March 14 – International Speech & Evaluation Competition!

Last Meeting

March 14th was a meeting unlike most… with a speech & evaluation competition!

This last week we shifted gears. In place of our regular meeting format of speeches and table topics, we had an energetic and competitive round of speeches and evaluations. In the end, we had 4 entries for the speech competition and 6 entries for the speech evaluation contest!

President Christopher Walker introduced the meeting. John Wooller acted as the Competition Chairperson for the International Speech Contest. Rakesh Patel acted as the Competition Chairperson for the Evaluation Contest. In total, we were happy to host over 10 guests, in addition to more than 20 regular members!

International Speech & Evaluation Competitions

The international speech competition featured speeches from 4 speakers: McVal Osborne, Alexander Dziri, Kashrul Hussain, and Solmaz Jarchlou. McVal Osborne gave us a lesson in facing up to challenging situations in a speech titled “How to Face the Music”. Alexander Dziri gave us a speech on giving back to those around you in a speech called “The Truth about Finding Connection”. Kashrul Hussain told us about one of his favourite films in a speech titled “Gladiator”. Solmaz Jarchlou spoke to us about how to strengthen our democratic values in a speech called “Take Back the Power!”

Afterwards, judges voted and we moved to the evaluation contest. The evaluation competition featured a speech by a mystery speaker from another club. Similar to the speech competition, we had evaluations from 6 club members: Sarah Hawkins, Giovanni Giardina, Lewis Kyriacou, Michelle Manuel, McVal Osborne, and Anthony Grice. All contestants listened to the same speech and were given five minutes to prepare their notes on how best to approach the evaluation.

Winners & Pictures

In the end, anonymous judges weighed in to decide the victors. Chief Judge Florian Bay announced the winners of first and second place for speeches and first, second and third for evaluations. Judges only gave awards to first and second place participants. In the end, judges named Alexander Dziri best speaker for the club level of the international speech competition. Judges awarded McVal Osborne second place. After careful consideration, judges voted Lewis Kyriacou best evaluator for the evaluation competition and awarded Sarah Hawkins second place.

Speech contest winner Alex Dziri
Speech contest winner Alex Dziri

 

Evaluation competition winner Lewis Kyriacou
Evaluation competition winner Lewis Kyriacou

 

Speech contestants
Speech contestants

 

Evaluation contestants
Evaluation contestants

 

Pre-competition preparation!
Pre-competition preparation!

In conclusion, well done to both winners, and to all those who attended and took part!!

January 31st Workshop – Speeches That Matter

Last Meeting

January 31st was a “Special Event” meeting!

Because it was the fifth Wednesday of the month, our last meeting was a highly educational. It featured an hour-long workshop from highly experienced champion speaker Chris Boden. We were also able to fit in a speech and six spontaneous Table Topics!

President Christopher Walker introduced the meeting, highlighting his longstanding relationship with Chris. We also discovered Chris Boden was a founding member of St. Paul’s Speakers. Toastmaster Lewis Kyriacou then presided over the proceedings.We were happy to host almost 30 guests, in addition to more than 25 regular members!

Workshop: Speeches That Matter

Chris Boden – Champion speaker in each of the prepared speech, humorous speech, spontaneous speech and speech evaluation categories – enlightened us all his workshop entitles “Speeches that Matter.” While Chris’ tips for creating a master speech were surprisingly simple – have a great idea, practice hard, and get lucky – the functional tips behind them, such as writing down your ideas, recording your voice, injecting humour, telling stories, and limiting your word count.were invaluable.The engaging and practical workshop was very well received.

Speeches & Table Topics

With the workshop modifying the typical schedule, we had just one speech this week – from Alexander Dziri, his fourth speech entitled “Make the Choice,” who was then expertly evaluated by Rakesh Patel. Since there was only one speech and evaluation, there were no awards given, but both speakers would have been worthy winners.

Despite the other festivities, we also included six “Table Topics”. Club members had 1-2 minutes to show off their spontaneous speaking skills. Topics this week took the focus of “would you rather” – a choice between two options. Caroline Morgan took the top prize for describing her future career in ice Skating. Well done Caroline!

