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.


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!

What comes next? Getting the most out of St. Paul’s Speakers in the New Year

What comes next?

Hi everyone! Here we are in July and we’ve already gotten off to a fantastic start of the new Toastmasters Year. At the end of June, I was given the opportunity to help lead the club as our new president. We’ve got a great team, and am excited to have the been given the opportunity to serve the club over the course of the next year. We can’t wait to work with many more of of my fellow St. Paul’s Speakers!



Last Meeting!

The first meeting of July EPITOMIZED the type of high-quality gathering we hope to emulate going forward throughout the year. Epitomize was the wonderful word of the day offered by our Grammarian Kashrul, who did a great job tracking language usage throughout. Our meeting was lead by our capable and talented Toastmaster for the evening, Florian Bay, who managed to get everyone energized by leading the group in a vocal warm-up at the beginning of the meeting. One of our newest members, Anthony, did a fantastic job as Timekeeper throughout the meeting, make sure to keep everyone on task and on time.

We witnessed two wonderful speeches during our last meeting, giving us great examples of Speech #2 from the Competent Communication Manual – Organise Your Speech. The first speech came from Roxanna Zea, who spoke about the importance of learning a new instrument with a beautiful speech about her journey towards learning the violin. The next speech came from Ling Luo with a powerful speech about how sometimes communication is about much more than the words that you choose to use. It was a perfect meeting to showcase the benefits of Toastmasters and its impact on people, both as speakers and human beings.

Our Sergeant at Arms of the evening was Bashir, who introduced guests and managed this crucial role with great confidence. Our Table Topic Master Sarah kept the audience and potential speakers on their toes with a range of topics related to old sayings – challenging us to decide whether they were antiquated notions or important life lessons! Our speakers, both members and guests, all got the audience engaged.

Important Dates

Impromptu Speaking Workshop! (August 30)

Get your diaries out! 30th August 2017 will be our next 5th Wednesday meeting of the month and new President Christopher Walker has already lined up a great workshop on Table Topics by expert Paul Caroll who will show us all that there is a real art to impromptu speaking. This workshop will be all the more befitting ahead of the club Humorous Speech & Table Topics Contest in early September!

Humorous Speech & Table Topics Contest (September 13)

Think about entering the contest or helping out as functionaries. Watch this space for more details from Chris. The event is on Wednesday, 13th September 2017.

Of course, please do use Easy Speak to sign up for speeches and roles. St. Paul’s Speakers needs you!

5th Wednesday of the month… Debate Night at St. Paul’s Speakers!

Debate Night!

Our meeting on 31st May 2017 will be a special one once again as a bonus meeting being 5th Wednesday in the month. Back by popular demand it is a Debate Night!!!

Come along and try your hands at practicing another skill of debating for or against a subject that you might not even have thought about before! So really this is one for your diaries………. Wednesday 14th June 2017 will also be a special evening in as much as a part of it will take up the AGM. That is when St Paul’s Speakers will be voting in a new president/s, and other vital functionaries for the committee to ensure the success of this club continues.

Last Meeting

Our last meeting on 10th May felt like a marathon and Oleksandra as toastmaster guided us all through 5 speeches with evaluators and a wonderful set of table topics.

Gavin entertained us all with his speech number 5 about technology… friend or foe?

Thien Trang gave us her persuasive ideas for us to adopt her viewpoint on recycling, up cycling and reading labels as to checking on the source of the clothes we are buying.

Finally by David delivering his humourous speech from the advance manual advising us of the perils of alcohol!!

This range of speeches covering various levels of the speech projects confirmed to everyone that St Paul’s Speakers is a superlative club.

Oleksandra had a grand team to support her in this extravaganza:

  • Rakesh – Grammarian – His first appearance as grammarian had so much language to comment on with ‘superlative’ as the word of the day.
  • Solmaz – Time Keeper – Thanks to Solmaz for stepping in at the last minure.
  • Sifat one of our new members dived straight into the tough role of Table Tapics master and unusually invited members to come up and sell the most unusual items! (i.e. a bicycle for the whole family or a dimple maker.)

