Energy transformations from Charles Dickens to Thomas Edison

Florian Bay

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.

Luke Davies

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.

Thomas R

Paulina Dabrowska

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.

Anna Bean best speaker

Stephen Nice best evaluator

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


Annual General Meeting & Pizza Party

Best Speaker Award Luke Davies

Best Evaluator Award Thomas R.

Zahndri Prinsloo-This is my story – Icebreaker

Nuala McHugh current President hands over to new President Eleanor Handslip

I wonder who is happier?

Our President, Nuala welcomed members and guests. She told us how she joined Toastmasters as she needed to learn how to be more confident when presenting design concepts when the content is not always objective. At Toastmaster she found a group of like-minded and supportive people. She believes that in addition to having a purpose you need to have a voice to be able to act on your purpose.
Our charismatic Toastmaster for the evening was Andy T. His theme was the importance of community as communities shape our identity. Our timekeeper was Thomas M, from the Greenwich community, the home of time.
Our first speaker was Zahndri with her first ice breaker speech on the new Pathways training programme. She told us how she had learnt important lessons of teamwork from her failed relationships because everyone needs a team.
Luke was delivering his first speech. He had been trying to prepare his speech one Sunday and was on his 9th iteration when he realised he was ‘making a meal of it’ and this became the inspiration for the final version of his speech.
William delivered a speech called Movement is Medicine to practice before he delivers it at a TEDx event in London.
Next, we had evaluators; Mohammed, Thomas R and Ahmed, who evaluate the speeches so we can all pick up tips on how to improve our own speeches. Evaluators give each speaker commendations and recommendations.
Recommendations included:
Using personal stories to help the audience reflect and learn from the speaker’s experience
Try to use the stage in a structure way instead of pacing
Coming to the front of the stage to deliver the speech
Using a big claim in a speech piques the audience’s interest
Commendations were:
Great use of hand gestures
Using detail in a speech makes it memorable, e.g. not having a KitKat in my lunch box at school when all the other kids did.
Having a strong conclusion
Our evaluators and everyone with a role also get evaluated by our General Evaluator, this week it was Terry, a new member of the allotment community. His recommendations included:
Using purposeful movements instead of wandering about the stage
Explaining why a recommendation is made to a speaker would help them learn
Trying not to read in to note, but look at them then raise head to speak to the audience
Terry’s commendations were:
Telling a speaker what they did well and giving encouraging recommendations
Using the phrase, ‘I liked …’
Great energy
We had a vote and the results were:
Best Evaluator: Thomas R
Best Speaker: Luke
This evening was slightly different from normal as we concluded with our AGM, making decisions on how our club is run and electing the new committee.

Tragedy, Drama and Plenty of Inspiration

Marko Salopek delivering his speech What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

It was an upbeat, energetic meeting this week, despite Toastmaster and newly-appointed District Programme Quality Director, Florian Bay jokingly comparing it to a three-part Greek tragedy. “Though no one actually dies, luckily”, he added. But there was certainly some drama…

Florian Bay announcing club achievements

Kicking off the evening’s speeches with his first project from the Innovative Planning pathway Alex shared the story of how his creative outlets of music, cooking and film have taken him around the world, from London, Ontario (where he was born), via Italy, to London, England (where he now lives). In his speech, entitled Tale of Three Cities, he explained what kept him moving: “I needed more! More what? Everything!”

Alex Liberatore gets his ribbon for Ice Breaker on Pathways; Tale of Three Cities

Speech evaluator Mohammed declared that Alex did “an awesome job” with his speech. Also presenting the inaugural project from Innovating Planning, Marko displayed excellent leadership as he stepped in to take up the second speech slot which had become free earlier in the day due to a last-minute cancellation. With less than an afternoon to prepare, it was apt that he chose the speech title What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid? He spoke about how squaring up to the things that scare us, from moving countries to overcoming a fear of heights, can bring amazing personal rewards.

Eleanor Handslip gets Best Table Topics Award

“Marko created suspense and made us think deeply about the questions he was posing,” said speech evaluator, Andrew.  Ignorance Is Not Bliss was the final speech of the evening and took a sombre and serious tone. Exploring the realities behind both the meat industry and the gold-mining industry, speaker, Siddarth, took a creative approach to completing the fourth speech project in the Competent Communication Manual, How To Say It. Pascale, evaluating Siddarth’s speech said: “His vivid words really stirred the imagination!”

Marko Salopek gets Best Speaker Award

In the second half of the meeting, Table Topic Master Yumi challenged the volunteer impromptu speakers with a particularly tricky task. They randomly selected a subject, object and place and had to craft a spontaneous speech mentioning all of them. From “receptionist, lip balm and toilet” to “expat, mint and Japan”, this mechanic led to some excellent storytelling speeches, in particular from Eleanor, Andrew and first-time guest, Jeremy.

Despite all the drama, there were plenty of laughs and enough inspiration to keep us all working hard on our public speaking. “Every time you open your mouth, you are a public speaker,” said Mohammed, “so you may as well get it right!” Giving up? Now THAT would be a tragedy.

