Space theme takes off at West Herts – 25th Nov 2015

Karen Willis (Toastmaster,) led us through the night with the theme of space. Winners of the magical odyssey:
Speaker: Judy Mallinson
Evaluator: Cathal Gilbert
Table Topics: Katie and Aga (tied)

Cathal Gilbert, Aga Stewart, Judy Mallinson and Katie McKelliget
Cathal Gilbert, Aga Stewart, Judy Mallinson and Katie McKelliget
George, officially the first visitor to find us via Meet Up! Welcome, George.
George, officially the first visitor to find us via Meet Up! Welcome, George.

Don’t miss our next meeting on 9 December at Aubrey Park Hotel. The theme is Bond, James Bond.

Some enchanted evening – 11th Nov 2015

The meeting sparkled from beginning to end with the theme of magic. Karen led the impromptu rounds with an adapted Pecha Kucha – the Japanese game of speaking to a fast moving slideshow. The enchantingTable Topic captured imagination and challenged competitors.

Katy delivered her icebreaker with an amusing and adept talk revolving around beer, Boston and cats.
Winners of the evening were Irena (best evaluator) and Monica (Best Table Topics and Speaker).
New member Jonathan Webb was inducted in a short and invigorating ceremony. He commented that everyone seemed so dauntingly professional – perhaps not realising how quickly members had blossomed in the group. But that is the magic of West Herts Speakers!

Irina (left) and Monica
Irina (left) and Monica
Jonathan - inducted
Jonathan – inducted

West Herts Speakers sees new members shine! 14th Oct 2016

Daniel and Irina

Dan was voted best speaker with just his second time on front of the West Herts audience. Irina’s evaluation of his speech won her best in that category.

An Icebreaker pin was awarded to Philip for his first speech too.

All members were pleased to see the boosts to confidence and ability within just a few speeches.

The next meeting is on 25 November at Aubrey Park Hotel. Visitors most welcome.

West Herts excels at Area contest – Sep 2015

West Herts was wonderfully represented at Area level today with talented competitors and plenty of club support.

Congratulations to Muhammad Omer who stepped in at the last minute to win the Table Topics Contest with a rib tickling take on what he would want on a desert island.
Delightful veteran Stuart Lawson took a highly commendable second place.

Richard Beagle took third place in a field of eight in the Humorous Speech contest with a tale of smuggled apples and a escaping model plane.

Irina Baldwin (Table Topics) and Anthony Brennan (Humorous Speech) also put in strong performances after winning at club level.

Special mention also to the other West Herts members Karen, Phil and Judy who were there to cheer on their fellow club members and take on essential support roles on the day.

Not to be missed! – 26th Aug 2016

Wednesday 9 September we have two contests in one evening! Why not have a go at a humorous speech, or Table Topics (or both)? If you are a member you are eligible to enter! You can find out more about the contests here:

Wednesday 23 September, we have a showstopper of an evening! We are delighted to be welcoming Martin Brooks, an impacttologist®. He studies how the top communicators in the world convince, influence and motivate others through the combined effect of their behaviours, their “impact”. Martin will share what impact is, why you need it and give some simple but highly effective “take-aways” to help you increase your impact and success. Martin will be available for some Q&A informally also. Please note that there will be a normal Table Topics session, but no other prepared speakers. As always, guests are welcome.

Fun for all – 26th Aug 2015

For anyone who feels shy about joining a Toastmasters group this week’s meeting, especially, would have dispelled any fears.

The night, as usual, was a distillation of support, fun and encouragement. It was even more obvious than usual because of the smaller group – summer draws many of the members away.

President Richard Beagle asked everyone what they wanted to achieve that night and everyone accomplished their goals!

New member Phil Walls led an invigorating round of Table Topics (impromptu speeches).

The word of the day was ‘portmanteau’, and even the winners of the evening ended up as two parts.
Table Topics was the only competition of the evening and the tied winners were Richard and Judy!

20150826 Richard and Judy

Lost spoon leads quietly – 14th Aug 2015

Opeyemi Sebastian scooped the little pool on 14 August. It was’t a huge gathering – summer takes its toll on numbers – but he put in two masterful performances.
The speech that won him Best Table Topics was a remarkable tale of the strangest object that has ever been in his car – a cereal spoon found far too late. You had to be there to understand.
His masterful Why Don’t You Consider Leading Quietly won best Speaker ahead of an excellent and touching Having a Hero by Seb Lane.

Ope juggling trophies and ribbons presented by President Richard Beagle
Ope juggling trophies and ribbons presented by President Richard Beagle
Richard welcomes new member Philip Walls
Richard welcomes new member Philip Walls

Being human makes a world with more toothpaste than fish – 22nd Jul 2015

Toastmaster Gwendoline embraced the holiday feel on 22 July by “inviting” us to her metaphorical holiday house for what proved to be a fun-filled evening.

The “conversation” therein was led by three erudite speakers highlighting a world of wildly differing values. Alex led with a philosophical journey of what makes us human, Irina on the tyranny of choice, and Megan reminding us that we can no longer say there are plenty of fish in the sea.

In table topics, Alex put us on the spot with speeches that punctuate life – especially when you have to talk around the horribly obvious.

Area Director John Kendall visited to urge all members to compete for the Table topics and humorous speech competition at Area in October Club competitions are planned for September.

Judy Mallinson, standing in for President Richard Beagle, urged all members to bring their Competent Leadership manuals to all meetings so that roles can be evaluated and lead to the completion of that competency.

As always, we were thrilled to welcome visitors and new members and assure them that many of the speakers are in themselves only new to the club and have learned speech making through practice and support.

Those taking home the ribbons were:
Table Topics and Best Evaluator: Ope Sebastion
Best Speaker: Irina Baldwin

New Officers Appointed – 8th July 2015

It’s that time of year when new members step up for officers’ roles.
Appointed at this months’s meeting were:

President – Richard Beagle
VP Education – Karen Willis
VP Membership – Karen Newell
VP Public Relations – Judy Mallinson
Secretary – Anthony Brennan
Treasurer – Opeyemi Sebastian
Sergeant at Arms – Judy Mallinson

Our thanks and much admiration to Caroline Flanagan for her inspirational leadership and contribution over the past year, and her commitment to the committee this year as Immediate Past President.

Our latest Competent Communicator – 11th Feb 2015

Last Wednesday, in front of an eager audience, one of our most enthusiastic members, Richard, presented his 10th speech from the Competent Communicator’s Manual. We were treated to a passionate delivery and exposition of an event in Richard’s life which helped him make a fundamental change in direction and attain success in his career. It’s these speeches which encourage other members to dig deep and find inspirational topics which allow us to learn more about each other’s life experiences.

The other speaker who delivered a prepared speech was Ope who beautifully crafted a homage to the three most important women in his life – his mother, wife and young daughter. His love and admiration for them came across so vividly that we were spellbound by his ability to bring his early years with his siblings to life.

Our more serious speeches were complemented by a light-hearted Table Topics round of five speeches, loosely structured around the topic of Comedy. Our worthy winner Karen managed to talk eloquently about ‘How to Life your Mood’ and even one of our visitors boldly stepped up to the plate for the first time and told us all about ‘My Favourite Sitcom’.

So, if you are looking to hone your speaking skills, do join us for an enjoyable evening in two weeks time.