With one member taking the Best Speaker award for the third consecutive speech, two members jointly receiving the Best Evaluator award and a guest taking home the Table Topic award, it was another lively meeting in The Clerk & Well pub.
The meeting was opened by Club President Femi who charged the audience with energy and enthusiasm and declared that the best medicine to overcome nervousness is practising, practising and practising as regularly as possible.
Joe, the Toastmaster of the evening was supported by Timekeeper Jasr and Grammarian Christopher.
The first part of the meeting opened with Steven’s Ice Breaker speech entitled “This is Me” in which he presented his passion for cycling and told the club about his journey around France and why he’d joined Toastmasters.
Ilze gave her No. 2 speech “Glossophobia” (the fear of public speaking!) which tied in nicely with Femi’s introduction. She explained the biological nature of any fear, suggested practising public speaking as a cure and finished with a quote “Be like a stamp – stick to one thing until you reach your destination”.
Paula spoke about mental health in her No. 3 speech “Who Cares?”. She demonstrated that good mental health is the ability to make the right decision in a difficult emotional situation, familiarized the audience with CRT therapy which is well used by the NHS today and explained how to get access to that service.
The last speaker of the evening was Jo with her speech No. 6 entitled “D-Day” in which she covered events that happened in early-1960s Birmingham, Alabama and how Martin Luther King’s campaign achieved desegregation at first in shops and restaurants and then in all public buildings. In conclusion Jo read King’s quote ”I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character” and expressed a hope that her nephew will be judged only this way in the future.
Evaluating Steven’s Ice Breaker, Glen saw him as an authentic storyteller with great eye-contact and a natural gift for humour saying that he really would like to see more of that in the future. However Glen noted that the speech could benefit from slightly calmer body language and some more pauses to improve pacing.
Hari evaluated Ilze’s speech and commended the interesting topic and Ilze’s explanation of the meaning of “glossophobia” at the beginning of the speech. Hari also praised Ilze’s relaxed body language and natural voice. What he would have liked to have seen was a bit more eye contact.
The next evaluator, Wayne, evaluated Paula’s speech about mental health. He acknowledged Paula’s great job at meeting the objectives of her speech project with a clear statement of the general (to inform what mental health is) and specific (how to find out if you need help) purposes of the speech. Wayne also commended Paula’s strong gestures, her really good vocal variety throughout the speech and her clear, specific language. He recommended Paula to structure her speech using not only “What” and “How” of mental health treatment but also the “Why”.
The last evaluator of the meeting was Kate who evaluated Jo’s powerful speech. She complimented Jo’s very clear, highly engaging and confidently delivered speech. Kate especially liked Jo’s personal story related to her nephew Ray. Kate suggested that speech could have been improved by pausing more while looking at individual audience members, which would enable constant audience engagement.
Jason, the Table Topic Master of the evening, introduced the theme – Weirdness – and inspired volunteers to reveal aspects of themselves which are slightly weird and to answer questions such as:
- What is your weirdest dream?
- What is the weirdest thing you have ever collected?
- What’s the weirdest book you’ve ever read?
Closing the meeting, Femi reminded everyone of the Table Topics workshop on 30th July 2012 (fully booked – sorry!) and gave out the awards based on the votes cast during the evening.
The certificate for successfully completing his Ice Breaker speech – an important landmark for any Toastmaster– went to Steven.
The Best Evaluator award went (jointly) to Kate and Hari for the evaluations of Jo’s and Ilze’s speeches respectively. The Best Table Topics Speaker award went to guest Sinead, and the Best Speaker award went to Jo who received that for her third consecutive speech. The President’s discretional award went to Ilze for her excellent speech and for the fact that her speech topic was closely related to public speaking.
Our next meeting is on Monday, 13th August 2012, upstairs at The Clerk and Well pub, 156 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1R 5BX.