Members Profile – Robert Parker

Robert has been a member of Bromley Speakers for over 6 months after moving from St Neots in Cambridgeshire to Orpington. He wanted to continue his Toastmasters and Pathways journey at a local club in order to continue to improve his public speaking skills.

 “The evaluation and feedback is the most powerful element for me. Both receiving and giving feedback aids my learning. Watching and listening to other members also helps me pick up new tips and techniques.

“I like Bromley Speakers Club because of its friendly, positive and entertaining atmosphere.  Ripley Arts Centre, where the meetings are held, is a good venue conducive to speaking.”

Robert is a qualified and experienced Family Historian. As a genealogist he has a wealth of experience and knowledge built through practical family history research.

His professional genealogy and training qualifications include a postgraduate certificate in Genealogy and a certificate in researching House History.

Robert has been researching his own family history for over 30 years.

“I help others to understand who they are by researching their family history too. I deliver guidance, talks and research services, plus courses, and being at Toastmasters has helped me with this.”

Robert is also a qualified and experienced management and leadership coach and trainer, but due to his health he currently focusses on delivering talks and helping people to develop their own family trees.

“I had to have my leg amputated in 2019 and am now a wheelchair user.  Speaking from a chair feels very different from standing up and speaking and the more I do it, the more I get used to the change. I want to continue to improve my speaking skills from my wheelchair.

Robert, Front left, with other members at the Christmast meeting 2019

One of Robert’s goals at Toastmasters is to enter and progress in the international speaking contest.

Robert says that he is pleased to have joined Bromley Speakers and he looks forward to continuing to improve his speaking skills at the club.

You can visit Robert’s website here and his YouTube channel here.

Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm.

For more information please email us

Meeting 16th January 2020

Happy New Year!

The first meeting of the year was opened by our Sergeant at Arms, James Kirkby.

In the event of a fire, run this way!

President Christine Morrell received a book entitled ‘The Fear Bubble’ for Christmas and she told us how the author, Ant Middleton, controls his fear and uses it to his advantage.

Conquering fear is an important step in our Toastmasters’ journey.

Our success story was given by Deborah Goodman who gave a speech at The Bromley Court Hotel on Monday to the Lewisham and Penge Rotary Club. Deborah and Christine were warmly welcomed by the President and members who listened attentively and asked lots of questions.

Our Toastmaster for the evening, Susan Shaw, talked about being an ambassador for the Heart of Kent Hospice and how her confidence has risen through being at Toastmasters, enabling her to speak about subjects that are out of her comfort zone.

It’s really helpful to our members when more experienced Toastmasters tell us how being at the club has helped them in their life.

Ben Lopez warmed up our vocal chords by asking us what our primary goal for 2020 is and judging by some of the answers that were given, it looks like it’s going to be a very interesting year ahead.

Other roles were taken up by the following people:

  • Timekeeper – Deborah Goodman
  • Ah Counter – Jenny Taggart
  • Grammarian – Cecilia Mbullah
  • Hot Tip – David Henson

David Henson was asked to give the hot tip at very short notice and appropriately his hot tip for the evening was to always have something in your back pocket that you can use at the last minute, like a speech, some table topics or indeed, a hot tip!

Prepared Speeches

Our first speech was presented by Margot Glover who gave us an interesting talk entitled ‘This is what we do.’ Her guidelines for the speech were to select visual aids that are appropriate for the message and the audience and she chose to use slides to convey her message. Margot cleverly asked us to close our eyes and smell the image on the screen and you should have seen our faces! I can still smell it now but I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess what it was!

Evaluating Margot was Neil Pettigrew.

Our second speech, entitled ‘John’ was delivered by Robert Parker. Robert told us all a story about his ancestor which was both moving and captivating. Robert has spent over thirty years tracing his family history and because of this, he has uncovered details about his family that would have been lost forever.

Robert’s speech was evaluated by Richard Green.

Our final speaker in this section was David Wilson. David’s speech was called ‘Making friends with your chimp’ and was all about three different areas of our brain and how they work for (and against) us. David gave us some good advice on how to feed our chimp positive thoughts to enable us to make friends with our chimp, or indeed our fears. His talk was both interesting and extremely useful.

