This was our first “normal” meeting since January but that doesn’t mean it was dull or boring – far from it!  We may have been back to the usual agenda of prepared speeches, table topics and evaluations after several extraordinary meetings which had involved presentations, club voting and workshops, however, the meeting was anything but halcyon (our word of the day).

Toastmaster for the evening was Barbora, who set a timely theme of “A Spring in Your Step”.

We had 3 prepared speeches, starting with Marianna delivering “Happy”, her 7th speech in the Competent Communication (“CC”) manual.  Marianna used a wealth of data to tell us that people are finding it increasingly difficult to be happy these days, but being happy is key for us in having a fruitful life.  She used a variety of props (fancy dress spectacles, smiley faces, and colourful paper cut-outs)to help explain that we have the power & choice to be happy – it is up to us!

The second speech was from Esmé with speech #9 in the CC manual “There is more than CC”. Esmé used the speech to inform us that being a Toastmaster member is not just about improving public speaking skills under the guidance of the CC manual, we could also develop our communication and leadership skills via taking on a club committee role. The benefits of being a committee member include additional confidence, new leadership skills (observing, learning and developing) and rewarding experiences through networking with different clubs and members. In the end, she encouraged members to volunteer to sit on the committee starting July’18. If you would like to join the committee, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our current President, Anqi.

The last speech was given by JT with her 1st speech from the advanced communication manual Speak to Inform. The title of the speech is “When…”. JT introduced the concept of Chronotype in the speech, which refers to the way our biological clock works and recognises that different people have different rhythms. People normally go through three stages during the day in terms of effectiveness, i.e. Peak, Trough and Rebound. JT used the speech to tell us how to identify our chronotype and how we could plan our daily activities to make the most out of each period.

Thank you to Maria for leading us through a fun and creative table topics session (impromptu speaking) during the second half of the evening. She collected a number of random, interesting but challenging questions to help us get to know each other better, such as “one thing that could make you lose track of time” or “whose body you would like to wake up to in the morning”.

Our evaluators were Anqi, Ailsa, Julia and Dani. Thank you also to our grammarian Ailsa for providing the word of the day Halcyon and to our timekeeper Maria who stepped up in the last minutes to take on this role in addition to the Sergeant at Arms duty. It was the first time Barbora took on the Toastmasters role, and she did an amazing job – thanks Barbora!

The Best Speaker went to JT, Best Evaluator to Dani and Julia, and Best Table Topics speaker was awarded to one of our guests Kamila.

As always, we had several guests in the meeting (Dominique, Emma, Jutta, Kamila, Nnenna, Shehzeen, Siobhán, Sofia and Tia); we hope you enjoyed our club meeting and that we can welcome you again soon, either as a guest or as a new member!