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.
Past meetings Table Topics

Animal Theme Meeting

This week, Hannah made her debut as Toastmaster with an animal theme. Hannah ran the meeting without a hitch and even surprised the general evaluator that this was her first time in the role! Hannah asked each speaker – what animal they would like to be and why? This was a fantastic way to delve a bit deeper into our members’ personalities. At London Victorians we have aspiring hippos, dolphins, haggises, lions and dragons, to name a few!

Hannah our Toastmaster of the evening presenting the animal theme
Hannah doing a fabulous job as Toastmaster

Hannah was supported by Paul M as Timekeeper and Pascale as Grammarian. Annabel made the many guests feel welcome as Sergeant at Arms.

Paul M, bringing a bit of humour to the timekeeper role


The initial section of the meeting was for prepared speeches. This week we had speeches from either end of the competent communicator manual!

First up was Paul L, performing his upcoming best man’s speech as his icebreaker. He presented humorous anecdotes about adventures with his brother, using the power of 3 to great effect!

Well done for delivering your icebreaker Paul!

Next was Ani, who performed an inspiring speech number 5 about how to pick yourself up and be unstoppable. Ani literally used her body to show how life can bring you down to your knees. She followed with tips how to get back up again.

Ani, bringing movement to her speech

The third speaker was Isabelle, who performed speech 6. As usual, Isabelle delivered an extremely moving piece, where she described how free speech is under attack!

Isabelle on free speech

George gave the final speech of the night and the manual (CC10) about his travels to Uganda, inspiring us all to go and build passion fruit farm irrigation systems. He captured the audience’s attention through his fantastic storytelling skills and acting out dialogue.

Well done George for completing the CC manual!


After the speeches, Diane, Alexandro, Charlotte and Florian performed evaluations for Paul, Ani, Isobelle and George respectively. Audience members also completed feedback slips.

Speech feedback tip for inspiring people (from Florian): Firstly, mention the inspiring message you are trying to convey early in the speech. Secondly, make sure the speech content relates directly to the message. Thirdly, include an obstacle that you overcame to make the message stronger.

Florian never gets tired of winning a ribbon!

Table topics

The second section of the meeting was for Table Topics. Paulina took to the stage as Table Topics Master. She presented a very novel and entertaining table topics theme. Paulina read a news story about a car crash and asked members and guests to re-tell the story as a news reporter, a dictator, a nursery school teacher, a director and at a nursing home.

Well done Matt – you make a great nursery school teacher!

Alex followed with some fantastic fast tips as Table Topics Evaluator. Well done to Terry, Eleanor G, Matt, Nuala and our guest, Dharmalingham for taking part!

Congratulations to Isabelle, Florian and Matt, 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 seeing everyone next Tuesday!


Contest Past meetings Table Topics

Happy Birthday London Victorians!

Happy Birthday London Victorian’s – the club is officially 2 years old! In this short time, the club has grown into one of the leading Toastmasters clubs in London, where leaders are made. The encouraging atmosphere and committed members are just a couple of examples why we love our club so much.

Founding President, Florian welcomed us to the meeting with his usual gusto and gave a very informative introduction about the history of Toastmasters. He also welcomed our newest members Paul, Andrew and Narayn.

Florian, founding president
Florian wishing London Victorians a Happy Birthday

Florian then handed over to Py, who made his debut as Toastmaster. Py did an excellent job, leading the meeting seamlessly and with confidence. He introduced the birthday theme and asked each speaker what they loved about the club and what birthday gift they would get London Victorians. Some gifts were of a practical nature – coffee machine, storage cupboard and even thrones to sit on! Others were more about public speaking development – like delivering the evaluation without saying “you”.

Toastmaster Py wishing the club a Happy Birthday
Py, making his debut as Toastmaster

Py was supported by Mike as Timekeeper (1st role), Alex as Grammarian and Charlotte as Harkmaster. Each functionary accompanied their role description with an apt personal story to make their message even more memorable. Paul, one of our newest members, stepped up to take on the Sergeant at Arms role. He welcomed the guests with the confidence of a member that has been attending the club for years – well done!

