Preparing for our upcoming contest

Who wants to deliver a humorous speech?  That was the question of the evening at the West Herts Speaker Club meeting on 13th September, posed by club member Richard, who’s admirably volunteered himself to be contest chair at our upcoming humorous speech contest on the 27th September.  We Toastmasters love a contest and the humorous speech is a particularly enjoyable one, by its very nature, it’s one that guarantees much laughter.

Round the world, Toastmasters clubs are holding humorous speech contests, competing at division area, regional, national and international levels. Well done to everyone who put themselves forward, but especially to Ryan and Andrew, who have entered both the prepared speech contest as well as the impromptu speaking contest.  We think these two have a bit of rivalry going on…

Anthony is toastmaster for the night

It was business as usual otherwise for our club meeting, brilliantly led by our toastmaster of the night Anthony Boboe.  We had three guests join us for the evening, keen to know what West Herts Speaker Club is all about.  One has indicated she’s really keen to sign up to be a member, another loved how more relaxed we were compared with her former club in Hungary, and the other didn’t reappear after the short break – hey you can’t win them all!

Patrick wins best table topics

We also welcomed back Patrick, who was visiting us from Toastmasters in Luton.  He smashed his impromptu question, posed by our topics master Paul M, and won the coveted best table topics speaker award for the night.

Ryan wins best speaker

Our prepared speeches were delivered firstly by Aga, who was keen to dispel the myth that we should be eating five portions of fruit and veg a day; then Ryan who shared his top tips on how to influence people and not be held back by worries; finishing with Andrew, whose excellent speech on leadership blew everyone’s mind, not least because he over-ran the maximum allocated speech time by four minutes – you can’t be doing that during the contest next week Andrew!  All were inspired speeches, but it was Ryan that won the coveted Best Speaker award this week.

Richard & Paul tie for best evaluator

When it came to evaluations, the quality of the evaluators was so high that we simply couldn’t pick one winner.  Well done to Richard and Paul G, who shared the prize for the night.

Now try as we might to be a very serious club that observes all the rules of Toastmasters international, we do have our moments and Wednesday night was no exception.  Shout out to Spencer – our grammarian, who forgot he was supposed to provide a ‘word of the day’, to Jill – our timekeeper who repeatedly forgot to write down the times (she can’t do that during a contest) and to Phil – our general evaluator who hilariously failed to notice that he’d been fed the word ‘procreate’ as one of the 4 P’s Paul G had used in his evaluation of Aga’s speech.  Funny times.

We look forward to our humorous speech contest on the 27th and encourage as many guests as possible to attend.

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The August rain failed to dampen the spirits of the West Herts Speakers, who met last night at The Noke Hotel in St Albans, for a fun evening of speeches, evaluations and dressing up as Italian police officers – well just one of us did that!

Toastmaster Jen

 

Jen was our brilliant toastmaster of the evening – she has a very natural style that always makes her a pleasure to listen to.  We’re already looking forward to her next prepared speech at our meeting on the 24th August.

Welcome back Spencer!

We happily welcomed back Spencer – a great fun toastmaster who’s been missing for a few meetings recently.  He didn’t disappoint in his role as table topics master, putting Ryan, Judy, Anthony Brennan and Philip under pressure with some impromptu speaking questions around the theme of change’.  Well done Ryan for scooping the ‘Best Table Topics Speaker’ award for his brilliant account of which teacher had changed his life.

Ryan won Best Table Topics Speaker
Werner won Best Speaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve ever used Google Maps, you’ll know it’s a very helpful tool to get you from destination A to destination B.  However, our first prepared speech of the night, given by Werner, gave Google Maps a whole new raison d’etre as he encouraged its use for scoping out and reaching your life goals.  “Just start moving”, he told us, in what was his second ever Toastmasters speech, for which he won the ‘Best Speaker’ of the night award.  Well done Werner.

Next up was Ryan, the aforementioned club member that donned a poliziotto outfit to launch his hilarious speech about a time he’d driven along the Stelvio Pass in northern Italy unknowingly dressed in an outfit that could have landed him in a whole world of trouble.  Sadly, we were so caught by surprise with his outfit, we completely forgot to capture it on camera!

Aga speaking about virtual reality
Andrew delivering his 3rd speech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aga and Andrew delivered the 3rd and 4th prepared speeches of the evening.  Aga spoke confidently about virtual reality, what it is, how it’s used and the prospects for using it even more in the future.  Andrew discussed fear and how humans make decisions based on emotions far more that logic.  Both were excellent and informative speeches.

Our evaluators – Richard, Phillip, Paul M, Paul G and Anthony Brennan – had a challenging job in trying to find recommends as well as commends with tonight’s speakers but they did it like the pros they are.  Best evaluator could have easily gone to any of them, but this week Phillip had the edge.  Well done Phil.

At Toastmasters, we always have a ‘word of the day’.  Last night’s was ‘plethora’ selected by the grammarian Jill.  It was certainly used a plethora of times!  Our ah-counter was our newest member – Shayan – who did the role perfectly.  Our outgoing president Anthony Boboe took on the role of timekeeper and kept us all in check with his red, amber and green lights.  While Judy delivered an excellent review of the whole evening as general evaluator, picking up things we did well and areas for improvement.

We hope to see all our fellow toastmasters at our next meeting on 24th August.  Guests are always welcome.

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A night of icebreakers

Despite many any of our regular members being away on their summer holidays, last Wednesday’s club meeting, at The Noke in St Albans, had such a buzz to it – with 2 icebreaker speeches – that you’d have thought we were all there.

‘Being British’ was the theme of the club night on Wednesday 26th July, introduced by our toastmaster of the evening Jill.

We welcomed our Area Director, Steve Campion to the meeting as the only guest of the evening.  He took on one of the evaluator roles and provided an inspiring evaluation of our first speaker Andrew, who’s experiences at a Jazz festival in Rotterdam had led him to question the adequacy in the provision of public toilets!  Steve also won Best Table Topics Speaker for his impromptu speech on his history with toastmasters.

Anthony presents Steve Campion his table topics speaker award

Chris delivered his icebreaker speech – the first speech in the Competent Communicator Manual given to all new toastmaster members.  He overcame his nerves and delivered an excellent speech, that was superbly evaluated by Corinne.

Chris breaks the ice

Then we had yet another icebreaker speech – this time for Saulius, our newest member.  Saulius’ personal story about how he didn’t become a pilot earned him the ‘Best Speaker’ Award for the night, while his evaluator Judy was crowned ‘Best Evaluator’.

Saulius wins Best Speaker for his icebreaker
Judy wins Best Evaluator

The word of the day, selected by Grammarian Matt, was ‘umbrage’ but attendees might have mistook it for ‘flannelling’ after table topics master Paul M threw some challenging questions at our more experienced club members Anthony Brennan and Judy, around the subject of how to improve toastmasters.  They handled themselves expertly, as did our other impromptu speakers Chris and Ajeet, who both made us laugh with their own personal anecdotes.

Our ‘ah-counter’ was Ryan was superb – he put a unique and amusing slant on his report back to the group about which of us had used those killer filler words: ah, ummm, like, so… etc

Ryan as ah-counter

Just when we thought we were going to finish ahead of time, our general evaluator (and resident comedy genius Paul G) decided to ignore the red light signal of timekeeper Barrie (which tells our speakers when their time is up) and treat us to a very candid, yet very humorous review of the night.

Paul evaluating generally…

Club President, Anthony Brennan, then handed out the awards and brought the meeting to a close.

Thank you everyone who attended, it really was another great night.

 

 

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