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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 info@bloomsburyspeakers.org.uk if you have any questions.

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wordle 6

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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wordle 5

Written by Margarita

Introduction

On Monday 8 August we met upstairs at the Clerk and Well for a regular meeting of Bloomsbury Speakers. We had three wonderful prepared speeches and a range of impromptu activities.

Roles

Club’s VPE Peter R took the role of the acting president and opened the meeting. The Toastmaster, brilliant speaker and experienced member of the club, Carrie suggested a great theme of the evening – she asked each participant to share the most unusual things they’ve ever done to earn money. Apparently, walking dogs and selling empty liquor bottles can give you some extra cash! Carrie introduced the Timekeeper Sarah, and Harkmaster Olga.

Prepared Speeches

After opening remarks, the first speaker was Francesca with her No. 3 speech ‘Why mindfulness is a positive force for change, and not just a buzzword’. She shared with us the benefits of meditation and suggested trying to do it every day for 10 minutes for 10 days to start seeing positive changes.

The second speaker was Peter F, who gave us his Storytelling No. 3 speech ‘It’s Ok to be an Immigrant’. He shred with us his story of moving from Singapore to London and the lessons he learnt being an immigrant.

Third up was Robert, delivering his No. 4 speech “Why campaign if not a member?” In his passionate speech he told us about his personal experience of campaigning and its benefits.

After the prepared speeches Sergeant at Arms Peter R introduced the guests.

After the break, we heard from the three evaluators who had been preparing feedback for the three prepared speeches – Helen, Swarajit and Matt.

Impromptu Speaking

We were then handed over to Table Topics Master Margarita. The theme of the Table Topics was Olympic Games. We heard from Norah, Atul, Helen, Joe, Abder and Peter R, who all gave impromptu speeches for up to two minutes.

Robert presented feedback on each of the impromptu speeches we had just heard, before we moved to an impromptu game “And then…” introduced by Peter R. Helen, Carrie, Matt and Robert created a hilarious impromptu story about Donald Trump, hamsters and apple pies.

Game

After it visiting General Evaluator Veronica evaluated all speakers not yet evaluated and provided feedback to the club.

Finally, Peter R, the VPE of Bloomsbury Speakers, announced the awards for the evening.

Awards

Best Speaker: Peter F

Peters

Best Evaluator: Helen
Helen
Best Table Topic: Peter R

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be Monday 22 August 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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275H

At Toastmasters we do a lot on what to do on stage, and how to write compelling speech content, but not always what to do in the days, hours and mins before – here are my 7 top tips for mentally and physically preparing for a presentation.

Part of a course I’m developing to help people overcome fear of public speaking – the other parts focus on:

  • Strategies from NLP & CBT we can use for dealing with a fight or flight response on stage
  • Speaking techniques around body language, voice and content

 

  1. Mentally rehearse your presentation going amazingly well
  • Brain can’t distinguish between real & imagined events e.g. dream you got it on with your boss
  • Sports athletes show same improvement if imagine OR practice
  • Mental rehearsal is like telling your brain how to behave

 

  1. Power dress – what you wear affects your emotional state and cognitive abilities
  • Study done in 2012: doctor’s lab coat thought more clearly and had better sustained attention than those who didn’t
  • Smart, professional
  • Layers
  • Avoid light coloured shirts that show sweat patches!
  • Comfortable shoes – don’t wear heels that make you look unstable

 

  1. Watch what you drink
  • Avoid caffeine – increases cortisal, is a diuretic
  • Avoid fizzy drinks – already swallow air when we’re nervous, don’t need to be more gassy!
  • Drink water – improves focus, rehydrates you

 

  1. Arrive early to check out the room
  • ‘Normalise’ standing at the front
  • Check through your ppt
  • Get used to speaking with mic – swap if need
  • Also gives you a chance to meet & greet audience – get in show mode/friendly faces in crowd

 

  1. Burn off some adrenaline by exercising lightly before stage
  • Brisk walk, sink and stretch exercise

 

  1. Do a power pose 5 minutes before speaking
  • Power pose = open and expansive like when animals feel powerful they spread out
  • Study by Amy Cuddy – increase in Testosterone and decrease in cortisol
  • Smile – releases serotonin and dopamine. Can even use a pen to fake smile

 

  1. Breathe from your stomach
  • Diaphramagtic breathing – stomach fully deflates on outbreath

I hope you’ll find that useful – In my experience these things really make a difference to your performance and even more crucially, how you feel about your experience – which is so important for creating positive experiences.

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wordle 4

Written by Chantal

Introduction

On Monday 25 July we met upstairs at our regular venue, the Clerk and Well, for a regular meeting of Bloomsbury Speakers. As always we were treated to a range of fascinating topics delivered with gusto by our speakers.

Roles

Toastmaster Clare confidently captained the evening, introducing Timekeeper Andrew who kept schedule timings trim. Clare also introduced Chantal, the Grammarian, whose role was to appraise speakers’ uses of language and to provide a word of the meeting: “laudable”.

Prepared speeches

After opening remarks, the first speaker was Margarita with her No. 9 speech ‘The Importance of Catching Them All’ – a funny and impassioned discussion of the Pokémon Go craze. Her verdict: it’s great!

The second speaker was Henry, who gave us his Storytelling No. 2 speech ‘Living the Dream through Podcasting’. Henry told us how he was being true to himself and to the world by podcasting, a new and exciting foray for him. Check kitchentabletales.co.uk for his latest podcast!

Third up was Helen, delivering her Technical Presentations No. 5 speech ‘What your facebook friends aren’t telling you’. Helen masterfully explained how online social networks can polarise groups and entrench beliefs, and even provided practical advice on how social media users can avoid getting trapped in “echo chambers”.

After the break, we heard from the four evaluators who had been preparing feedback for the three prepared speeches – Peter F, Swarajit and Peter R.

We were then handed over to Table Topics Master Agnes, who served up a delightfully funny Agony Aunt scenario for the Topics speakers. Timekeeper Andrew then gave us the timings for each impromptu speech.

Abraham presented feedback on each of the impromptu speeches we had just heard, before Andrew returned to provide timings for each of the evening’s evaluators.

After a report by Grammarian Chantal, visiting General Evaluator David evaluated all speakers not yet evaluated and provided feedback to the club.

Finally, Sheldon, the President of Bloomsbury Speakers, announced the awards for the evening.

Awards

Helen1

Best Speaker: Helen

Peter2

Best Evaluator: Peter F

Peter1

Best Table Topic: Peter R

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be Monday 8 August 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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