24th Jan 2024 – Stepping up

Last week’s meeting was themed around the idea of ‘stepping up’. In line with the theme a number of folks stepped into roles for the evening at late notice – thanks to those that did! Table topics delved into the realms of happiness and what it means to people, with some interesting and inspiring 2 minute impromptu speeches delivered by toastmaster members.

There were also three fabulous prepared speeches:

  • Matt – Reach for the stars
  • Stefanie – The Sofa Whisperer
  • Ghreta – How to appreciate red wine!

Our winners for the week were:

  • Best Speaker Award – Stefanie
  • Best Table Topics Award – Rhys
  • Best Evaluator Award – Ged

West Herts Speakers Club typically meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesday every month. However, on Wed 31st Jan we have an additional special event called “all about hat’s, be prepared, draw your role”. Roles will assigned on the evening, including speakers and evaluators! Guests are still most welcome to participate or watch the evening unfold. Come along!

4th December 2023 – Christmas Party and Thanksgiving

A busy last few weeks at West Herts Speakers Club toastmasters club:

  1. The West Herts Speakers Club Christmas Party last Thursday at @theharpendenarms !
  2. A meeting double header with the themes of ‘Gratitude’ (in appreciation of Thanksgiving) as well as ‘Joy’.
  3. Check out all our winners on our Facebook and Instagram feeds!

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 13th Dec at The Country Constitutional Club (St Albans) – guest are welcome!

25th October – Halloween Night

For this event we enjoyed a spooky Halloween-themed evening at West Herts Speakers Club. There was a special table topics session led by Gordon in a panel-style format discussing everything and anything about pumpkins! 🎃🎃🎃

We also had 2 scarily-good, prepared speeches from Judy (Talking to Children About Death) and Nigel with his icebreaker speech (A dream come true).


Our winners this week were:

🏆 Best Speech – Nigel
🏆 Best Evaluator – Ged
🏆 Best Table Topics – Russell

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 8th November with the theme ‘Cook Something Bold & Pungent!’. Guests are most welcome – see you there!

27th September – Humorous speech and Table topics contest

This week we hosted a full house for our humorous speech and table topics contest!

Our contestants amused us with their humorous stories ranging from being arrested in Germany, defining the three categories of people that live in St Albans, to the threat to humanity that is gangs of teenage boys! Enrica was our eventual winner, with Matt and Tanzim coming 2nd and 3rd respectively.

For table topics, contestants were asked to talk on the same topic ‘Home is where the heart is’ but moved to a separate room so as to not hear the speeches that proceeded their own. It was intriguing to see how varied the 7 contestants responses were for a simple but personal topic. Tracey won with the 3 reasons why she loves her homeland; South Africa. Paul and Rhys came 2nd and 3rd. Well done everybody and see you at our next meeting on Wednesday 11th October.

23rd August 2023 – Trailblazing Courage

The theme of the week was trailblazing courage. Our table topics, led by Victor, ranged from owning a pet dinosaur and feeding young children to it (don’t ask!), a sales pitch for a new ‘Courage’ cologne, to the more serious topic of who has inspired you with their courage most in your life.

There were 2 speeches this week. Aparna’s parting gift was a 22 minute speech on how charge your life: 3 easy steps! It was inspiring and a tribute to her last 7 years before she departs to Dubai – good luck Aparna. 

Next was Rhys with Icebreaker speech entitled ‘One Degree, which focussed on the power micro habits can have on our every day lives.

The winners were:

Best Speaker – Aparna

Best Evaluator – Paul

Best Table Topic Speakers – Gordon

See you at the next session on the 30th July at 7.30pm for a special event; a candlelight supper.

12th July 2023 – Let’s get digital!

It was all change this week, as we said a big thank you to our outgoing committee and a warm welcome to the new incoming team. Good luck to all the new committee members in their roles!
The theme of this week’s session, held on July 12th, was ‘Let’s get digital’ hosted wonderfully by Stefanie for the evening. We were treated to a wide range of table topics technical teasers by Andrei! This was followed up with three prepared speeches:


1. MentorsChris filled a vacant spot with 30 mins notice (huge thank you). Despite the lack of preparation he gave an accomplished and emotional talk on his own personal journey and the power of mentors to help turn things around.

2. The Surprising IntelligenceEnrica delighted us with her typical infectious and humorous presentation style. She talked about plants and their most surprising and subtle mechanisms for learning and surviving. We never knew plants could be so interesting!

3. It’s decided – this was Katie’s icebreaker speech. She told us about her life story of how she followed her heart to become a doctor and the lessons learnt along the way. It was quite amazing to think this was her first, of hopefully many, toastmasters speeches – well done Katie!


Our winners for the evening were:
🏆 Best Speaker – Katie (and icebreaker speech)

🏆 Best Evaluator – Ryan

🏆 Best Table Topic Speakers – Colin


Well done to all our winners!

