Club Meeting 14th May 2018

Alice kicked off the meeting with high energy. She welcomed everyone and explained the importance of clapping at Toastmaster followed by a quick “clapping training”. She later gave the stage to Paul who in his introductory speech told us what is Toastmasters and it helps people grow.

The stage was then claimed by Conrad, the Toastmaster of the evening. Toastmaster’s role is to introduce speakers and make sure everything goes smoothly. Every Toastmaster has helpers – Timekeeper and Grammarian. Matthieu, who was the Timekeeper, was responsible for keeping an eye on the clock and making sure everyone fit in their designated time slots. Richard, the Grammarian, had to listen carefully and pick up the most interesting usages of the English language and give a report later. Grammarian also introduces the Word of the Day and encourages everyone to use it as much as possible in their speeches. The Word of the Day was “elucidate”, which means “make (something) clear; explain.”

With the introductions out of the way, it was time for the first parts of the meeting – Table Topics. Table Topics is a series of short improvised speeches. The Table Topics Master prepared a set questions related to the theme of the meeting (“Going Green”) and picked some (un)lucky members of the audience to answer them. Table Topics is a great exercise in thinking on the feet and quickly coming up with a coherent story.

After a short break, we have entered the second part of the meeting – prepared speeches. This evening, we had four excellent speakers lined up.

First was Hadrian who started his speech with a story of a broken boiler from which he swiftly went into price anchoring and the psychology of pricing.

Next was Beryl who elucidated the secrets of Chinese dating culture.

Third was Ben, a guest speaker, shared with us the result of his experiment where he prentened to be a woman for a week on Facebook.

And last but not the least was our second guest speaker – Seema who shared her experience of starting to run and participating in marathons.

At Toastmasters, we not only provide a space to practice public speaking skills but also give feedback so you can improve. Every speech was evaluated. Ned, Li-Shing, Ian and Paul evaluated prepared speeches and Alice evaluated Table Topics speakers. The meeting itself was evaluated by Ben, who gave feedback for everyone who had a role during the meeting (Toastmaster, Timekeeper, evaluators).

The last thing on the agenda was announcing the winners. Throughout the meeting, the audience was casting their votes on who was the best speaker. After counting up the votes, the result were:

Best Speaker Award – Ben Starling
Best Table Topics Award – Richard Glover
Best Evaluator Award – Ian McCabe

Our next meeting will be a bit different as we will have a Speech Night at which we will celebrate the art of public speaking by inviting some of the best speakers in London to inspire us with their best speeches. The Speech Night will be on Monday, 21st May, at 18:30. RSVP here: https://www.meetup.com/CASSToastmasters/events/250839239/

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