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Written by Margarita

Introduction

On Monday, 27 March, Bloomsbury Speakers’ members and guests gathered downstairs at Wedge Issue Pizza & Beer for an evening of excellent speeches and numerous self-development opportunities.

Roles

The meeting started with a welcome speech from President Sheldon who introduced Toastmaster Atul. He told us a story about a clown he had met at a party and who inspired him to join Toastmasters. Atul set up a theme for the night – things that make us smile – and introduced Timekeeper Paul and Grammarian Helen.

Prepared speeches

The first speaker was Dan, who gave an extraordinary Icebreaker speech entitled “? = 52 Pubs + Beach?”. The answer to this puzzle is Aberystwyth, a town in Wales where Dan studied for several years. He told the audience about this place’s charm but reminded that it’s important to be in the right place at the right time, and we shouldn’t be afraid to leave when it is time to do so.

Barbara was the second to speak. She also gave an Icebreaker speech entitled “Stepping Out”. Barbara impressed the audience with her props – shoes that correlated to different periods of her life. By sharing her story with us, she inspired everyone in the room to take small changes in their lives to experience a great reward of joy and love.

The third was Julian, with speech No 3 entitled “The Limited Bandwidth of the Human Brain”. He discussed differences between the way humans and machines process and exchange information, explained various types of thinking and concluded with some great tips on improving our cognitive abilities, including context switching and speed-reading.

The fourth speech was given by Chantal. She entitled her project No 5 “Make Like a Sloth”. Through her personal story of getting a dream career at an environmental charity, she stressed the importance of slowing down sometimes. She recommended us to take a sloth as a role model for achieving unpredictably great results in life.

After the speeches, our Sergeant at Arms Peter F. invited guests to introduce themselves and speak about what makes them smile.

Evaluations and Table Topics

After the break, we heard from the four evaluators – Scott, Matthew, Peter F. and Peter R., who stepped in the last minute to replace Tracey Alexander and was therefore confused with Tracey throughout the night.

We were then introduced to our Table Topic Master Renars, who structured his questions around the theme of smiles and happiness. We heard from Swarajit, Yamina, Olga, Margarita, Alek, Alice and Stella, who all gave impromptu speeches for up to two minutes. Sheldon evaluated each speaker afterwards.

Finally, our visiting General Evaluator, Saba from Holborn Speakers, evaluated our club and the meeting. Sheldon, the President of Bloomsbury Speakers, wrapped up the evening by announcing the awards.

Awards

Best Speaker: Barbara

Best Evaluator: Peter R. (aka Tracey 🙂

Best Table Topic: Stella

As Bloomsbury Speakers are approaching the end of the Toastmasters’ year, the Club is accepting applications for joining the Committee. Starting from this meeting, each current Committee member will be introducing their role and inviting fellow members to express interest to take their role for the next year. This time it was Olga, VP Membership, who told us that her role would suit anyone who has an email account and likes helping people.

If you would like to learn more about the Committee and/or are interested in joining it, please let us know!

Next meeting

Please note that our next meeting will be held at a new venue, The Horseshoe (24 Clerkenwell Close, EC1R 0AG), on Monday, 10 April, at 6.30pm. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Please get in touch at [email protected] if you have any questions!

 

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Written by Margarita

Introduction

On Monday 13 March Bloomsbury Speakers held their regular club meeting downstairs at Wedge Issue Pizza & Beer. It was an evening of inspiration, learning and great fun!

Roles

The meeting started with a welcome speech from President Sheldon who shared with the audience his observations on importance of public speaking for people of all ages. Then Toastmaster Hari set out the theme for the evening – inspirational women – and introduced Timekeeper Olga and Grammarian Peter.

Prepared speeches

The first speaker was Paul, who joined Bloombsury Speakers just two weeks ago, but already got the second place in the International Evaluation Contest and represented the Club on the Area level. His Icebreaker speech entitled “Tourettes, Neuroscience and Me” deeply touched everyone in the audience. Paul explained how his experience of Tourettes led him to a career in neurology.

