Learn to share your ideas at Epsom Speakers

ESC Club meeting 18th February 2019 

It was a full house on Monday, we were pleased to welcome many guests and it was great to have them participating so fully in the meeting. Penny Williams was our able and experienced Toastmaster for the evening, leading a team of: 

John Drinkwater as our lively new Sergeant at Arms (multitasking as Timekeeper), Elizabeth Bennett as ballot counter, and Kim Pleatman as videographer. 

Willorna Brock gave us a great ‘Warm-up’, all present invited to describe their ‘bucket list’ holiday destination. Thoughts of warm and exotic places alongside attractive home locations to drive away thoughts of winter.

We had a packed program of speakers: Ian Upton, experienced speaker now starting on the ‘Pathways’ education program gave us his Icebreaker: ‘Essence by Ian’, entertaining us with hints of domestic life. Gary Argent followed with ‘Eat to live, or live to eat?’ exhorting us to cook and enjoy our own good food. Matthijs Houweling gave a thoughtful speech ‘Is having a mentor really worth it?’, emphasising the two-way relationship involved, with hints to make the most of this. Dave Goodman, finally, spoke on ‘Stylin’ it’ – great stories illustrating the places where differences in communication style can really cause problems!

Matt Tuff evaluated Ian’s speech, Phoebus Apostolidis, Gary’s speech, Paul Dowdeswell evaluated Matthijs and I evaluated Dave’s speech, all in good Toastmasters tradition, picking out what was best and giving one or two hints for improvement.

After the interval, our Topics Master was Paul van der Hagen, with a general theme of ‘groups of two or three’, asking volunteers to choose their favourites. All managed to face the challenge of impromptu speaking – congratulations especially to our guests! Always a fun session.

Mark Peacock was Topics Evaluator – his first time. It is a challenging role, to find a commendation and recommendation for each speaker, but Mark did a thoroughly professional job.

Finally, Doris Sew Hoy was General Evaluator, with many useful hints and tips to improve our meetings – I’m very grateful to her!

Winners are:

  • Best Speech: (draw between) Ian Upton and Gary Argent
  • Best Evaluation: Phoebus Apostolidis
  • Best Topic: (draw between) Bev (guest) and Charlie Warshawski

Congratulations to our winners, to everyone who helped out, and to everyone who took part!

Our next meeting will be on Monday 4th March, when the Toastmaster will be Dan Magill

At the following meeting on 18th March, we have our Club International Speech and Evaluation Contests. 

Please contact me if you would like to take part. We still have one or two spaces for speakers, and it is always interesting to take a meeting role, if you aren’t speaking.

I look forward to seeing you all next time!

Gillian Prior

Photo by Tyler Callahan on Unsplash

Become confident at public speaking

ESC Meeting Monday 4th February 2018

We had another lively meeting on Monday 4th. Mark Peacock was our Toastmaster for the evening and did a brilliant job, in charge of the proceedings. First of all we had a piece of club business – the election of our new job-sharing Sergeant at Arms, John Drinkwater. John has stepped up to help the club, and was elected unopposed. (Proposed by Costa Nicolaou, Seconded by Dave Goodman). It is wonderful to welcome John onto the committee and he gave an impressive performance tonight in his very first outing, making us all feel very much at home.

Matt Tuff was our timekeeper for the evening, Costa our ballot counter and John doubled roles as videographer.

Elizabeth Bennett was our warm-up artist, with the theme ‘Shocks and Surprises’, which led to some dramatic  and heart-warming disclosures from attendees.

Zane Vaisla gave us her speech ‘Nearly Dead’ – an interesting account of the rise, and fall, but then the rise again (in a slightly different form) of electronics giant Nokia. This was definitely food for thought. Paul van der Hagen followed with a well-researched story following the French ‘Yellow Vest’ (Maillot Jaune) protest movement. I had often wondered how and why the movement arose – here was the answer!

Phoebus Apostolidis followed with his C10 speech, extolling the need to gain confidence – a magnificent conclusion to his Competent Communicator Award, and a very clear demonstration of how far Phoebus has come since his early days in the club. It is great to see how much confidence Phoebus himself has gained in his time at Epsom Speakers!

Dave Goodman evaluated Zane’s speech, I evaluated Paul’s and Penny Williams evaluated Phoebus’ C10 – all aiming to show the club exactly what was great about the speeches, and also one or two ways that each could be improved.

After the break, Matthijs Houweling was our Topics Master, leading members and guests in impromptu speaking – as usual a challenge for each speaker but a hugely enjoyable session.

Julia Belling was Topics Evaluator, rising gamely to the challenge of finding a commendation and recommendation for each speaker, as well as the Topics Master himself.