Mike as Timekeeper
Alex displays the word of the day as grammarian
Charlotte sharing Easter treats as Harkmaster
Paul stepping up as Sergeant at Arms


The initial part of the meeting was for prepared speeches. First up was Mickaela who gave an extremely fluid, humorous and informative icebreaker speech about her life in South Africa. Well done Mickaela for making the first step on the Toastmasters journey!

Next was Sophia, who performed speech number 8. She used facts and visual aids to great effect in her empowering speech about embracing what makes you individual.

Prateek was the final speaker, practicing his competition speech for the last time before Saturday’s contest. This speech about the vertical endurance challenge Prateek completed dramatically improved from his speech 2 weeks ago. He also inspired us to push our limits and do amazing things with our lives.

Prateek at the top of an Austrian mountain

Good luck Prateek on Saturday 22nd April! Don’t forget to book your tickets to the Division B contest and show your support.


This week’s evaluations followed a slightly different format. Ani and Lorenzo evaluated Mickaela and Sophia respectively. Andrew, Vahagn and Florian all evaluated Prateek, to give him maximum feedback before his competition. Audience members also completed feedback slips.

Speech feedback tip of the week (provided by Lorenzo): Place visual aids somewhere in front of you/to your side. This helps you to always face the audience (and keep them engaged) when you retrieve them. Also, make sure visual aids are completely visible when you are using them to make a point.

Table topics

The second part of the meeting was for Table Topics. Pascale was Table Topics Master and challenged members and guests to talk about various Easter themed situations on the spot.

Well done Ajanta for winning the best table topic ribbon!

Afterwards, Paulina evaluated all table topics succinctly with helpful tips. For example, use the lighthouse technique to scan the whole room, making sure your voice travels all the way to the back. Well done to George, Florian and guests Pan, Sarah, Abi and Ajanta for taking part!

Congratulations to Sophia, Lorenzo/Florian and Ajanta, who were tonight’s respective speech, evaluator and table topics winners and to all who helped make this a fantastic birthday meeting. It was great to see newer members taking up roles for the first time and so many guests getting involved. We look forward to seeing everyone next Tuesday!

Past meetings Table Topics Toastmasters International

Table Topics Extravaganza! – 14th March 2017

Today’s toastmasters action-packed meeting was a London Victorians first – a meeting entirely devoted to table topics! Table topics are about developing a sharp mind and are useful for job interviews, meetings or even in day to day conversation. They are also a great way to practice speech techniques like body language or vocal variety on a weekly basis.

Terry giving us an educational speech

Terry began the meeting with an educational speech with some fantastic impromptu speaking tips. He highlighted how thinking about speech structure (introduction, main body, conclusion) before your table topic was a good way to prepare – unfortunately this went out the window for many of us when the nerves kicked in!

The meeting was then divided into three sessions, each with a different table topics master, evaluator and timekeeper.

Narrating Stories

Prateek introducing his table topic story theme

Prateek was the table topics master of the first session and presented a very original theme. He asked members to narrate a continuous story, while trying to incorporate selected words. Prateek provided the first sentence, then members followed on from each other.

The resulting story was filled with excitement and suspense, not to mention Toastmasters domination, tornados and time machines. Overall it was an exceptionally humorous table topics session. Alexandro was timekeeper and Diane managed the difficult task of evaluating over 10 speeches with ease, providing some thoughtful feedback.

Stories in Three Words

Cleo led the next session and she asked members to incorporate three words chosen at random into a story.

The audience was captivated by Millar’s holiday in Cape Cod, Alexandro’s speed dating train business venture and Karen’s dislike of buses. We even were treated to a live singing performance by Charlotte. Gabriele injected humour into his evaluation and Pascale was timekeeper.


Smelly Memories

What’s that smell?

Miller was the table topics master for the final session, with a brilliant theme that involved using our sense of smell. Miller asked members and guests to identify a smell from one of her mystery bottles and then describe the memory the smell transported them to.

There were some great stories and experiences involving lavender, lemon sherbet, and peppermint English to name a few. Charlotte was timekeeper and Nuala provided a clear and perceptive evaluation that gave each speaker something positive and something useful to take forward.

Congratulations to Judy, Charlotte and John, who were tonight’s table topics winners and to all who helped make this an extremely entertaining event. We look forward to seeing you on 21 March for our next meeting!

Well done Judy, Charlotte and John!