canada.

Joe Higgins: I am your Town Planning Officer

Joe I am your Town Planning Officer, O WOW! I was looking for you Joe. Planning is a service to society where planners decide how best to use the land we have. Joe talked about how her researches what we are lacking in our towns to help him decide granting yet a new chicken shop in south London or not. We are told that town planning policies are incredibly vague    and they are open for interpretations.  jow talked about how he spends time negotiating with various people trying to find common grounds and he introduced the concept of BANANAS (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.
Joe was trying to bridge the knowledge gap between the public perception and the actual work of the planning officer recommending to read the Draft London Plan which is only 500 pages for the introduction part, sure Joe sent it through.

Matthew Noble: Watch your Red Herrings

One million Australians use Oral-B switched today was the opening, just because something is popular doesn’t make it worthwhile, so what are the popular methods of distractions Mathew?

1-Ad hominem is Latin meaning “against the man”, the American recent presidential elections was used as an example of personal attacked between candidates. 2-Arguments from ignorance and just because we can’t prove X it does’t mean that X is not true. 3-The straw-man argument and what if we wanted to improve prisons does that mean turning jails into holiday camps? 4-The Red Herring a bad smelling fish used to distract dogs.

Claudia Donea: Table Topics evaluater

Mohammed evaluating Joe’s speech which was entitled “What my Mum thinks I do, what society thinks I do, what I think I do, what I actually do”, Joe took us into his world of planning officer using great descriptive language of “wilderness of planning” and “bridging the knowledge gap”.

Fahad described the second speech as “A fantastic speech” commanding the stage with confident stance, voice projection. Good summary is an advanced skill shown by Mathew.

Faith: Winner of Table Topics speeches

The meeting was warm we enjoyed the comedy presented by our table topics speakers who we all love for their courage, innovation and leadership in stretching themselves to stand up and share their thoughts, feelings and just do it. Paul’s leading as a Toastmaster showed confidence and execution and joy.

Past meetings

What Invention Would You Want To See

Aug 22



Tension was building up as people filled the room for Toastmasters at London Victorians, 30th January. Words of encouragement peppered around as new connections formed between members and guests. What’s going to happen? Am I in the right place? Do I really want to be here? Questions flitted through guests minds as they sat nearer the back of the room.

Joe getting his membership from Fahad the standing in president

It was Joe Thomas’s first time as Toastmaster. He paced & smirked at the front of the room. A natural entertainer anticipated his approaching experience.

Our timekeeper Anna Bevan

The Grammarian Siddharth Jain

Mohammed Salih Caesarean Operations Adventures

First section
Fahad, a master of inclusion, asked people to introduce themselves – a smart way to break down barriers. Joe’s time travel story was a hit, laughter followed. Are we at a comedy show? Joe put everyone at ease and brought the timekeeper (Anna), grammarian (Siddharth) and meeting reporter (Andy) to light. Each performing their own delivery to inform guest of their purpose. Speech one, Mohammed’s passionate delivery set the bar. Speaking of real life experiences whilst educating and inspiring the audience. 6 babies! The man’s got super sperm and his wife’s a heroine. Alex, the second speaker, started with a bold statement telling us to forget inspiration, take action! Practical tips sprinkled with compassion brought us closer to his speech intention. Vibesan kept the audience on the edge of their seats. Will Vibeson break free of his stutter to maintain s-speaking fluency? Yes indeed. Vibesan flowed through the sales role play, winning the crowd over with his smile & determination to deliver. Solid evaluations from Matthew, Thomas and Ahmed. Complex literation, smooth deliveries. Educational tone from Thomas and soft encouragement from Ahmed. Susanne welcomed the guests creating new energy in the room.

Table Topic Master Sara Bham

Final section
If only we’d had a trumpet to announce in the table topics. May the knights stand ready for battle! Sara added the twist of cards – truth or lie . Ooo I heard the crowd groan. Anticipation kicked in as the first name was read out. People navigated through the twists and turns. Emotions of uncertainty flared before coming out on top. Laughter and satisfaction ensued. Well done everyone. New skills, new awareness, new challenges and imprinted memories never to be forgotten.