David’s talk was evaluated by Jamie Simpson who stood in at the last minute. It’s only the second time Jamie has done an evaluation and he did a very impressive job.

Table Topics

After a short tea break the meeting continued with our table topics section, led by Eddie Barnes. Eddie chose to use ‘Three Words’ for the topics this evening and asked the audience to speak on the following subjects:

  • Kippers for breakfast
  • Learn a language
  • Visiting the seaside
  • Joining a gym
  • Growing a beard
  • Travelling by train.

We welcomed a first-time guest to the meeting, Nicola, who bravely agreed to do a table topic and she did a fantastic job. Just getting up and speaking for the first time is a great achievement and Nicola has now taken her first steps to becoming not only a better speaker, but a part of our amazing club.

We have a new member, Caroline Jeffrey who also did a table topic and was so good at it that she won the award for the best impromptu speaker.

**Well done to both Nicola and Caroline**

Tom Jewers did a brilliant job at evaluating the table topics, especially as it was his first time as an evaluator. You never would have known it!

Other Roles and Awards

After our ah-counter and grammarian reports, we had the meeting report from our general evaluator, David Henson who gave us lots of good feedback on the meeting.

Everyone in the room got a chance to speak and it was a fantastic start to the new year. 

Our Worthy winners were Caroline Jeffrey for best table topic, Jamie Simpson for best evaluator and David Wilson for best speaker.

Winners Caroline Jeffrey and David Wilson

The post-meeting conviviality is always something to look forward to after the meetings as we convene to the local hostiliary.

With the first meeting of the year done and dusted, we remind you that the International speech and evaluation contest for Bromley Speakers will be held on the 5th March so please enter the competition and get practising everyone!

Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm.

For more information please email us

Toastmasters and Rotary Form an Alliance

Providing members with more opportunities for personal and professional growth is at the core of the newly formed Rotary/Toastmasters strategic alliance. There is much excitement to leverage unique and similar strengths and meet the evolving needs of current and prospective members.

Toastmasters International

As Rotary and Toastmasters clubs team up to form an alliance, our members are actively connecting with our local Rotary Clubs.

Member Jenny Taggart visited the Bromley Rotary club today and reported back that they are interested to hear more about what we do and also to have a speaker from our club to visit their club to give a speech. Jenny said that they are an extremely friendly and professional group of people.

Bromley Speakers member Jenny Taggart

Public Relations Officer Deborah Goodman and President Christine Morrell were guests of Lewisham and Penge Rotary Club yesterday evening, where they were warmly welcomed by their President, members and guests.

Christine Morrell and Deborah Goodman with the President of Lewisham and Penge Rotary CLub

Deborah gave the after-dinner speech to which the Rotary members listened attentively, followed by a very engaging question and answer session.

Speaker Deborah Goodman

Christine then picked out the winning raffle ticket, which was….. Deborah’s! It really couldn’t have gone better 🙂

Find out more about Rotary and Toastmasters.

Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm.

For more information please email us

Freddie Daniells Workshop

With the contest season fast approaching, would you like to learn what it takes to deliver a world class speech? Then join us at Bromley Speakers when Toastmasters legend, Freddie Daniells will be delivering a workshop on how to win the International Speech Contest.

This event is open to existing Toastmasters members only.

Freddie will be analysing the skills of Toastmasters World Champions and sharing his expertise on how to use powerful and persuasive communication. Even if you don’t have ambitions for international success, Freddie will provide you with lots of tools and tips to take your communication skills to the highest standard.

Freddie’s workshops are renowned and and we are delighted and privileged to welcome him to Bromley Speakers. He is a professional public speaker and coach and has run workshops and coached for organisations such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Google, EY and the Association of Certified Accountants.

Freddie has held many positions within Toastmasters including Club President, Area and Division Governor (responsible for London), Great Britain and Ireland (District 71) PR Officer, Lt Governor Membership and Marketing and Lt Governor for Education and Training.

This is an opportunity not to be missed and is only available to members of Toastmasters. Places are limited and so please register as soon as possible.

Member Profile – David Hampton

David Hampton is a management consultant from Sevenoaks. He has been a member of Toastmasters for and incredible 19 years and a member of Bromley Speakers club for 18 of those years.

