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

Fostering global connections: guests from all over the world attend London Victorians

Written by Michelle

London Victorians moved to online meetings in March 2020, in response to the emerging coronavirus pandemic. Two months on, virtual meetings have become our new normal: anchoring our weeks, teaching us new skills, and giving us the unique opportunity to chat to fellow Toastmasters and most welcome guests from across the globe.

In recent weeks we’ve had visitors from all four corners of the world – including Italy, Poland, The US and Nigeria – join us each Tuesday for speeches, evaluations, and table topics. Visitors get the chance to participate in our meetings, and we in turn get the unique opportunity of finding out first-hand what life is like right now in far-flung parts of the world.

Together, we are mastering the art of Zoom meetings (who know you could assign people to break-out rooms?!), perfecting our public speaking and speech writing skills, supporting each other with thoughtful feedback, and continuing to keep our vibrant community of speakers connected.

Our online meetings follow the same format as they did before the lockdown, albeit virtually. Following an introduction from our president Paulina, the toastmaster of the evening – in this case the bubbly, vivacious Lucy – took to the stage to introduce our functionaries. These roles, which include timekeeper, grammarian, and meeting reporter, offer all members of our club the chance to take to the stage and build varied skills. Members then delivered prepared speeches, which were followed by evaluations. Evaluations are a key part of the Toastmaster journey, offering speakers the chance to grow and improve week after week. Following a break, where members and guests alike chatted and got to know each other, we moved on to impromptu speaking slots in the form of table topics. This might sound scary, but it truly is one of the best ways to improve your speaking skills and your ability to think on the spot. The evening finished with a report from our guest general evaluator, to ensure that every speaker and functionary received an evaluation to support their development – and the evening closed with awards and updates from our president.

Wherever you are in the world, and whether you’re a member of a Toastmasters club or a curious guest, we’d love to welcome you into our club one Tuesday evening. If you’re looking for a friendly community to learn from, a supportive place to practice your public speaking and leadership skills, or if you just want to chat to some friendly faces, join us at our next meeting on 26 May, from 6:45-9pm.

Speech Workshop with Kirti

There are limited spaces available for this fantastic workshop on Thursday, 30th April – so get in quick! All donations go to support the #nhsheros!

Tockets are here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/amplify-your-speech-tickets-103145372586

PPE Hunt

* PPE (personal protective equipment) reference hunt, written by Agatha

Hello there! The London Victorians Toastmasters community has not been so exciting as in recent times. The opportunity which the current pandemic presents in terms of personal development is evident and utilised in our online toastmasters meetings. Some of those opportunities include; Organising and chairing online meeting, Use of online tools to facilitate meetings e.g. poll taking, Communication skills. We were delighted to have a first time guest and other returning guests.

Our meeting on Tuesday was just after the Easter celebrations, many of us might have had a different experience from previous Easters. For our Toastmaster Anabel, her egg hunt did not go quite as planned, and so, in this week’s meeting report, there are PPE related references for our readers to participate in a hunt, also as a tribute to our frontline healthcare workers.

The meeting was packed with as much energy as usual.

Florian, our first speaker shared the story of the Siberian conquest with us. His online delivery was very engaging, Florian even employed the use of a fur hat prop appropriately donned and doffed to avoid distraction from his message.

David was our second speaker, with speech titled ‘An Unwelcomed guest’ the audience was already anticipating what the speech was about. But David did not divulge this quickly, with a careful, slow, unravelling style he finally unmasked the unwelcomed guest – The Evening News! David also advised us to socially distant ourselves from the news.

Evaluators’ tips come in useful as ever not only to speakers but for all in attendance. The evaluators reminded us for what is important in online speech delivery; audience awareness, eye contact and having a clear structure.

We had good table topics participation with 11 speakers. All topics involved speakers exercising their abilities in impromptu speech with questions relating to emotions during this pandemic. Facilitated by our Topics master Lucy.

If you feel like you do not know what to do during this pandemic, here are few words from the Queen’s speech on the 5th of April,

“… I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge… The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future”

According to the Queen’s speech, whatever we are doing, working from home in our dressing gowns or the doctors and nurses in their visors and coveralls, or researchers and scientists in their gloves, this is going to be a part of our proud history.

Similarly, at London Victorians we are adopting the same philosophy, strengthening our community and supporting each other’s public speaking goals is what we do now, what we’ve always done and what we’ll be doing in the future.

There are six PPE references 😉

JOIN US EVERY WEEK FROM 18:30 ONLINE: Zoom meeting Link:  https://zoom.us/j/580017929)