Guests introducing themselves
Guests introducing themselves
Our General Evaluator Jamie Hamer
Vibesan Illampooranan speaking about the iWatch and trying to sell it to Andy
Best Evaluator Award: Matthew Noble
Best Speaker Award: Alex Liberatore
Andy Turner doing a table topic
Past meetings

A Night of Story Telling

Stories are fundamental parts of our lives, we relate to them, learn from them and live by them.

Our standing in president was Mohammed, he took us back 40 years ago to grade 1 primary school, where his teacher Madeeha (Praiser in Arabic) praised his performance in tests by saying “Mohammed I gave you 10 out of 10, if I could give you more I would give you 11 out of 10” This is how positive words build us and we remember them for a long time. Same in Toastmasters, we build each other and encourage each other to keep improving. We all have inside each one of us a story, a message a song that is wanting to come out to the world.

Isabelle, Toastmaster talked about the power of story and how her interest in the refugee crises has given her the opportunity to visit camps in Turkey. Stories convince us and many times motivate us into action. Watch the clip here.



Sara, Time Keeper talking about her role and the use of coloured cards to control the flow of the whole meeting, green you are ok to continue your speech, amber it is good to start wrapping up, red you have run out of time and the bell after 30 seconds of red would mean that you are having too much fun.

Anna Bevan, Grammarian introduced the word of the day with a smile “Cantankerous” which apparently means bad-tempered, she watched beautiful uses of the language and interesting descriptive ones not forgetting counting all these filler words that we all are trying to avoid using like Ems, O I just used it, that must’ve made you cantankerous Anna.

Joe spring up to be the Hark master waving the box of chocolate if we listened carefully and answered his inquisitions at the end of the evening, he emphasised the importance of listened for public speakers and how he would be listening to those salient words and phrases.

Andrew Steavenson the first speaker flexed his muscles as he danced his way into displaying what Salsa is all about, how it all started and how it developed over the centuries starting from Nigeria, via Cube and the rest of the world, as it passed by countries, the people added their own flavour, now stop that dancing Andrew you are infecting us with fun. Salsa; a visual guide was the title and it was really.

Florian had a workshop up his sleeve entitled The SAVE Method to convey complex topics simply. The audience enjoyed picking up a number of skills on how to get your point across quickly. Florian suitably injected entertainment and group exercise that showed effective teaching methods. I am sure many of us will use those thoughts in many years to come in our journeys. Here are the clips part 1 and part 2.

Oriana evaluated Andrews speech and she stepped in with obvious confidence commenting on the effectiveness of using visual aids in the speech shedding light on the use of music and Andrew’s passion on the subject.


Pascale evaluated Florian’s workshop dishing out what she found great as well as points to consider to make it even greater. She liked the interactions with the audience, the use of group exercise being engaging. She reminded us of the need to use clear to see displays so that people at the back can see them well.

Ten minutes break gave all the chance to stretch, refresh and hand over those tiny strips of paper with commendations and recommendations to the two speakers.



We chatted to our guests and encouraged them to sign to talk on the night by heading to our Table Topics Master Yumi who swiftly came up with three boxes to choose from to base our speeches on; A subject box, an object box and a location, boy we had fun. The line up included Edwin, Azeem, Amy, Andrew, Claudia and Oriana.


Edwin talked about Aladdin and how he wanted to marry the girl of his dreams, however let’s not forget that Aladdin was a thief.

Azeem described the scene in a tiny cottage with 7 dwarfs cosy compared to the outside world of thunder in the forest.

Amy pulled us into Maleficent drawing comparisons with witches from similar stories like Snow White and how innocent she was as a character.



Andrew went with Cinderella and emphasised that at times you would find yourself working under oppressive work conditions and yes Cinderella did have her slippers made of glass, perhaps a matching glass dress would be good.


Claudia walked us with Shrek and a magic wand that might be more useful in bringing some food to the table instead of just converting a toad to a prince.



Oriana had to select Ario and a poisoned apple juggling both into a story woven around some vocal variety and her melodic voice. Our Grammarian Anna reported 5 uses of the word “Cantankerous” and 17 Em’s. Florian’s descriptive languages “The web is getting denser and denser and denser”, his SAVE acronym.

What a wonderful night packed with high energy, learning, speeches, evaluations and proper time keeping.

