Dear all,

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend; and with a theme around bank holiday destinations, our meeting last Wednesday definitely put me in the bank holiday weekend mood. Anqi was our Toastmaster for the evening and asked all speakers for a recommendation of nice places to go to for bank holiday weekends. All the great tips are at the bottom of this email.

Anqi was helped by our timer Irina and grammarian Ailsa, who presented the word “gullible” as the word of the day.

We had a packed agenda with four speakers and an entertaining table topics session.

Our first speaker Marianna spoke about the vision. How our inner vision, external vision and collective vision interact with each other. She explained how our inner voice influences the way we project ourselves externally and the importance of supporting each other to create a more powerful collective vision.

Next, Maria delivered a mouth-watering speech. She used the global palate cookbook to speak about the multicultural food scene in London. She  introduced us to three colourful recipes: a Jamaican jerk chicken, a British cod recipe and a special rice from Ghana.

Sin delivered project five from her Persuasive Influence Pathways. This project is all about discovering leadership styles and Sin shared with us her approach on democratic leadership and what that means in practice. There was lots of audience participation to help her define her leadership style and she evidenced her democratic style through this engaging process.

I delivered a speech from the Successful Club Series on committee roles. At the end of June the club will hold elections and a new committee will take over, meaning the President, VP Education, VP Membership, VP Public Relations, Sergeant at Arms, Secretary and Treasurer roles are up for election. Do not fear if you missed it, as I will be delivering it again at our next meeting to ensure everyone is familiar with the available committee roles ahead of summer party.

The speeches were evaluated by me, Anqi, JT and Shola respectively.

After the break, Emma led a brilliant tabletopic session, helping us to expand our vocabulary and force us to do some creative thinking. She introduced unfamiliar or lesser known words and the speakers had to define what the words meant. JT, Sin, Veronica, Laura and Anqi had a go at defining the words, sometimes close enough, at other times hilariously far apart from the actual definitions. Obsequious, Parsimonious, Rebarbative, Axiomatic and Contumacious.

We were delighted to have Manuela as our GE for the evening.

The award for best table topics was won by Veronica and I won the awards for best speaker and best evaluator.

Club announcements:

  • On 4-5 May the annual D91 Conference will take place. You can register here.
  • The world public speaking champion of 2017 is hosting a Masterclass in London on 2 May at the University of Law, you can register here.
  • We need two volunteers to help us organise our summer party. This will take place on our last meeting in June (26th June). This involves finding a nice restaurant to host our last meeting of the Toastmaster year. Please get in touch if you’d like to help.

Bank holiday destinations:

We’ve had our first dose of sunshine for an extended weekend, but there’s two more long weekends coming up in May; here’s some recommendations of how to spend your time from our members:

  • Marianna recommends Brighton as there is a beach and shopping, fish and chips and ice cream to top it all up
  • Emma likes Menton in the French Riviera.  It’s easy to get to with a quick and cheap flight to Nice, followed by a convenient 45 minute airport bus along the stunning Mediterranean coastline.  They have wonderful beach clubs, restaurants and Rose wine, as well as the third best restaurant in the world, Mirazur, which is absolutely sublime and worth every Euro!
  • Irina suggested Rome; beautiful weather, delicious food, friendly people and love is in the air
  • Esmé tried Dartmoor in Devon last year, it is absolutely beautiful and great for walking and relaxing in nature
  • Maria says one of the caravan parks by the sea side. At the beach during the day…and evening entertainment including Karaoke
  • Shola’s top 3: Lisbon, Sardinia, Edinburgh
  • JT said one of the most scenic trips she has been on was travelling up the east coast of Scotland, starting from Glasgow going up to the Kyle of Lochalsh (lots of magical mountain views). Next time she would combine it with the adventure of travelling on the Calendonian Sleeper
  • Sin recommends the Brecon Beacons, a national park with stunning landscapes, in Wales. From wildlife hikes to ruined castles and market towns, there is something for everyone
  • Ailsa has a UK option and an overseas option: Venice, no cars, lots of beautiful places and art to see, music to hear, amazing food and wine too. If the English countryside is more your scene, you could head west to Worcester and Malvern area. Lots of wonderful walks in the Malvern hills, plenty of cathedrals if you like historical monuments as well as the beautiful city of Bath nearby. Some good pubs around too with delicious food.

Best wishes,