 

 

 

 

January 24 meeting brought us Five New Speeches!

Last Meeting

At our last meeting on January 24 we had FIVE great speeches from the Competent Communicator’s manual and enough time for a lively round of Table Topics.

Christopher Walker kicked things off by doing the President’s Introduction. He was followed by Florian Bay acting as Toastmaster. Florian explained the schedule for the evening and outlined next steps. Robyn Brewer then came on stage to explain her role as the timekeeper. Finally, Sarah Hawkins discussed her role as Grammarian.

Speeches

This week we had the pleasure of listening to FIVE speeches including THREE CC#4 “How to Say It” speeches.

The five speeches were as follows:

  • Alexander Dziri with “Dancing is my fight club” (Competent Communication Manual #3 – Get to the Point)
  • McVal Osborne with “The Long Journey” (Competent Communication Manual #4 – How to Say It)
  • Anthony Grice with “My Journey to Toastmasters” (Competent Communication Manual #4 – How to Say It)
  • Khashrul Hussain with “Losing your dream home” (Competent Communication Manual #4 – How to Say It)
  • Roxanna Zea with “Do you know what your body is trying to tell you?” (Competent Communication Manual #5 – Your Body Speaks)

Table Topics!

After five amazing speeches, we managed to squeeze in a short round of Table Topics for the members who had yet to speak and even a few guests!

For those of you who need a quick reminder, Table Topics are impromptu speeches. The purpose of the Table Topics section is to help members think on their feet. Each person speaks on a given subject for between one and two minutes. It also allows speaking opportunities for those who are not programmed for other roles on the agenda.

SPECIAL: Jan 31st Speech Workshop [FREE]

On the fifth Wednesday of this month we have a Special Workshop. Here’s a brief description of what you can expect…

Speeches That Matter

It’s a great skill in Toastmasters to knock up a speech in no time and deliver it well. But what would you do when it really counts? A speech contest, a big work presentation, a special event; how do you prepare for the speeches that matter? In this workshop Chris will look at the process he went through to take speeches from strange ideas in his head to District finals and ultimately to the World Championships in Malaysia in 2014. What is the difference between a speech that wins a club night ribbon and one that wins a District final? And how can you turn one into the other? In this workshop Chris will look at:

  • The steps for taking a speech from an idea to a finished piece.
  • How to make your speech stand out from the crowd.
  • How to delivery what you’ve prepared so you will be remembered.

Chris Boden joined Toastmasters in 2007 to overcome his shyness and learn to speak with authority at work. He is a former President of Holborn Speakers and founder member of St Paul’s Speakers.  Since 2011 he has made eight District finals, winning two of them (Evaluation 2011, International Speech 2014) and taking a trophy in five others. He is one of a small handful of people to have won a District trophy in all four contest disciplines.

(Above: Alexander Dziri and Anthony Grice winning Best Speakers.)

 

(Above: Returning members…)

 

 

Happy New Year from St. Paul’s Speakers!

Last Meeting

Hello St. Paul’s Speakers!! At our last meeting on January 10 we had FIVE great speeches from the Competent Communicator’s manual and enough time for a lively round of TableTopics.

Christopher Walker kicked things off by doing the President’s Introduction. He was followed by McVal Osborne acting as Toastmaster. McVal explained the schedule for the evening and outlined next steps. Katie Aird then came on stage to explain her role as the timekeeper. Finally, Jamie Hamer discussed his role as Grammarian.

Speeches

This week we had the pleasure of listening to FIVE speeches including THREE Icebreaker speeches from new members. Among the new speakers we heard from:

  • Ravi Kaskana, who gave us a great Icebreaker speech titled “Cricket”.
  • Ashvin Heeramun, who spoke to us eloquently in an Icebreaker speech titled “Life is a Journey”.
  • Daniel Morris, who gave a heartfelt Icebreaker and a great introduction in a speech titled “Chill Your Idols”.

After the break we then heard from two additional speakers:

  • Alan Leroux spoke to us about the importance of reading newspapers with a convincing and passionate speech titled “Read all about it!”
  • Rakesh Patel gave us a well structured and humorous second speech all about his morning commute, titled “Commuting ‘rages to riches'”.

