A fistful of medals for West Herts Speakers

Last night West Herts Speakers said goodbye to January in style with packed evening of laughter, joy…and a heady dose of public speaking, led by our toastmaster for the evening, Irina.

So what do a green dumbbell, a fistful of medals, a self-help book, and a stopwatch mean to you?

We certainly found out what they mean to some of our members in Gwen’s slightly off-piste table topic session. In an innovative move, Gwen called up four speakers to the stage simultaneously. They each had to speak for 30 seconds on what a particular object (green dumbbell, medals etc. etc.) means to them. To spice things up, the fourth speaker had to speak for…..drum roll….one entire minute! That Gwen likes to keep us on our toastmaster toes.

On to the prepared speeches…..

As if it wasn’t cold enough, newcomer Ged gave a witty, inspirational ice-breaker, where he told us about three key ‘threshold’ moments in his son’s life, and how he continues to strive to achieve his goals. This was so enjoyable, we simply can’t wait for his second speech (no pressure Ged).

In a speech entitled “Return to the alter” bride-to-be Jill took us on a fun and insightful journey through the etiquette of the “encore wedding”, with a very tightly structured speech centered around her ‘5 golden rules’.

And finally in a speech entitled ‘Doing Time’, Judy proved she is not a ‘time thief’ by delivering a solid session packed with tips on how to improve time management when giving Toastmasters speeches and evaluations – this was a hugely beneficial speech, with practical advice that the audience could take away with them.

And the winners were…….

Ged  – Best prepared speech (congratulations oh breaker of ice)

Phil – Best evaluation

Irina – Best table topic

The next session is on 8th February – see you there!

Never a bad day for West Herts Speakers!

In what must have been a record-breaking attendance for West Herts Speakers around 26 people packed into our room at the Noke Hotel last night to witness some of the finest public speaking to happen west of the county.

Our table topic speakers bravely answered age-related questions such as “If you could move forward in time and meet your 90-year-old-self, what questions would you ask?” or “If you could live forever, how would you spend your time?” – Tough questions that were answered well by all.

We had a whoppinFile 12-10-2016, 23 57 55g four prepared speeches, all of which were completely different in style and content.

Lynn kicked us off with a highly structured speech about how and why her job gives her satisfaction, while Jenny followed with a compelling argument as to why she feels that ‘Black History Month’ is not racist. Following this, Gwendoline told us why ‘creating memories to cherish’ is important to her, and how she applies it to her working life. And lastly Karen gave us an interesting poem recital in synchronisation with an on-screen video, and she focused heavily on the variation in her voice and overall delivery. All-in-all a diverse, and high-quality evening of speeches.


So who were the winners?

The bFile 12-10-2016, 23 57 14est evaluator award went to Monica for her strong evaluation of Gwendoline’s speech.

Jenny cleaned up in both the best table topic AND best speaker awards, so a big congratulations to her!

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 26th October so please do come along!


Hatfied’s Heroes of the Humorous Speech

Belly laughs were aplenty in Hatfield on Saturday as West Herts Speakers’ very own Tom Goodfellow and Richard Beagle were wittily pitted against the rest of the district in the latest Humorous speech competition.

We didn’t bring any trophies home this time (that was not a joke!) but we did raise the roof with chuckles, and that was the point!


Mr Beagle made us proud with solidly jolly table topic on ‘what do you do if you need a belly laugh’, and Tom did his famous ‘The Great Pretender’ speech, this time with an extra-loud recorder introduction which blew a few eardrums in the front row (awkward).


Thanks to everyone who came to support our speakers!

Superwoman, daddy pig, a dodgy handshake and some meta-search.

Thanks to all who embraced the heatwave and attended last night’s meeting of West Herts Speakers.

Luckily JJ – our toastmaster for the evening – coolly steered us through the proceedings of a delightful evening.

We started off on a high with an energetic and rather challenging table topic session masterminded by Yogesh on the theme of ‘Strange but true’.

During this session Monica gave us the lowdown on why she’s clearly a superwoman, meanwhile Spencer let rip about a ‘thing that is both embarrassing yet healthy’. Tom told us all about his exploits getting lost in London on a ‘tipsy night out’, Lisa talked of the privileges of being a woman, and Anthony told us how a handshake with Rio Ferdinand didn’t quite live up to his expectations.

And all that before we even got onto the prepared speeches!

Our first speech was from Jenny, who talked about how her life has changed since becoming a mum, and how parenthood eventually led her to joining Toastmasters. She used very clear structure in her speech – time, social life, outlook on life – and nicely linked her topic to her Toastmasters journey.

Our second speech was from Aga who gave the audience a quick primer in the use of meta search engines and Boolian search logic. She successfully educated the audience on these fascinating topics.

Our evaluators Spencer and Matthew both gave considered and balanced assessments of the prepared speeches.

Thanks to all other that performed roles:


Ajert – grammarian

Paul  – timekeeper

Judy – table topics evaluator

Gwendoline – general evaluator

Lynne – ah-counter (full marks for adopting a very topical gold, silver and bronze scoring system!)