Contest Past meetings

Toastmasters Speech Contests A Great Success

It’s contest season in the Toastmasters’ calendar and last week London Victorians held their Humorous Speech and Table Table contests. As always, club contests are a great way to show off some of a club’s more proficient speakers while giving others their first taste of competitive speaking.

The contests kicked off with the Humorous Speech contest with Contest Chair, Andrew, confirming with the Chief Judge that all judges had been briefed. He then introduced the first speaker. Charlotte began by playing on the common social insecurity of how her job title never seemed to be as impressive as her friend’s. She told of the time, as a wedding witness, she was called up among a surgeon and consultant as “admin” and from there on decided it was better to lie about her job. With great storytelling skills, she recalled convincing her nephew she was actually a spy and the consequences that come with telling white lies, especially with children involved.

Next up was Alex who vexed over how the popular dating app Tinder had taken the challenge out of dating. He reminisced about the days when meeting a girl meant calling the family’s home phone and convincing a protective father that they should be allowed to speak! He then described the hilarious responses he received when setting up parody accounts for famous people including Kim Jong Un who, apparently, was looking for a new girlfriend after the strange disappearance of his wife.

Jasmine teaching us how to pretend to work

Nick followed with what was to be a dress rehearsal for his upcoming best man’s speech. I’m sure there are a few toastmasters who appreciated this speech as the fear of a pending best man’s speech is an often cited reason for members first joining Toastmasters. If you’re going to entertain both the bride and grooms family and friends then you’ll want to make it funny. Nick did not disappoint with just the right balance of embarrassing anecdotes and supporting words.

Thomas’ speech reminded us about young love and the joys of dating. In his words, he was “young, handsome and looking for love”. Playing on the insecurities we all know about at that stage of life, he told the story of his dream date that turned to disaster and put him firmly in the “friend zone”.

If you want to be sure of a few laughs then comparing human behaviour to animals is never going to disappoint. Mohammed talked about his observation of animals and thought what we could learn from them. Giving himself many opportunities for facial expressions and full use of the stage, Mohammed suggested we replace property laws and allow people to mark their territory like cats and described how much less inconvenienced we would be if we learned to poo while walking, just like horses. I think you get the gist!

The final speaker in the London Victorians Humorous Speech Contest was Jasmine who shared what I’m sure is a familiar journey of youth and optimism when starting your first proper job to the harsh realities of the modern workplace. Jasmine shared her secret to being effective at work – “pretend to work” – and gave some humorous examples of techniques she had witnessed including one colleague who used a picture of a spreadsheet as her desktop wallpaper. Genius.

The second half of this Toastmasters meeting was the Table Topic Contest. Negin took over as Contest Chair and posed the same question to each contestant as they entered the room one at a time:

“If you could live in any time in history when would it be and why?”

Answers ranged from going back to Babylon, giving way to discussion about the everlasting rules to how we manage our money; the free love hippy movement of the sixties; the present day, after all, with the technology revolution, what could be a more exciting time to live?

Paul giving his winning table topic

A couple of speakers took us into the future, with one suggesting our minds could be downloaded allowing us to live forever. While, more pessimistically, Paul wondered if we would have reinvented new ways to have conflicts – or a better dating app than Tinder!

Vahagn was more modest in his time travelling ambitions, wanting to return to when he was just eight years old and learning to swim, but he suggested doing it in water this time might be more effective!

All together, both contests were a great success. We know, at Toastmasters it’s all about learning through practice so it really is the taking part that counts. However, with both first and second place going through to the next round, we all waited for the results with some impromptu but less competitive table topics.

Thomas and Paul took first place in Humorous Speech and Table Tables respectively, while Charlotte and Alex took, presumably, a close second.

Humorous Speech Contest winner Thomas collecting his ribbon
Contest Past meetings

Competition themed meeting

This week’s meeting was extra special competition theme. Not only did we have two speeches from both ends of the Toastmasters spectrum, two division finalists delivered their winning speeches! They are just 2 steps away from the international speech contest finals in August in Vancouver.

All speakers stated which competition they would most like to win (excluding a public speaking competition). Answers ranged from bake off to directing to golf and gave some interesting insights into our members’ hobbies.

Isabelle as Toastmaster
Isabelle as Toastmaster for the competition theme meeting

Isabelle was the Toastmaster for the night and guided us through the meeting with great poise. She was supported by Mickaela as Timekeeper and Andrew as Harkmaster. Negin, our newest member, was Sergeant at Arms and welcomed the numerous guests who joined our meeting.

Welcome to London Victorians Negin!


The initial part of the meeting was for prepared speeches. First up was Charlotte who gave a very inspiring icebreaker speech about her leap into the unknown to becoming a freelancer. Well done Charlotte for making the first step on the Toastmasters journey!

