Learning to speak with etiquette

Epsom Speakers Club meeting January 22nd 2018

What another great evening last night at Epsom Speakers club, only marred slightly by a supposed humorous speech that wasn’t humorous. It is water under the bridge now, and thank goodness for that!!!! What was really fantastic was that we had two icebreaker speeches, and three relatively new members taking the award ribbons. So a big congratulations to Rick as best speaker, Dan as best evaluator, and Julia as best topics speaker. With so many advanced speakers at the club, it is wonderful to see the new members giving them a run for their money. The only recommendation I have for the evening, which needs to be improved, was the handing over of the stage from one speaker to the other. We all witnessed a little confusion on occasions where there was no one on stage as the handing over process was neglected. I suppose coming from a performance background such as music, the stage was never left empty during any performance I was involved in. The etiquette taught at Toastmasters should also be adhered to, as it keeps the audience engaged with what is happening with the next speaker, keeping their focus on the stage. Clapping also is important as it not only creates a better atmosphere in the room, it can help to ease the nerves of the next speaker coming onto the stage. Keeping this in mind, it helps the speaker to make sure they have finished what they are saying before departing the stage. Endings of speeches are very important to let the audience know you have finished.

Gillian ran a great evening as Toastmaster and managed to fill the agenda well, even with last minute additions. Gillian has really grown as a speaker since joining the club, and she showed her confidence well last night. The Toastmasters role is actually a fun one, and Gillian looked like she was having fun last night. Then came the warm up with Mark, another relatively new member taking on the role at the last minute. Mark asked us about holiday destinations, and everyone seemed to have an idea of where they are going, or where they want to go. So well done Mark for getting everyone involved and warming up the room for another round of speeches and evaluations.

Then came the speeches. We had two icebreakers from Norman and Rick, a humorous speech from a person whose name isn’t worth mentioning as it wasn’t humorous and an in depth educational presentation from Costa about the club and committee roles. I do hope that this was clear for the new members as it is important to know the roles as I am sure you may be taking one of these on in the not too distant future. Well done to all the speakers. You did a great job and definitely kept the audience entertained. It is always a pleasure to see a new Toastmaster starting out on their journey, and last night we had two.

The evaluations were performed by Charlie, Dan, Aishi and Amanda. This line up  included three very accomplished evaluators, and Dan who is a relatively new member. Dan won the evaluation award and he is relatively new. Evaluations are at the heart of the toastmasters journey as we all learn from good evaluations, and it appears we have another emerging evaluator who is more than proficient at it. Well done Dan.

The topics session was run by Paul V. It was an interesting session as Paul wanted the members and guests to talk about a headline he would give them from the news. Our topics speakers were Dave Lane, Julia, Mark, Rohan, Elizabeth, Mateus, Lawrence and Fatai. We had everything from cementing your head in a microwave, to a dog called trigger shooting itself in the foot. It was an excellent session and most people made it to the one minute mark. With topics, even if you have to stand there in silence, stay until the green light goes on. It helps you to go past that frightening point, into a place where you will be more comfortable standing up there on stage. I have seen a Toastmaster at another club stand up for one minute and say nothing and leave the stage. The club is a practice ground for you to improve your life in the real world, so don’t be scared to use topics to conquer your fears. It really does help, and to me, it is my favourite part of the evening, even though I need much improvement.

Dave Goodman gave us a great Topics evaluation. Dave managed to give a commendation and a recommendation to all the participants and even managed a few funnies at the end. David was pulled up by the general evaluator, but I would say we all love Dave’s terrible jokes. Our meetings would not be the same without them. Keep them coming.

And finally the evening was rounded off with Patrick and his general evaluation of the whole evening. Patrick is a very experienced Toastmaster and picked up on many good points of the evening and had some recommendations for us. One of the biggest points was the handing over of the stage. So let us show each other a little more respect by handing over the stage by holding your position in the centre of the stage until the next speaker arrives to relieve you of your position. Apart from that. keep growing and keep learning and keep expanding your mind into a position where you do become a more confident speaker, a better leader and a more empathetic human being. The world needs more empathy right now. So keep shining.

See you soon. Kind regards,

Peter. 🙂

El Presidente.

