On Monday 18th September, Bloomsbury Speakers hosted their official Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest during which members and guests witnessed the club’s funniest battling it out for a place in the Area Contest on 27th September.
The contest started with a speech from the President of the Club Peter R who gave a warm welcome to everybody before introducing the Contest Chair Swarajit. Swarajit talked people through the order of the evening, the rules of an official Toastmaster contest and gave some humorous advice on which topics are best to cover in a speech (basically anything except racism, sexism and homophobia… unless of course you are a white straight man, in which case you can do whatever you like!) He introduced Chief Judge Simon.
The first contestant was Margarita with her speech entitled “Midnight Dancer”. As a result of her love of Irish dancing, Margarita injured herself whilst practicing at home and paramedics were treated to a scene of two Russian girls (Margarita and her flatmate) lying on the floor with a frozen bottle of vodka pressed against her ankle and Irish songs playing in the background!
Next to speak was Yamina with her speech “The Perks of Being a Late Bloomer”. Yamina used to dislike early bloomers but has now come to appreciate that, as a late bloomer, she actually had the time to enjoy her childhood in the south of France. Growing up without a computer helped her to develop her imagination and, as a neuroscientist, she sometimes catches herself daydreaming about her Nobel Prize acceptance speech!
The third speech was “I Love Holidays” by Atul, who confessed to hating airports and has in the past spent time in airport stores when he hasn’t even needed to buy anything. He also questioned the usefulness of the barrage of announcements flyers are subjected to before, during and after the flight – don’t we all know how to fasten a seat belt already??
The fourth contestant was Helen with her speech “The Dinner Bill”. What is the protocol when first daters go out for dinner and the bill arrives? Helen found out the hard way with her date “Dick”, who was baffled when Helen offered to split the bill and then proceeded to lecture her on the fact the men are meant to take care of women. Helen left us wondering whether we should tolerate benevolent sexism.
Swarajit then led the guest introductions.
After the break, we heard from the table topic contestants – Helen, Peter R, Sophia, Lei, Scott, Atul, Margarita and Andy – on the contest question “How has technology changed your life?”. Highlights included Peter’s disdain for social media which has caused a 7 year void on his Facebook profile, and Andy’s admission that technology has not just changed his life but effectively taken over!
A round of friendly table topics followed as the Contest judges finalised their evaluations.
Awards for Speech Contest
First Place: Helen
Second place: Atul
Awards for Table Topics Contest
First Place: Peter R
Second place: Margarita
Third place: Andy
The next regular meeting will take place at Wedge Issue Pizza & Beer (91-95 Clerkenwell Rd, London EC1R 5BX), on Monday 25th September 18:30-21:00. Come over to practice your public speaking skills and enjoy delicious free pizza!
Please feel free to get in touch at [email protected] if you have any questions.