Rupert was the second to speak. His highly informative speech ? 2, entitled “Looking Back”, was devoted to the Cuban missile crisis. Rupert enlightened the audience on the background of the crisis and inspired even those who are not too keen on history to learn more about this greatest event of the Cold War.

The third speaker was Helen. She gave the first speech from advanced manual “Speaking to Inform”, which was entitled “Are you still playing this $%^&! Game?”. In a very fun and engaging manner Helen explained that the viral Pockemon Go! game exploits basic human needs known since prehistoric times that are hunting and gathering, unexpected awards and social inclusion.

After the speeches our Sergeant at Arms Sarah invited guests to introduce themselves.

Evaluations and Table Topics

After the break, we heard from the three evaluators – Tracey Alexander, Atul and Chantal.

We were then introduced to our Table Topic Master Swarajit, who structured his questions around the International Women’s Day. We heard from Dan, Yanik, Sarah, Chantal, Nigel, Anna and Peter, who all gave impromptu speeches for up to two minutes. Olga, the Timekeeper, then gave us the timings for each impromptu speech.

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

Finally, our visiting General Evaluator, Rachel, evaluated our club and the meeting, including participants who had not received feedback during the session. Sheldon, the President of Bloomsbury Speakers, wrapped up the evening by announcing the awards:

Awards

Best Speaker: Rupert

Best Evaluator: Margarita

Best Table Topic: Nigel

Next meeting

Our next meeting will take place on Monday 27 March at 18:30 at Wedge Issue Pizza on Clerkenwell Road. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Please get in touch at [email protected] if you have any questions!

 

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Written by Margarita

Introduction

Bloomsbury Speakers held the International Speech and Evaluation Contests on the 6th of March 2017. They took place downstairs at Wedge Issue Pizza & Beer, which is now the regular venue for the club. It was a night of excellent speeches, great evaluations and exciting table topics!

The evening started with a brief yet energetic opening from President Sheldon, who passed floor to International Speech Contest Chair Heleana. She explained the rules of the contest and introduced the speakers as well as the timekeeper Chantal.

International Speech Contest

The first to speak was Renars. His entertaining speech focused on online dating and his personal experience of using Tinder set up really a high level for all contestants.

Matthew was the second, he inspired the audience with his highly emotional and personal speech about an unusual job interview.

Sheldon was the third, in his speech he explored what it really means to be proud to be British and invited the audience to think outside the box about this concept.

And the final speech was delivered by Margarita, who encouraged the audience to stop using social media on holidays to have a richer experience.

After all speeches were delivered, the meeting moved on to guest introductions and a short break.

Evaluation Contest

After the break, the meeting continued with the Evaluation Contest.

While evaluators were receiving instructions from the Chief Judge Dave, Evaluation Contest Chair Sheldon told the audience more about his experience of being President of the Club.

He then introduced the Mystery Speaker – Emily. In her highly informative speech she shared with the audience her knowledge about Opium Wars between China and Britain.

Her speech was then evaluated by the Evaluation contestants, Peter, Yemina, Paul and Matthew.

While the Committee members were registering votes made by the judges, the Table Topics Master Peter made almost everyone in the audience join his highly entertaining impromptu speaking session.

Awards

The winner of both the International Speech and Evaluation Contests was… Matthew.

Overall, the contestants showed such a high standard of speaking that no one in the room would have confidently bet on anyone taking the top spot.

Next meeting

The next regular meeting of Bloomsbury Speakers will be on Monday, 13 March 2017, downstairs at Wedge Issue Pizza & Beer. Doors open at 6.30pm. Everyone is welcome to join.

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Written by Julian

The second meeting of the year was held at Wedge Issue. Thirty people braved the cold night and showed up to practice their public speaking skills. Overall, 20 people went on stage to speak.