Table Topics!

After five amazing speeches, we managed to squeeze in a short round of Table Topics for the members who had yet to speak and even a few guests!

Busy Month for Speeches & Evaluation Workshops

Last Regular Meeting

At our last regular meeting (November 22nd) we had two great speeches from the Competent Communicator’s manual.

Christopher Walker kicked things off by doing the President’s Introduction. He was followed by Caroline Morgan as Toastmaster. Caroline explained the schedule for the evening and outlined next steps. Jamie Hamer then came on stage to explain his role as the timekeeper. Finally, Bashir Ali discussed his role as Grammarian.

Speeches

Anthony Grice kicked things off with a great second speech (Competent Communication Manual #2 – Organise Your Speech) titled “Volunteering – Go Sign Up!”. He did a fantastic job meeting the objectives, providing a strong opening and conclusion.

Next up, Alan Leroux gave his third speech titled “Getting to the top”. Alan’s speech (Competent Communication Manual #3 – Get to the Point) created strong structure for us to engage with and communicated his ideas clearly, using movement to enhance his ideas.

Table Topics!

After two amazing speeches, we had a great session of Table Topics led by Katie Aird.

For those of you who need a quick reminder, Table Topics are impromptu speeches. The purpose of the Table Topics section is to help members think on their feet. Each person speaks on a given subject for between one and two minutes. It also allows speaking opportunities for those who are not programmed for other roles on the Agenda.

Evaluation Workshop

On the fifth Wednesday of the month we had an evaluation workshop.

Catherine Casale delivered an excellent workshop on evaluations where I learned some new techniques. What was particularly pleasing was a couple of newer members saying how this had helped give them a framework for performing evaluations.

Three Speeches & Some Fantastic Table Topics

Last meeting – November 8, 2017

At our last meeting we had three amazing speeches from various parts of the Competent Communicator’s manual.

Caroline Morgan stepped in for Christopher Walker to kick things off by doing the President’s Introduction. This was followed by the introduction of Rakesh Patel as Toastmaster. Rakesh expertly explained the schedule for the evening and outlined next steps. Anthony Grice then came on stage to explain his role as the timekeeper. Alan Leroux then discussed his role as Grammarian.

Speeches

To start, Nisha Kagdadia kicked things off with an emotional Icebreaker speech, her first since joining the club. She did a fantastic job meeting the objectives, introducing herself to the group and connecting with the audience while avoiding the use of notes.

Next up, Catherine Able-Thomas gave an intense speech titled “Same Shit, Different Place”. Catherine’s speech was #2 from the Competent Communication Manual – Organise Your Speech. She created strong structure for us to engage with and communicated her ideas clearly, using movement to enhance his ideas.

Finally, the last speech came from Jamie Hamer, giving us an inspiring call to action in a speech titled “Steal a Horse, Don’t just Look at it”. The speech was #10 from the Competent Communication Manual – Inspire Your Audience. He did a fantastic job inspiring us to take risks and strive for adventure.

Bringing everything together

After four amazing speeches, we had a great session of Table Topics led by Solmaz Jarchlou.

For those of you who need a quick reminder, Table Topics are impromptu speeches. The purpose of the Table Topics section is to help members think on their feet. Each person speaks on a given subject for between one and two minutes. It also allows speaking opportunities for those who are not programmed for other roles on the Agenda.

Solmaz provided all of those who took part with a question that they needed to respond to off the cuff. Great fun!

Four Speeches and WOULD YOU RATHER?

Last week’s meeting – October 25, 2017

At our last meeting we had four amazing speeches from various parts of the Competent Communicator’s manual.
Christopher Walker kicked things off by doing the President’s Introduction, followed by the introduction of Florian Bay as Toastmaster. Florian expertly explained the schedule for the evening and outlined next steps. Chris then came back on stage to explain his role as the timekeeper.  Lewis Kyriacou then discussed his role as Grammarian.

