Club Meeting 1st August 2019

Wow, what an incredible meeting! It was a pleasure to welcome seven guests to our club meeting 1st August 2019. Members and guests were greeted with a friendly welcome from Deborah Goodman (hospitality) and the meeting commenced with more warmth and smiles from Margot Glover, our Sergeant at Arms.

Our President, Christine Morrell

Bromley Speakers President, Christine Morrell
Christine Morrell

Although it was the second meeting of the Toastmasters year, it was the first for our new President, Christine Morrell. Wearing the Presidential ribbon with pride, which has 27 names of the past Presidents of Bromley Speakers on it, Christine told us that she was delighted and honoured to be our President this year.

Talk to Us

Christine was happy to take on the role as President because she knew that she would have a great team of committee members supporting her. She invited the members to let the committee know what is required from them to meet their personal objectives and to ensure that the club has a successful year ahead and therefore her message to our members is… please talk to us!

The Past President, David Henson, did an amazing job last year and implemented some of his own ideas, such as ‘success stories’ and ‘what have we learned?’

Christine is carrying on in this vein and our newest member, Jamie Simpson told us how – after just three times as a guest – Bromley Speakers helped him to deliver his wedding speech recently. Congratulations Jamie, we wish you all the very best for a happy and healthy life together – with your wife and with your new Toastmasters family!

Word of the Day

Congratulations also went to the rhapsodic Richard Green who has been a member of Toastmasters for ten years this week. Richard was our grammarian for the evening, introducing our ‘word of the day’ which was Panacea. Panacea means a remedy for all ailments, a cure-all. Four people managed to shoe-horn it into the evening and Richards’s mystery prize was ….. that there was no mystery prize!

Toastmaster Paul Goodhill
Paul Goodhill

Our Toastmaster was Paul Goodhill, who entertained us with an interesting and fun warm up and put us in touch with our inner Julie Andrews! Paul guided us through the evening as he introduced us to the speakers and members taking on the roles.

Prepared Speeches

Speech One – P.A.D by Haluk Resitoglu

Haluk Resitoglu
Haluk Resitoglu

We had three prepared speeches in the first half of the meeting. The first was from a visiting member of  Beckenham Communicators, Haluk Resitoglu.

Haluk took us on a car journey which was both serious and humorous and shared with us his thoughts about receiving dating advice from a ten year old lad.

He went on to deliver a more serious message of how our Perception will influence our Actions and therefore our Decisions.

Speech Two – Three Letters From France by David Henson

Men at war

“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori – How sweet and fitting it is to die for your country.”

David’s speech was a powerful and emotive story, fully meeting with the speech objective which was to bring history to life. He had us all captivated by his moving story of a family whose 19 year old son William had gone to war. William wrote to his family, “This war is bloody awful. It ain’t right.”

David’s speech was delivered with the expertise of a very experienced speaker. He acted out the characters in the story with control and emotion and used props to enhance our experience.

Broken Heart

The Grammarian, Richard Green later picked up on a phrase that David used; ‘this letter had the power to smash her already-broken heart into a thousand pieces’.

Well done to David Henson for winning the best speaker of the evening.

Speech Three – My Life by Eddie Barnes

Although Eddie has been a member of Toastmasters for almost twenty years, he was delivering his Icebreaker – which is traditionally a member’s first speech – on the new Pathways programme. Eddie’s objective was to introduce himself to the club by engaging humour and he certainly did that.

Eddie is by nature a humorous man and he delivered his speech with ease and wit. He told us that he joined Toastmasters all those years ago because someone told him that it would help him to become a better salesman. Now retired, he continues on his journey with Bromley Speakers purely because he enjoys it. He told us about his life and his travels to India and Japan.

It seems that Eddie Barnes is becoming more adventurous the older he gets as at 72 years old he is snowboarding, windsurfing and taking lessons in an autogiro aircraft! He has also recently taken up the trumpet and has learned to read music. What an inspiration Eddie is to us all!

Other News from the Evening

Every role at Bromley Speakers involves an opportunity to stand up and speak. Our Timekeeper for the evening was Simon Philbin who did a fantastic job of explaining his role and delivering his report.

