Epsom Speakers Contest Night – 5th March 2018

We had a galaxy of stars at our contest night on Monday! So many eager contestants that it really was hard to fit in everyone who wanted to speak. But we did try. Justin Pybus and I were ‘newbies’ to organising a contest, but backed by the expertise of long-standing club members, and with the enthusiastic assistance of newer members too, with a wonderful team effort, we got there. And not forgetting those staunch Toastmasters from other clubs who were willing to head out on a dark winter’s night and give a hand. This is what I really love about Toastmasters – the community working together to create something fantastic!

So thank you to everyone who helped, before, or during the contest. Our timekeepers, Rohan and Matthijs, ballot counters Elizabeth and Paul Dowdeswell (taking time out from his Sergeant-at-arms job), videographer, Rohan, ushers, Paul Hickson and Mark Peacock. To Elizabeth for her warm-down, evoking memories of snow. To our two contest chairs, Doris Sew Hoy and Paul van der Hagen, keeping control over the proceedings and each lending their own personal touch. To Lloyd for valuable advice beforehand and help with printing, trophies and publicity. Very much to Patrick Ebbs, our chief judge, and to all the other judges, from ESC and Mole Valley clubs (you know who you were, though you weren’t supposed to let on, at the time).

And so to the speakers. There were seven entrants to the international Speech Contest, and each one, in his own way, sought to inspire and enthuse us – to raise our spirits and fire our imaginations!

Peter Parker gave us his three keys to success – the one that inspired me was to picture yourself in that winning situation, feel what it would be like to be there in that moment.

Dave Lane took us on a visit to Goodenough Street and showed us that great achievements can be made in ordinary ways, just by keeping on doing whatever you are able to do. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be good enough!

Dave Goodman gave us a thrilling story of first-aid rescue (with his trade-mark comic punch-line) and urged us to take up first-aid training so we could be prepared for that moment when the worst happens.

Justin told us his personal story of endeavour and risk, in starting his own business, and quoted from Mark Twain ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails!”

Charlie talked about removing the barriers to success. These are often just a question of attitude, created somewhere along your life when someone else persuades you that you can’t succeed.

Costa asked us where are you heading? A clear explanation of how to set and achieve realistic goals.

Dan Magill shared personal moments with us. How much difference can an hour make? 5 minutes, even one minute, could make all the difference, could be the point when a life changes.

In the Evaluation contest, we were honoured to have experienced speaker Bob Nisbett from Camberley and Guildford clubs with his speech ‘The Flying Monk’: a real tour-de-force – he had us on the edge of our seats, and a master class in many ways. Despite this, our intrepid evaluators, Amanda, Penny, Charlie, Phoebus, Dave Goodman, Doris, Peter and Dan Magill managed to find a few points for possible improvement, amongst all those shining virtues, so very well done to them, too. Definitely not an easy task.

At the end of the evening, Patrick Ebbs presented certificates and trophies. In the evaluation contest, first place went to Charlie Warshawski, second, Amanda Zwarts and third to Penny Williams.

In the International Speech Contest, first place was Dan Magill, second, Charlie Warshawski and third, Dave Goodman.

Very well done to our winners, and to all of the contestants!

Two winners from each contest will now go on to the Area contests at Mole Valley Speakers on April 11th. You are all encouraged to attend!


Area 53 International Speech & Evaluation Contests – March 27th

Congratulations to Ian Uption and Stephen Taylor, respective winners of the Area 53 International Speech and Evaluation contests, held last night at Bourne Hall. They go on to represent Area 53 at the Division H contest to be held on Saturday 22 April, 12.45 to 15.30 at Oxsted Community Hall, 53 Church Street, Oxsted, RH8 9NB. Please come along and support them as they move another step closer to becoming World Champions.

Ian was one of five contestants in the International Speech contest, with Fiona Harrison from Mole Valley Speakers coming second and Surbiton’s Tara Majumdar in third place.

The Evaluation contest, which Stephen won, had six contestants. Second place went to Amanda Zwartz and third place to Tara Majumdar, both representing Surbition Speakers.

A big thank you to Lloyd Griffiths and Peter Parker for organising this Area Contest, to Contest Chairs Eddy Quah from Surbiton Speakers and Dave Lane, and to all the helpers and judges from the three clubs: ESC, Surbiton and Mole Valley. Special thanks also to our guest Target Speaker, Danica Giles, from Holborn Speakers. Her speech urged us all to embrace the fear of public speaking by reframing the physiological impulses and sensations (e.g. butterflies in the tummy) as one of excitement.

