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Meeting Report: 11th September 2017

Introduction

It was another entertaining evening of prepared and impromptu speeches on Monday 11th September at Wedge Issue Pizza where Bloomsbury Speakers held their latest regular meeting. We were treated to thought-provoking speeches and a hilarious table topics session, as well as of course delicious free pizza at the end.

Roles

The meeting started with a welcome speech from the President of the Club Peter R who pointed out that the benefits of becoming a member of Toastmasters go beyond improving our public speaking skills. He introduced Toastmaster Pao who announced he would soon be moving to Berlin – we will miss you Pao! Pao then introduced Timekeeper Raymond and Grammarian Sarah.

Prepared speeches

The first speaker was Luisa with her Competent Communicator Speech #3 “Say Cheese”. She talked us through three iconic pictures to show us how great photographers are able to tell a story through the use of lines, colours and space. But she still thinks taking silly pictures on holiday with your friends is pretty fun!

The second speaker was Margarita who delighted us with her Storytelling Speech #3 “Do You Promise Not To Tell?” by confessing to secretly throwing away her flatmate’s large collection of paper bags, including one containing an expensive tray. The moral of the story is: don’t lie to your friend about chucking away her paper bags, because you will end up having to spend your remaining money buying a replacement tray in John Lewis (and also because lying is bad).

Next up was Scott with his Competent Communicator Speech #5 “The Memory Palace”. We were left baffled by the story of his bizarre journey to the venue that evening, which included bumping into a man in a bath washing a ton weight, a guy with a crazy son, another man rubbing quince jam on his Adam’s apple… But it all made sense when he explained that these were just mnemonic images in his memory palace which he used to remember the names of the first 8 presidents of the United States (George Wash-ing-ton, John Quincy Adams, James Mad-i-son… brilliant).

The last speech was Competent Communicator Speech #8 “The Power of One” by Chantal who reminded us of our civic duty to vote and to recycle: what we do as individuals is unlikely to make a difference but collective action is important. Just like some Brexiteers underestimated their own power by voting to leave the EU in protest, we also can sometimes underestimate our power to make a difference by recycling more.

Yamina, our Sergeant at Arms, then led the guest introductions.

Evaluations and Table Topics

After the break, we heard from the four speech evaluators – Peter R, Lei, Swarajit and Atul.

Then Julian, Table Topics Master, led a hilarious session of table topics inspired by his weekend in Bordeaux running and drinking wine. Peter F, Millie, Chantal, Paulina, Sophia, Yamina, Lei and Swarajit cracked us up with their impromptu speeches: highlights included Lei’s story of her most memorable weekend and what she learnt about vomit and sharks, and Swarajit’s sadistic dreams of revenge should he ever become a PE teacher (which we hope he never will!).

Rupert evaluated all table topics speakers.

Grammarian Sarah then presented her report and reminded us of all the grammatical highlights of the evening, including the use of the word of the day “euphoria” which was mentioned a total of 16 times throughout the meeting!

Finally, visiting General Evaluator Paulina from London Victorians evaluated our club and the meeting.

All in all, a pretty euphoric meeting!

Awards

Best Speaker: Scott

Best Evaluator: Rupert

Best Table Topic: Lei

Next meeting

On Monday 18th September we will be holding the Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest at Wedge Issue Pizza & Beer (91-95 Clerkenwell Rd, London EC1R 5BX), 18:30-21:00. This is an official Toastmaster contest and winners will go on to represent Bloomsbury Speakers in the Area Contest. Book your place by using our Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/humorous-speech-and-table-topics-contest-tickets-37724179035

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.

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