The three speeches were evaluated by Robert Parker, Neil Pettigrew and Marot Glover and the award for the best evaluator went to our guest, Robert Parker. A very well done for a great evaluation.

As it was such a lovely evening, some of our members enjoyed their tea break in the garden of Ripley Arts Centre before reconvening for the Table Topics session.

Bromley Speakers Tea Break at Riply Arts Centre

Table Topics

The session was delivered by Simon Maggs and was inspired by a study, the results of which were published as “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness”.

The worthy winner of the Table Topics impromptu speech was our newest member, Jamie.

Our ‘Ah’ counter for the evening was the lovely Shaun Brennan who reported that not one of our prepared speeches included any ‘ums’ or ‘ahs’, which is pretty good don’t you think?

David Hampton concluded the reports by delivering his evaluation of the entire meeting and stressing that ‘the most important thing in a meeting like this is enthusiasm’ and boy, did we have that in abundance last night!

Worthy Winners.
Best Speech, David Henson. Best Evaluator, Robert Parker.
Best Table Topic, Jamie Simpson.

Bromley Speakers is a non-profit organisation. We meet at Ripley Arts Centre on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of each month. Guests are welcome to come along free of charge. Please see our website for more details or contact us See you there!

Bromley Speakers Meeting This Thursday

The Bromley Speakers Club is meeting this Thursday at the Ripley Art Centre for an evening of short speeches, table topics, evaluations and more.

It’s fun, it’s friendly and guests are welcome to come along to see what it’s all about, free of charge! We meet at 7:15pm and finish promptly at 9:30pm and then those who want to are welcome to join us in the pub afterwards.

David Henson is doing a speech entitled ‘Four Letters From France’ and we are intrigued to know what it’s all about!

Hope to see you there!

Give Yourself Permission to Fail

Our Top Tip at Bromley Speakers last week was ‘give yourself permission to fail’. But no-one likes to fail, do they?

What’s important to realise is that failure is an integral part of our path to success and that when you give yourself permission to fail, this actually makes you stronger and more resilient.

If we are participating fully in life, failure is something that can’t be avoided. People who embrace failure are more likely to try new things and aim for more challenging goals, without worrying about damaging their ego.

Here at Bromley Speakers we want our guests and new members to know that this is a safe place to fail. We create a comfortable environment where we can all practice our speaking skills so that when we are in situations outside of the club, such as at work or speaking to an audience – or even in a social environment – we can feel more confident in our speaking ability.

We are here to encourage and guide you; to give you honest and helpful recommendations on what you can do to improve and move forward. That’s why we have mentors to support you on your journey of failures and successes.

But what actually is failure? Failure sounds like a very negative word doesn’t it? The dictionary says that it’s the lack of success, and lack of success doesn’t sound so negative. It just means that we haven’t succeeded…..YET!

Winston Churchill quote

Failure is all about perception. It’s the fear of failure itself that holds us back. And the fear of failure is an entirely natural feeling, but it’s just a feeling. It’s a feeling that is brought about by our thoughts and past life experiences.

We need to fail to grow. If we haven’t failed, we’ve probably not been trying hard enough, or ventured far enough outside of our comfort zone. Failure is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves. When we fail, or don’t succeed, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on these experiences and notice if we can learn anything from them.

Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently

Henry Ford

So….. move outside your comfort zone, take a risk – it’s ok to fail. It’s an opportunity to come back stronger and more confident!

Bromley Speakers meets on the first, third and fifth Thursdays of the month at Ripley Arts Centre

The First Meeting of The Toastmasters Year

Wow what a great first meeting of the Toastmasters year!

Bromley Speakers welcomed three guests, Vicky, Jane and Arun. It’s always a pleasure to welcome guests at the meeting and it was interesting to hear how different an English meeting was to that of one in Dubai, where one of our guests has recently returned from.