From Down Under to Front Leader

Paul MCoy The Toastmaster

Fahad – the stand in presedent – this is becoming a habit now, talked about the importance of using and following the manuals from Toastmasters International. Paul MCoy from down under in Australia was the toastmaster taking charge of everything that moves within the room, off course no shyness shown, instead courage, humour and leadership.

Fahad stand in president, use these 2 manuals

Paul spoke of a great night of 2 speeches, evaluations and impromptu speeches.
His first speech in Austerial down under was delivered under harsh weather conditions of 40 degress heat and to 8 people, “My first speech, my heart was pounding” but off course later on relaxed with the club London Victorians, what a journey of courage well done Paul.

Thomas: When losing your mobile drink coffee

Thomas sprung up on stage like mounting on a horse and announced that “My role is feed you candies, your role is to gain those candies by carefully listening” to every single one that comes up on stage tonight. Fair enough Thomas. By the way they call chocolate candies over there in Canada.

Joe Higgins: I am your Town Planning Officer

Joe I am your Town Planning Officer, O WOW! I was looking for you Joe. Planning is a service to society where planners decide how best to use the land we have. Joe talked about how her researches what we are lacking in our towns to help him decide granting yet a new chicken shop in south London or not. We are told that town planning policies are incredibly vague    and they are open for interpretations.  jow talked about how he spends time negotiating with various people trying to find common grounds and he introduced the concept of BANANAS (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.
Joe was trying to bridge the knowledge gap between the public perception and the actual work of the planning officer recommending to read the Draft London Plan which is only 500 pages for the introduction part, sure Joe sent it through.

Matthew Noble: Watch your Red Herrings

One million Australians use Oral-B switched today was the opening, just because something is popular doesn’t make it worthwhile, so what are the popular methods of distractions Mathew?

1-Ad hominem is Latin meaning “against the man”, the American recent presidential elections was used as an example of personal attacked between candidates. 2-Arguments from ignorance and just because we can’t prove X it does’t mean that X is not true. 3-The straw-man argument and what if we wanted to improve prisons does that mean turning jails into holiday camps? 4-The Red Herring a bad smelling fish used to distract dogs.

Claudia Donea: Table Topics evaluater

Mohammed evaluating Joe’s speech which was entitled “What my Mum thinks I do, what society thinks I do, what I think I do, what I actually do”, Joe took us into his world of planning officer using great descriptive language of “wilderness of planning” and “bridging the knowledge gap”.

Fahad described the second speech as “A fantastic speech” commanding the stage with confident stance, voice projection. Good summary is an advanced skill shown by Mathew.

Faith: Winner of Table Topics speeches

The meeting was warm we enjoyed the comedy presented by our table topics speakers who we all love for their courage, innovation and leadership in stretching themselves to stand up and share their thoughts, feelings and just do it. Paul’s leading as a Toastmaster showed confidence and execution and joy.

What Invention Would You Want To See

Tension was building up as people filled the room for Toastmasters at London Victorians, 30th January. Words of encouragement peppered around as new connections formed between members and guests. What’s going to happen? Am I in the right place? Do I really want to be here? Questions flitted through guests minds as they sat nearer the back of the room.

Joe getting his membership from Fahad the standing in president

It was Joe Thomas’s first time as Toastmaster. He paced & smirked at the front of the room. A natural entertainer anticipated his approaching experience.

The Grammarian Siddharth Jain

Mohammed Salih Caesarean Operations Adventures

First section
Fahad, a master of inclusion, asked people to introduce themselves – a smart way to break down barriers. Joe’s time travel story was a hit, laughter followed. Are we at a comedy show? Joe put everyone at ease and brought the timekeeper (Anna), grammarian (Siddharth) and meeting reporter (Andy) to light. Each performing their own delivery to inform guest of their purpose. Speech one, Mohammed’s passionate delivery set the bar. Speaking of real life experiences whilst educating and inspiring the audience. 6 babies! The man’s got super sperm and his wife’s a heroine. Alex, the second speaker, started with a bold statement telling us to forget inspiration, take action! Practical tips sprinkled with compassion brought us closer to his speech intention. Vibesan kept the audience on the edge of their seats. Will Vibeson break free of his stutter to maintain s-speaking fluency? Yes indeed. Vibesan flowed through the sales role play, winning the crowd over with his smile & determination to deliver. Solid evaluations from Matthew, Thomas and Ahmed. Complex literation, smooth deliveries. Educational tone from Thomas and soft encouragement from Ahmed. Susanne welcomed the guests creating new energy in the room.

Table Topic Master Sara Bham

Final section
If only we’d had a trumpet to announce in the table topics. May the knights stand ready for battle! Sara added the twist of cards – truth or lie . Ooo I heard the crowd groan. Anticipation kicked in as the first name was read out. People navigated through the twists and turns. Emotions of uncertainty flared before coming out on top. Laughter and satisfaction ensued. Well done everyone. New skills, new awareness, new challenges and imprinted memories never to be forgotten.

Guests introducing themselves

Guests introducing themselves

Our General Evaluator Jamie Hamer

Vibesan Illampooranan speaking about the iWatch and trying to sell it to Andy

Best Evaluator Award: Matthew Noble

Best Speaker Award: Alex Liberatore

Andy Turner doing a table topic