Interested in joining in on the magic?

As ever if you would like to join us for an evening of public speaking magic please do contact us at westhertspr@gmail.com or use the contact form on the page navigation bar! We encourage guests and friends to attend (free of charge). Do contact us before hand so we can let you know what to expect.

Throughout this post I’ve referred to various roles across speeches, toastmaster, table topic master and grammarian (amongst many others). These roles are open for any member to pick, and provides an opportunity to practise their public speaking.

We meet at 7.30pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month at The County Constitutional Club – St Albans. The next West Herts session will be on Wednesday 26th July at 7.30pm.

10th May 2023 – The Answer Is Always YES

With spring comes the showers, and at West Herts Speakers Club we had a shower of great speeches, laughter and improvement!

The session on the 10th May had the theme of ‘The Answer is Always Yes’ and was adeptly led by toastmaster of the evening Anita. She brought a unique blend of personal anecdotes, inspirational talks and a light touch to wrap it all together.

We heard 3 accomplished speeches;

① ‘Half-muted in a fish bowl?’ – Imke – a true songbird and master of vocal variety – opened up her personal journey to hearing more clearly

❷ ‘It is no laughing matter!’ – El Presidenta Tracey led us down memory lane paved with ruined dinners, mans pride and the battle of an 8-year old vs. baboon for pizza. Spoiler; the 8 year-old wins

③ ‘The Battle Within’ – Chris B took us on a powerful journey into the setbacks and hurdles facing adults who lived through traumatic childhoods. He ended with a great to call action; we must become aware of the unconscious!

Congratulations to the winners!

👏 Best Speaker – Chris B

👏 Best Evaluator – Paul and Jan

👏 Best Table Topic Speakers – Enrica and Tanzim

With the spring showers comes the blooming of life. And so we had another successful night of growth, transformation and progress!

Interested in joining in on the magic?

As ever if you would like to join us for an evening of public speaking magic please do contact us at westhertspr@gmail.com or use the contact form on the page navigation bar! We encourage guests and friends to attend (free of charge). Do contact us before hand so we can let you know what to expect.

Throughout this post I’ve referred to various roles across speeches, toastmaster, table topic master and grammarian (amongst many others). These roles are open for any member to pick, and provides an opportunity to practise their public speaking.

We meet at 7.30pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month at The County Constitutional Club – St Albans. The next West Herts session will be on Wednesday 24th May at 7.30pm.

25th January 2023 – Appreciate the good, the good appreciates

Back with a bang. January was a great month for West Herts Speakers Club, with both sessions seeing 10 guests including new faces, ex-toastmasters and friends & family.

The session on the 25th January 2023 had the theme of ‘Appreciate the good, and the good appreciates’ and was led by toastmaster of the evening Tanzim ie me! The overall verdict was a mix of improv and remixed agenda, but a great night none the less 🙂

We heard 3 accomplished speeches;
① ‘Does even this dark cloud have a silver lining?’ – Gordon delivered a personal journey of experimentation to keep the gas bills low this year! Pro tips; hot water bottles, thermals (I second this!) and blankets (and this!) will help you effectively save 67% on your bills.

❷ ‘What makes a great leader’ – Sam V explored the world of leadership. What stuck with me is this; “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

③ ‘The key to success, time’ – Sujanth deftly revisited a speech he gave last year around effective time management principles. If time is the only resource which you can never truly get back, then you must use that time effectively. Pro tips; time block activities and tasks on your calendar, use to-do lists (outsource your memory to a paper/digital tool) and the pomodoro technique (50 minutes work, 10 minute break, repeat).

Congratulations to the winners!
👏 Best Speaker – Sujanth
👏 Best Evaluator – Anita
👏 Best Table Topic – Ryan

Our club is at full membership, and the sign of guests who keep coming back, suggests we are all doing something right at West Herts Speakers Club.

Let’s keep it up!

Interested in joining in on the magic?

As ever if you would like to join us for an evening public speaking magic please do contact us at westhertspr@gmail.com or use the contact form on the page navigation bar! We encourage guests and friends to attend (free of charge). Do contact us before hand so we can let you know what to expect

Throughout this post I’ve referred to various roles across speeches, toastmaster, table topic master and grammarian (amongst many others). These roles are open for any member to pick, and provides an opportunity to practise their public speaking!

We meet at 7.30pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month at The County Constitutional Club – St Albans. The next West Herts session will be on Wednesday 8th February at 7.30pm.

14th December – The longest, darkest night

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

The theme of the meeting on the 14th December 2022 was the longest, darkest night, with the evening led by toastmaster Ged – one of the clubs most accomplished and competent public speakers.