Our next Club meeting is on Monday 3rd April, with Costa Nicolaou as TM, and we have June McCullough coming as guest GE for the evening.

ESC President

International Speech & Evaluation Contests – March 6th

Our annual International Speech contest attracted six contestants, delivering inspirational, motivational and highly entertaining speeches and demonstrating a wealth of speaking talent: Ian Upton, Peter Parker, Costa Nicolaou, and our three Dave’s – Villa Clarke, Goodman and Lane.

Speech & Evaluation Contestants with the Chief Judge and President

Many thanks to Jean-Marc Pierson from Holborn Speakers, who travelled to the depths of Surrey to be our Mystery (or Target) speaker for the Evaluation Speech contest. Jean-Marc’s powerful and passionate speech entitled “Money, Money, Money” gave our six Evaluation contestants plenty food for thought – contestants being Dave Goodman, Adam Jones, Aishi Lim, Peter Parker, Stephen Taylor and Penny Williams.

2017 International Speech Contest Winners with the Contest Chair, Chief Judge and Club President

Congratulations to all our contestants for stepping up, taking part and challenging themselves in this more competitive environment. And the winners…

International Speech Contest: 1st Ian Upton; 2nd Dave Villa Clarke; 3rd Peter Parker.

Evaluation Contest: 1st Penny Williams; 2nd Stephen Taylor; 3rd Aishi Lim.

2017 Evaluation Contest Winners with the Contest Chair and Chief Judge

Running a contest takes loads of preparation and planning, not just for contestants. A huge “Thank you” to this year’s Contest Organiser and Chief Judge – Lloyd Griffiths, and to his team – Contest Chairs: Gillian Prior and Costa Nicolaou; Time Keepers: Paul Dowdeswell and Amanda Zwarts; Ballot Counters: Elizabeth Bennett and Sumbal Tsang; Ushers: Sheena Campbell and Justin Pybus; Videographer: Phoebus Apostolidis; Warm down: Paul van der Hagen … and of course, to all the Judges who shall remain anonymous….

ESC President

P.S. Our Mystery speaker, Jean-Marc, is an astrologer and story-teller. To hear more of his stories, click here.

Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest 2016

Many thanks to the big cast of players who helped make last night’s Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests run so smoothly – our Contest Chairs, Adam and Patrick, Chief Judge Amanda and her team of judges from ESC and Surbiton Speakers, time-keepers Tom and Quwanie, ushers Sheena and Lloyd, Sonia for leading the impromptu Cool Down session, and of course to all the contestants who stepped up to perform an eclectic array of entertaining speeches.

Special thanks also to our VP Education Peter Parker and VP Membership Gillian Prior who have been working behind the scenes to pull together the evening.

Humorous Speech & Table Topics Contestants
Humorous Speech & Table Topics Contestants

The Humorous Speech contest was won by Peter Parker, with Ian Upton and Dave Goodman runners up.

Our Table Topics contestants were given food for thought, when Patrick posed the Topic: “If we are what we eat, then who are you?”  Dave Villa-Clark took the honours, with Peter and Dave Goodman runners-up.  Well done also to Elizabeth, Stephen and newly returned member, Scott Shanks for taking part.

The Area 53 Contest is being held on Thursday 6 October, hosted by Surbiton Speakers Club.  As Peter will be on holiday then and unable to compete, Ian and Dave Goodman will be representing ESC in the Area 53 Humorous speech contest, while our two Dave’s will go on to compete in the Area Table Topics contest. Please go along and give them your support.

It was also great to welcome four new members who’ve joined ESC this month: Ben Daly, Scott Shanks, Dave Lane and Paul Dowdeswell, and see them all participating so effortlessly in Sonia’s Cool Down session on the theme of public speaking.

Our next Club meeting is on Monday 3rd October, 7.30pm, with Ian Upton as Toastmaster for the evening.  Ian will be emailing you soon to confirm roles.  Please note, we’ll be in The Studio Room at Bourne Hall for this meeting instead of the Rose Room – thought it’d be good to have a change of scenery to add variety to our meetings.

Enjoy the rest of the week and beyond,
President, ESC