Dear all,

We had another fabulous meeting, this time with a theme on our individual goals and I was delighted to hear about your objectives and the many speeches that people want to complete before the end of this Toastmasters year. Carrie was our Toastmaster for the evening, helped by our Timer, Katie and Grammarian, Jo, who introduced “witty” as the word of the day.

Rochelle delivered the first speech of the meeting, called “habit forming”. She made us laugh with her “focus on the broccoli”. The idea is that the more you think about something the easier it becomes to make it a habit until it becomes automatic and part of our life. It’s important to repeat those habits as it can take up to 10 weeks to fully form a habit.

Shola was our second speaker and gave an informative speech about meetings and the key elements of a good meeting. A chair and an agenda are essential and it’s important to have a purpose for the meeting.

We were blessed to have Robin from Excalibur Speakers attend our meeting and give a wonderful speech on closing zingers. There are many different ways to finish a speech with an impact such as using a quote, referencing an idea from the introduction, using humour or why not finish with a closing poll or a call to action?

The speeches were evaluated by Siobhán, Anqi and myself.

In the second half of the meeting, Sim was our Tabletopicsmaster and led us through a very entertaining chain story. Each tabletopic speaker continued with what the previous speaker had started whilst Sim introduced new hilarious words for the participants to use. We heard about the Queen’s investment in a noodle soup company and why this may impact Chinese GDP. We also heard about people learning mandarin and going shoe shopping with the prince. We then listened to the joy of discussing hip replacements whilst on a speed date and assisted to the Queen’s rap and dancing skills in her collaboration with Kim & Kanye & finally wondered how the Queen is doing all this without many hangovers. Thanks to Sin, Christen, Clelia, Glynis, Alice, Nadine & Michelle for their wonderful tabletopic answers!

Anqi won the award for the best evaluator, Robin the award for best speaker and Nadine was awarded best tabletopic speaker.

Club announcements:

We will host our club international speech and evaluation contest on 6 March. Please sign up to compete or help to chair the contest or take any of the other roles such as a counter, timer or SAA.

The area contest will be held on 20 March

I hope to see many of you at our next meeting on Wednesday 6 February – please don’t forget to mark your attendance on Easyspeak.

Best wishes,

Esmé