Members and guests began trickling in at 6:30 pm, socializing over tea and coffee and sharing stories of the various paths that led them to Toastmasters and what they aim to achieve. The time is 6:45 pm and just like the rumbling of a Porsche turbo engine, 3,2,1, with a Loud bang of the gavel from the firm hands of Florian; the acting President and Toastmaster for the day, we were off to an explosive start to what would be an energetic Tuesday evening at London Victorians Toastmasters club meeting.
Florian gave the president’s welcome address drawing on the history of Toastmasters International and the vision of the organisation to improve the art of public speaking and leadership of its members. *See table below.
Slickly swiftly switching into his second role for the day, Florian as Toastmaster (meeting Host/coordinator for the day) explained how the next 2 hours would unfold broken into 5 main parts namely; Prepared speeches, Evaluations of prepared speeches, Welcome of Guests, Table Topics and Evaluations of Table Topics. Florian went ahead to introduce his team of helpers for the the day who came out to explain their roles for the meeting.
|Name||Meeting Role||Role Description|
|Ariel||Time Keeper||Using a Red, Amber and Green Signal,ensures speakers keep to time and gives a report on how they performed with respect to timing of their speech.
Actual time of the speeches for the night.
1st Speaker – Fail to Improve by Paulina – 6m 54s
2nd Speaker – Music & Active Listening by Andrew – 6m24s
3rd Speaker – Not all mice chew through your floor board by Anna – 6m13s
1st Evaluator – by Rob – 3m13s
2nd Evaluator – by Mohammed –3m33s
3rd Evaluator – by Steven – 3m0s
The table topics were also timed and a report was given by the Time keeper. All speakers kept to time.
|Luke||Grammarian||Keeps track of creative use of the English Language and give a report. The word for the day was Energy.
Some interesting use of during the course of the evening;
“Act 1 Scene 1”, “DIY”, “ Really Fat men with lots of space to shove pie down their throats”, “I was scared shitless”, “Success comes in different flavours but they are not always sweet”
|David||Harkmaster||Great public speaking involves active listening. This role will test the audience on how actively they have listened by asking questions|
|Joseph||Meeting Reporter||Covers the activities of the evening to update the website to keep our guests up to date on the activities of the club.|
|Jakie||Topics Evaluator||Gives feedback to all the table topic (Impromptu) speeches|
|Thomas||General Evaluator||Gives a general feedback on the day and evaluates speakers that may not have had the chance to receive feedback like those who held official roles in the meeting.|
At 6 mins 54 seconds, the first prepared speech by Paulina, titled “Fail to Improve” gave an example of 3 “successful” individuals Thomas Edison (known for the Light Bulb) Jeff Bezos (known for Amazon) and Charles Dickens (known for the Christmas Carol) whose success came after many failures. Her speech went on to explain that they had one thing in common, they had no fear of failure. She rounded up the speech by encouraging the audience to embrace failure as a natural path to success.
At 6 mins 24 seconds, Andrew gave the second prepared speech for the day titled “Music & Active Listening”. Great speakers are active listeners he asserted and went ahead to provide scientifically back claims on how the brain processes listening to a speech and music the same way. Thus, by actively listening to music, we will invariably build our active speech listening skills which will ultimately move us further along the path of being better public speakers.
Anna gave the last prepared speech of the day at 6 mins 13 seconds and won the best speech prize.Titled “Not all mice chew through your floor board”, the aim was to challenge the speaker in the use of natural expressive body language in communicating and Anna did that brilliantly. The theme of Anna’s speech was home DIY and how with inspiration, right tools and time, one can transform their homes in a cost effective way. With Speeches completed, the audience voted for the best speech which Anna won.
The Next part of the evening was the evaluations of the prepared speech which was done in a timely manner with the evaluators giving the speakers feedback on their speech; highlighting positive aspects and areas of improvement. Rob won the best Evaluator speech.
Mayur, The Sergeant at arms welcomed all our guests (non-club members) to the meeting and had them introduced themselves and why they came along. There were 9 guests in attendance.
After a 10 minutes break, we were off to an exciting part of the meeting called the table topics anchored by Ayokunle, Table topics are impromptu speeches anyone can participate in. The speech topic is only revealed as the speaker gets on stage. This is a very interesting was to challenge yourself in thinking on your feet at so short a notice.
With 7 table topic speeches, Jackie did an amazing job in evaluating all of them in the 4 minute slot allowed to feedback to the speakers. She was excellent.
Luke subsequently gave the grammarian report and then the eagerly awaited Harkmaster’s game was played testing the attentiveness of the audience with sweets hurled across the room to the fastest person to answer correctly a question based on the speeches from the evening.
As the meeting began to slow to a fine conclusion, Thomas, the general evaluator for the day gave an overall feedback on how the evening went and stressed the importance of exploring the “How” and “Why” when speeches are given especially when evaluating other speakers.
The meeting was now back in the firm control of the able Toastmaster and acting president and with another loud bang of the gavel, Florian declared the 12th June 2018,Tuesday evening London Victorians Toastmasters club meeting closed.
You can download the artistic production by Joseph Omeiza