The evening started with our Presiding Officer telling us of her success story. Susan Rayner has worked her way up the ranks to become the Vice President Public Relations of District 91, which encompasses the UK South. It’s a fantastic achievement, especially considering that Susan has only been a member of Toastmasters for five years.
Success stories are an initiative started by our Past President, David Henson AKA The Slide Presentation Man. It’s definitely a positive and upbeat way to start the meeting and we intend to keep them coming!

David Henson was our Toastmaster for the evening and ensured that the meeting ran smoothly.  

Simon Maggs, our timekeeper was as humorous as always, and Rajesh Deshmukh kept us on track by counting our ums and ahs. It’s his first time as ‘Ah counter’ and he did a fantastic job.

The hot tip for the meeting was given to us by Ross Taggart: ‘Give Yourself Permission to Fail’. It’s an important message of course, and there will be a blog about that soon, so watch this space!

We all warmed up our vocal cords with Ben Lopez by telling the meeting what our biggest achievement or proudest moment of 2019 was so far and it’s a great way to get to know more about our fellow members and guests.

The Speeches
We had three interesting and informative prepared speeches to kick off the first meeting of the Toastmasters year. The first was delivered by James Kirkby who took us on a bumpy ride entitled ‘The Hell of The North’. It was James’ first speech, known as The Icebreaker, which is usually quite challenging for newcomers, as you can imagine. James rose to the challenge wonderfully and managed to stay in the saddle to the finish line!

Luca Fortuna then entertained us with his tales of ‘The Fancy Rats of the Sky’. I’m not sure many of us knew that he was going to talk about pigeon-keeping but we flew with him on the journey of the history of pigeons which finished with a humorous conclusion. Which reminds me, I must wash my car soon.

The third speech was entitled #deletefacebook and was John Vickers’ seventh speech of the Competent Communicator Manual. The speech was full of fascinating facts about Facebook and social media and it’s amazing (but maybe not too surprising) to find out that a quarter of all people in the world have a Facebook account.

Well done to all the speakers, what an entertaining first half of the meeting.

After tea break we had the Table Topics, led by Jenny Taggart. The general topic this week was ‘Happiness’ and I think it’s fair to say that we discovered that happiness comes from within.

So on that happy note, we went to the pub to put some happiness inside us. Cheers everyone!

Best Speeker, Evaluator and Table Topics winners
Award Winners from the first meeting of the Toastmaster’s Year

Bromley Speakers meets on the first, third and fifth Thursdays of the month at Ripley Arts Centre

The Start of The Toastmaster’s Year

We are looking forward to the start of the Toastmaster’s year and the first meeting of Bromley Speakers this evening, with a great agenda of three prepared speeches, three evaluations, a tea break and then some Table Topics. Followed by a drink in the local pub for those who want to socialise a bit longer.

The start of the Toastmaster’s Year also means the birth of a new committee. Have a look at who the new committee members are here.

Committee members are working away behind the scenes to ensure that the meetings run smoothly and that Bromley Speakers is a successful, respected, professional and fun club.

Guests are welcome to come along free, so see you there at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley. Get there before 7:30 for a prompt 7:30 start.

Bromley Speakers member Susan Shaw will be at the door to meet members and guests.

Can’t wait!

#bromleyspeakers #speaking #publicspeaking #confidence #meeting#bromley #kent #local

The humerous David Henson

Bromley Speakers meets on the first, third and fifth Thursdays of the month at Ripley Arts Centre

Annual Dinner at the Manor

Bromley Speakers Annual Dinner
Pre-dinner drinks, The Manor at Bickley

Last week our members met at The Manor at Bickley for the Bromley Speakers Annual Dinner.
As always, the weather was extremely kind to us and it was a glorious sunny evening.

The annual dinner is a great opportunity for the members and guests to get to know each other better in a relaxed atmosphere and it was certainly enjoyed by all who went.

Past President Welcomes New President

Bromley Speakers Annual Dinner
Christine Morrell, President
Bromley Speakers Annual Dinner
David Henson, Past President

The Past President, David Henson handed over to our new President, Christine Morrell who then welcomed the new committee for the coming year 2019-20.