Learn to speak in public in 2018

Epsom Speakers Club meeting Monday 8th January 2018.

Firstly, thank you to all the members who turned up on Monday evening, which was another busy night. It is great to see so many people keen to learn the art of public speaking. There was much laughter again and all the new members who took on new roles did really well. On the whole, the evening was a great success, and I look forward to more of the same over the coming months.

David Lane was the Toastmaster for the evening, and guided us through a great programme of mostly advanced speakers. Firstly Sheena Cambell introduced the warm up about resolutions, which seem to warm the room up and engage everybody, which is the mark of a successful warm up. Then we had the speakers.

Penny opened up proceedings with an educational speak on the subject of ‘How to begin your speech’. I am sure Penny would be more than happy to send you the key elements of the educational if you would like. It was real food for thought when preparing the opening of your speech. Dave Goodman spoke next and gave us a Eulogy. Dave’s Father has recently died and he wanted to air this Eulogy before the funeral. It certainly touched me, as Dave recounted stories and anecdotes of what I now see as a wonderful man, and how Dave has passed that knowledge and love onto his children. In my humble opinion, I feel that was Dave’s best speech as yet at Epsom Speakers. Thank you so much Dave for sharing such a personal moment. Next up was Justin with his hard hitting speech entitled ‘Are resolutions for losers? Justin went on to give us food for thought about why we make resolutions and what percentage of them fail. I guess we will all have a drink in his bar in February when he closes down his gym. Last but not least was Doris who spoke about ‘What’s your type?’. A very interesting speak based on a survey influenced by Carl Jung. Sometimes I feel like I want to follow in Carl Jung’s footsteps and go and take myself away from society and indulge myself with artistic pursuits. Unfortunately there is too much work to be done for me as yet. This was a well researched speech and delivered by a very experienced speaker. Thank you Doris for such an insight.

Then came the evaluators. We had Daniel, Amanda, Paul V and Gillian all performing great evaluations. I learnt much from their insights and I am sure the speakers did too. The standard of the club is always rising, and it does not seem to be deterring new members to join us, so I feel we are all doing something right.

After the break we had the topics run by Phoebus. Phoebus asked for advice on how to bring up his children. The list of speakers were Anjana, Peter. Julia, Mark, Ramon, Joe, Chris and Matt. It was great to see guests and new members getting stuck into the topics session, which I find the most fun part of the evening, as you really see people on the razors edge. Who knows what is coming next and it really did bring up some good ideas and some fun moments. So well done everybody who took part.

Charlie evaluated the topics session and he managed to find a commendation and a recommendation for everyone. Charlie did this all without the use of notes, and the guest next to me was absolutely stunned. One of Charlie’s memory workshops are definitely worth considering.

And we had Costa to end the evening with a general evaluation. Overall the evening was great, but he did make some very valuable points which I concur with. Please always keep control of the stage before handing over to the next speaker. This is very important for many reasons and is a good discipline. There were times when the next speaker coming up for whichever role it was, seemed a little confusing. Also please ensure that you applaud the speakers coming up onto stage. Clapping has a very positive effect on the psychology of the audience, if you look into it. So the applause you give not only encourages the speaker who is about to perform their role, but also makes you feel good too. It is truly a win win situation. Now wouldn’t that be wonderful if we could get a win win situation in all aspects of our lives. Maybe one day.

Two more announcements to make. We have Club officer training at Mole Valley coming up at the end of January and the details are as follows.

  • Date:  Monday 29th January, 2018
  • 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start – ending no later than 10pm.
  • Venue:  Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall
  • Woodfield Lane, Ashtead KT21 2BE

If you are considering joining the committee next year, then this is an ideal opportunity to see what it entails.

Also there is a short survey from the District conference about education. If you could take a few moments to complete the survey, we would be most grateful. Here is the link.


However you choose to spend your year, I hope you enjoy yourself. I also do wish for your to get what you need out of Epsom Speakers Club and that we fulfil your educational requirements. Have a great 2018 and I will see you at the next meeting where our Vice President of Education Gillian Prior will be Toastmaster. I look forward to that.

Keep shining.
Peter. 🙂