Evaluators included:

  • Florian
  • Christopher
  • David thanks for stepping in last minute
  • Caroline – for table topic evaluation

We would like to give a special mention to welcome back for the evening, an old friend of St Paul’s Speakers, Marcel. Marcel often used to visit our club when he is in London. He now is based in Europe and it was delightful to welcome him back.

Speeches heat up on an unseasonably chilly late April evening

April showers bring may flowers, but what do great speeches bring?

Word of the Day

Lauren, our Grammarian, gave us EQUANIMITY as a magnificent word of the day. And “calmness and composure under pressure” was indeed what had been required, as Mikhail our Vice President of Education valiantly stepped into the breach with a last-minute speech following a string of cancellations. Digging into the Competent Communication Manual for a second time, Mikhail told us about the lack of European unity when it comes to traffic regulations, in a speech that was both informative and humorous, as well as very well-organised of course! Thank you Mikhail for stepping in. That’s what leadership is all about! Mikhail’s speech was competently and constructively evaluated by Christopher.


David, with perfect equanimity, delivered an emotional Educational Speech where he announced his decision to leave Toastmasters International in September, not before leaving us with some invaluable tips and advice on how as Toastmasters, we could all help make our journey into public speaking much more exhilarating and worthwhile by taking part, helping out and stepping up. Having served on the club committee on several occasions, including as Club President, and having represented St. Paul’s Speakers at numerous contests at Area, Division and even District levels, David truly embodies the values of a Toastmaster and has demonstrated to us all how much personal and professional growth being a Toastmaster could bring us all. We shall miss you David!

Table Topics

Rakesh, first time Table Topic Master, did a fantastic job with his 10 excellent questions on the quirkiest pieces of legislation we should consider – from banning any talk of the weather to forcing people who listen to their music too loud on their headphones in public transport to dance or sing along to their music. And did you know that the Salmon Act 1986 prohibits you from handling a salmon in suspicious circumstances? Our 10 brave table topic speakers were far from being intimidated and went all for it! Gavin had the Herculean task of evaluating 10 speakers in a limited amount of time, which he did with equanimity and verve and within time! Agata deservedly won the Best Table Topic Award.

Special Thanks!

Huge thanks to Lydia who stepped into the role of Sergeant at Arms for the first time, having just recently joined our club, to Krish who stepped into the role of General Evaluator for the first time and gave us oodles of constructive feedback to help us improve as a club, and to Bashir who stepped into the role of Timekeeper for the first time too!

And of course thanks to Lauren our Grammarian for a most wonderful word of the day!

Check out a few of our new members below 🙂

Spring has sprung!

Co-President’s Message

Following the tragic events in Westminster on Wednesday 22nd March 2017….. we wondered how our meeting was going to go and whether our speakers and functionaries were even going to get there.

We were pleasantly surprised when we not only had most functionaries come…. St Paul’s Speakers welcomed some new guests too. What a resilient bunch of people we all are!

Our thoughts and condolences go to the families of those who died….

Wednesday 22nd March Meeting

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

– Steve Jobs

Word of the day: Innovate

Our Wednesday 22nd March meeting was lead by Muthkrishnan (Krish) as our Toastmaster for the evening with the help of Rakesh as Time Keeper. James was our Grammarian. Krish also acted in his permanent role of  Sergeant at Arms.

  • Shalini delivered her 5th speech and was evaluated by Thien Trang
  • David gave us a rendition for one of his advanced interpretive speeches, which was evaluated by Christopher.
  • Another advanced speech as The Entertaining Speaker Florian performed a humorous and fun speech and was evaluated by Oleksandra ( Alex).
  • Caroline stepped in to be Table Topics Master and devised some ‘innovative’ questions to members and guests alike.
  • Michael gave commendations and recommendations to all the table topic speakers.

