A truly International Public Speaking Experience

Epsom Speakers Club meeting Monday 20 November 2017.

Well wasn’t it another great night at Epsom Speakers Club. We truly had an international flavour to this evening with many speakers on the programme with varied ethnic backgrounds, and a topics session that took us around the world. There was much laughter as well as learning, and it is best to improve your public speaking skills with a smile on your face. We learnt that feedback is the breakfast of Kings, and that we are all busy people having amazing weekends. Long may it continue.

The evening was kicked off again with Paul D, who also ran the warm up which was all about your weekend activities. He introduced the President who then introduced the Toastmaster for the evening. Charlie showed us how to run a polished evening and even explained his mistakes, which were not frequent. This was great for the less experienced Toastmasters as we can see that at Epsom, it is ok to make mistakes. In fact, I would encourage it, because we really do learn from our mistakes.  We had Justin as the ballot counter, Daniel as the videographer and Gillian as the timekeeper. Charlie had a great team behind him.

Onto the speeches and there was a great array of experience. Fresh from her topics win, Julia Belling gave us her Ice breaker. Remind me not to let her introduce me to her cat. Daniel gave us some good hints and tips about public speaking. Phoebus spoke about the power of fasting, which is very good for the body. And Peter went onto speaking how to change the world by changing yourself and how you look at food. It was a fun, serious and informative session. Daniel went onto win the best speaker award. Well done.

The evaluation session line up was full of very experienced Toastmasters. This showed us how to do it. We saw many great commendations, recommendations, and reminders of the speeches. Personally, I ask the evaluator to be as tough as possible, as I still have so much to learn. The evaluators were very empathetic and gave us all very considered and insightful recommendations. Penny evaluated Julia. Amanda evaluated Daniel. Doris evaluated Phoebus and David Goodman evaluated Peter. This session was excellent and really showed us the importance of evaluations. Evaluations are for everyone, not just the speakers and I hope you learnt much too. David won the best evaluator prize.

After the break we had a truly international session run by Lloyd. Everybody managed to get to the green light, which was excellent. We had the choice of two destinations, as the Topics master way of trying to decide where to go. Ian had the choice between Antarctica or Belgium. He chose beer, I mean Belgium. Anjana was asked to decide between Birmingham or Orkland. Anjana chose Birmingham in a rather sarcastic manner. Rohan was asked about Austria or Brazil. Rohan chose Austria because he liked the sound of music. Costa was asked about Athens or Budapest. It was a no brainer for Costa and he chose Athens. Justin was asked about Australia or the Bahamas. Justin chose Australia. Mark was asked about Amsterdam or Berlin. Mark chose Berlin because of its history. Elizabeth was asked about Aberdeen or Brighton. Elizabeth chose Aberdeen. And Norman was asked about Avignon or Barcelona. Norman chose Birmingham. It was an excellent example of how to reject a topic. Justin won the topics competition.

Next came the final two evaluations in the form of the topics master, Patrick. Patrick gave us another great evaluation for all the topics participants. The whole evening was then evaluated by Aishe, who also gave us a great insight on how he saw the evening go. I feel that everybody had fun, learnt much and I hope the meetings keep up to this level of engagement and enthusiasm. This is infectious and makes for a great learning experience. I certainly saw how much I need to improve.

I will leave you with a quote this week which was given to me by a friend. Yes I do have one!!!! ‘Yesterday, I was so clever I tried to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself’. A quote from Rumi.

Keep shining and see you on 4th December where Justin will be the Toastmaster.

Kind regards,

Peter. 🙂

El Presidente.

High Flying Speakers in Epsom – November 6th

Epsom Speakers club meeting 6th November 2017.


We certainly have some high flyers at Epsom Speakers club. In fact, at this meeting we had one of our members letting us know how to fly a glider. One of the wonderful attributes of Toastmasters is that you get to meet an interesting array of people. We certainly have that at Epsom Speakers and we as a committee, look forward to the further growth and development of all our members. So what happened on Monday evening?