When asked why he joined Toastmasters David said, “I was moving to a role where I would spend a lot of time training people and needed to be more comfortable speaking without a script. I had enjoyed debating at school and university.”

David likes Bromley Speakers club because it’s very friendly and the members are easy-going people. He believes that the meetings are really well organised with good speakers that he can learn from. The less-experienced speakers get practice and receive helpful feedback from the more experienced speakers, which helps them to improve.

David finds the second half of the meetings, the Table Topics sessions, tremendously beneficial as they have helped him to develop his skills and confidence in an impromptu setting. The sessions have particularly helped his ability to speak and think at the same time, while simultaneously creating a structure to what he is saying.

“One particular benefit of Table Topics is that, by becoming better at thinking and speaking at the same time, I have more head-space for finding particular way of phrasing a criticism, or my disagreement with the client, so that it comes across as a suggestion or a recommendation.”

The nature of David’s work requires him to deliver a great deal of training.

“I lead workshops and I coach people and giving speech evaluations on a club night helps me with this aspect of my job.  I need to present myself as confident and articulate, particularly when I am advising clients who are senior leaders, or in a sales setting.” 

David hard at work training the leadership team of a factory in Russia on how to improve their quality.

David has ambitions of setting up a new Toastmasters club in his home town of Sevenoaks. However, with his busy work schedule, that will have to wait until he retires.

David has entered various Toastmasters contests over the years. His humorous speech entitled ‘My Shame’ won 2nd place in the District 71 Conference in 2002 and can be viewed on youtube.

David, a great team player who likes to get involved when the time permits, recently took part in a promotional video for District 91 which we are looking forward to seeing soon.

Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm.

For more information please email us

Happy New Year!

As one decade finishes another begins and the members of Bromley Speakers Club are looking forward to a new year of great speeches, leadership, table topics, fun and friendship.

In December we had our annual Christmas drinks which were enjoyed by many, with a few Table Topics on Christmas crackers to add to the festive fun.

It’s always great to get together on a social event as it gives our members more time to really get to know each other better and to have a bit more fun and laughter. Not that we are short of laughter at our club!

We are excited to welcome new members to the club this year, as well as seeing the familiar faces of existing members return for another year, so if you have thought about coming along to see what it’s all about, please don’t put it off any longer. Come along and join us at the Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd or 5th Thursday of the month. The next meeting will be held on the 16th of January at 7.15pm.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

There was a joyful vibe in the air at Ripley Arts Centre on Thursday.

The Centre in Bromley looked very festive with its Christmas tree up in the foyer and the members of Bromley Speakers got into the Christmas spirit by dressing in their finest festive attire.

Richard decided to do a bit of tree-hugging

Our President Christine Morrell introduced the meeting and welcomed to the front Adrian Clay and Deborah Goodman respectively, who told us their ‘success stories’ about how being at Bromley Speakers has helped them to achieve and succeed in recent speaking situations which they may not have put themselves forward for if it were not for the help and support of the club members.

Say YES and come out of your comfort zone

Adrian has been saying ‘yes’ to giving talks at networking events, even when he’s faced with last-minute invitations. Before he came to Bromley Speakers he would have shied away from this and it has resulted in him obtaining not only some more confidence in himself but also some business, so it’s paying off for him, for sure.

Deborah has said ‘yes’ to giving an interview to the Telegraph newspaper, which was published in The Sunday Telegraph, and then said a very bold ‘yes’ to being interviewed live on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, which has 7 million listeners. A clip of her interview has had 4,000 views in less than 2 weeks on social media and she wouldn’t have put herself forward for it without the knowledge and confidence she has gained and support that she has had over the past 2 years of being a Bromley Speakers Club member.

Christmas Meeting

Richard Green was our Toastmaster for the evening and he took us on a sleigh-ride through the meeting with a Ho-Ho-Ho and the effervescent sparkle that he is renowned for.

As the lights dimmed, we were all surprised as his jumper lit up! And he proceeded to light the way for the speakers, members and guests by suggesting that the meeting was going to be a whole heap of fun! Which, of course, it was.

We were delighted to welcome three guests to our meeting, Caroline, Annabel and Donna.

Birthday girl Susan Rayner led an interesting warm up of ‘bananas, plums and sausages’ which culminated in an impactful ending by Royston Pistone.