Finally, Charlie Warshawski shared with us his valuable experience as the General Evaluator for the evening, looking at everything that had not yet been evaluated, giving us all hints and tips to improve future meetings.

Winners were:
Best speaker: Phoebus Apostolidis
Best Evaluator: Penny Williams
Best Topic: joint winners  (new member) Philip Smale and (guest) Joe.

Our Annual Club International Speech and Evaluation Contests will be held on Monday 18th March. All members are eligible to enter the Evaluation Contest, all who have achieved C6 or Level 2 in Pathways can enter the International Speech Contest. Please contact me, to enter!

The next club meeting will be on Monday 18th February, when Penny Williams will be our Toastmaster – I look forward to seeing you all there!

Gillian Prior,

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

New Year, new presentation skills

Dear Epsom Speakers,

For our first meeting of the year, former Area Director Ian Upton was Toastmaster of the evening, introducing a line-up of stars – with an excellent supporting cast. Costa Nicolaou, our hard-working VPE, doubled as Timekeeper and as temporary Sergeant at Arms to start the meeting. John Drinkwater was videographer and Elizabeth Bennett, ballot counter.

We began with a very special event – Former long-serving committee member, Distinguished Toastmaster and past President, June McCullough returned as our guest to present Amanda Zwarts with her Distinguished Toastmaster certificate. This is the very highest educational award that a Toastmaster can gain, covering both speaking and leadership achievements. It is a huge credit to Amanda for her many years of hard work and dedication. It is also a true distinction for Epsom Speakers Club, to see a member reach this ultimate goal.

Amanda has been ESC President, Area Director, was the leading light in the creation of Surbiton Speakers Club and is a mentor to many people in ESC and other local clubs. We rely on her as our committee Secretary and it is a true pleasure to see her achieve DTM. Well done, Amanda!

Back to normal business, Willorna Brock led us in an excellent morale-boosting warm-up, each of us having to think of 3 things to cheer up January. Ideas ranged from sunshine, mindfulness through to learning a musical instrument!

Our speakers for the evening were Julia Belling ‘Life beyond this world (part2)’ (a fascinating look at current space missions to planets and moons), Matthijs Houweling ‘Jambo Jambo Bwana’ describing his arduous climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, Matt Tuff ‘How long have we got?’ researching possible threats to human existence (with the conclusion: Carpe Diem – party like there’s no tomorrow!) and finally Amanda Zwarts sharing with us the eulogy for her mother.

Speech evaluators were Patrick Ebbs (evaluating Julia), Anjana Roy (Matthijs), Doris Sew Hoy (Matt), each giving expert advice to help the speaker understand exactly what was great about the speech, and how to improve. I gave an evaluation of Amanda’s eulogy speech. Sounds like Amanda inherits quite a few characteristics from her mother!

After the break, Dave Goodman was our Topics Master, leading us in quirky seasonal thoughts on Christmas and New Year themes. Participants did a grand job of extemporising and the session was much enjoyed by all.

Paul Van der Hagen did the difficult job of evaluating the session, giving commendations and recommendations for all. Finally, Mark Page was General Evaluator for the whole evening, doing a thoroughly professional job of summing up our efforts.

Best Speech award went to Amanda, Best Evaluation to Doris and Best Table Topic to Dan Magill – many congratulations to all!

Our next meeting will be on Monday 21st January (Blue Monday!) and the Toastmaster will be Dave Goodman. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Gillian Prior
ESC President

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Reeds – 16th November

Once again a lovely warm welcome from the team at Reeds. We enjoyed a delightful meal where I was able to chat with Adam Shaffer, the chairman of the evening, and Sally Briggs, one of the maths teachers. Mr Ha had done a great job on organising the event.
As guest Toastmaster I was asked to give an educational speech on impromptu speaking. I provided the team with some top tips. I reminded the team that the Table Topics are designed to give people a starting point to talk from and not simply to make it as difficult as possible to answer! They were also reminded of the Toastmaster way of providing feedback in the form of commendation recommendation.
After the meal we split up into three separate rooms. There are now 57 members in the club and this is the only way we can ensure that most people get a chance to speak.
The prepared speeches were to a very high quality. I’m always impressed with students confidence and eloquence. Most of the speeches were delivered calmly with great vocal variety and appropriate pauses. We were treated to a wide variety of talks on subjects as diverse as why you should go to the gym by Antoine Thomas, should we legalise cannabis by Jamie Baker, the history and personal experiences of Zimbabwe by Serena Fleming and experiences of a border at Reeds by James Watson.
Evaluators were all well observed and were much gentler than previous evaluations we have heard. I was delighted to see suggestions on how to improve on the recommendations rather than just pointing out items for improvement.
I’m really glad that I wasn’t asked to take part in the impromptu speaking. I think that the topics had already been thought of and they were very tough! How would you answer topics such as ‘what is your favourite item of cutlery?’, ‘Canned bread’, ‘why did Cinderella’s shoe fall off?’ and ‘What’s it like to be a Penguin?’
In answer to your question, Thomas Hancock answered the question about canned bread by telling us how we ended up with a huge bruise on his lip after a great game of basketball earlier in the day. Well done Thomas!
For the prizes, we had a draw for best speaker in Antoine Thomas and James Watson. Luke Basi was the best evaluator and Sam Hunt the best topic on how to get away with murder!
If you haven’t already attended Reeds than I would highly recommend that you speak to Patrick Ebbs and get yourself booked in for the next event.
Best wishes, 
Dave Goodman

