Our contest evening was led by our lively contest chairs Carrie and Zhenzhen and accompanied by jaw-droppingly delicious home-made Spanish food from Angie. I was really pleased to see the active engagement from our members in the contest, and wow (!) the high quality speeches and table topics delivered by our lovely contestants.

A Spanish buffet made by our Colombian VPM – Angie

We had four prepared speeches in the first-half (humorous speech contest). It started with Jane sharing her theory on the “JR Factor” – a generation of women who were under the influence of high fashion (think back to the shoulder pads and permed hair in the long running soap “Dallas”) and the entertainment industry but came out proudly with their own identity. Words cannot describe Jane’s theatrical impact on the stage!

Marianna was the second contestant with her speech entitled “Through Security to the centre of his heart”.  In the speech, Marianna shared her story of showing her appreciation to a highly respected coach on the centre of a stage in front of hundreds of audience, and the fun twist in between that involved microphone, stage lights and red heart. As always, Marianna used her story to encourage us to step outside our comfort zone and pursue our own goals.

The third contestant was me, Anqi. Struggling to pull together a meaningful speech for the contest, I diverted to use the stage to complain about the “Stress” from our modern life; and the ridiculous and hilarious actions we take every day to get & tackle the stress and some of the consequences.

The last speech was from Lan with her speech “Love at First Swipe”. She talked about her Tinder experiences. That involved six-packs, obscure profile photos, brash online conversations and an awkward date in the restaurant that was saved by a random “superwoman”. How dramatic is that?

Winners of the Humorous Contest, Marianna and Jane, with contest chair, Carrie

In the second-half (Table Topics contest), Zhenzhen chose a thought-provoking question “Is age an important factor in relationships” that set a real challenge for our five contestants who answered the question from all different angles.

Table Topic contest winners: Jane, Rowna and Marianna with contest chair, Zhenzhen

I would like to give out thanks to our Chief Judge Ailsa and judges from other clubs that are an integral part of the evening.  They are Emil from dbToastmasters – London, Jerome from Data Science Speakers club, Olessia and Tola from BlackRock speakers, and Victoria from Barings Speaking club.

Thank you also to our counters Rochelle and Elena and our time timekeepers Angie and Esme.

Special thanks to Barry from db Toastmasters – Canary Wharf for delivering such an entertaining warm-up session at the beginning of the contest.

First prize for the Humorous Speech contest went to Marianna with Jane second. And the placings were reversed for the Table Topics speech with Jane 1st, followed by Marianna and Rowena in 3rd.

As always, we had some guests (Apryl, Georgina, Nikki, Rupert, Shehzeen, Charlotte, Celia and Anna), we hope you enjoyed our club contest and that can welcome you again soon!

All the contestants and the two contest chairs