Hone your persuasive speaking skills and share your views at our open discussion

Having spent several months conquering the virtual stage during this turbulent time, we want you – our members – to actively shape how our meetings work in the future and to explore what a return to in-person meetings might look like. And in true Toastmasters style, we’re going to hone our public speaking skills along the way. 

Join us this coming Tuesday evening, on the 4th of August, for a unique facilitated open discussion. Bring along your best debating skills, flex your impromptu speaking muscles, and share your views on the location, length and content of our meetings. We really value your views, and we want to gather feedback from each and every one of our members. 

We know it’s gloriously hot outside at the moment, and we know that not everyone loves Zoom meetings, but this is a really valuable opportunity to openly share your thoughts. Our open discussion kicks off at 6:45pm, and it’ll be done and dusted by 8pm sharp, so if you can’t make the whole meeting just come along for the first half.

We look forward to seeing you there, and to hearing your views. 

From London to Bermuda to Lesotho

Today’s virtual meeting was opened by our club president Lucy, remembering the days of vis-à-vis meetings.

We welcomed 4 new members! 3 new toastmasters and 1 returning Victorian. After welcoming new members, Lucy introduced the Toastmaster of the evening, Florian, who has just returned from a spell as District 91 director this past year.

Our first speaker, Natalie, took the virtual stage and took us with her to the multi-sensory and provoking yoga retreat she attended, remembering parsnip cake and warm oat drink with cardamom, she galvanised us to keep an open mind and try new things. Congratulations to Natalie as this speech completes her Level One on the Toastmasters “innovative planning” pathway.

Galvanise is our word of the day set by our Grammarian, Annabel, meaning to shock or excite into taking action.

Second speaker, Mo, is direct and analytical as he relates to us his communication style from his motivational strategies pathway. He leaves us with this nugget: people will forget what you say, what you do, but not how you made them feel.

Thirdly, we had Massimo speaking from the Dynamic Leadership pathway, he took us on the hero’s journey of separation, initiation and return as he relayed to us his extraordinary encounter with Fred the baboon.

Following the speeches were helpful and inspiring feedback by our speech evaluators, Darren, Jon and Paulina.  

And then we welcomed 3 guests! An old friend of the club, who was kindly acting as an external evaluator of our meeting, a returning guest from Bermuda and a new face from Lesotho, yes the countries, not a borough in London, one of the joys of online meeting.

Now, what would you say to a buyer, if you had to sell a property in these unusual neighbourhoods? Property located next to a Powerplant? The centre of the Grand Canyon? the Katy freeway (26 lane traffic)? UK’s biggest sewage plant? The top of Mount Everest?

Our topics speakers performed excellently in this impromptu speaking session, from offering incredible finance deals to convincing us of the panoramic views from the top of Mount Everest that will literally take your breath away. This session was led by Michelle, our Topics Master, and speakers received helpful feedback from Camila, Topic Evaluator.

We have big dates in our calendar! Join us for our Humorous speech and Table topics contest on 22nd September 2020

Four ladies fighting to lead

Meeting 2020-06-16

By Mohammed Salih

Paulina is still our president and there are no coups so far, it looks like she is going for a home run after a year. One thing she drew our attention to, and that the post of Club President has be occupied by four females in a row! What? How come we didn’t have the same thing as Prime Minister? Well done ladies. We are reminded that so much has changed over the year; UK left Europe, Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter campaign. But “Life does not stop, we keep going, we are London Victorians”. Paulina appeals to us to reflect over a simple question, after all “What would be your contribution? What would be the legacy you leave behind to people?”.  

Agatha is Madam Toastmaster of the evening, on her plate was three speeches and three evaluations, she still managed to bring to the meeting her own sister, well done, why don’t we all? It would be nice to learn how to provide an evaluation to our partners, telling them what we liked and what they could improve on, maybe not, let’s stick with sisters. Agatha’s moto was “Learning by applying” this is to improve how to communicate better.

Michelle kept times for us announcing “I will use these cards, if you pass your time, I will find a way to make some noise”. I guess we can experiment with screaming, however we did not go there. Why should we stick to time? Well! There are 3 reasons according to Michelle: –

1-Helps you think about your speech delivery

2-Keep audience focused

3-Everyone get their share of stage time

We are told also that there are mobile apps that we can use to practice timekeeping during speechs.

Grammarian? Hello? Anybody home? Never mind, Lucy is on the block so with a split second we had word of the day; Bucolic which describes the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life, an example would be “The villa is lovely for its bucolic setting”.

First speaker Stephine spoke of “This too shall pass”, this is a phrase so dear to my heart, it unearths emotions when I use it especially when the whole world seems so tight on me going through hard time. The phrase echoes in my head to calm me down; This too shall pass. We heard of how a life crisis on breakup can be so hurtful, drawing the image of the night, outside an underground station and the news dropped on her like a shell.  “I was in an indulging evening with some girls when I had a phone call”, it wasn’t a normal call because it included “We need to talk!”.

Annabel stoop up to deliver the second speech “The good, the bad and the ugly”. This included taking the audience on a trip we are familiar with; the 13 weeks of covid-19 lockdown. “This little virus that came from a tiny town, Wuhan in China to spread through all corners of the world!”. Did you know that at time of hardship and crises, we humans go through and number of stages? Some of those include (1) Denial, (2) Depression and later one (3) Acceptance. The good side of lockdown was having extra 122 hours for Annabel saved through cutting travel times working remotely. The bad side exposed domestic violence and increase of 24% more incidents. Annabel took us to her childhood back in Scotland when she was about 13 years old, having lots of free time and taking care of a fig tree.

Table topics was lead by Jon and his innovative juices started to flow throughout the meeting. He selected “Home” as the strategic theme, and all questions were related to it. I love this kind of structure as it makes us all think together what could be the question? With a number of questions like

-At home, what would you change?

-What or who do you love most at home?

-For a new home, would you prefer a beautiful porch or a castle?

-Apart from home, where would be your second home?

Our club meetings became home to visitors from around the world as far as India and America, no barriers at the moment folks, jump online and celebrate your thoughts with us next Tuesday, come say hello.

Join us every Tuesday from 18:30 GMT