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.

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.

Ice Breaker Speeches and Getting to the Point

What an amazing meeting we had last week: Four speeches, and twelve Table Topics!!!

Three of the speakers were beginning their toastmasters journey delivering their icebreaker speech. We particularly enjoy icebreaker speeches. They represent the start of a great journey for the speaker, but they provide an excellent opportunity for the rest of the club to get to know new members. We’re particularly APPRECIATIVE of our Table Topics Master Catherine. With an amazing twelve Table Topics, all the members that wanted to speak at the meeting were able to do so.

Looking forward to the next few meetings with Ricardo Cabete, District 59 winner speaking next time. After that there’s a Table Topics workshop and then the competition. All in all an exciting couple of months.

July 26th Meeting

Our second meeting in July was packed full of amazing public speaking. We heard four wonderful speeches during our meeting. Three fantastic examples of Speech #1 (the Icebreaker) and one great example of Speech #3 (Get to the Point) from the Competent Communication Manual. The first speech came from Alan Leroux, who spoke about how he came to Toastmasters from the world of science and law. The next speech came from Bashir Ali, who spoke with conviction about the journey he went on to find his long lost love for basketball. Then we heard from Alexander Drizi, who gave us a powerful speech about the Anti-Hero’s Journey and his adventures as a breakdancer.

Finally, we heard from Lydia Leung who taught us about the concept of Obliquity. It was a perfect meeting to showcase the benefits of Toastmasters.

Our Sergeant at Arms of the evening was Rakesh, who introduced guests and managed this crucial role with great confidence. Table Topic Master Catherine kept the audience and potential speakers on their toes. This week the topic was dictators. She challenged us to tap into our inner tyrants. It was easily one of the most challenging Table Topics sessions of the year! Speakers, both members and guests, all got the audience engaged.

End of the Toastmasters Year!

All good things must come to an end…

That is it! Another Toastmasters Year has reached its end. It is with emotion and great expectations that Caroline and I, Co-Presidents of St. Paul’s Speakers, hand over the leadership of the club to our new President, Christopher Walker. We have had the privilege and pleasure to serve the club over the last year, and could not have done so without the tremendous support of our Committee or the continued enthusiasm of fellow St. Paul’s Speakers! We wish the new President and Committee all the very best, and are confident that St. Paul’s Speakers will continue its success in 2017-2018!

Last week’s meeting

A WHIMSICAL night indeed – whimsical being the wonderful word of the day offered by our Grammarian Solmaz – to end the Toastmasters year, with an Icebreaker by one of our newest members Lydia who marked the start of her public speaking journey with a beautiful speech about her relationship with London, followed by Thien Trang who completed her Competent Communication manual with a speech about how she had been inspired by fellow member Christine Alaby to make a considerable life-changing decision. It was a perfect meeting to showcase the benefits of Toastmasters and its impact on people, both as speakers and human beings.

Our Toastmaster of the evening was Kris who stepped in at the very last minute yet managed this crucial role with great aplomb. Our Table Topic Master Elzbieta kept the audience and potential speakers on their toes with a range of entertaining topics relative to summer holidays – what a whimsical notion considering how chilly and overcast the day was! Our speakers, both members and guests, all got the audience laughing. We know, for instance, that Ling would rather die than spend 2 weeks on holiday without any internet connection! And that Florian of course would like to recruit a team for his mission to colonise Mars. Any volunteers? The best Table Topic Speaker award, however, went to McVal who told us about how even the best vacation can last too long!

Important dates

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!

Think about entering the contest or helping out as functionaries. Watch this space for more details from the new President!

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

Organise Your Speech – 29th June Meeting

Our last meeting took place in the cosy surroundings of the Golden Fleece pub, with Christopher taking on the role of Toastmaster of the evening, energetically leading the evening’s fun night of speeches.

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Assisting Christopher, Mikhail was the timekeeper of the evening, with Caroline as Grammarian, introducing “aptitude” as the word of the day, encouraging others to use it in their speeches.

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The two prepared speeches of the evening were both delivered by some of our newer members, Shalini and Gavin, with both presenting their second Toastmasters speeches. The objective of the Toastmasters second speech is “Organise Your Speech”, by using on a strong opening and conclusion, with a clear outline and message that can be easily understood.

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Shalini presented her speech first, titled “Lessons from the Multicultural Handbook”, in which she discussed the value to be gained from friendships with people from different backgrounds. It was a warm and positive speech, delivered in a friendly conversational style, and demonstrated good organisation of material.

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In Gavin’s speech, “Education”, he presented an outline of the education system in the UK. Gavin also did well in the organisation of the speech, presenting the content in an objective and articulate way, and harnessed many of the fundamentals of good speech-making such as strong voice and presence on stage.

After the break the evaluations of the speakers were delivered by Michael and James respectively, concentrating on areas of the speech that worked well and met the objective, and also touching on pointers for improvement.

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Table Topics is all about developing skills in impromptu speaking. Kris was the Table Topics Master of the evening. In the spirit of the recent EU referendum Kris asked the speakers questions where they could agree one way or the other. Starting off with “do aliens exist or not?” there were lots of fun and interesting speeches.

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Further evaluation was delivered by Caroline, in the grammarian report, and by George in the General Evaluator report.
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The meeting was the last one of the committee year, and Florian handed over the role of President to Caroline and Thien-Trang who will be joint presidents of the club for the next year, together with a new committee!DSC_0286