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Meeting Report: 22 August 2016

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Written by Agnes

Introduction

On Monday 22nd August Bloomsbury Speakers held their regular club meeting at the Clerk and Well pub. During the evening we heard four prepared speeches of a very high standard, four excellent evaluations, and six cracking table topics, with many of the guests participating in the impromptu speaking session.

Roles

Toastmaster Carrie kicked off the proceedings by setting the theme for the evening – the highlight of this summer, which is, sadly, about to end! She introduced Peter R, the Timekeeper, to the audience whose job was to make sure the entire meeting runs smoothly and bang on schedule. Carrie then opened the floor for the first speaker.

Prepared speeches

After the opening remarks, the first speaker was Chantal, who encouraged us to move more in the interest of our wellbeing in her project No. 2 speech entitled “Get Off Your …’ She outlined the dangers of prolonged periods of sitting, which is the unfortunate consequence of our modern lifestyle. In a speech packed with interesting ideas – such as the fact that medieval people burned off an average of 4000-5000 calories a day – she gave us practical tips about how to build more exercise into our busy days to avoid ending up with diabetes, various cancers and varicose veins.

The second speaker was Fabiano, who gave a futuristic No. 3 speech entitled “Homo Erectus, Homo Sapiens, Transhuman”. Fabiano explained how technological advancement is capable of increasing our physical and intellectual capacity, paving the way to a new phase in human evolution. Fabiano expressed his frustration over the fact that he still has to spend hours memorising his speech in front of the mirror instead of having it uploaded directly into his mind.

The third speaker was Atul, who gave a No. 3 speech about the life of the musical genius Ludwig Van Beethoven. He explained how the composer’s ability to overcome adversity, such as a cruel, overbearing father and his deafness from his twenties culminated in the masterpiece that is the Symphony No. 9. The piece, as we learned from Atul’s speech, was played when the Berlin Wall was brought down in 1989.

The final prepared speech, entitled “Food for Pokemons,’’ was delivered by Olga for the Competent Communicator No. 9 project. She described the nature of addictions and how they risk becoming all-consuming. She gave the audience strategies on how to switch attention away from an obsession and train our brains to appreciate multiple interests so they won’t fall prey to Pokemon.

After the break, we heard from the four evaluators who had been preparing feedback for the prepared speeches – Francesca, Chantal, who stepped in last minute, Robert and Peter F.

We were then introduced to our Table Topic Master, Ahmed, who structured his questions around the Olympic Games. We heard from Erin, Sarah, Chrystal, Simba, Ryan and Peter R., who all gave impromptu speeches for up to two minutes. Peter R, the Timekeeper, then gave us the timings for each impromptu speech.

Swarajit gave an evaluation of the all the impromptu topics speakers, followed once more by Peter R, who updated us on the timings for each evaluator’s speech.

Finally, our visiting General Evaluator, Thomas from London Victorians, evaluated our club and the meeting, including participants who hadn’t received feedback. Sheldon, the President of Bloomsbury Speakers, wrapped up the evening by announcing the awards:

Awards

Best Speaker: Chantal

Best Evaluator: Francesca

Best Table Topic: Erin

Next meeting

Our next event will be the Humorous Speech Workshop on 05 September at 18:30 in Wedge Issue Pizza on Clerkenwell Road. Sign up on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/humorous-speech-workshop-dig-deeper-to-your-funny-bone-tickets-27114437011

Our next regular meeting will be Monday 12 September at the Clerk and Well (though the venue may be subject to change). Please get in touch at info@bloomsburyspeakers.org.uk if you have any questions!

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