Journeys… lead to great speeches

Excellent turnout at our last club meeting, with some brilliant speeches and cracking evaluations.

Paul G may be both “vertically and follicly” challenged (his words) but his unique style and extra dry sense of humour makes him a winner in the role of Toastmaster for the evening.  We listened intently waiting for whatever gem would next leave his mouth.  If you miss an evening with Paul as Toastmaster, then you miss out.

The theme for the evening was journeys.  We think our prepared speakers must have been a little bit psychic as first up was Paul talking about his 10k race running experience, with advice on the training needed to get yourself 10K ready.  Jack, who deservedly won Best Speaker of the night, told us about how he

Jack wins best speaker

‘climbed to the top’ on a bike riding journey, followed by a harrowing tale of crossing terrifying rope bridges over French mountains.

Continuing the theme was Jill who encouraged everyone to follow her example and bag themselves a Munro (a Scottish mountain over 3000ft high).  Then in a break from the active lifestyle motivational talks, we had Aparna who gave us compelling reasons to calm down our social media usage.


Ryan wins best table topics speaker

Our Table Topics master Richard put our guests on the spot during the table topics session, but they had nothing to worry about as they did brilliantly.  Being able to stand up and speak on a subject of someone else’s choice, without prior knowledge is a brilliant skill to have, and one we all go to Toastmasters to develop further.  Well done (again) to Ryan for winning Best Table Topics speaker.

Colin wins best evaluator

Evaluations were expertly delivered by Gwendoline, Colin, Sola, Judy and Andrew.  They all provided the all-important ‘commends’ and ‘recommends’, giving not just our speakers, but the audience something to think about for when preparing our next speeches.  Colin’s excellent evaluation of Jack earned him the Best Evaluator award.

Our general evaluator Anthony Boboe finished off the evening with some great observations about our evaluators and the evening, after insightful reports back from Saulius, our ah-counter and Ged, the grammarian.  Our stand-in President for the night, Judy must also be commended for stepping in and making the role look easy.

Well done everyone!

How to be a great Table Topics Master

Love them or hate them, Table Topics are a key component of a typical Toastmasters club evening, through which club members learn how to improve their impromptu speaking skills.

If you have taken on the role of Table Topics master (TTM) then there are some important ways you can ensure you and your impromptu speakers get the most out of the evening

1. Start by preparing, in advance, the theme for the coming session and the specific topics to be addressed by the selected club members (and, possibly, by one or more guests)

2. Ensure that the Timekeeper for the evening concerned is briefed (normally just before the start of the meeting) to announce when requested (typically by the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME): the name of each Topics speaker, the title (or equivalent) of their Topic and their time

3. Take over the floor from TME at the commencement of the session

4. Introduce Table Topics by explaining why they are an important part of the evening

5. Set out the theme for the current session

6. Set out each specific topic in turn and select the speaker to address that topic

7. Lead the applause when welcoming and take back the floor after each speaker and provide brief “continuity comments” before moving on to the next Topic.

8. Provide a few closing words at the conclusion of the session, thanking the speakers for their participation and handing back to the TME

Click here to read our full guidance on How to be a great Table Topics Master