Change your life with public speaking

ESC Meeting 15th October (EGM, Variety and change!)

Dear Epsom Speakers

It was good to be back among you again, and it was an important meeting this week. Firstly we had an EGM to decide on our support of two new Toastmasters clubs in the area, Sutton Speakeasy and Reigate Rhetoric. The meeting was ably chaired by our VPE, Costa, and Amanda spoke convincingly on behalf of both new clubs. The motion to provide £200 to each club to help with start-up costs was carried unanimously. Our benefactor, ESC founder member George Hollis, recently left us £1000 in his will, and those who knew George felt that he would have been happy for his money to be used for the benefit of generations of future Toastmasters.

We then moved on to the normal meeting: Phoebus, our experienced Toastmaster introduced Amy as timekeeper, John as videographer and Fatai (Sergeant at Arms tonight) doubled roles as ballot counter. Elizabeth as ‘Word-master’ gave us ‘Miscommunication’ (failure to communicate adequately) with the wonderful example of a message passed from one man to another through army lines: “Send reinforcements – the general is going to advance” turning into “Send three and four-pence – the general is going to a dance”!

New member Andrew (Drew) led the warm-up with “How did the weather affect you at the weekend”, something we were all able to comfortably talk about, so very well done Andrew!

Julia did her C4 speech ‘Life beyond this world’ – knowledgeable, vividly expressed, a wonderful explanation of both the range of life on our own planet and the possibilities for life to exist in the most unexpected places, here and far beyond our world.

Chris also did a C4 speech ‘Can you say no?’ – clear and excellent advice on how to balance the load that you take on and avoid commitments that you won’t be able to cope with.

Dave Goodman, who is following the Dynamic Leadership path, gave his first Level 2 speech. This was a fascinating exploration of many leadership styles, tending towards his own preferred method. He gave us this quote from Peter Drucker as inspiration: “Leadership is a process of social influence which maximizes the efforts of others toward the achievement of a greater good”

Evaluators were: Mark (for Julia), Lloyd (for Chris) and Amanda( for Dave) – each showing us what was good about the speech and how it might have been improved – excellent advice for all speakers present.

I was the Topics Master, choosing the theme of ‘Change’ (my own life has seen many changes this year!). We heard from: Justin (What change are you looking forward to?), Elizabeth (change one thing in the world? – this turned out to be more rules for bicycles in traffic), Anjana (One change in your appearance? But we have to agree that Anjana is a mistress of change and imagination already and we like her just the way she is, in all her infinite variety), Costa (effect of changing seasons) and finally, and bravely, guest Leon (an event that may have changed the course of your life).

Matthijs took on the demanding role of Topics Evaluator and did a great job, giving useful advice to all participants. Paul Hickson was General Evaluator for the whole meeting, helping us all to up our game and improve – thank you, Paul.

Congratulations to our winners, who were:

Topics : Leon
Speech: Julia
Evaluation: Amanda

The next club meeting will be on November 5th (Charlie Warshawski as Toastmaster)

But before that we have our Area Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest, to be held at 7.30 pm Bourne Hall on Monday October 29th. Please come along and support our speakers! Lloyd Griffiths is organising the contests, has many roles still to fill and would appreciate offers of help.

See you soon!

Club President

Epsom Speakers Meeting 1st of October 2018

Dear Epsom Speakers,

As always, the room was all set up and ready for what turned out to be most enjoyable evening. Well done to the Sergeant at Arms for this meeting, Chris Terry. Bang on time he brought us all to order so the meeting could begin.

As Gillian was unwell,  I was the stand in president for the evening. I welcomed the members, and the many guests in the room, and wished Gillian a speedy recovery (Hope you feeling better).

I then asked the question, why, with the nights closing in and the weather turning nippy, do we still venture out to attend a club meeting. I think it’s because we all want to improve out communication skills and our leadership skills. Must be some truth in that, as the room was jam packed! So much so that the SAA had to get extra seats in. Twenty three club members and six guests. Then I gave a brief outline what and who Toastmasters are, and how people all over the world attend meetings very similar to our meetings.

I had spoken enough so handed the meeting over to our Toastmaster of the Evening, Mark Peacock, who was doing the role for the first time at the club. Well done Mark. A smooth and slick run program, and on time

Timekeeper Matthijs explained the role of the lights and how important timekeeping is. And like magic the white light bulb turned green, when he turned it on. Gary Argent was the Videographer, and explained his role. Gary gave us two interesting tips when we watch the video of our speeches. One is to watch it with the sound off, and then watch again, but only to the sound (no picture). You get a different impression of your speech.

The warm-up session was run by Amanda Zwarts, asking us ‘How do we get out news?’ Every member and guest had something interesting to say.

Then we moved onto the speeches. Kim Pleatman presented her Icebreaker. Well done Kim. So too John, well done also. The Toastmaster speaking journey begins!!