Our Latest Meeting

Improv Time!

The 5th Wednesday Meeting of March certainly raised the tradition of being Mad March!

From acting out Elephants and James Bond to telling a story of David Cameron visiting China together with Batman – Two Robins – Superman and Dare Devil to name but a few helped the evening flow hilariously by our willing and fun members and guests! There were more skills learnt to work on to not only enhance our development as a team player and leader but also to bring in the skills in Toastmasters and of course everyone’s social life as well.

It was a light-hearted and fun experience and for those not there… Shame you missed it!

A number of people asked where they could do more Improvisation and so here is a couple of websites you could check out. or there are many more too.

Next Meeting on 9th December – Venue is St Botolph Church Aldgate

Our next meeting on December 9th will take place in St Botolph without Aldgate Church as our usual venue of the Loose Cannon pub will be unavalaible on that night.

The Chuch is located on Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AB, very close to Aldgate (Circle and Metropolitian Lines) and Aldgate East tube stations (District and Hammersmith & City Lines). Here is a link to a map to guide you there!


Next Meeting on 25th November – Venue is St Botolph Church Aldgate

Our next meeting on November 25th will take place in St Botolph without Aldgate Church as our usual venue of the Loose Cannon pub will be unavalaible on that night.

The Chuch is located on Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AB, very close to Aldgate (Circle and Metropolitian Lines) and Aldgate East tube stations (District and Hammersmith & City Lines). Here is a link to a map to guide you there!


Our Last Meeting Speeches – 11 November

Our last meeting was held at St Botolph without Aldgate where Christopher was Toastmaster of the evening.

The evening’s functionaries featured Joe as Grammarian, introducing “modicum” as the word of the day, and Anne was the evening’s timekeeper.

Timing tonight’s speeches Anne

The speeches kicked off with Andrew giving his first ever toastmasters speech (the icebreaker), introducing himself. Andrew delivered his speech with a clear and confident voice, telling us about growing up in Tunbridge Wells, his love of sport, and his hair!

Mikhail gave the next speech “London to Paris: how do I get there”, from the advanced manuals (“speaking to inform”). Mikhail delivered his well structured speech very clearly and calmly, running over the options to get to La Ville Lumière.

Second of two speeches by Mikhail

Florian evaluated Andrew’s speech, noting how well it was delivered, and making recommendations about adding vocal variety.

Hamad evaluated Mikhail’s speech, remarking on Mikhail’s calm presence, and recommending Mikhail to have a more assertive opening.

Speech evaluator Hamad

David was the evening’s table topic master, lulling us into a false sense of security with talk of Christmas, before moving into table topics themed around the apocalypse – such questions as “who would you eat first when all the food runs out?” It was a fun table topics session, with lots of laughs, which Michael evaluated, congratulating the speakers on speaking for at least a minute.

Table topics master David

Joe as grammarian congratulated speakers on interesting word choices and use “modicum”, and reporting on their “um” and “er” scores.

Before the evening wrapped up, Laurent (also winner of best table topic!) did a thorough general evaluator’s report.

Best table topics speaker and general evaluator Laurent

October 28th Meeting in Hoop & Grapes Pub – Farringdon Road

Our next meeting on October 28th will take place in the Hoop & Grapes pub on the 2nd floor function room. This is because our venue of the Loose Cannon will be unavailable that night.

The lovely Hoop & Grapes pub is located on 80 Farringdon St, London EC4A 4BL not far away from Ludgate Circus and City Thameslink station. Here is a link to a map to guide you there.

Our venue on October 28th
Our venue on October 28th



Next Meeting on 23rd September – Venue is St Botolph Church Aldgate

Our next meeting on September 23rd will take place in St Botolph without Aldgate Church as our usual venue of the Loose Cannon pub will be unavalaible on that night.

The Chuch is located on Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AB, very close to Aldgate (Circle and Metropolitian Lines) and Aldgate East tube stations (District and Hammersmith & City Lines). Here is a link to a map to guide you there!