Open House is where leaders meet

‘Toastmasters is where leaders are made.’

This is what Toastmasters International says to promote our purpose. And in our second Open House for this year at the Ascot & Bracknell Speakers club, we welcomed many leaders, with their unique purpose.

We were delighted to meet the Worshipful Mayor of the Borough of Bracknell Forest Councillor Ankur Shiv Bhandari and the Bracknell Town Council Mayor Councillor Dai Roberts. We welcomed the Mayors, our District 91 Director, Helena Boden-Brewer, other guests, and members of our community to experience the Open House with us.

Dan, Rumana, and Amanda welcomed Bracknell Forest Council Mayor (left), Cllr Ankur Shiv Bhandari, and Bracknell Town Council Mayor (right), Cllr Dai Roberts to Ascot & Bracknell Speakers Open House (Photo 1: Rumana Kabir, Photo 2: Amardeep Setty)
Dan, opens the evening by explaining the purpose of Ascot & Bracknell Speakers ‘to help our community members to become good leaders’ (Photo 3: Amanda Bouch)

Ascot & Bracknell Speaker’s Club President, Dan officially opened our evening and explained how Ascot & Bracknell Speakers is part of the Toastmasters International family. Our Toastmaster for the evening, Amanda explained the protocols and roles to the audience.

We then learned about Rumana’s and Matt’s purpose in joining the club.

Rumana shared her two years of Toastmasters journey mostly online by ‘zooming the world for 800 days’ visiting many Toastmasters clubs worldwide; and how this benefitted her at work and to escape the lockdowns by connecting with others online!

Matt, our newest member shared his ‘fear of failure’ and how he plans to overcome this. Matt is determined to practice as many speeches as he can,  before he delivers his wedding speech in front of over a hundred people, in two months’ time. And we are there to help Matt, achieve his goal.

Both, Rumana and Matt expressed their wish to engage with a live audience and to feel the energy. So did the rest of us! We all were energised to be able to mingle and shake hands after such a long time.

Simon welcomed Matt, our newest member, who gave his first speech ‘Fear of Failure’ (Photo 4: Chris Burton)

Simon then came up with some tricky table topics.

He asked Shelia who will be the three guests for her exclusive dinner party?

What is the best gift that Amardeep has received? 

What does Bikram like best about where he lives in Bracknell?               

And many more…

Everyone came up with imaginative answers to Simon’s questions. That kept all of us entertained.

Ascot & Bracknell Speakers club is a great place to network, with lots of treats, including meeting the Mayors! (Photo 5: Nikhil Khandelwal)

In the end, we all got feedback.

Mayor Bhandari, shared his leadership journey with us and the importance of understanding the audience. We were grateful to know his tips and tricks on how to overcome our nerves, accent, and cultural barriers to become a better leader. 

Chris, Mike, and Jacqui gave constructive and encouraging feedback for all the speeches. Jacqui and Mike were voted as the best evaluators, while, Sheila was voted as the best table topics speaker. Helena, in her role as our District Director, gave us useful feedback, on the importance of confident body language and making the use of space in front of a live audience, which many of us forgot as a result of zooming for over two years.

Thank you to all our members and guests for making our Open House a memorable one.

For us, Toastmasters is not only about where leaders are made, it is also about where memories are made.

Ascot & Bracknell Speakers are where great leaders meet and where fun memories are made… (Photo 6: Patrick Hogan)

Don’t worry if you have missed our Open House.

Save the dates for our next meetings:

22nd June (online):

7:00 PM for a 7:15 PM start (email us at to get the zoom link)

13th July (face to face):

7:30 PM, The Parks Community Centre, 8-10 Nicholson Park, Bracknell RG12 9QN.

Attending as a guest is free.

Open to all adults, bring your friends and family with you too. As there will be lots of treats.