Dear Toasties,

Lovely to see all who attended our meeting this evening. If you couldn’t make it, you were missed!

Actions & Opportunities

1. Club Officer Training is being run by our new Area Director Jacqueline Omoregie, on Sunday 26th July, from approx 9am – 2pm. So if you’re interested in getting some free training on leadership and organising, or if you’re considering a role on the committee for next year, then look out for the details, which I’ll share in the WhatsApp group when they become available.

2. We’ve got our club competition – table topics and humorous speeches – coming up in September. So if you’d like to join in and make use of the opportunity to practice your skills under different conditions then now’s a good time to start thinking about it.

3. Please respond to the survey kindly put together by Katie and Aga, so we can make sure you can get what you want out of being with the club. They’ll be sending that out shortly.

4. Sign up for roles and speeches on easySPEAK. There are dates now available for the rest of the year so get them while you still can!

5. We’ve also been invited to run a joint meeting with a financial TM club that’s based in India. This would be a good opportunity to practice skills under different conditions and get evaluations from a group other than us – and we know that different clubs have different housestyles and different insights so there’s extra value there. Due to their time constraints it would be early on a Sunday morning, and I’m very aware of Zoom-fatigue. But, if you’d be interested please let me know by replying to this email by Sunday evening 12th July – and we’ll see what we can do to arrange it, though at this stage no promises & no obligation.


The toastmaster leading our meeting this evening was Kate, (congrats on your first time in the role), whose topic of the day got us thinking about being kids again, including:

  • creating things without any purpose whatsoever, from Aga
  • saying whatever I want without worrying about the consequences, from Veronica
  • singing aloud in the streets on her way to school, from Julia – and this is something she still does on the way to work. Bravo.

Helping making the meeting possible we had: Shruti as our timer, who did an excellent job of keeping everyone in check with imaginative use of timing props.

Katie as our grammarian, who chose curiosity as the word of the day, which (I think) only Shruti succeeding in using. Finding a way to use the WotD is a really good way of practicing our abilities to listen, remember, and adapt in the moment and Dena and Georgina being our SAAs, multitasking behind the scenes to get the polls operational!

We had Veronica and Georgina as our speakers, developing their skills and sharing with us strategies available when we understand our leadership style, and the meaningfulness of football as a practice of belonging, respectively.

Providing them with constructive feedback through evaluations were Aga and Esmé, so we could all receive the benefits of their thoughts on, for example,

  • body language
  • eye contact
  • structure
  • vocal use
  • use of slides

In particular, Aga drew our attention to the mind’s ability to consciously hold roughly 4 pieces of information at the same time (so while we might want to share more, make it easy for the audience to remember what you’ve said), and Esmé drawing our attention to the utility of having clear body language as it gives us a different kind of presence.

Sharing feedback and acting on it as we do our own next role or speech or table topic means that we can all get better together. Part of the strength of a club is that we get to raise each other up. Tip: choose one thing you learnt from this meeting that you want to practice and apply in the next meeting.

Helping us develop our off the cuff speaking skills was Julia who ran a really enjoyable, creative, and insightful table topics session based around proverbs from different countries, which included:

  • Dena talking about having tomatoes on her eyes
  • Ailsa making sense of raisins at the end of hotdogsOur guest Pey elucidating us on why our cheeks might be falling off
  • Carrie playing cat and mouse with usJenny took a clear, logical, and empathic approach to the poor dead camel and Laura explaining quite clearly why there is a cow on the ice. Obviously. And winning the contest as she did so.

(If that doesn’t make sense, you did – really – have to be there).

TT participants were evaluated by me, and I noted the benefits of a few strategies including:

  • taking ownership of the proposition, beginning with a ‘yes’
  • evoking our senses with reference to touch, taste, smell, sound, sight
  • telling a story
  • making it relatable by sharing how it is relevant to you, and relevant to us
  • using a compare & contrast (tomato versus cucumber / fantasy versus reality)
  • speaking your thoughts outloud as you reason through things even if you don’t know what you think
  • and the trip hazard of apologising – no need!

Thanks everyone for a fantastic meeting.

Have a super fortnight (of ease & breatheeeee…)
Best wishes


Eve Parmiter

President, City Women Speakers

Toastmasters International