The evening kicked off with our President, Sheldon. Then the stage was handed over to the Toastmaster of the evening, Clare. The meeting was supported by Yamina as Timekeeper and Julian as Grammarian.

Our first prepared speech was given by Chantal who told is about a book that changed her way of looking at the streets of London and inspired us to read it.

This was followed by Sheldon‘s Speech #8 “Generally Speaking” who nearly convinced us that younger siblings were less intelligent than first childs before totally debunking the idea.

Our third prepared speech and number 10 for Margarita was about how she transformed her mindset and got rid of her fear of dogs. A powerful speech.

Lastly, Helen gave an inspirational speech on setting SMART goals to achieve new years resolutions.

Just before the break Peter welcomed our wonderful guests and gave each of them an opportunity to introduced themselves and make a short 30 second speech.

After the break, we heard from the evaluators who had delivered their feedback on the prepared speeches – Tracey Alexander, Stella, Peter R. and Swarajit.

After the break, we had a fun series of Table Topics around the concept of post-truth. We had four guests come on stage and do an impromptu speech for the first time and were evaluated by Helen.

Finally, our visiting General Evaluator, Tim Shaw from London Victorians, evaluated our club and the meeting, including participants who had not received feedback. Sheldon, the President of Bloomsbury Speakers, wrapped up the evening by announcing the awards.

Afterwards, we switched gears into networking. Several pizzas were ordered, beers were drank and new friendships were made! Come and visit us at our next meeting!

Awards

Best Speaker: Sheldon

Best Evaluator: Helen

Best Table Topic: Peter

Next meeting

Our next regular meeting will be on Monday, 13 of February, at The Clerk and Well (though the venue may be subject to change). Looking forward to seeing you all there! Please get in touch at [email protected] if you have any questions.

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Written by Margarita

Introduction

On Monday, 9 January, Bloomsbury Speakers held their first club meeting in 2017. Despite the Tube strike and a heavy rain, many club members, as well as a number of guests, made it to The Clerk and Well pub to practice their public speaking skills.

Roles

President Sheldon welcomed guests and club members with a passionate opening speech and passed the floor to Toastmaster Margarita who set the theme of the evening – gastronomic regrets and highlights of the recent festive season! She introduced Julian, the Timekeeper, to the audience and his job was to make sure the entire meeting ran smoothly and banged on time. Then Margarita introduced the word of the day – ‘ebullient’ – and invited the first speaker.

Prepared speeches

Rupert impressed the audience with his outstanding Icebreaker speech entitled “Growing up slow”. Rupert shared with us some stories from his childhood and adolescence that involved setting up his back garden on fire and getting in a car crash and that taught him important life lessons.

The second speaker was Heleana, who gave an inspiring No. 9 speech entitled “All my muses were men”. She told us about extraordinary people who played a great role in shaping her personality and persuaded us that inspiration can come from unexpected places in unexpected times from unexpected people.

Just before the break Yemina welcomed our wonderful guests and gave each of them an opportunity to introduced themselves and make a short speech.

After the break, we heard from the evaluators who had delivered their feedback on the prepared speeches – Chantal and Matthew.

We were then introduced to our Table Topic Master, Peter R., who structured his questions around the theme of strike. Many club members, as well as some very brave guests, volunteered to take part in this session and all gave impromptu speeches for up to two minutes. Julian, the Timekeeper, then outlined the timings of each impromptu speech.

Swarajit stepped in last minute to give an evaluation of all the impromptu topics speakers, followed once more by Julian, who updated us on the timings for each evaluator’s speech.

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

Awards

Best Speaker: Rupert

Best Evaluator: Matthew

Best Table Topic: Matthew

Next meeting

Our next regular meeting will be on Monday, 23 January, at The Clerk and Well (though the venue may be subject to change). Looking forward to seeing you all there! Please get in touch at [email protected] if you have any questions.

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