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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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Written by Margarita

Introduction

On Monday, 26th June, Bloomsbury Speakers had their regular meeting at the Wedge Issue Pizza. We heard some beautiful speeches from the Club members and enjoyed an entertaining Table Topics session with Club’s guests.

Roles

The meeting started with a welcome speech from the new President of the Club Peter R. who introduced Toastmaster Renars. Renars told us that he ran out of ideas of what to read so he asked all speakers and functionaries to share with him their favourite books. Then he introduced Timekeeper Swarajit and Grammarian Pao-Sheng.

Prepared speeches

The first speaker was Dan with his Speech number 2 “Psychopaths and Big Dippers”. He suggested some tips on how to become richer in future by sorting out personal finance. Dan invited us to try out several tricks to save more money in future, for example, trying to feel empathy to our older selves.

Julian was the second to speak. His speech number 5 entitled “For the Love of Beer” was, as you have guessed, devoted to his passion – drinking and brewing beer. In just seven minutes Julian made us all want to go upstairs and buy a pint.

The third speech was given by Fabiano. In his speech numer 7 “The Eternal City” he took the audience on an imaginary walk around Rome, revealing its secrets and history and, most importantly, sharing his own favourite locations there.

Margarita was the last to speak. Her advanced Storytelling speech number 2 was entitled “Midnighdancer”. She entertained club members and guests with a story of her brief career in Irish dancing that finished with a broken foot.

Evaluations and Table Topics

After the break, we heard from the three evaluators – Matt, Tracey and Renars.

Then Scott, the Table Topics Master, took the floor and led a session of hilarious table topics by Reymond, Ley, Nigel, Colin, Winclay, Tom, Margarita, Stella and Den. Atul evaluated each speaker afterwards.

Finally, our visiting General Evaluator, Colin evaluated our club and the meeting.

Awards

Best Speaker: Margarita

Best Evaluator: Matt

Best Table Topic: Stella

Next meeting

The next meeting will take place at The Wedge Issue Pizza & Beer (91-95 Clerkenwell Rd, London EC1R 5BX), on Monday, 10th July, at 6.30pm. Come over to practice your public speaking skills and enjoy delicious pizza on the Club!

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

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Written by Scott

Introduction

On Monday, 8th May, Bloomsbury Speakers had their regular meeting at the Wedge Issue Pizza. We heard some exceptional entertaining speeches from the Club members and enjoyed an outstanding Table Topics session with Club’s guests.

Roles

The meeting started with a welcome speech from the President Sheldon who introduced the session with an anecdote about Will Smith and skydiving, stressing that being outside of your comfort zone can be a blissful and rewarding experience even if it doesn’t seem it beforehand. He introduced Toastmaster Peter who then introduced Timekeeper Dan and Grammarian Scott.

Prepared speeches

The first speaker was Fabiano, in his Speech number 6 “Fighting for Your Self-Confidence”. A muscular speech about his experience training Muai Thai kickboxing and self improvement that transcends the physical nature of a martial art. A knock out with the audience!

Matt was the second to speak. His speech number 9 entitled “The Man on the Moon” was a personal speech about his relationship with his father, shared characteristics and stealing a car (in Grand Theft Auto). Very heartfelt and well performed.

The third speech was given by Margarita. Who sold the audience on how to sell in her advanced speech “Chill Pill”. She gave us some tips on selling and demonstrated this with a lengthy and impressive section of improvisation selling to audience member Sebastian, who left with a much lighter wallet.

Evaluations and Table Topics

After the break, we heard from the three evaluators – Helen, Atul and Julian.

Then Tracey, the Table Topics Master, took the floor with the subject of change, provoking some entertaining and sincere speeches from the participants. Sheldon evaluated each speaker afterwards.

Finally, our visiting General Evaluator, James evaluated our club and the meeting. Also giving us a brief taster of his upcoming Best Man speech.

At the end of the meeting President Sheldon invited those who are interested to apply to join the Committee next year. If you would like to learn more about the Committee and/or are interested in joining it, please get in touch!

Awards

Best Speaker: Matt

Best Evaluator: Atul

Best Table Topic: Dan

Next meeting

The next meeting will take place at The Wedge Issue Pizza & Beer (91-95 Clerkenwell Rd, London EC1R 5BX), on Monday, 22 May, at 6.30pm. Come over to practice your public speaking skills and enjoy delicious pizza on the Club!