Well done Charlotte for successfully delivering the icebreaker speech

Next was Florian gave a Special Occasion Speech, titled “Roasting Terry”. He used humour and vocal variety to brilliant effect to challenge our President, Terry’s, reasons for becoming a vegetarian.

Prateek was the first of the contest finalists. He captivated the audience with dramatic displays of movement and a rousing call to action to challenge yourself and follow through.

Finally Edwin, the second contest finalist, delivered a powerful speech called “Me and my dad”. His story, with a clever twist in the middle, inspired the audience to let go and move on.

Edwin, contest finalist
Congratulations Edwin, this weeks speech winner!

Good luck to Edwin and Prateek in the division contests. Don’t forget to book your tickets to the Division B contest on 22nd April and show your support.


After the speeches, Pascale, PY, Stephen and Nuala performed evaluations. Audience members also completed feedback slips or an official speech judging form for the contest finalists.

Competition judging slip
Terry displaying the official judging slip

Speech feedback tip (provided by Nuala): The audience are more likely to engage with your message when they feel happy and laugh. Therefore it is important to include humour in your speech. Every Toastmasters international speech contest winner has had at least 8 instances of humour in their speech (roughly 1 laugh/minute).

Congratulations Nuala for winning the best evaluation!

Table topics

The second part of the meeting was for Table Topics. Terry was Table Topics Master and presented a unique theme. Members and guests talked about the same situation involving Waitrose, a man and a dog, while expressing a different emotion such as joy, surprise, or anger. Afterwards, Fahad evaluated all table topics succinctly with helpful tips. Well done to Christophe, Negin, Hannah, Vahagn, Naryan and Andrew for taking part!

Well done Hannah for winning the best table topic!

Congratulations to Edwin, Nuala and Hannah, who were tonight’s respective speech, evaluator and table topics winners and to all who helped make this a marvellous meeting as always. We look forward to seeing members and guests at our meeting next week!



Announcements Toastmasters International

Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests – Area Finals


London Victorians is excited to host this years Area 8, Humorous Speech & Table Topic contests

This will be held at our Toastmaster venue between Victoria & Pimlico stations on Tuesday 27th of September

Anyone is welcome to come along and see some of the best Toastmasters in the Victoria and Westminster area compete to win the chance to speak at the Toastmasters Division B contest in October. 

The Victoria & Westminster Area 8 final will start at 18:45 promptly, please arrive any time from 18:30 to get ready for the contest. There will be no admittance once the contest has started!

How to find the Victoria & Westminster Area 8, Humorous Speech & Table Topic Toastmaster contest

Our venue is St James the Less church function rooms. The venue is slightly closer to Pimlico underground station and only a 10 minute walk from London Victoria Station. 

The entrance, behind a set of black iron gates is set back from Vauxhall Bridge Road behind a paved square area with trees and planters, along side a restaurant called ‘Moo Cantina’

Once you go through the black iron gates you will see a black church door, there is a buzzer to the right, please ring and one of our Toastmaster members will let you in. 

What to expect at the Victoria & Westminster Area 8, Humorous Speech & Table Topic Toastmaster contest

Toastmaster contests are held twice a year to allow willing members to showcase their skills at Club, Area, Division, District and once a year at an International Level. Our Toastmaster contest in Westminster will showcase the best humorous speech and table topics speakers from the 4 clubs in our area. 

During the first half of the meeting you will see up to 8 of the Victoria area Toastmasters delivering prepared speeches, which will be designed to be humorous. These should make you smile and laugh, while being a definite speech rather than a series of jokes. 

In the second half of the Westminster area Toastmaster meeting, you will see the best Table Topic’s speakers compete against each other to deliver a 1 to 2 minute speech on a completely impromptu subject. This is a masterful Toastmaster skill of turning a statement, question or sometimes even an object, in to a speech without any prior preparation. 

WE WELCOME ANYONE TO COME AND SEE THE CONTEST, and we particularly encourage members from the competing clubs to come and support your fellow members while they attempt to win representation of our great area at the Division B final

If you have any questions please get in touch via Facebook on our contact us page.

Contest Past meetings Toastmasters International

Homorous Speech and Table Topics Contest

The lights were dimmed, guests were in their seats, and the judges had been briefed; most were relaxed, looking forward to the evening’s entertaining speeches. The contestants and organisers were looking a bit more serious. 13th September 2016 was the London Victorians contests evening.

rsz_IMG_1082The first half of the meeting was the Humorous Speech Contest and, after a short introduction from the club President, Sophia to took the stage as Contest Chair.

Sophia bounded with energy and enthusiasm as she explained the important rules and order of events. Looking calm and relaxed on stage, it is great to see the amazing benefits of regular toastmasters practice coming together for such a demanding role. She made sure each and every contestant was welcomed to the stage with rapturous applause, London Victorians style.

