Hello and welcome to the August newsletter
It’s just one month since the start of the new Toastmasters year, when a new committee takes over the running of the club.
(In case you are not aware who the new committee members are, details are provided below.)
But you’d be forgiven to think that little or nothing has changed given how we have continued to have well-attended meetings with lots of new guests.
This is one of the reasons I am honoured to be the new president of Bloomsbury Speakers. I’m proud to be taking over from our immediate past President Glen Long who, together with his out-going committee members, has helped to establish us as one of the most friendly, prominent and vibrant clubs in London.
My aim is to maintain this ethos, and to see all members – new and old – progressing through the communication and leadership programmes.
What happened in July?
As was the case in June, we had three meetings in July (instead of the more normal two) in order to meet new members’ demand for speaking slots. There were ice-breaker speeches in each meeting and we also had speeches from more experienced members.
We also had a well-attended Table Topics workshop where tips for impromptu speaking were shared by Hari – one of our most seasoned members – and members were given the opportunity to practise lots of topics.
What’s planned for August?
In August, we are reverting to our two regular meetings since the membership freeze (see below) has meant that demand on speaking slots has eased up a bit:
- Monday 13th August 2012 – Regular Meeting – this first meeting is already booked up, but you could book in as a reserve speaker (in case someone drops out). Alternatively put yourself down for a table topics slot – there are still three up for grabs. Experienced members to watch out for are Glen and Ratan.
- Monday 20th August 2012 – Regular meeting which has been moved forward a week earlier because of the bank holiday. This meeting is fully booked however there are a couple of veteran members to learn from including Swarajit and Glen.
Please note the second meeting date – it’s the third Monday not the fourth, due to the August bank holiday.
What’s on the horizon?
We’ve got two meetings in September – on the 10th and 24th September:
- Monday 10th September 2012 – Please note this first meeting is a Humorous Speech and Table Contest night, not a regular meeting. This is the club-level round of the autumn contests, featuring humorous prepared speeches and table topics (more on this later).
- Monday 24th September 2012 – Regular Meeting – While speaking slots are already booked up, there are still Evaluator slots up for grabs.
Here’s a reminder of the new committee members, with their respective responsibilities:
- Femi Asaolu (me!) – President – has overall responsibility for the successful running of the club
- Swarajit Das – VP Education – ensures that we run successful meetings with all roles filled and that the club’s educational goals are met
- Joe Lake – VP Membership & Mentoring – looks after new and existing members to help them get the most out of the club and meet their personal development goals
- Elena Fanaberova – Treasurer – responsible for controlling the club finances to ensure stability and continuity for all members
- Jo Higham – Secretary – responsible for club administration, particularly with regards to committee meetings and decision making
- Glen Long – VP Public Relations – responsible for raising the club profile and attracting new guests, e.g. via website and mailing list
- Richard Gibbs – Sergeant at Arms, who is responsible for setting up the room before and after each meeting. The SAA also has a regular slot giving guest introductions (unless taking on another role)
To help manage demand for speaking slots, we are sticking to our plan to keep club membership frozen until the end of September.
In the meantime, we continue to welcome guests to our meetings, and for those who are eager to join, we can put you on the waiting list.
Humorous and Table Topics Contest: Take part or get involved in running it!
Toastmasters normally runs two sets of contests each year, and the end of the summer is when we hold our Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests. These contests take the place of our regular meeting on Monday 10th September and are open to all members with an up-to-date membership (although guests are still very welcome to attend).
For the Humorous Speech contest, you need to prepare a 5-7 minute speech of a humorous nature on a topic of your choice. Note that a humorous speech is not a stand-up routine, or just a series of one-liners – it is a fully-fledged speech in its own right and should have a beginning, a middle and a conclusion as usual, supported with lots of humour!
For the Table Topics contest, no preparation is required at all! As usual, you are given the topic just before you are called to the stage and have 1-2 minutes to talk about it. To ensure fairness, all contestants are given the same question, but are free to interpret it in any way they wish.
If you would like to enter either or both of these contests, you can do so by booking yourself in on ClubPlan (note that, due to a limitation with the ClubPlan system, you can only book yourself in for one of the contests, but please e-mail [email protected] if you would like to enter both).
Even if you don’t yet feel ready to compete, there are several functionary roles available to help the contest run smoothly – again, use ClubPlan to book yourself in.
Further information about the rules and requirements of the contests will be provided to members in the coming weeks.
See you in a meeting very soon!
Key facts – just the stuff you really need to know
- Our next meeting is Monday 13th August 2012
- Our second meeting in August is the third, not fourth, Monday – i.e. Monday, 20th August
- The humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest takes place on 10th September – take part or get involved in helping to run the show via ClubPlan!
- There are still functionary roles available in the regular meeting in September – remember you need to perform at least one functionary role between speeches.
- We have a new committee: Femi (President), Swarajit (VP Education), Joe (VP Membership & Mentoring), Elena (Treasurer), Jo (Secretary), Glen (VP Public Relations) and Richard (Sergeant at Arms)