We had a great agenda with 3 speeches;

1 ‘Growing’ – A cracking first speech from a new member, reflecting on new paths walked and lessons learned

2 ‘Wine’ – A full exposition of the drink of the gods; Wine including a full sensory exploration of how to see, smell and taste wine!

3 ‘Life was never the same again’ – A speech taking us down memory lane from discovering rhythm and blues, to the daring exploits of pirate radios!

The word of the day

Gluttonous; excessively greedy. You might use it like this ‘a family of gluttonous eaters, drinkers and horders’. If you didn’t know it is also one of the seven deadly vices or sins, as taught in Christian teachings. The word of the day is selected by the ‘grammarian’.

Table Topics

Our impromptu, on-the-spot speeches were led by Tanzim, who asked questions related to the theme of ‘the longest, darkest night’.

Congratulations to the winners!

👏 Best Table Topic – Ryan

👏 Best Speaker – Alfred (for his first speech no less!)

👏 Best Evaluator – Paul

Interested in joining in on the magic?

As ever if you would like to join us for an evening public speaking magic please do contact us at westhertspr@gmail.com or use the contact form on the page navigation bar! We encourage guests and friends to attend (free of charge). Do contact us before hand so we can let you know what to expect

Throughout this post I’ve referred to various roles across speeches, toastmaster, table topic master and grammarian (amongst many others). These roles are open for any member to pick, and provides an opportunity to practise their public speaking!

We meet at 7.30pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month at The County Constitutional Club – St Albans. The next West Herts session will be on Wednesday 11th January at 7.30pm.

23rd November 2022 – Travelling, ‘what-ifs’ and memory lane

The theme of the meeting on the 23rd November was celebration!

We had a great agenda with 3 speeches;

1 ‘Funny little countries’ – An examination of how travelling cultivates growth, curiosity and love

2 ‘What if?’ – A spectacular speech on the journey of life, choices and the what-ifs

3 ‘My thali days’ – The first speech and icebreaker for a new member, taking us on a trip down memory lane

The word of the day

Abberation; a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically an unwelcome one.

Table Topics

Our impromptu, on-the-spot speeches were led by Matt, who asked members to share celebrations and what they were grateful for.

Congratulations to the winners!

👏 Best Table Topic – Ethan (a guest from the states)

👏 Best Speaker – Tracey

👏 Best Evaluator – Aparna

Interested in joining in on the magic?

As ever if you would like to join us for an evening public speaking magic please do contact us at westhertspr@gmail.com or use the contact form on the page navigation bar!

We meet at 7.30pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month at The County Constitutional Club – St Albans. The next West Herts session will be on Wednesday 14th December at 7.30pm.

27th July 2022 – Fitter, wealthier and wiser!

With the summer holidays well under way, the theme of the meeting on the 27th July was summer!

We had a great agenda with 3 speeches;

1 ‘A trio of snippets’ – A spectacular icebreaker

2 ‘Strength, iron and sharing the secret’ – Why everyone needs to train their strength

3 ‘Its never too late’ – Three simple rules to get on the path to financial freedom

Congratulations to the winners!

👏 Best Table Topic – Sam

👏 Best Speaker – Tracey Whitmore

👏 Best Evaluator – Judy Malinson

Looking forward to the next West Herts Speakers meeting on Wednesday 10th August 7.30pm.

As ever if you would like to join us for an evening public speaking magic please do contact us at westhertspr@gmail.com or use the contact form on the page navigation bar!

We meet at 7.30pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month at The County Constitutional Club – St Albans : )

New Beginnings

With the new Toastmaster year beginning, it’s time to think about the growth the club has seen in the past year. With the pandemic, there were many challenges that the club faced however the club was able to stand strong and go beyond the stars.  

The last meeting of the Toastmaster year took place on June 30th where West Herts Speakers Club celebrated it’s 25th birthday.  Ryan Parke led the meeting in his shining armour, there were many special moments like Colin’s speech and everyone seeing each other.

Judy Mallison, the president gave a speech about the success the year has been and passed on the mantle to Aparna. The committee were then able to lead and make the event one of the best. The committee organised a bingo competition which was tense and exciting for everyone playing, the bingo was won by several teams and the night was an overall success.  

Throughout the Toastmaster year, there are several people who went beyond, and the club would like to congratulate Zsuzsanna Jakabfi for becoming the Vice-President Public Relations of the year, Ricard Beagle becoming Life member and Ryan Parke for being the best Evaluator in District 71. Three more members who were in the top three for awards in their roles, Hannelore Lackner for Zoom Master/ Sergeant at Arms, Ged Byrne for Vice President of Education and Judy Mallinson for President.

Lastly but not least, Colin Donald who has been at the club for 25 years and always brought a smile to everyone’s face. Special thanks to the committee for making 2020-2021 year such a great year for all the members in the club.

With the new committee coming in, it is the start of a year which will have its own challenges and successes.