Dressed to Impress

Everyone dressed to impress! The sartorially elegant Neil Pettigrew did a fantastic job of being Toastmaster for the evening, really doing us proud in his dinner suit and bow tie.

Bromley Speakers Annual Dinner
Neil Pettigrew, Toastmaster

After Dinner Speaker

One of our members Susan Shaw gave an interesting, enlightening and humorous speech about fragrances, flowers and friendly folk, and we enjoyed her tales of her exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Sue Shaw, After Dinner Speaker

Table Topics

Deborah Goodman was our Table Topics Master for the evening, keenly assisted by her guest Nick Abbott, who was keeping time.

Bromley Speakers Annual Dinner
Toastmaster and Past President with Deborah Goodman, Table Topics Master

There were some awards given too; for the best Toastmaster of the year, the most improved speaker of the year, the most supportive member of the year and the most dedicated member.

Past Committee Awards

All in all it was a brilliant evening and we are all looking forward to another amazing year ahead.

Meeting report – 4th November 2017

By Susan Rayner

Our toastmaster for the evening was Richard Murray visiting us from Beckenham Communicators. 

Adam Russell our Sergeant at Arms started us off with quick reminder about the three “Fs” for the evening, phone, facilities and fire. 

Richard Murray then took over the meeting and began by introducing his team of helpers, our Timekeeper Vinu Madhavan, Ah Counter John Cross, Grammarian Royston Pistone, Warm up Alain Culos and finally Hot Tip Bryony Hall. 

Our warm up was delivered by Alain Culos asking us what we liked most about winter and not surprising we had lots of Snow, Mulled wine and Christmas Themes. 

Our hot tip this evening was delivered by Bryony Hall who reminded us how important it is to engage with our audience, and that sometimes the look of boredom on people’s faces was in fact our natural resting face.   

We had some technical challenges this week which meant that our first speech began with Richard Green,  using the Storytelling manual speech 2 with “Let’s Get Personal”.  He reminded us that we shouldn’t get too worked up by the little things in life, and to focus on the things we can do and not the things we can’t do. His evaluation was given by Dave Henson. 

We then broke for our tea break and a few biscuits and tea and coffee.  

Our second half began with Oscar Mora asking us “Are we Too many?” which was his 8th speech from the Competent Communication Manual. He used the projector to demonstrate how the population is declining as fewer and fewer women are having children.  His speech was evaluated by Christine Morrell.  

Margot Glover was our table topics master this week, with a great range of subjects ranging from  

Should we wear a poppy, what qualities make a super hero, What’s your idea of heaven, What do you think is well worth waiting for, Why do we idolise sport people, What’s the closest you’ve come to fear for your life and a few others.  Participating in table topics were Susan Rayner, Adam Russell, Tomasz Fledrzynski, Jenny Taggart, Neil Pettigrew, Alain Culos, Roystone Pistone, Nick Groves, and finally John Cross. Our table topics were evaluated by David Hampton, who gave a text book evaluation by providing a commendation, recommendation and commendation.  Also reminding us that if we don’t have an answer make something up. 

And finally our general evaluator for the evening was Karen Mefflin, who evaluated all those who had not yet been evaluated, such as Hot tip, Table topics master, Time Keeper, and many more. 

We then had the presentation of awards, with Adam Russell winning our table topics award, bringing the meeting to a close. 

A big thank you to all those who took on roles, gave speeches and helped to make the evening a great success. 

Meeting report – 19th October 2017

By Susan Rayner

Taking the role of meet and greet was Jenny Andreas, providing our guests with a cheery welcome.

Our Sergeant at Arms Adam Russell reminded us all of our facilities at Ripley and also the importance of housekeeping.

Our toastmaster for the evening was Bryony Hall who introduced a theme of “when you have stepped up”. It was Bryony’s first time as toastmaster and she introduced the team as a seasoned toastmaster introducing Paul Andreas as Timekeeper, John Vickers standing in for Richard Green as Ah Counter and Jenny Taggart as Grammarian with our word of the day “Scandalous”. And finally warm up was delivered by Vinu Madhavan.

Adam Russell stepped in and took over the role as Hot Tip reminding us to be an active listener when someone is giving a speech.

