13 Jul 2016 Meeting: Rising to the Challenge

By Abby T


2016-07-13-img_0027The Sergeant-at-Arms Ann M opened the meeting and welcomed everyone before passing onto the new Club President, Jacqui H.

Jacqui welcomed guests and a new member, Melvyn K. He was presented with a welcome certificate.

Jacqui noted that we finally had our own official Toastmasters club banner, something that became possible by chartering recently.

Our Toastmaster for the evening was Nour S, who described the agenda and protocol. She introduced the meeting theme of Rising to the Challenge.

Anna G explained her role as Timer and demonstrated the lights.

Grammarian Anantha R introduced the word of the day ‘challenge, not a chore’

Prepared Speeches

Jamie C delivered his third speech from the Competent Communication manual. In his speech – How to listen to a podcast – he began by getting the audience involved by asking if anyone had listened to a podcast.He went on to explain what podcasts were, and introduced three steps to get into it: 1. Find a device to listen on for example a mobile phone. 2. Find a podcast to listen to. 3. Download it! A well structured, easy-to-follow speech.

The second speech was by Mike M with his Ice Breaker, the first speech from the Competent Communication manual. The speech was titled Looking at you now, you would never know. Mike talked about how his family got through the time when finding out that his newborn daughter Jess had Pierre Robin syndrome. Now, at eight years old, Jess has grown into a healthy little young lady who not only plays piano but is also a runner.

Emilio S gave a wonderful speech for project 3 from the Storytelling advanced manual. His speech was entitled Choosing the right person. He told us a story about a King and his two Prime Ministers. The King found that one of them, Hertu, was a thief. So the King sentenced him to prison for 10 years. But 9 years later, the King found out that the other Prime Minister Tabu was the thief, not Hertu. The King fell into a dilemma. Emilio explained the moral in the story, that we should be thoughtful before making decisions.

Jacqui H delivered a speech as project 8: Let’s Get Comfortable with Visual Aids from the Competent Communication manual. The speech was called A quick guide to contest judging. By using a lot of techniques, Jacqui clearly explained the criteria (content 55%, delivery 30% and language 15%) that judges have to consider when judging speeches at a Toastmasters contest. Jacqui encouraged members to enter the upcoming Humorous Speech Club Contest in September.


Table Topics

Our Table Topics Master for the evening was Julie H who themed the questions around ‘Rising to the challenge’.

The first table topic speaker was Sheila HA, who was asked what advice she’d give to the new Prime Minister, Theresa May. Sheila told us that she had watched Theresa May’s first speech the previous evening and would like to suggest she ‘buy another pair of shoes!’

Jordan S was asked to give advice to Theresa May on what she should wear. Jordan said she would advise her to wear what she wanted; to wear bold colours and maybe get rid of high heels and wear flip-flops.

The third speaker was Ian S. He talked about the challenges that he has set himself. The first one was to do 1000 press-up in a month. The second was to run a half marathon.

Finally, we had Reshmi B who enthusiastically told us about her goals this year. She has three goals: 1. Attend Toastmasters meeting to conquer her fear of public speaking. 2. Play piano at King’s Cross station. 3. Become fluent in Spanish.

Best Table Topic by Reshmi B


Reshmi B was Jamie’s evaluator. She liked his clear structure and the interactive way he delivered his speech. Reshmi pointed out that Jamie had used the stage well. She recommended that Jamie provide more imagery to audiences – for example what can they learn / hear about on podcasts, so they can be more willing to take action to download one.

Sheila HA evaluated Mike M’s speech. She liked his story-telling approach to deliver his speech. She noticed that he prepared everything before starting the speech. She suggested that Mike included more variety in his voice. Overall, she thought Mike’s speech was good and touching.

Sheila HA, Best Evaluator

Jordan S was the third evaluator and she evaluated Emilio S’s speech. She thought the title Choose the right person was good because it made the audience curious what the speech would be about. She liked the moral of the speech and thought it was wonderful. She pointed out that the way Emilio delivered the speech was easy to follow and understand. She recommended that he use “once upon a time” as the beginning, and spend more time describing characters to make it more story-like.

The final speech evaluator was Ann M who evaluated Jacqui H’s speech. She highlighted Jacqui’s usage of various visual techniques: the movement on the stage, the changing tone of voice and her smiling. She thought that the way Jacqui delivered her speech was a very good example of ‘less is more’; she made things simple but at the same time it more effective. The only suggestion Ann gave Jacqui was to use the stage more.

Nicola M was the Table Topic Evaluator and it was her first time to do this role. She praised all the speakers. In particular, she commented how well the audience engaged with Sheila’s entertaining speech, how Jordan’s vivid description of Theresa May suggested attire was interesting, and how logical both Ian and Reshmi were with their clear speech structures.

The General Evaluator for the evening was Mell S from Wokingham Speakers. She evaluated those who hadn’t yet been evaluated by giving excellent advice and encouragement. She talked about the meeting environment and thought the time management was excellent. She gave some suggestion on the stage area.

Our Grammarian for the evening, Anantha R, congratulated all the speakers on their speeches. She gave excellent advice to speakers in a warm and positive way.

Jamie C, Best Speaker


Club President, Jacqui H presented the following awards:

  • Ice Breaker: Achievement Unlocked – Mike M
  • Best of use of the Word of the Day – Jacqui H
  • The least “ahh”s and “umm”s – Mike M
  • Best Table Topic speaker – Reshmi B
  • Best Evaluator – Sheila HA
  • Best Speaker – Jamie C

The evening closed with the President inviting guest comments and the date of the upcoming Table Topics and Humourous Speech Contests, 28 September 2016.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place on 27 July 2016. We look forward to seeing you then.

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