Prepared Speeches

Our first speech was an inspiring ice-breaker, delivered extremely well by Tom Jewers. Tom comes across as a confident speaker and we wouldn’t have guessed that it was his first speech at Bromley Speakers if we didn’t know. Tom took us on his personal journey from childhood to the present day to explain to the group why he joined Toastmasters and how it is helping him as a speaker and presenter. He cleverly weaved the title of the speech, ‘Why am I here?’ throughout and provided a good contrast between the highs and lows of his presentation experiences.

Reading a course on-line does not cure the nerves.
You have to get up and practice.

Our second prepared speech, aptly entitled ‘Starry, Starry Night’ was presented to us by Jamie Simpson. Jamie’s illuminating speech taught us all things we didn’t know about Van Gogh and he presented it with good gestures and great humour.

We celebrated everything Christmassy in the break with prosecco and mince pies, provided by our President, Christine Morrell.

And not to forget that it was Susan Raynor’s birthday so we also celebrated that with her birthday cake.

Table Topics

The second half of the meeting was full of festive fun and fired by lady-petrol (aka Prosecco) with Christmas-themed Table Topics brought to us by Jenny Taggart. The subject of the topics was:

What will Christmas time be like for ……

Some great topics followed along with some interesting and comical answers. I don’t know what was in that Prosecco but I’ve never known so many people go over time with Table Topics before!

Two of our guests took on the impromptu challenge and the winner of the best Table Topic went to our guest Annabel who answered the question,

What will Christmas be like for Santa?

Annabel answered with humour and suggested that, after his busy and stressful Christmas Eve, he will be requiring lots of counselling and alcohol! Well done to her for winning the best Table Topic of the evening.

Other Roles

All the roles (or jobs) at the club are important to the smooth running of the meeting and they also help us to become better managers, leaders, organisers and speakers. Thanks to all of the members who took on roles at the meeting. Our Sergeant at Arms James Kirkby, our Timekeepers Ross Taggart and Robert Parker, Table Topics evaluator John Vickers, Grammarian Martin Langdon, Ah Counter Karen Mefflin and General Evaluator Alan Culos. All of whom did a brilliant job.

The festive meeting ended with a ‘Ho-Ho-How many people can we get up the stairs for a photo’ (thanks to Glen for that) and a reminder that our next get-together will be another Christmas celebration on Thursday 19th December at the Railway Tavern, East Street, Bromley at 7:30.

The Committee of Bromley Speakers wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we look forward to what 2020 will bring to the club.

Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm.

For more information please email us

Halloween Meeting – October 31st

All Hallows

Why do we celebrate All Hallows Eve?
Celts believed that on Samhain, the walls between our world and the spirit world became thin enough to allow ghosts to pass through and damage their crops. All Hallows’ Eve began in the eighth century as a Christianised version of Samhain. Christians would honour saints and pray for souls who had not yet reached heaven.

Who you gonna call?

Members showed what great sports they are by wholeheartedly throwing themselves into the spirit of our Halloween themed meeting on 31 October.  All sorts of awesome and creepy creatures turned up, including terrifying ghosts, a couple of zombies, a coven of witches and a She Devil.  Just as well we had out very own ghostbuster there – Martin Langdon.

A spooky video, inspired and created by the talented Dave Henson, set the spine tingling scene. As the lights dimmed, thunder clapped, lightning flashed and skulls and scary images were projected onto the curtains as an eerie voice welcomed fellow ghostmasters to Bromley Spookers.

Our president, Christine Morrell, AKA The Spirit of Fear, opened the meeting with a warning that fear defeats more people than anything in the world.  She declared that as it was a celebratory evening for the spirits, she would spread some goodwill and share her secrets with us mere mortals on how to overcome the thing that most people fear more than death itself – public speaking!!

She warned that if we run from fear, the fear will grow but if we face up to our fear, we will grow. 

‘Do the thing you fear and death of fear is certain’.

Table Topics

With this in mind, it was onto an evening devoted entirely to the ultimate fear of our Ghostmasters – TABLE TOPICS!

There would be no escape for anyone – we were all in this together.  And to give everyone maximum opportunity for impromptu speaking, two evaluators would be randomly selected to evaluate each table topic on the spot.