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

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Written by Margarita

Introduction

On Monday, 24 April, Bloomsbury Speakers had their regular meeting at the Horseshoe Pub. We heard some exceptional  entertaining speeches from the Club members and enjoyed an outstanding Table Topics session with Club’s guests.

Roles

The meeting started with a welcome speech from the President Sheldon who told us about his recent trip to Japan and stressed the benefits of public speaking in various areas of life. He introduced Toastmaster Helen who chose friendship as the theme for the night. She then introduced Timekeeper Louisa and moved on to prepared speeches.

Prepared speeches

The first speaker was Pao-Sheng, in his Speech number 2 “The UK: My Second Home and Classroom of Life Lessons” he shared with us the highlights of his experience of living in the UK and compared lifestyle here with the one in Taiwan.

Julian was the second to speak. His speech number 4 entitled “How I Became a Baker” amazed the audience. Not only Julian shared with us his secret recipe of a delicious bread, he also brought a home baked bread loaf and kindly invited everyone to try it! Yummy..!

The third speech was given by Chantal. In her highly entertaining speech number 6 “How (Not) to Get Published” she told us about her personal experience of being a writer and gave the audience some great tips on getting a book published. Most importantly, Chantal inspired everyone not to give up after rejections and follow dreams and passions no matter what.

The last speaker was Agnes. Her speech number 7 entitled “There’s Always Tomorrow” was devoted to procrastination. Agnes made the audience cry with laughter describing how procrastination was stopping her from writing this speech. She also gave us some recommendations on fighting it, for example, “eating a frog” in the morning, i.e. doing the least pleasant task first thing.

Evaluations and Table Topics

After the break, we heard from the four evaluators – Margarita, Peter R, Rupert and Sheldon.

Then Atul, the Table Topics Master, took the floor and invited Rupert, Nigel, Margarita, Julian, Chantal, Chris, Anko and Peter R to participate in impromptu speaking session. Chantal and Julian evaluated each speaker afterwards.

Finally, our visiting General Evaluator, Grant evaluated our club and the meeting.

At the end of the meeting President Sheldon invited Margarita, VP PR of the Club, to tell about her role and invited those who are interested to apply to join the Committee next year. If you would like to learn more about the Committee and/or are interested in joining it, please get in touch!

Awards

Best Speaker: Agnes

Best Evaluator: Sheldon

Best Table Topic: Margarita

On that night one of the club members – Helen – also received Competent Leader Award!

Next meeting

Please mind that next meeting will take place at The Wedge Issue Pizza & Beer (91-95 Clerkenwell Rd, London EC1R 5BX), on Monday, 8 May, at 6.30pm. Come over to practice your public speaking skills and enjoy delicious pizza on the Club!

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

 

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Dear Members and Friends of Bloomsbury Speakers

As the days get warmer and longer and with the end of the Toastmasters now in sight at the end of June, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on our year so far.

Since July the club has welcomed 12 new members, each of them bringing their own unique stories, but a common desire to step outside of their comfort zone.  We have seen a few of existing members earn their Competent Communicator award, Competent Leader award, and even an Advanced Communication award (well done Helen!).  We’ve had to say a sad farewell to our old venue at the Clerk & Well, but we gleefully bid good riddance to our old club motto.  We’ve also modernised our website and picked up an award for our PR efforts on social media.

Most importantly though, we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing so many of our members grow in their abilities in speaking, listening and leadership, and all in the warm and supportive atmosphere that Bloomsbury Speakers prides itself on.

Perhaps now is also a good time to ask yourself what your goals are at Toastmasters over the next few months. Maybe you’re an advanced member who wants to take it up a gear by running a workshop, or booking in some challenging speeches?  Maybe are you a relatively new member looking get through the next few speeches of the Competent Communicator manual, or work on your evaluation skills?   Whatever your goals, my recommendation is to seize all the opportunities that Toastmasters brings!

On that theme, the end of the Toastmasters year is when we ask all club officers to step down from their positions to give our newer members the chance to be part of the leadership team.   Do you have creative ideas about how the club can bring in guests, drive engagement, and help our members realise their full potential?  Being on the leadership team comes with a few responsibilities and challenges, but it is through these that we learn the most.

I can honestly say my experience as VPE and then President has been huge at helping me to recognise my strengths and constructively address my weaknesses in a leadership role.  There are several roles to choose from on the committee, with varying degrees of time commitment and responsibility, so come and talk to us to find out more.

Have a great weekend, and see you at the next meeting!

Sheldon
President, Bloomsbury Speakers

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