For the table topics the winner was Edwin ! Yay ! Congratulations to him and to all those who contributed in turning up and sharing value to improve our lives.

Is it time you joined the fun?

Past meetings Table Topics Toastmasters International

Whisky is worth a speech!

The meeting started with the President; Nuala McHugh, sharing her insightful experience when visiting Excalibur Toastmaster club, the only London based club where members exclusively focus on the advance manual.
She also introduced a new member; Dienaba and handed her the member guide and welcomed her.

Then, the President handed over to the toastmaster for the evening; Mohammed who introduced the theme for the evening: DREAM ON!

Toastmaster of the evening Mohammed.

He commenced the session by introducing the different functionary roles responsible to ensuring the meeting went smoothly and on schedule:
• Ed was the timekeeper, whose role was to make sure the meeting was on schedule;
• Yumi was the grammarian and was responsible for identifying wonderful use of language throughout the evening as well as the word of the evening (MARVELOUS) keeping track of the necessary words (“umm” “Uhhs” etc.)
• Noorie was the harkmaster , responsible for testing our listen skills and reward us with treats at the end of meeting if her questions were accurately answered.
The toastmaster introduced the first speaker of the evening; Anna presented the project #2 from the Competent communication Manual; Organise your speech. Her speech was entitled “Sport is not just physical”. Anna demonstrated a great body language, a friendly demeanour and presented a very insightful topic.

The second speaker; Charlotte presented the sixth project of the Competent Communication Manual; Vocal variety. Her speech was entitled “Why dreams can be a nightmare”. She showcased a great energy, a connection with the audience and vocal variety with intonations in line with the emotions in her speech.

The third speaker; Eva presented the first project of the Technical Presentations manual. Her speech was entitled “What is 5G?”. Despite all the technical complexity of her topic, Eva kept the audience interested by often interacting with it, using humour and simplification.

Eva delivering a technical speech on 5G.

The fourth and final speech of the evening was delivered by Annabel, who delivered a dramatic talk. Her speech was entitled “Whiskey and an honest friend”. Annabel shows a great ease on stage and body language and transported the audience on a virtual whiskey journey.

Whisky is a good speech subject!

After all the speeches were delivered, the timekeeper came on stage to provide the time each speech had lasted.

Then, the evaluations began with the first evaluator; Vibessan, who provided a feedback on the first speech presented by Anna. Andrew evaluated the second speech presented by Charlotte, Eleanor evaluated Eva and finally Andy provided a feedback on Annabel’s speech. All evaluations were constructive and followed the following model: commendations – recommendations- commendations.

The timekeeper came on the stage to indicate the time used for each evaluation.

Before the break, the sergeant at Arms, Joe introduced the 6 guests for the evening. Guests are important part of toastmaster meetings.

After returning from the break, the toastmaster announced the Table Topics session, presented by the Table Topic (TT) Master ; Ha Le who came on to the stage to explain the objectives of TT. The theme of the TT was “Friendship”. The TT master came up on stage and asked 6 questions related to the theme and each time designated a lucky member within the audience, including the guests. This is particularly a good exercise for guests so they can test the waters and have fun!

A sample of the TT questions:
• You and your friend are playing PlayStation, you won and your friend got angry so that he blocked you on Facebook. What do you do?
• You and your friend are in a bar and from afar you see Scarlett Johansson. Your friend wants to talk to her but he is nervous. How do you help him?
• Is it possible to break up with a friend the same way as with a boy/girlfriend?
• …

At the end of the TT session, the TT evaluator: Fahad came on stage to deliver his feedback. He congratulated the participants and welcomed their engagement with the audience and friendliness on stage. He also recommended the participants to maintain eye contact, even when thinking about what to say. In that context, instead of looking down while searching for words or ideas, he suggested to get closer to the audience and look at one person in particular while thinking.

TT Evaluator Fahad giving feedback to the Table Topics speakers.

The General Evaluator; Pascale came on stage to provide the overall evaluation of the evening and her main comments were:
– Saluted the fantastic work of the toastmaster ; Mohammed and encouraged him to take on that challenging role more often
– Increase the thermostat in the room as it was getting colder
– Encourage toastmaster members to engage with the guests

She also provided constructive feedback to the functionary roles.