Humorous Speaking Contest

We had four humorous speeches lined up. Christophe was first, with a speech titled “Worst Advice”, where he told us of all the wonderful advice he has received in his life, along with the consequences. With advice like “just be yourself and everything will be fine” and “if you ignore the bullies, they’ll get bored and leave you alone”, Christophe took life examples many people can relate to and emphasised the ridiculousness of the advice they are  often given. A sure fire way to ensure the audience would be roaring with laughter.

Next up was George who used a part of his life story to take us on his journey from being “caught” by his wife through the Plenty of Fish dating website to his experiences as a white man living in Uganda. In particular, the way he was perceived by the locals and his attempts to negotiate a fair price on anything he bought. George mixed his humour with a serious message, concluding with a plea to treat everyone fairly.

rsz_IMG_1105Then came AK who taught us the art of lying. He said that lying was a very bad thing…if you don’t have the skills. AK then proceeded to go through the ethics of lying with using very funny examples.

Last but by no means least was John who, apparently (see photo), is a life coach but is definitely aware of how prolific the industry has become with “self help gurus”. John explained that he specialised in helping those suffering a “quarter life crisis”. He dispelled some myths in his attempts to convince us the condition was real and was adamant that a quarter was not equal to half a midlife crisis, rather it was a full on medical condition in its own right!

Table Topic Contest

The second half of the meeting Tom took over as Contest Chair for the Table Topics Contest. The format here was slightly different so Tom asked the Sergeant at Arms, Stephen and Ed, to escort the contestants outside the room. They then returned one at a time where they each answered the same table topic question:

“What little white lies do you tell?”

As you would expect, each contestant put their own spin on their responses but, let’s just say, it turns out a lot of London Victorians lie about their age!

Tom kept everyone entertained with an informal table topic session while the judges formalised the results. He then handed the stage to Florian who, as Chief Judge, announced the results of both contests.

John and Christophe took first and second place respectively in the Humorous Speech contest. Christophe, Lawrence and Gary came first, second and third in the Table Topics.


Contest Past meetings Toastmasters International

Competition time! – 1st March

Its competition season for Toastmasters and you could feel the excitement in the air at London Victorian’s on Tuesday. Five speakers and six evaluators took to the stage to compete in Toastmaster’s International Speech and Evaluation Contest.

Chairing the competition we had Sophia and Stephen, assisted by timers Alex and Nadia. Ballot counters Chui Yen and Karen and chief judge Joann.

Speech contests are an important part of the wider Toastmasters educational program, providing an opportunity for Toastmasters to gain speaking experience.

The order of each speaker and evaluator was selected at random. First to the stage was Edwin who challenged the audience to use the skills and tools taught at Toastmasters to speak up and use our voice. An inspiring speech reminding us all just how beneficial Toastmasters is. The second speaker was Eleanor who urged the audience to consider relationships as a key element in providing happiness and bringing greater meaning to our lives. Ending her speech with the memorable quote “Connections give life great meaning and we can only exist in an intricate web of meaningful connections” Thomas recounted growing up in Berlin and his child-like ignorance (through the eyes of a child?) to the then geo political situation in Germany. He described how he viewed the Bradenburg gate and his personal story of how it felt when the wall was torn down and Germany was reunified. Following on was Prateek’s colourful speech which began by inviting the audience to sing in unison. His speech developed to explain why the audience should tap into their inner lion spirit. How we should all be courageous and roar like a lion rather than living a “boxed life”. Lastly was Terry’s speech, he described how one could simplify life into 3 main situations. He outlined how we all have a choice in how to manage our thoughts and how we use this knowledge to better interpret the World.

Speech competition contestants
Speech competition contestants

The second stage of the meeting was the evaluation competition. Mystery speaker Stephen’s speech looked objectively at the points for & against legislation of educating primary school children on sex. The 6 evaluators then took to the stage in succession to provide feedback and analysed how Stephen could make his speech even better.

Evaluation competition contestants
Evaluation competition contestants

Results of the contest were as follows:

International Speech Competition:
First Place: Terry
Second Place: Eleanor
Third place: Prateek

Evaluation Competition:
First Place: John
Second Place: Nuala
Third Place: Olivia

Our competition winners
Our competition winners

Speakers who are awarded first and second place have the opportunity to compete in the next stage, the Toastmasters Area 8 competition. We wish good luck to our four members who will go on to represent London Victorian’s on Monday 14th March, 19h at the Area 8 contest hosted by London Cardinals in Hilton Double Tree, Victoria.

And finally – It’s a special moment for London Victorians, as our meetings will now start to occur weekly. Providing further opportunities for everyone to develop their leadership and public speaking skills. All are welcome to join us on Tuesday 8th March!