Speeches

  1. To start, Katie Aird kicked things off with a heartfelt and emotionally charged speech titled “My Journey to Toastmasters”. This speech was her first since joining the club (#1 Ice Breaker). She did a fantastic job meeting the objectives, introducing herself to the group and connecting with the audience while avoiding the use of notes.
  2. Next up, John Wooller told us the story of his journey to seeking gainful employment in the UK since moving back from Australia. John’s speech was #2 from the Competent Communication Manual – Organise Your Speech. He created strong structure for us to engage with and communicated his ideas clearly, using movement to enhance his ideas.
  3. Third, McVal Osborne spoke to us about success and personal motivation with a speech titled “How a 30 minute habit can change your whole life”. McVal’s speech had a clear structure and provided a problem, strategy and solution to a project that all of us face: how to wake up early in the morning.
  4. Finally, the last speech came from Solmaz Jarchlou, giving us a fascinating look into brain function in a speech titled “Brain in Love”. The speech was #6 from the Competent Communication Manual – Vocal Variety. She did a fantastic job describing the topic and linking together examples to show how love is a universal experience for all of humanity.

Bringing everything together with ‘Would You Rather?’

After four amazing speeches, we had a great session of Table Topics led by Jamie Hamer. For those of you who need a quick reminder, Table Topics are impromptu speeches. The purpose of the Table Topics section is to help members think on their feet. Each person speaks on a given subject for between one and two minutes. It also allows speaking opportunities for those who are not programmed for other roles on the Agenda. This evening’s theme was “Would You Rather?” – in which Jamie provided all of those who took part with a question that they needed to respond to off the cuff.

AWESOME speeches and TONS of Table Topics

Last week’s meeting – Oct 11, 2017

At our last meeting we had two amazing speeches from various parts of the Competent Communicator’s manual and one speech coming from an advanced manual.

Christopher Walker kicked things off by doing the President’s Introduction, followed by the introduction of Catherine Able-Thomas as Toastmaster. Catherine expertly explained the schedule for the evening and outlined next steps. Nisha Kagdadia explained his role as the timekeeper, followed by Ravi Kaskana describing the role of Grammarian.

Speeches

  • To start, Bashir Ali kicked things off with a fascinating speech titled “On Money & Magic”. This speech was #2 in the Competent Communication Manual – Organise Your Speech. He did a great job meeting the objectives, creating a strong opening and conclusion and following a clear outline.
  • Next up, Roxanna Zea followed Bashir and told us the fascinating story of her journey to the southernmost Royal Mail office, far from the prying eyes of civilization. Roxanna’s speak was #4 from the Competent Communication Manual – How to Say It. She created vivid images for us to engage with and communicated her ideas clearly, using rhetorical devices to enhance ideas.
  • Finally, the last speech came from Christopher Walker, giving us a lesson in Orienteering. The speech was from the advanced manual “Speaking to Inform #3 – The Demonstration Talk”. He did a fantastic job showing us the ropes of orienteering and describing a complex topic clearly.

Bringing everything together

After three wonderful speeches, we had a great session of Table Topics. For those of you who need a quick reminder, Table Topics are impromptu speeches. The purpose of the Table Topics section is to help members think on their feet and speak on a given subject for between one and two minutes. It also allows speaking opportunities for those who are not programmed for other roles on the Agenda. The Table Topics Master this evening was McVal Osborne, who doubled as our Sergeant at Arms and helped the new guests feel welcome by inviting them to take part in the impromptu speeches.

Photos!

7 Speech Marathon and a Final Farewell 

Last week’s meeting – Sept 27, 2017

At our last meeting we had a speech marathon in which seven members presented speeches from various parts of the Competent Communicator’s manual. This was then followed by a fond farewell to one of our longest standing members – David Saer!
Christopher Walker kicked things off by doing the President’s Introduction, followed by the introduction of Michael Holmes as Toastmaster. Michael expertly explained the schedule for the evening and outlined next steps. Ashvin Heeramun explained his role as the timekeeper, followed by Daniel Morris describing the role of Grammarian.