The Toastmaster thanked the audience or the marvellous evening, all the functionaries as well as the guests and handed over to the President

The distribution of the prizes marked the end of the Toastmaster session and was the result of the votes which took place throughout the evening. Drum roll….. and the winners are :
• Best Table Topic participant: Andy
• Best speech evaluators : Andy and Eleanor
• Best Speech : Charlotte

The President distributed the prizes to the winners, thanked everyone and before ending the session, reminded the audience of the “improve” workshops to take place at the next meeting.

Club President Nuala.

Contest Past meetings

Toastmasters Speech Contests A Great Success

It’s contest season in the Toastmasters’ calendar and last week London Victorians held their Humorous Speech and Table Table contests. As always, club contests are a great way to show off some of a club’s more proficient speakers while giving others their first taste of competitive speaking.

The contests kicked off with the Humorous Speech contest with Contest Chair, Andrew, confirming with the Chief Judge that all judges had been briefed. He then introduced the first speaker. Charlotte began by playing on the common social insecurity of how her job title never seemed to be as impressive as her friend’s. She told of the time, as a wedding witness, she was called up among a surgeon and consultant as “admin” and from there on decided it was better to lie about her job. With great storytelling skills, she recalled convincing her nephew she was actually a spy and the consequences that come with telling white lies, especially with children involved.

Next up was Alex who vexed over how the popular dating app Tinder had taken the challenge out of dating. He reminisced about the days when meeting a girl meant calling the family’s home phone and convincing a protective father that they should be allowed to speak! He then described the hilarious responses he received when setting up parody accounts for famous people including Kim Jong Un who, apparently, was looking for a new girlfriend after the strange disappearance of his wife.

Jasmine teaching us how to pretend to work

Nick followed with what was to be a dress rehearsal for his upcoming best man’s speech. I’m sure there are a few toastmasters who appreciated this speech as the fear of a pending best man’s speech is an often cited reason for members first joining Toastmasters. If you’re going to entertain both the bride and grooms family and friends then you’ll want to make it funny. Nick did not disappoint with just the right balance of embarrassing anecdotes and supporting words.

Thomas’ speech reminded us about young love and the joys of dating. In his words, he was “young, handsome and looking for love”. Playing on the insecurities we all know about at that stage of life, he told the story of his dream date that turned to disaster and put him firmly in the “friend zone”.

If you want to be sure of a few laughs then comparing human behaviour to animals is never going to disappoint. Mohammed talked about his observation of animals and thought what we could learn from them. Giving himself many opportunities for facial expressions and full use of the stage, Mohammed suggested we replace property laws and allow people to mark their territory like cats and described how much less inconvenienced we would be if we learned to poo while walking, just like horses. I think you get the gist!

The final speaker in the London Victorians Humorous Speech Contest was Jasmine who shared what I’m sure is a familiar journey of youth and optimism when starting your first proper job to the harsh realities of the modern workplace. Jasmine shared her secret to being effective at work – “pretend to work” – and gave some humorous examples of techniques she had witnessed including one colleague who used a picture of a spreadsheet as her desktop wallpaper. Genius.

The second half of this Toastmasters meeting was the Table Topic Contest. Negin took over as Contest Chair and posed the same question to each contestant as they entered the room one at a time:

“If you could live in any time in history when would it be and why?”

Answers ranged from going back to Babylon, giving way to discussion about the everlasting rules to how we manage our money; the free love hippy movement of the sixties; the present day, after all, with the technology revolution, what could be a more exciting time to live?

Paul giving his winning table topic

A couple of speakers took us into the future, with one suggesting our minds could be downloaded allowing us to live forever. While, more pessimistically, Paul wondered if we would have reinvented new ways to have conflicts – or a better dating app than Tinder!

Vahagn was more modest in his time travelling ambitions, wanting to return to when he was just eight years old and learning to swim, but he suggested doing it in water this time might be more effective!

All together, both contests were a great success. We know, at Toastmasters it’s all about learning through practice so it really is the taking part that counts. However, with both first and second place going through to the next round, we all waited for the results with some impromptu but less competitive table topics.

Thomas and Paul took first place in Humorous Speech and Table Tables respectively, while Charlotte and Alex took, presumably, a close second.

Humorous Speech Contest winner Thomas collecting his ribbon