written by daniel magill
Club President Croydon Communicators
It’s safe to say that everyone loved our first meeting of the month at Croydon Communicators on Thursday evening.
The room was packed with a great mix of long-time members, brand new members, experienced visitors from other clubs and first-time guests eager to begin their journey to becoming confident public speakers and leaders.
Rob Steals Our Hearts
Our Toastmaster for the evening was Rob Wilkie. Rob changed his travel plans at the last minute to deliver us the more timely theme of, ‘Love’.
We started the meeting with the lights down low, giving everyone the feeling, they could be enjoying a candle-lit meal with a loved one. But that didn’t last long. As soon as Rashed came to give us his warm-up, which involved us picking a coin from a bowl, finding the year on it and telling everyone something about that year – we perhaps all realised our eyesight wasn’t quite what it once was and the lights came up to avoid a series of unwanted blind dates.
It was a fabulous warm-up and it was great to see everybody in the room, improvising, ideating and mostly just lying, in an attempt to make sure we kept things moving and didn’t fall behind time.
Speaking of time; our first-time timekeeper, Mark did an outstanding job (alongside our brilliant Sergeant-at-Arms, Sandra,) in making sure we didn’t fall behind schedule. We’ve become famed for our late starts at Croydon Communicators, but not this week. Sandra banged down the gavel at 7pm exactly and Mark wasn’t afraid to use his bell whenever needed, ensuring we finished on time too. You could say our evening certainly stood the test of time.
Mark pipped Sandra to the President’s Award for his confident, assured display.
Marcia was our far from Nonchalant grammarian for the evening, and after suffering the slings and arrows of the outrageous Rottweiler at our last meeting, it was nice to have Marcia gently pointing us in the correct grammarly direction.
Then we got to the prepared speeches. And what a line up we had…
First, we fell head-over-heels in love with Collins’ dominant display.
This was just Collins’ second speech at the club, but if he continues developing his speaking skills at this rate, we could be looking at world domination before he’s completed his first level of Pathways.
Next, it was time to gush over Gertrude.
Gertrude had been busy all week, setting up love surveys for members to complete and she’d clearly put a lot of effort into her presentation.
This was great speech but what stood out most for me was how Gertrude dealt with the adversity of the projector playing hard to get.
She did magnificently well to persevere and she is certainly owed an apology, a card and a box of chocolates from the clicker.
Roz was our next speaker with her speech, Message in a Storm.
Roz sprang a Valentine’s surprise on us by switching her speech late in the day, but it was a wonderful surprise as she delivered another epic tour-de-force, dealing with serious issues in a highly engaging, touching and inspirational way.
For our fourth speech of the evening we spent some one-on-one alone time with a man from another club…
Robin came from Holborn Speakers with his speech, Tell Me Your Story. This was a contest speech, delivered expertly well by a man who hasn’t lost a speech contest since he joined Toastmasters only last year.
Robin has already booked himself a place in the District Final of the 2020 Humorous Speech Contest, and he looks well on his way to a second date with District with a speech that taught us the value of whispering sweet-nothings and encapsulated everything an International Speech needs to succeed.
Humour, gestures, vocal variety and a take-away message for us all, came together in a perfect marriage and it was also fantastic to see our members offering Robin plenty of advice.
We wish Robin the best of luck in the rest of the contest.
Norma, Florence, Mike and Paul, all offered their thoughts and feedback on the speeches we’d just heard and there was lots to learn, not only for the speakers themselves, but for everyone in the room.
Plenty of Fish in the Sea!
After the break, it was time for some tender-loving-table-topics.
Estela led the session and opened up by telling everybody in the room it was time for the worst part of the evening!
Obviously, it didn’t put anybody off as we had a record-breaking 10 table topics speakers up to take on the challenge.
It was fabulous to see so many guests and new members getting involved, including our brand-new members, Aminat and Stephen.
We also welcomed another new member to the club in the shape of our long-time guest, Susan.
Everybody who took on a topic did fantastically well but our leading fancy-man, who took away the ribbon for the evening, was our first-time guest, Labide.
Our very own Love Guru, Majuru came up to bring the evening’s love affair to an end with a magical general evaluation which was packed full of value for everybody, before we officially welcomed our new members, gave out some awards and took our guest Diana’s advice of heading to the pub.
Don’t forget that our next meeting on Feb 27th is our club International Speech and Evaluation contest.
Please do make every effort to attend this evening and be on time!
It makes such a difference to the competitors to have a big audience cheering them on and there’s plenty of inspiration and entertainment in it for the audience too.
See you all on Feb 27th!
Best Table Topics