Speech marathon schedule

  • First, Anthony Grice presented his Ice Breaker and spoke eloquently about some of the defining moments (and mistakes) in his life.
  • Second, John Wooller presented an engaging Ice Breaker, providing a host of humorous tips for how to live in the UK after moving from Australia.
  • Third, Alan Leroux provided us with a thought provoking speech titled “Views from the Ocean” which had us all thinking how we feel about sharks…
  • Fourth, Alexander Dziri spoke about meeting his heroes in a speech titled “The world or nothing”.
  • Fifth, Lewis Kyriacou spoke about his deep connection with American country music in a speech titled “This is Country Music”.
  • Sixth, Shalini Leelananda presented her Vocal Variety speech (#6 in the Competent Communicator’s manual) in an engaging piece titled “Rollercoasters”.
  • Finally, David Saer ended his Toastmaster career with a speech from the Humorous Speaking manual titled “The Show Must Go On”.

 

Bringing everything together

Speech marathons are hard, but so are evaluations. After a marathon round from across the Competent Communicator manual, we also saw great leadership from members in the form of extremely well-thought out and constructive comments from the following evaluators: Solmaz Jarchlou, James Webb, Nisha Kagdadia, Sarah Beckwith, Stephen Bradely, Christopher Walker, and Caroline Morgan. A special shout-out goes to our Sergeant at Arms Catherine Able-Thomas, who greeted every new guest at the door and introduced each of them to the broader St. Paul’s Speakers group during the meeting.

Photo finish…

Thanks again, and looking forward to the next one!
We’ll leave you with this quote from Richard Branson:

“Picture yourself in a living room having a chat with your friends. You would be relaxed and comfortable talking to them, the same applies when public speaking.”

– Richard Branson

We hope you think of St. Paul’s Speakers as a living room full of friends… because we are. 🙂

Table Topics & Humorous Speech Contest

Florian opened with a thorough explanation of Toastmasters UK and `international and for those guests present a guide through the contests.

He handed to the contest chair for the Humorous Contest, which was James who explicitly explained the rules and compered the 3 entrants.
Lewis and Jamie and Sarah.

The audience attentive and respectful of the judges most valued guests from other clubs who had to score relevant criteria and also allow time after each speech to add up their scores.

Some valued helpers in the form of time keepers Catherine and Roxanna and Ballot Counters Katie and Nisha  (her first meeting as member) to assist the chief judge Dave Longley who is our Area 33 Director.

Table topics contestants

Whilst the Judges and Ballot Counters were doing their bit Contest Chair James interviewed the contestants in the form of a show asking them questions about their speeches and how they arrived at the ideas. This was a pleasure to listen to as it is helpful for our many new members at St Paul’s Speakers to learn about what they indeed might do in their Toastmaster journey in this innovative way.

There was indeed a table topic session given by one of the most valued and advanced speakers we have at St Paul’s Speakers, David who told us a scary story about scary places.

After the break then The Contest Chair Role was handed over to Michael another well-established experienced speaker of our club.

He guided through 6 contestants who had entered the Table Topics Contest: –
Sarah
Daniel
Lewius
Jamie
Kash
And Ella

Each person needed to answer the question “Reality TV…. Is it good or bad??”
Amazing how popular ‘Love island is’ as was mentioned by a number of the entrants.

Again to fill in for the judges and ballot counters to count and verify the votes another round of table topics ensued with various challenging and thought provoking subjects.

Once all the complete the result were in ………
In anticipation we discovered
That:-
Sarah won the Humorous Contest – Well Done Sarah….

Table Topics contest Winners
3rd place – Ella
2nd place – Lewis
1st place – Jamie

Well done all……

Winners Sarah & Jamie

The winners will go onto to the Area 33 Contest, which will be in early October
with the Divisional Contest being help on Saturday 14th October.

Anyone can go along to support Sarah and Jamie in representing St Paul’s Speakers in the area competition. So watch out for a notice of the actual date. The speakers and the club will really appreciate your support.

A contest doesn’t organise itself. It needs organisation in the background to network with other clubs in order to invite judges and also to members can reciprocate to other clubs to be judges which all helps towards gaining points for the leadership award. This is a focus this year of our club.