The lights were dimmed, guests were in their seats, and the judges had been briefed; most were relaxed, looking forward to the evening’s entertaining speeches. The contestants and organisers were looking a bit more serious. 13th September 2016 was the London Victorians contests evening.
Sophia bounded with energy and enthusiasm as she explained the important rules and order of events. Looking calm and relaxed on stage, it is great to see the amazing benefits of regular toastmasters practice coming together for such a demanding role. She made sure each and every contestant was welcomed to the stage with rapturous applause, London Victorians style.
Humorous Speaking Contest
We had four humorous speeches lined up. Christophe was first, with a speech titled “Worst Advice”, where he told us of all the wonderful advice he has received in his life, along with the consequences. With advice like “just be yourself and everything will be fine” and “if you ignore the bullies, they’ll get bored and leave you alone”, Christophe took life examples many people can relate to and emphasised the ridiculousness of the advice they are often given. A sure fire way to ensure the audience would be roaring with laughter.
Next up was George who used a part of his life story to take us on his journey from being “caught” by his wife through the Plenty of Fish dating website to his experiences as a white man living in Uganda. In particular, the way he was perceived by the locals and his attempts to negotiate a fair price on anything he bought. George mixed his humour with a serious message, concluding with a plea to treat everyone fairly.
Last but by no means least was John who, apparently (see photo), is a life coach but is definitely aware of how prolific the industry has become with “self help gurus”. John explained that he specialised in helping those suffering a “quarter life crisis”. He dispelled some myths in his attempts to convince us the condition was real and was adamant that a quarter was not equal to half a midlife crisis, rather it was a full on medical condition in its own right!
Table Topic Contest
The second half of the meeting Tom took over as Contest Chair for the Table Topics Contest. The format here was slightly different so Tom asked the Sergeant at Arms, Stephen and Ed, to escort the contestants outside the room. They then returned one at a time where they each answered the same table topic question:
“What little white lies do you tell?”
As you would expect, each contestant put their own spin on their responses but, let’s just say, it turns out a lot of London Victorians lie about their age!
Tom kept everyone entertained with an informal table topic session while the judges formalised the results. He then handed the stage to Florian who, as Chief Judge, announced the results of both contests.
John and Christophe took first and second place respectively in the Humorous Speech contest. Christophe, Lawrence and Gary came first, second and third in the Table Topics.