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

Start your public speaking path this autumn

Old friends and new came together for our first autumn meeting – a lively session and we were delighted to welcome many guests. Contributions from everyone in the room added to the fun and excitement, the meeting ably run by experienced Toastmaster Patrick Ebbs.

Fatai was our job-sharing Sergeant at Arms tonight, keeping us all in order, organising the room and welcoming guests. Norman was our Timekeeper, Gary, the Videographer and Elizabeth our Ballot Counter.

Willorna gave us a topical theme for the ‘Warm-up’ – what is your favourite season? Mine is autumn – ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, as Elizabeth reminded us – but answers ranged right around the calendar, with our past-President, Ian Upton, declaring himself ‘a man for all seasons’!

Lloyd entertained us with ‘Strategies for pre-emptive Mid-air Collision Avoidance in Budgerigars’ – fascinating insights into how the natural world organises itself, and he even had the T-shirt to go with it.

Doris told a gripping story of her first evening at Toastmasters – I think everyone in the room could empathise with her feelings of nervousness and be inspired by how far she’s come since those far-off days (7 years ago).

Penny gave us some insights into how to make your relationship with your boss work really well for YOU! We were asked to consider what interests our manager, what is important and even, how do they prefer to communicate? There are lessons in there for everyone: ‘The art of communication is the language of leadership’

After three great speeches, our evaluators bravely faced the challenge of giving helpful comments. Amanda evaluated Lloyd’s speech, showing us the skill with which he had transformed a dry academic paper into a story for his audience.

Mark showed us the many excellent qualities of Doris, as a speaker, and Phoebus gave a considered analysis of Penny’s presentation, encouraging her to ‘keep your inner smile’ (we all appreciate Penny’s lovely, warm smile).

After the break, Dave Goodman ran an expert Table Topics session, with the intriguing theme of ‘little jobs’. Many members and guests took part, Anjana on the little jobs she looks forward to (Face book?), Ian on a job he had been putting off (‘flushed with success’ – he finally managed to replace the toilet seat). Dan Magill evaluated the session, giving helpful comments to all participants.

Finally, our hard-working VPE, Costa Nicolaou was General Evaluator for the whole evening.

Winners were:
Best speech, joint first:  Lloyd and Doris
Only two evaluators were within time, so no vote on this.
Best Topic: Ian Upton

Next Meeting   17th September:  Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests

And  finally, an Important Reminder:
On Saturday October 6th there is a Special Workshop on Story-Telling and Table Topics
At Surbiton Speakers from 1 – 5 pm


This will be a really special afternoon – I’ve booked my ticket, just £5. If you’re interested, book quickly, as the organisers will be opening ticket sales to the whole of London Toastmasters later this week.

See you soon,
Gillian Prior

Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

Prioritise your Public Speaking Skills

Prioritise your Public Speaking Skills

What a great and energetic evening  hosted by our serial visitor, bubbly and ebullient  Anjana Roy as Toastmaster. We were again hosted in the air-conditioned room, so thanks again to Dave Goodman for arranging.

Amada Zwarts was our stand in Sergeant at Arms tonight. As Gillian was away, representing Epsom Speakers club at her son’s wedding in Poland, I was the stand in president for the evening. I welcomed the members, and the many guests in the room. I then gave a very brief overview and history of Toastmasters and its founder Ralph C. Smedley, and how the format of the program used at EPSOM Speakers club is used at clubs all over the work.

Vikram, a second time guest took on the task as videographer and explained to us the reason for videoing the speaking roles in the club. Zana was Timekeeper, and Rohan our ballot counter.

