Education, Elections and Entertainment – meeting report 27th of June

Another interesting and exciting Toastmasters meeting at our great club near London Victoria was held on Tuesday 27th of June 2017.

Our president Terry kicked off, reminding everyone that this was the last meeting of the Toastmasters year and therefore his last meeting as president. From next week our incoming president Nuala will take the reins.

He also reminded everyone how the fear of public speaking is linked to the fear of rejection and by practicing the former, he has helped reduce the later which helps with his job as a sales person.

This evenings Toastmasters was Christophe, who has been caught up with other commitments for the last few months and reminded everyone that because of the nerves he felt carrying out the role this week, it’s important to stay well practiced at the skill of public speaking to help keep these nerves at bay.

Christophe – Toastmaster of the Meeting

Our first speech was from Nuala and it was an educational about the importance of the evaluations that take place for everyone who takes part in club meetings.

Her educational was really well structured and offered a mass of great information on how to enhance these evaluations to give positive, motivational and educational feedback to speakers within the 3 minutes we have to do so.

Our second speech was about the people power involved in political elections. For a subject that could be a little deep, our speaker Karen gave a text book example of how to present a technical subject in an amenable way for any audience.

This speech was littered with audience engagement, humour, great visual aids and the speakers own passion. Combined with hitting the objectives of this Project 8 Speech from the Competent Communicator manual, which is to have fully researched your topic and provide evidence of such in the way of relaying facts, Karen’s speech gave the audience real food for thought about the power of their vote.

The evening’s third speech was the eventual winner of the nights Best Speaker ribbon. Annabel gave us a speech from an advanced manual called The Entertaining Speaker.

Entertaining it was indeed, the topic of online dating made for a humorous speech which engaged the audience and caused many a chuckle from them.

Online dating wins a Toastmasters Ribbon (again)

As always, each of the 3 speeches received a personalised Evaluation. Our evaluators were Terry, Negin & Dan who all made an incredible job of giving motivating and detailed analysis of each speech.

After a break for tea, coffee and chatting we had our impromptu speech practice session called Table Topics. One of the clubs VPE’s, Alex, led the session with topics that challenged the speakers to persuade famous cartoon characters to take abstract courses of action.

Table Topics Winner Dan

As abstract as they were, members and guests alike took the topics in true Toastmasters fashion and delivered their 1-2 minute unprepared speeches with style.

Each table topic speaker was evaluated in style by Fahad, who had at least 1 commendation and recommendation for improvement for each of the speakers to learn for the next topic.

Fahad – Table Topic Evaluator

Toastmasters meetings can’t run effectively without functionaries. Our timekeeper, Florian, kept efficient track of the meetings time and livened up the role with a theme of time travel.

Our grammarian Nick did an amazing job of listening and recalling some great uses of the English language, as well as pointing out the number of filler words used in the meeting and how these um’s and ah’s can detract from our credibility as speakers.

Then our Harkmaster Matt tested our listening skills with some questions about what had been said throughout the whole meeting.

We are grateful to our general evaluator Kim, she tidied up the meeting by evaluating all those not evaluated till then. She also gave some great comments on how good the club and the meetings was, with a few pointers for the future.

Whether you are a meeting participant, audience member or guest, you will have left this meeting having learnt something and with a smile on your face….. If you weren’t there, make sure you come next week so not to miss out.

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London Victorian’s AGM

This week was London Victorian’s AGM, so we had an extra special meeting! In the first half of the meeting there were 2 fantastic speeches from our members, as well as a speech from Sonia about the upcoming Pathways programme. The second half was dedicated to the AGM.

Terry, our President and focused his introduction on the guests in the meeting and talked about the various reasons why people join Toastmasters.

Terry handed over to Isabelle, our Toastmaster for the evening. Isabelle is now an expert in this role and performed it seamlessly. She set the theme for the evening by stating that while our comfort zone is a very nice place to be, there is no growth there. We need to push ourselves to develop and improve and asked each speaker when they pushed themselves outside their comfort zone (apart from public speaking). Our courageous members have done marathons, stand up comedy, dance lessons and insanity workout programmes, to name a few.

Toastmaster Isabelle describing the meeting theme

Isabelle was supported by Paul M as Timekeeper and Ed as Harkmaster.  Annabel was our Sergeant at Arms. She introduced the hidden benefits of joining toastmasters (leadership skills) and warmly greeted the 5 guests.

Paul, displaying the traffic light system

Welcome back to London Victorians Ed after your break!

A big welcome to our newest member, Danielle!

Speeches and Evaluations

In the initial section of the meeting, there were 2 prepared speeches, followed by their evaluations.

First up was Negin, performing a number 3 speech, on her unlucky traveller hypothesis. Negin used great structure, visual aids and humour to describe how no matter where she travels, she will always have bad luck!

Negin talking about her unlucky travels

Pascale was up next, with a speech number 5 on “How to make your best better”. She used storytelling to emphasise the importance of asking for feedback and how to give it effectively.

Pascale incorporating movement into her speech

After the speeches Florian and Alex performed evaluations for Negin and Pascale respectively. Audience members also completed feedback slips.

Speech feedback tip for using PowerPoint presentations (from Florian): A good PowerPoint presentation includes lots of pictures and little text.


After the speeches from our members, we were fortunate to have Sonia from London Cardinals speak to us about the upcoming pathways programme. Sonia answered all our questions about how the programme works in practice, after experiencing the programme during her recent trip to America. ‘Pathways’ is due to come to district 91 from March 2018 and will eventually replace the current educational programme. Please click here for more information.

Sonia, taking us through the pathways programme


The second half of the meeting was for the club’s AGM. Terry, our 16/17 president, took us through the fantastic achievements London Victorians had made over the past year. Not only have we attained the President’s Distinguished Club award (the highest level of recognition available) for the 2nd year running, we hosted the Area finals for Humorous Speeches and Table Topics and celebrated our 100th meeting! Terry also highlighted that the great quality of our speakers is what makes London Victorians a truly superb club to be part of.

Florian took the reins from Terry to discuss the Club Finances and did his best to make it interesting and interactive! Finally Terry returned to the stage, with the help of Sonia to vote in the new committee for the 17/18 Toastmaster year.

London Victorians is pleased to welcome our new committee…

President                           –             Nuala McHugh

VP Education                   –             Eleanor Handslip

Club success manager  –             Alex Liberatore

VP Membership               –             Pascale Monteil

Membership manager  –             Cleo Bispo

VP Public Relations       –             Terry Pullin

VP Mentoring                   –             Fahad Alturkait

Treasurer                           –             Florian Bay

Events manager              –             Paul McCoy & Paulina Dabrowska

Terry handing over the Presidency to Nuala!

We wish the committee all the best in their new roles and look forward to an exciting Toastmasters year ahead! Well done to all who made this a fantastic meeting and AGM and we look forward to seeing everyone next Tuesday!

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!


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.


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!