Where can you go to hear about the Great Fire of London, poems for the four seasons, the benefits of living in a tree house and practical tips for how to be happier?  It has to be Epsom Speakers Club of course!

The evenings are starting to draw in but there was plenty to smile about when we met on Monday 2nd September.  After a warm and humorous welcome from the sergeant at arms Paul and Club President Dave, and a poetic and seasonal warm up from Elizabeth, our Toastmaster Phoebus led us through a packed agenda.

We were treated to three excellent prepared speeches starting with Fatai, who explained how a different approach to coaching has helped his tennis forehand.  Matt then took to the stage to share some great suggestions on life hacks that help to promote happiness, before Charlie showed us his skills as a budding comedian with an Advanced Speech demonstrating humour.  There were laughs all round as he described some of the insightful observations his kids make!

As always with Toastmasters our evaluators shared plenty of helpful suggestions as they reviewed each speaker.  Everyone was able to learn from their observations and our thanks go to Mark, Paul and Gillian (who stepped in at the last minute) for their insightful, supportive and heartfelt comments about the three speeches.

Our guest Shawen had joined us for a second visit and introduced herself with a bang: “I’m back!!!!!”.  And she certainly was – returning in style, as you’ll see later in this report…

A break for refreshments offered a chance to catch up with fellow members over a biscuit or two before we moved into the second part of the evening: the Impromptu Speaking “Table Topics”.  Toastmaster Penny led a lively and humorous session starting with a useful reminder of structures that you can use if you are asked to say something “off-the-cuff”.

We heard mini speeches on thought provoking topics including the benefits of living on another planet, tree houses vs. caves, the importance of good friends, different holiday choices and the value of developing new skills.  Who knew our president could play the guitar?  Toastmaster Lloyd evaluated the session, battling through the pain of a bad back to share valuable suggestions for all the participants.

Next up, Gillian led an excellent session as Grammarian, asking us to share a reflection on something we had heard during the evening which had made us think.  What a lovely way to cement some of the ideas from the meeting.

As always the evening finished with our regular awards.  Congratulations go to Matt as best speaker for “How to be Happier”, Mark as best evaluator, and a three way tie for best Table Topic between John, Phoebus and our guest Shawen.  Well done to you all!

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Monday 16th September when we have the Table Topics and Humorous Speech competitions.