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Club Meeting 7th August 2017

The meeting on 7th August was kicked off by Li-Shing, who then introduced the club president, Leslie Bediade, to explain what Toastmasters is.

Our Toastmaster was Tom Royston, whose role was to lead the meeting and make sure everything goes swiftly and without any problems.

Paul Lau was our Grammarian for the night. The role of the Grammarian to pay special attention to the language used by people on the stage. If you use interesting rhetorical devices or your speech is eloquent, the Grammarian will pick it up and highlight it later for everyone to learn. Grammarian also decides the Word of the Day and encourages everyone to use it as much as possible.

The Word of the Day was assiduous, which means “showing great care and perseverance”.

In the first part of the meeting, we hold Table Topics. Table Topics is a fun exercise to practice short, improvised speeches. The Table Topics Master (who was Conrad Gray) asks a question and then picks up one person from the audience to answer it. It is a great exercise to get familiar with the stage and the audience and to overcome the fear of public speaking. It also forces you to think quickly.

The theme of Table Topics was “travel”. Paul, Richard, Oz, Scott, Thuan, Helen and Alex had to answer questions such as “What’s the journey that surprised you the most?” or “What 3 items would you take with you to a deserted island?”.

Before the end of the first part of the meeting, Li-Shing asked our guests to introduce themselves and tell why they are here. It’s always interesting to listen what has motivated others to spend the evening at Cass Toastmasters. The answers ranged from “I need to learn how to deliver speeches” to “I was inspired by my friend who was a Toastmaster and ended up being interviewed by Ellen”.

After the break, it was time for the prepared speeches.

First was Thiri May with her Icebreaker Speech about names. Icebreaker Speech is considered by many as the hardest speech to deliver as it is the first one. Thiri delivered an interesting speech explaining the curiosities of names in Myanmar and she told us her story of adopting her name to Western standards of the first and last name.

Next was Robert Carruthers with the speech titled “Security vs. Privacy”. As the new EU privacy legislation is about to come to power, Robert reflected on the balance between privacy and security in the digital world and how big companies could exploit our privacy.

The third speaker was Ian McCabe sharing with us his latest trip to Ibiza. You might think we would talk about partying but no. He was sharing with us his experiences of yoga workshop on Ibiza, a complete opposite of what we were expecting to hear.

Last, but not least, speaker to enter the stage was Waseem Farooq to tell us about Rumi – his favourite author of all time. Waseem explained briefly his life, his works and why he deserved to be his favourite author. Waseem also told us one of the Rumi’s stories about a man who wanted a lion tattoo. I’m guessing one or two people decided to read a bit more about Rumi after Waseem’s speech.

To get better, you need some kind of guide telling you if you are on the right track. That’s why at Toastmasters everyone who was on the stage and had a role is evaluated. Richard Glover evaluated the Table Topic speeches, while Helen, Moez, Oz and Nathan evaluated the prepared speeches. Our special guest, Tom O’Toole from City Of London club, was evaluating the meeting and the club.

We also hold voting for the best speaker and evaluator. Here are the results of the voting:

Best Speaker Award – Thiri May
Best Table Topics Award – Richard Glover
Best Evaluator Award – Nathan Maduakor

We’d like to say thank you to everyone who decided to spend the evening with us. We hope you had a great time and that we will see each other soon. A special thank you for Tom O’Toole for accepting our invitation.

The next meeting will be on 21th August. You can RSVP on Meetup or on Facebook.

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