Our first speaker was Alexanderz Kirykowic who gave his 4th speech from the competent communicator manual, with a speech entitled “The good life.” He reminded us that being happy is not just a state of mind, but many things go into making us happy, and told us that the average person would only score themselves a 7.5 out of 10 in terms of happiness, and that money does not buy happiness.

Our second speaker was John Cross who redid his Manual #5 from the competent communicator with a speech titled “Backwards and Forwards”. Telling us how he learnt to skate in 1981 in Moscow, as he wanted to meet some of the locals, which also meant he joined the local hockey team to practice his ice-skating skills.

Our last prepared speaker came from Alex Clark with “Once Upon A Time” from the Storytelling Manual. He gave us a fascinating story how that, you don’t always appreciate what you have until someone helps you see what you really have.

The speeches were evaluated by Riya George, Royston Pistone and Neil Pettigrew respectively.

Simon Maggs undertook the role of table topics master with a theme on why conspiracy theories are conspiracy facts. We had a range of topics for our speakers, ranging from why the moon landing was faked, to why the moon is made of cheese, why the world will end 23rd September. With speakers taking up the challenge Dave Henson, Margot Glover, Alain Culos, Susan Rayner, Jenny Andreas, Christine Morrell and our guests Denbo, and Tony. Karen Mefflin gave all speakers an evaluation on their table topics.

Our Grammarian Jenny Taggart gave her report picking up use of words such as effective, excellent, ruminating, and pondering.

Our General Evaluator for Sue Shaw for the evening who gave us all a range of exceptional feedback to all those who spoke.

We then had the presentation of awards, with Neil Pettigrew being presented with the best evaluator and John Cross winning the best speaker award.

Closing the meeting with a reminder about our next meeting on 4th November.

Meeting Report – 3rd August 2017


By Susan Rayner

Our first meeting into August with Annalise providing our members and guests with a warm welcome.

Our Sergeant at Arms Adam R kicked the meeting off telling us about our facilities at Ripley and also the importance of keeping our phones turned off.

Adam then handed over to myself Susan Rayner your new President, where I took the opportunity to remind you all of the importance of a back pocket speech, as we unfortunately had three people drop speeches this week.

Our Toastmaster for the evening was Neil who introduced his team with great enthusiasm. Eddie was Timekeeper, John V the Ah Counter and Nick the Grammarian. They all did a wonderful job.

Leading the warm up was myself this week by asking if there was a childhood skill or sport that you had given up that you wished you had not.

Richard G gave us a Hot Tip about how best to use our arms purposefully and not worry about leaving them at the side of our bodies.

Our first speaker was Sue Shaw who gave a speech from Humorously Speaking # 3 Make Them Laugh with a speech “Relief”. This was a superb speech which delivered a very serious subject in an assuming and entertaining way, it reminded us to continue to support charities and how reliant they are on our pennies to keep them going.

Next was Richard Murray with #1 of High Performance Leadership Manual with a speech titled “The Future is Looking Bright”. Opening the speech Richard invited us to a party, where the mayor would be in attendance. He then proceeded to inform us of his plans for a new Beckenham club.

The speeches were evaluated by Karen and David Hampton Green respectively.

Dave Henson started the table topics just before our break, as with only 2 speeches this week, it meant that we had an extended table topics which allowed all members and visitors able to undertake a table topic, Dave’s theme this week was to see a subject from someone else’s point of view. Jenny Taggart had the rather challenging task of evaluating all the table topics, which she did in time and providing everyone with a commendation and recommendation. A text book evaluation.

Our General Evaluator for the evening was Tony Smith who gave us lots of useful feedback.

We then had the presentation of awards, with Richard Hampton being presented with best table topic award.

I then reminded everyone to consider bringing a speech forward or getting ready with a back pocket speech and then drawing the meeting to a close by and inviting everyone to come to the next meeting on 17th August at Ripley.

A big thank you to all those who took on roles, gave speeches and helped to make the evening a great success.

Meeting Report – 29 June 2017

The meeting tonight was the last one of our Toastmaster year, which runs from 1 July to 30 June.