This TM year we have introduced a new Wordmaster role, where a word is presented, its meaning described and its origins explained. Elizabeth took on this role for the first time, and explained to us the origin and meaning of two words that are similar, Royal and Regal, and it’s correct usage.

Matt Tutt, a first timer in the role, led us in a great warm-up session, simply asking  ‘What makes you happy?’  Lots of interesting and varied things make our members happy. Great first time session Matt. Well Done.

Then onto the formal part of the program.

Willorna gave her ‘Icebreaker’ speech, telling us about herself and her life from UK to Sierra Leone and back again, and how she went from the corporate world to running her own HR Business.  Great speech and well done on completing your Icebreaker. Nice to see and meet your son also, who came along to support his mom. Hope we see him again.

Matthijs spoke about communication styles. An interesting and thought provoking subject, and I think we all learnt something new about communication styles.

Chris spoke about being effective. He explained how tasks can be either important/unimportant or urgent/not urgent, and how to prioritise each. What should be done right away, those that can wait and those that can be rejected. A good skill to have, especially these days when most of us are task heavy and time light.

Finally, Dan gave us an entertaining speech about naming a room at the school he attended and described how his contribution to naming the room displeased the Headmaster. He was hoping that the school would invoke the spirit of ‘I am Spartacus’ and that everyone has a bit of Spartacus in them,  and finished by telling us how much Epsom members supported him, and that he has a bit of Epsom members in him, except for a few! Who knew that Dan was such a ‘rebel’ in his youth.

Dave G evaluated Willorna, Paul Hickson evaluated Matthijs, Paul van der Hagen evaluated Chris and Charlie evaluated Dan.

All the evaluator’s gave good evaluations and gave each speaker excellent praise and provided good recommendations and feedback.

After the break we had a really fun Topics session led by Phoebus as Topics Master. All the speakers  had a choice between two items, and all speakers spoke well and there was a mixture of club members and guests taking part. Well done to all for giving us an entertaining session, and for Phoebus for making the session ‘easy’ for all the participants.

Amanda 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.

Winners were:  Dan for Best Speech, Charlie for Best Evaluation and our guest Roy for Best Topic.

The next meeting will be Monday September 3rd, when Patrick Ebbs will be our Toastmaster, and Gillian will be back as President.

See you all then

Costa Nicolaou

Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

Build your public speaking confidence

ESC Club meeting 6th August 2018

We had an inspirational evening, hosted ably by our Area Director, Lloyd as Toastmaster. Thanks are due to Dave Goodman for arranging a nice, comfortable air-conditioned room.

Chris Terry was our Sergeant at Arms tonight, giving us a rousing start, and Fatai our very dedicated videographer, dealing with teething troubles of the new camera. Willorna was Timekeeper, and Gary our ballot counter – both bravely taking on new roles.

Zane led us in a thought-provoking warm-up ‘Where would you like to be?’ Imaginations roamed from ‘exactly where I am’ to outer space.

Matt then gave his ‘Icebreaker’ speech, telling us about himself and his reasons for joining Toastmasters. I never tire of hearing a first speech – there are always fascinating insights into the individual, and this was a very polished performance – well done, Matt! Putting Abe Lincoln in the shade is a high objective, very best of luck.

Dave Lane spoke about confidence – a very interesting subject and I would like to hear more on some of the themes he explored. His ideas ranged from active listening for better communication, through visualisation techniques used in mindfulness, to just the simple idea of not setting  limits on what you think you can achieve.

Finally, Amanda gave us an inspirational speech ‘Filling our buckets’ – don’t let life get you down, take courage and happiness from wherever you can find it. So good to hear Amanda give a prepared speech again, this time within the Pathways education system.

Penny evaluated Matt’s speech, telling us exactly what was great about it, with some helpful pointers for the future.

I evaluated Dave Lane’s speech, and Mark Peacock gave a very polished evaluation of Amanda’s speech – so hard to realise that this was his very first evaluation speech.

After the break we had a really fun Topics session led by Julia as Topics Master. The theme was Abba and their songs, and our guests and members revelled in ‘Money, Money, Money’, ‘Waterloo’ and even ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme a man (or woman?) after midnight’.

Doris gave an exemplary evaluation of the Topics session, and Dave Goodman was our General Evaluator, rounding off the evening.

Winners were:  Amanda Zwarts for Best Speech, Penny Williams for Best Evaluation and our guest John (hopefully, soon to be a member?) for Best Topic.

We meet next on Monday August 20th, when Amanda Zwarts will be our Toastmaster, and Costa Nicolaou, our hard-working VPE will represent me as President. (I will be away in Poland for our son’s wedding!)

See you soon

Gillian Prior

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash