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Club Meeting 24th July 2017

The meeting started with a warm welcome by Hongxia Xu, which then gave the stage for our current president, Leslie Bediade. Leslie explained what Toastmasters is, emphasising the fact that the meetings are run by normal people. No one here is a professional public speaker and we are all on the same journey to become better speakers and leaders.

Leslie was also our Grammarian for the night. His task was to pay special attention to the use of the language. On top of that, grammarian’s role is to introduce the Word of the Day and challenge everyone to use it as much as possible.

The Word of the Day was “outstanding”.

The Toastmaster of the evening was Paul Lau, our previous club president. Paul further explained what being a Toastmaster means and how does the journey looks like.

The meetings at CASS Toastmasters are split into two parts. The first part is the club and role introductions. The second part is for the prepared speeches. In the first part, we also have Table Topics. The idea of Table Topics is to come up with a short, impromptu speech answering the question asked by the Table Topic Master. It’s a great exercise to get familiar with the stage, overcome your fear of public speaking and practise quick thinking.

Tom Royston, our Table Topic Master for the night, asked six questions around the theme of achievements. Scott, Andrew, Micheal, Richard and Carl were invited to the stage to answer them. Each one of them gave a great quick speech.

After the break, the second part of the meeting started – the prepared speeches.

The first person to give a prepared speech was Nathan Maduakor with a speech titled “Pets”. At the beginning, it looked like it will be very light and funny speech about our animal friends. And then, suddenly, Nathan changed the tone of his speech by asking the question why we cannot treat other humans with the same love and attention like we treat our dogs and cats. It was a speech with a very powerful message.

Zhilan Ye entered the stage next to teach us about mind maps and how to use them. She explained what mind maps are and how why they are a helpful tool to organise our thoughts. Zhilan shared with us how she uses mind maps and then she taught us how to make our own mind maps in a quick lesson. She engaged the audience and I think everyone of us knows how to use mind maps now.

After Zhilan, it was time for Moez Adamjee’s speech. Well, it was more like a story than a speech. It was a story about a revenge. Moez told a story of Scorpion – a ninja on his quest to avenge his family and fight the evil necromancer. Some might find striking similarities between Moez’s story and some popular video game.

Last, but not least, was our guest speaker – Sergey Zabelin, the President of J.P. Morgan First Class Speakers. Sergey was speaking about the benefits of exercise. He shared with us some tips how to start exercising and how exercising can lead to a better life. As an experienced Toastmaster, Sergey showed how to deliver a great speech. I think many of us learned a thing or two from his speech.

You don’t know if you are on the right track without a feedback. That’s why at Toastmaster everyone who was on the stage gets evaluated and receives guidelines how to improve. Helen was evaluating the Table Topics speakers. Ian, Conrad, Daniel and Richard evaluated the prepared speeches. And Marti Canal from Holborn Speakers was evaluating the club and the meeting as a whole.

We also hold a voting for the best speakers and evaluators. Here are the results:

Best Speaker Award – Sergey Zabelin
Best Table Topics Award – Richard Glover
Best Evaluator Award – Richard Glover

Congratulations to the winners and for everyone who was on the stage! We’d like to thank everyone who decided to spend the evening with us. A special thank you for Sergey and Marti for accepting our invitation.

The next meeting will be on Monday, 7th August. Everyone is invited and we hope to you there!

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