First, we were all warmly greeted at the door by our hospitality person, Chi, who is a new member and did a great job of welcoming guests and members and handing out name badges to everyone.

The meeting was opened by our acting Sergeant at Arms, Adam, who then handed over to our President, Paul A.  Paul announced that there would be special biscuits tonight to celebrate the end of the Toastmaster year!

Our Toastmaster for the evening was the very capable and former President, Richard Green.  He introduced his team to us comprised of Timekeeper – what’s his name Paul Goodhill; Ah Counter – Christine; Grammarian – Fran;  Warm up – Richard M and Hot Tip – Royston.

Fran gave us a great word of the day, which was Panache, meaning style.

Richard M led the Warm up by asking members to share three positive characteristics about themselves.  Needless to say, several people said that they had panache, thus nailing the word of the day straight away.

Royston gave a useful Hot Tip, which was to breathe from your diaphragm when you’re speaking, rather than from your chest, as it makes your voice more powerful.

Our first speech was by John Cross with a speech about the poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley.  This is usually abbreviated to Shelley, which isn’t surprising!  John gave an entertaining speech about three of Shelley’s most well-known poems, which are, “One Word is Too Often Profaned” about love; “The Masque of Anarchy” about the Peterloo massacre and “Ode to a Skylark”.

Our second speech was by Alex Clark, who gave an illustrated talk about how to use Internet dating sites.  He gave some great advice on what to avoid when searching through the profiles of prospective partners, including, fleeces, trout mouths and lime-green clothes.  Useful advice indeed for anyone thinking of using one of these sites.

Speech three was a demonstration talk by Annelise about how to make Crepes.  Annelise had recorded the procedure at home and gave us a Powerpoint show on how to make them. She also brought in the fruit of her labour, which we were able to devour in the break.

The speeches were then ably evaluated by Dave H, Simon and Riya.

During the break we tried Annelise’s crepes and plenty of chocolate ginger, double Belgian choc and Raisin biscuits to celebrate the end of year.  Annelise, you’re a great cook!

After the break Adam led the Table Topics.  He chose books as his theme, especially Harry Potter books and asked some interesting questions about characters from the books.

The Topics were all ably evaluated by Georgina, who gave the speakers some useful feedback.

The General Evaluator was Jenny A, who made some useful comments about how we run the meetings and made some suggestions for improvement.  She reminded us of the Club Mission, which is to provide an encouraging environment to our members so that they can develop their speaking and leadership skills and grow in confidence.  Jenny said that we had achieved our mission this evening – which is good to know!  She stressed the value of the hospitality role and recommended that those doing this role should be given top priority for a table topic as an incentive for doing it.

Then onto the Awards.  Alistair won the Table Topics award with a speech about “Lord of the Rings”; Dave H won the Best Evaluation Award for his evaluation of John’s speech and Alex won the Best Speaker Award for his speech about Internet dating.

Paul then presented some ribbons.  First of all to new members, then for giving the Ice Breaker speech, Half- Way to completing CC and for completing the CC Manual.  Finally he presented a ribbon to John Cross for being the Most Improved speaker this year.  It was also noted that Alex has made considerable progress over the last month.


Paul then presented everyone from the committee with a “Thank You” note for their work during the past year, which has helped to make our club stronger, more vibrant and a club of excellence.  He especially thanked Jenny T and Richard M for mentoring him this year and Jenny A for her help.

A big thank you to all those who took on roles and gave speeches and helped to make the evening a great success.  Overall it was a meeting with great panache!

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be held at the Bickley Manor Hotel on 6 July where we will be having a sumptuous meal, an entertaining after dinner speaker and the official handover to the new committee.  Watch out for an email from Jenny T with more details.

All tickets for the event have been sold so, if you missed out, book now for next year to ensure getting a seat!

Extra Meeting at Shortlands Tavern on 27 July

Our meeting on 27 July is an extra meeting to be held at the Shortlands Tavern.  Please ensure that you go there rather than our usual venue.


Paul Andreas, President, Bromley SpeakersB