• We meet online every Tuesday at 18:30! Zoom meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/580017929

A Toastmaster’s Tale

by Chris

It was a balmy, late spring evening which meant absolutely nothing as we were all indoors sitting in front of our computers ready for the toastmasters meeting to begin of the greatest toastmasters club in the universe to begin. The evening opened with our esteemed outgoing president telling us about the gifted storytelling of Malcolm Gladwell and how we could all learn a thing or two from him. For this interested in him tell a story check out his revisionist history podcast!

The meeting was turned over to Raj Roy who was to be our toastmaster for the evening. It is a role with big responsibility to take the audience through the evening and maintain great energy.
Raj did this with aplomb. What a talent!

You couldn’t keep Paulina Dabrowska off the stage very long as she returned to take on the timekeeper role. At toastmasters all speeches are timed which helps speakers learn to not to waffle and keeps the meeting on schedule.

Natalie Kay made her toastmasters comeback with an outstanding evening as grammarian, even though she sounded like she was on board the International Space Station. Word of the day was cognisant.

Then came yours truly who explained the role I am performing now, your meeting reporter 🙂

Next were our prepared speeches. First up was Florian Bay(club legend/ aka Michael Jordan of District 91) who was doing a speciality speech where you are given a topic and on the spot need to speak for 5 minutes. His topic was if he was Prime Minister what would be his first actions. Topics covered were sorting out Covid-19 in 2020 and Brexit. I was convinced , this man has a political future.Impressive speech.

Massimo Guadagnino gave an outstanding and helpful talk on How to use Presentation Software effectively on Zoom. Massimo is a rock star when it comes to public speaking and has an incredibly engaging manner. This is one of the great things about toastmasters is all the great practical things you learn for a really small fee. Well done Massimo 🙂

Jon Kelly , a new member who has joined us all the way from New England gave an outstanding speech on describing good mentorship through the metaphor of skiing lessons he has taken in his life. The lessons were:

Deadlines should be flexible
Don’t be afraid go se weeeeeeeeeeee
if you don’t fall down you are not pushing yourself

Welcome to the club Jon.

At toastmasters all speakers are evaluated and Stefanie Walker, Susanne Alfs and Lucy Rosa gave us some high quality evaluations maintaining our high standard that we have come to expect at the greatest toastmasters club in the universe.

Jackie Gallego then welcomed all our guests and invited them all to speak and introduce themselves. Everybody gets to speak at our meetings and it was great to have so many engaged guests. Jackie has recently stepped down from here excellent stint on the committee to focus on getting more speeches done. We look forward to seeing her at level 5 by the end of the year.

We had a break, I made a cup of tea mmmmmmmm.

We came back and Raj Roy moved us onto the table topics/impromptu section of the evening and invited our table topics master Annabelle Lamb onto the stage who chose the theme of nature/gardening
with some excellent and enjoyable topics.

Darren Useree then wowed us with an excellent evaluation of all those folks that took part in table topics. I for one was impressed with Darrens performance as well as his commitment to the club! Well done to all those that took part in this section of the evening.

Natalie Kay returned to tell us about superb uses of grammar and where we could improve.

Raj Roy then handed back to Paulina who closed the meeting.

What a night. See you all next week.

*Join us every Tuesday at 18:30 on Zoom*

New Committee is Born 2020-2021

Written by Mohammed, 26th June

Paulina, our president told us how taking up her role offered challenges and amazing opportunities for her. This included moving the club from venue to venue and then to online. Leading meant building resilience for Paulina, this is what Toastmaster does to people.

Christ jumped on the horse of toastmasters the whole meeting, sprinkling smiles and positive comments after each speech was needed when home locked up. He told us we have 3 speeches and 3 evaluations, that’s how London Victorians meet weekly with plenty of speeches.

The Timekeeper, Lucy was in charge of changing screen colours to indicate time progress for participants, those colours were carefully integrated into her background, her face colour and eyes, this is mimicking a chameleon from the wild, eyes colours? very spooky when it gets to red.

Are you listening guys! That’s what Jon, the Harkmaster was after, listening. Despite this was his first official role in the club, Jon dished out great questions that reminded us of what we just heard from speeches. Jon told us that 50% of content gets forgotten within one hour according to psychologists.

The meeting reporter Mohammed (Woops! That’s myself) told us that perhaps over the centuries there were many speeches that were lost forever, however those that survived were the ones that were documented like I going to do. Just imagine this blog reaching millions across the world being published on our web site. I invite you to sign up to the next meeting reporter and impact the lives of future generations to read, learn and enjoy.
The first speech from Saloomeh reminded us of the World War when Winston Churchill was leading and projected his toughness to fight for freedom, “We shall fight on the streets, we will never surrender”. How does mental health affect us all and why should we care?

Sophia a second speaker told us about gifts and journaling, what it did for her and why should we consider it to get clarity for our goals and manage negative self-talk. Our third speaker Lukas convinced us to start waxing, yes all wax please! men and women, but his waxing was related to education as “Was on, wax off” from the movie “The Karate Kid” and how important to keep learning until you see the benefit.

Three great evaluations lead by Annabel, Stephanie and Alex, what was commended included well researched speech, persuasive language used, informative style with statistics, welcoming smile, asking questions, injecting humour. Recommendations included looking at the structure of the speech and implement it during delivery to avoid losing the audience, and to use more statistics to support your message.

Out general evaluator told us what we are doing wonderfully well and what we can consider to improve that included avoiding exaggerations, stand up when talking, give the audience time to obtain replies to questions.
Eleanor managed the AGM, review and new year. She emphasised how great this club is over the years, hence le’t “stay fantastic as always, we have been”.

The AGM The Annual General Meeting which was dedicated to selecting the new club executive committee gave birth to the new team, all the best guys and have a prosperous year ahead.

Why don’t you visit us next Tuesday?

President – Lucy
Vice President Education VPE – Agatha
Vice President Mentoring VPM – George
Vice President Membership VPM – Natalie & Annabel
Vice President Public Relations VPPR – Raj & Michelle
Treasurer – Florian

The Art of Toasting

Written by Stephanie

Tonight we were reminded why we joined Toastmasters.
For some, to eliminate the butterflies and others to speak like broadcasters
All in all, we want to improve ourselves in an area we can grow
And one day be treasured liked a painting by van Gogh

We heard some savvy sales pitching tips from Susanne
Which we can use to sell to anyone, even the milkman  

Cyril taught us that there is power in remaining silent
Which is superior to being violent  
We ended the prepared speeches with Camila’s leadership style
And discovered she is extremely versatile.

The Evaluators were direct, compassionate and inspiring
Their suggestions and praises will never be expiring

We dived into terrific table topics and the speaking level was high
The victims did not disappoint and answering the questions as if they’d hit bulls-eye

The Grammarian, Time keeper and general evaluator were sound in their approach
Their reports reminded me of a game play given by a football coach

All in all, a magnificent time we all had.
Do join us next time, comrade 

(Wherever you are in the world, London, Ohio or Delhi, you can meet us as a guest every Tuesday from 18:30 GMT)