Paul D set up the room perfectly again. And thank you all for chipping in for the tea and biscuits. This was Paul’s initiative and it has improved the service. Paul also introduced the evening with his usual witty introduction of me. We then had the warm up session with Paul Van Der Hagen. Paul gave us a great thoughtful introduction to get people speaking by asking us how we would change ourselves and change the world. That is a long and deep subject matter, but we had a great array of witty to more heartfelt answers to the topic. We then had Lloyd as the Grammarian, kindly finished off by Asher who gave us a rundown of our um’s and er’s at the end of the meeting. What a fabulous group effort.

David Goodman was the Toastmaster for the evening, who ebbed and flowed in his usual friendly style, and showed you how to recover when forgetting a point that needs to be made as Toastmaster. David ran a fun and educational evening in a way that is inspiring to all of us. David introduced the speakers who were Daniel Magil completing his C2 speech entitled the Power of T. Daniel gave us an excellent example of a C2. He was funny and animated and used props really well. Rohan then gave us his C4 with a speech entitled Flight controls and a glider. Rohan’s speech was technical, but he did slow down from his last speech, but needs to work on his eye contact. Penny gave us an educational slot on conversation. She let us know the four ways to hold a better conversation. The devices she said for us to improve our conversations were – 1. Small talk. 2. Disclosures. 3. View points and opinions. 4. Personal feelings.  Julia joined Penny on stage and gave us a great performance as a new visitor to Toastmasters. She was a valued addition to Penny’s presentation. Daniel won the best speaker award. It is always good to see new members receiving awards so early in their Toastmaster journey.

We then went on to the evaluations. Evaluations are at the heart of Toastmasters and we try to commend a few times before moving onto our recommendations, and this was done admirably by all our evaluators. First up was Phoebus who evaluated Daniel. Then we had Costa evaluating Rohan, and finally Justin evaluating Penny. Both Justin and Phoebus have greatly improved with their evaluations, and this improvement in turn, will help you become a better public speaker in general. I did here the evaluators using ‘you’ in their evaluations, where the third person is needed. This helps to include the audience as well as the speaker being evaluated. We can learn so much from people evaluating speeches if you pay attention and see what they are recommending. There is always room for improvement for all of us. The best evaluator was won by Costa.

We then had our welcome break and moved onto the topics session. Elizabeth ran the topics session and showed us how to do it. She asked us about our favourite things. I am glad no one broke into the Sound of Music during the session, but it would have been fun. First up was Peter, which is me, speaking about my favourite food, which I said was habanera chilli. Then Hugo told us about his favourite TV programme, which was friends. Charlie told us about his favourite drink, which was green tea. I drink it by the bucket load also, by the way. It was great to see Adam back after an absence and he told us about his favourite hobby, which was playing football. Julia was up next  talking about her favourite weather, which was sunshine. Me too! Norman spoke about his favourite book, which was a scientific encyclopaedia. Norman also spoke about his interest of quantum science. So at what level was Norman really there? I am sure Norman will be able to let us know about this fascinating field of research in the not too distant future. Raj spoke about his favourite holiday destination, which was Spain. And finally, Phil gave us his favourite music which was Gangster rap. Looking at the Paradise Papers, we live in a gangsters paradise at the moment! We have an amazing session where everybody managed to speak. We have joint winners which were Hugo and Julia. Well done. Again great to see a new member and a guest win the topics.

The topics evaluation was given to us by Amanda. Amanda gave us some great tips on topics, like give the topic first and then the speaker, so we all have to think about what we could say, which includes the whole room. Amanda also gave everyone great commendations and most participants recommendations. Amanda is a very experienced Toastmaster and is an inspiration to all of us. She has grown in stature since the beginnings of her Toastmaster journey where she was too nervous to even do a topics session. David Lane finished off the evening with a wonderful general evaluation, but he did use ‘you’ instead of the third person, which we all need to look at and make sure we break that bad habit. Again David gave some great commendations and recommendations.

If you want to know a little more about Epsom Speakers history, please visit the link below. You will see there is a great history to the club, and I am glad to be carrying on the responsibility of keeping the energy flowing and the learning curve moving upwards. We certainly have some high flying speakers at our club, and long may it continue.


See you at the next meeting.

Keep shining.
Peter. 🙂
El Presidente.