We were honoured in the meeting to have the Director General of the BBC come and speak to us, and to apologise about the gender gap in pay rates between the male and female talent at the company. He spoke well. Obviously has had TM training.

The floor was then opened for a Q&A session. Some very hard hitting questions by the audience, and I was told later that none were planted. Who would have though our members could be so vocal and angry at the Director! Well done Sir for remaining calm and collected despite the attacks on you and your pay and the way the Corporation is been run!

For those of you that attended, you will know that the DG was Charlie Warshawski.

Penny evaluated Kim, Paul (nice to see you attending regularly again!) evaluated John and Dan evaluated Charlie. Paul especially commended John in using vocal variety, gestures and body language in an Icebreaker speech.

Good evaluations all round and good recommendations and feedback.

After the break we had a really fun Topics session led by Dave Lane as Topics Master. He explained the reason for topics and then led us into an good session

The theme was things.

  • Dave G: Worst item you have lost –  In true Dave style hilarious. He lost his purpose in life!
  • Matt Tuff: Best thing you have found – Nothing, loose more than find
  • Willorna: Hoarding or Obsessive tidiness –  If an item is not used in 6 months it is dumped, except lipstick and other beauty products.
  • Leon (Guest): Favourite childhood activity –  Still a child apparently. Played drums as a child, and still does.
  • George (Guest): Favourite children TV character –  Bard Simpson.
  • Jennifer (Guest): Best gift you have been given –  Ivory chopsticks from her grandmother.
  • Paul (Guest):  Best or worst thing you have ever bought – Mountain bike
  • Elizabeth: Best or Worst present you have given – Elizabeth told us about the worst gift she had received. Expensive perfume from France by her husband, which caused her to break out in a rash!
  • Amy: Dullest thing you have ever bought – Nothing as she is a good shopper, and buys practical things, and then told us about losing her passport and finding it again soon after.

Well done to all for giving us an entertaining session, and for Dave L for making the session ‘easy’ for all the participants. Nine speakers in total. WOW, and a mix of members and guests.

Ian Upton (good to see you again) gave an evaluation of the Topics session with a commendation and recommendation for all the speakers, and the evening was rounded off by Doris as our General Evaluator, who raised some good points, but overall said, in a seductive voice, that the meeting good.

Winners were:  Charlie for Best Speech, Dan for Best Evaluation and Amy for Best Topic.

The next meeting will be Monday October 15, with Phoebus Apostolidis as Toastmaster, and Gillian will be back as President.

See you all then

Costa Nicolaou

PS: Area 53 Humerous and Table Topics Contest will be held on Monday, 29th October 2018 at Bourne Hall. Please come along to support our  Club winners Dan and Amanda. Go ESC!!

Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests 2018

Dear Epsom Speakers

What a great show-case of talents we had last Monday! Our annual Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests brought out a galaxy of stars.

Introduced by (VPE and contest organiser), Costa, our stand-in Sergeant-at Arms, Matthijs Houweling did a great job as chair of the Humorous speech Contest. We had four excellent speakers: Dave Goodman, Phoebus Apostolidis, Doris Sew Hoy and Dan Magill. The competition was fierce, but Dan was our winner with a (slightly disturbing!) speech exploring the possibilities of underhand tactics in speech contests. Dave, in second place, showed us some of the insanities of domestic real-life and Doris in third place, gave some of the hilarious joys and pitfalls of growing older.

Charlie Warshawski, as Chief Judge, organised his team of judges drawn from clubs near and far, Zane Vaisla was Videographer, Timekeepers were myself and able new member Amy Liu. Julia Belling and Fatai Dabiri were our ballot counters.

After the interval, it was good to see experienced club member Paul Hickson as chair of the Table Topics Contest, setting contestants the fascinating challenge to consider what alternative career they might have chosen. Matt Tuff and Fatai Dabiri were ushers for this, and we had contestants: Dave Goodman, Elizabeth Bennett, Amanda Zwarts, Dan Magill and Phoebus Apostolidis.

Standards were high, candidates sought to show us their true selves, to fascinate, perhaps even to shock! Winners were, in first place, Amanda, second, Dan and third, Dave.

I gave the warm-down ‘What music inspires you’, which brought out wide-ranging and imaginative answers from members and guests in our audience.

Two winners from each contest will go on to take part in our Area Contest on Monday October 29th at Bourne Hall, and we wish them every success!

Meanwhile, our friends at Mole Valley Speakers will be holding their own contest this Wednesday 26th September at 7.30 pm in Peace Memorial Hall, Ashtead. Please consider going along, enjoying the evening and taking on a role. Contact Lloyd Griffiths if you can help.

Finally, we have our next club meeting on Monday October 1st, when Mark Peacock will be the Toastmaster. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Gillian Prior
Club President

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash