written by aminat omotosho
Club President Croydon Communicators
At Croydon Communicators we believe that “we best learn in moments of enjoyment” (Ralph C. Smedley). So, on the 9th of September 2021, we hosted our inaugural Comedy Night.
You might ask, is Croydon Communicator a training ground for Comedians?
Yes. Our speakers get a chance to speak to open and diverse audience members that give constructive feedback. Some of our members are budding comedians. There is a thriving network of comedians in the toastmaster world.
Secondly, humour is one of the greatest tools of communication. The toastmaster educational programme supports the development of this skill with dedicated speech projects, contests, and a whole path, helping members improve the use of humour in their speeches.
How did the night work?
Our night of laughter opened with a Joke from our Jokemaster Susan, a brief president’s welcome speech by me, and our vivacious Toastmaster Matt took us through the agenda.
Helping us keep to time was our efficient timekeeper Stephen, with a reminder to all speakers not to “let the boss down”.
What would a comedy night be without the warmup act? ........... A silent first 5 mins!
But fear not, Sandra led us through a creative warm-up exercise that got most stuck on “Yesterday”. There were some “The Beatles” references, and outstanding singing performances by Sandra, Carol, and Pearl.
For the speeches of the night, we had 2 humorous speeches and 2 stand-up comedy sets.
Warren entertained us with the horrors of a shared bathroom in his speech “Terrible Tenants”
Afia told us an amusing story of friends with “Flora, Fauna and Me” on the journey of making personal environmentally conscious choices.
A brilliant Impromptu story of “how I met my wife” by Chris Murphy, welcomed us to the Stand-up segment of the night.
And closing out the speeches with roaring laughter was Dan. As he enthralled us with secrets to skip the queues at funfairs, some refreshing toastmaster meeting etiquettes, and stories from his stay in Mexico.
At the end of our engaging speeches, we, the audience got the pleasure of giving our speakers some feedback. This was led by Trudy, Dan, and Matt.
After some beverages in the break, we were welcomed back with another joke from Susan, and a warm stage welcome for the Table topics master Caroline.
Caroline got our creative juices running by throwing us into weird and wonderful scenarios, and asked, “What would you do?” to an avalanche of inventive responses, which Gina had the delight of evaluating.
Unfortunately, the fun had to come to an end. We wrapped up the night with Awards.
Best Evaluator – Trudy
Best Table Topics – Dan
President’s Award - Aseem
Special thanks to our toastmaster friends Warren, Chris, and Trudy for actively joining us in tonight’s fun. We have 2 more meetings this month, with our next meeting on Thursday, September 23rd.
Cheers! to many more Comedy Nights at Croydon Communicators.
written by Aseem Kapoor
Club President Croydon Communicators
It was the final meeting of the 2020/21 Toastmaster year at Croydon Communicators, a year that has flown by, or rather 'Zoomed by' given that every single meeting has been conducted online!
After I opened the meeting and delivered my final 'President's address' I handed over to our Toastmaster for the evening Susan.
At the same meeting last year (the final one of 2019/20), Susan was giving her ice-breaker speech, and now a year on it was wonderful to see her confidently in the Toastmaster role leading us through the agenda and running the whole meeting.
We had a poignant moment as Susan asked us all to pause for a moment's silence and send our best wishes to fellow members Norma and Pamela. A really thoughtful and lovely gesture.
Troy explained his Timekeeper role, Aminat introduced the word-of-the-day as the Grammarian, and then went on to lead the warm-up session which involved members letting their imaginations run wild while weaving a fun story.
Our first speech of the evening was "Why Am I Doing This?" from Matt, speaking about his vision and personal values.
Gina was next up with her speech "The Power of Yes" about leadership and having a growth mindset.
Our third speaker was visiting Toastmaster Mohammed Salih who told us about Jinn in his speech "Are Ghosts Real?"
Speech evaluations were delivered by Afia, Florence, and visiting Toastmaster Flavia the Club President at our neighbours Liberty Speakers.
The second half of the meeting kicked off with the Knowing Me Knowing You segment where I had the privilege of interviewing special guest Emmanuel Karamagi Club President at neighbours Speakers of Croydon and incoming Area H15 Director.
Thanks to Emmanuel for taking part and diplomatically dodging my question on the best Toastmasters club in the Area!
Table Topics Master Rupa asked speakers to talk about what animal they would be and went straight to one of our guests Gaynor, who declined, but later in the session bravely stepped up and had a go!
Meeting awards were presented to Paul Imm and visiting Toastmaster Katy Hursh (from Minnesota) as joint winners for Best Table Topic. Flavia was voted Best Evaluator, while Best Speaker went to Matt, and the President's Award went to our guest Gaynor!
There were two end-of-year club awards to be presented, although every one of our members has been impressive over the past 12 months and deserves an accolade.
Most Improved Toastmaster of the Year was awarded to Luqman Dawud. Highlights included his four speeches, competing in the recent Spring club speech contest, and also taking on the challenging Contest Chair / Toastmaster role at our Autumn club speech contest, the first one the club held online.
Toastmaster of the Year was awarded to Aminat Omotosho. Impressively taking on the demanding VP Education role just a couple of months after joining the club and Toastmasters! Aminat organised all our meetings, workshops, club contests (serving as Chief Judge at one) and was also a fantastic ambassador for the club, representing it at meetings and events at all levels of the District, and beyond.
What a great meeting to end my tenure as Club President, a big thank you to the rest of the committee for all your hard work and service, and with great pleasure I will be handing over to our incoming President Aminat and the new committee on 1st July 2021!
written by aseem kapoor
Club President Croydon Communicators
It had been two years since the last one, but finally Croydon Communicators got to hold its third movie night themed meeting.
This one was slightly different with meetings still having to be conducted online via Zoom, however we tried to have just as much fun, with Hollywood or movie related costumes (with someone even changing their costume during the intermission), and virtual backgrounds. I even had movie snacks (popcorn naturally, and a coke) which sadly could not be shared virtually.
Appropriately selected clips of famous movie scenes were played during the evening to introduce role players and agenda items, with everyone invited to test their movie knowledge and guess which movies they were from.
For those that missed the quiz and want to have a go you will find the scenes within the following video on the club's YouTube channel:
Just like any film, a Toastmasters meeting has its own cast and crew:
Toastmaster: Aseem Kapoor
Zoom Master: Aminat Omotosho
Timekeeper: Troy Udall
Grammarian: Pearl Cadogan
Warm-up: Florence Nakkozi
Speakers: Gina Rocque Drayton, Stephen Tsang, Afia Nicholas
Evaluators: Aminat Omotosho, Matt Clark, Caroline Rainford
Table Topic Master: Matt Clark
Our usual educational meeting agenda again included a 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' segment, with Afia being interviewed by Gina.
If you're new to Toastmasters a guide to each role can be found on our club website - just click on the role names above!
The stars of the show were of course: our members, our guests, and some wonderful visiting Toastmasters Elyssa Schneider (form Puerto Rico), Alex Erheim (from Canada), Pearl and Carol Cadogan (from Liberty Speakers) all joining in to make the evening even more special.
To conclude the evening an Oscars style awards ceremony took place, where winners of the best speaker, best evaluator, and best costume were announced. You can check out the highlights in the video below!
To borrow a quote from one of my favourite movies The Matrix:
"No one can be told what Croydon Communicators is, you have to see it for yourself"
Join us for our next meeting on Thursday 24 June.
Movie night will return to Croydon Communicators in 2022!