Our last meeting featured four amazing speeches, including two icebreakers. Mikhail took on the role as Toastmaster, assisted by Oleksandra as timekeeper and Thien Trang as Grammarian, who introduced the word of the day “Ludicrous”, encouraging speakers to make full use of it in their speeches!
Shalini, one of our newer members, delivered the first prepared speech of the evening with her very first speech – her Icebreaker speech, “The Footpath of a Culturally Attuned Girl”, where we heard about her life starting in Sri Lanka, via university in the UK, to working in London. Shalini did well in presenting her warmly conversational speech with a good flow, and without notes.
Christine’s Icebreaker “The Steps which Led me to Toastmasters” was a fun and energetic speech that that was well structured, and also delivered without any notes. We learned about Christine’s love of dance and her stepping stones in life, all the way from coming from France at a young age, to joining Toastmasters. It used a great visual concept of steps to focus her speech deliver it in an engaging way.
David delivered from the advanced manuals, giving some interpretive poetry readings, and we enjoyed hearing a selection of poems from various poets – some familiar, and some not-so. David used vocal variety to bring the poems to life and capture the audience’s imagination.
Finally, Alan delivered a storytelling speech from the advanced manuals “When the Writing Stopped”. It took as its inspiration an imagined scene of Lewis Carroll suffering writers block. The speech brilliantly showcased Alan’s inventiveness in terms of story content and his master storytelling abilities in delivery.
We were fortunate to have many guests in the meeting – introduced by Kris, as Sergeant at Arms, before the break.
The evaluations were then delivered by Florian, Isabelle, Gavin, and James respectively. The evaluations are an important part of Toastmasters, and focus on areas that the speakers did well and pointers for improvement.
Next Ania hosted the table topics, where members of the audience were invited up to give an impromptu speech based on different quotes, such as “the limits of my language are the limits of my world”. It was a lot of fun, and many guests took part.
Christopher evaluated the table topics, giving feedback to the various speakers.
Followed by Thien-Trang’s incisive Grammarian report, looking at the language used by the evening’s speakers.
And because evaluations are such a big part of what we do here at Toastmasters we were fortunate to have a General Evaluator to provide feedback. Barry did an excellent job in setting out his experience of the meeting, and ideas for improvement, as well as giving feedback on everyone who hadn’t yet been evaluated.
Finally, to mark Alan Thomas’ departure from the club, Florian presented Alan with a plaque commemorating his services to the club as mentor and founding president. Alan has been a major presence in the history of St Paul’s Speakers and we look forward to some guest appearances in future.