To take some of the chill out of the air, our Wizard of Warm Ups, Neil Pettigrew, got us all confessing to our worst fears which covered a wide range of scary spectres and phobias including snakes, the dark and Donald Trump!

Our first foreboding Table Topics Master was Vinu Madhavan – the Bewitched Enchantress. She welcomed us to her telestore with the warning that, as it was Halloween, she needed to sell all its items. If she failed, we would all be engulfed in flames and perish. To save us from this horrific fate she invited her team of presenters to the stage to deliver sales pitches for all the items to be sold.

Each and every Ghostmaster took on the challenge with relish and delivered some very persuasive reasons as to why we must buy a whole range of unlikely items, including LED curtains, an acrylic painting and a skeleton costume for dogs.

Black cats are the assistants of witches – never let them cross your path!

We barely had time to recover our breath in the break before we were launched into the second Table Topics session. Now we were into uncharted and very dangerous waters as the deadly Martin Langdon, dressed as a black cat, presided.

There was much shivering and quivering but again the Ghostmasters rose to the challenge, launching into explanations of such supernatural situations as to what they might do if attacked by a werewolf or dealing with the disaster of inadvertently running over a neighbour’s cat. 

The Ghoul-Tossing Club

It all took on a very surreal turn when Richard Green and Dave Henson revealed they were long standing members of the Bromley Ghoul-Tossing  Club and that David – or was it really Richard? – has a penchant for wearing frilly pants.

It was a tough contest but prizes for the best table topics speakers for the evening were awarded to Sue Shaw for explaining why we needed to buy a black-out eye mask and David Hampton for his passionate and persuasive plea for an end to discrimination against ghouls.

David, who slinked silently into the meeting, totally unrecognisable as a truly terrifying ghoul, also won the prize for best costume.

An eerie figure walks silently amongst us……..

Well done everyone for taking on the Toastmasters scary monster of Table Topics and emerging victorious.  As always at Toastmasters we picked up lots of tips and tricks on speaking along with plenty of treats.

Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm.

For more information please email us

Practice, Preparation and Product

Last night’s meeting was fabulous, fun and full of useful information and feedback. As people arrived and the room filled up there was an exciting buzz in air.

Our wonderful President, Christine Morrell kicked it off by telling us about a professional speaker she listened to this week who was talking about how to deliver a great speech.

Christine relayed the professional speaker’s message that there were three main important points to remember and follow.

  1. Practice. Keep on doing it as much as possible and find a safe space to practise with people who will give you honest and helpful feedback. Get other experienced speakers to evaluate you.
  2. Prepare. Think positively about how it’s going to go. Be excited instead of nervous. Learn to think on your feet by practising impromptu speaking.
  3. Product. Ensure that you have a great product. Your speech should have a strong beginning and flow smoothly through to a powerful ending. Use the rule of focusing on three key points and use a personal story.

What really struck Christine was that this is EXACTLY what Toastmasters provides us with and, therefore, we are in the best place we can be to become great speakers.

We are extremely lucky to have some very experienced speakers at our club and although this can be a bit off-putting to new members, it’s important to ensure that our guests and new members are encouraged to learn from them rather than be intimidated by them. After all, we ARE a very friendly bunch and the experienced speakers want to mentor and encourage the less experienced ones. That’s what it’s all about.

Success Story

We always love a success story. Success stories are told when a member delivers a speech or presentation outside of the club and tells us how being at Toastmasters has given them the tools, support and courage to step up to a challenge.

This week we heard from James Kirkby. James has been a member of Bromley Speakers for 9 months and he joined us to improve his confidence and presentation skills. James works in the IT industry and aspired to present at an industry conference. He achieved this recently by giving a 30 minute presentation to over 100 people and afterwards was commended for his presentation. James admitted that prior to coming to Bromley Speakers he never would have accepted this challenge. James’ success story is another testament to how Toastmasters helps us to improve and deliver.

The Meeting

Our Toastmaster for the evening was David Hampton. A very experienced speaker, David joined Toastmasters in 2001 in America before coming to Bromley Speakers in 2003. He has competed in the division finals of the Humorous Speech contest four times and has won the Table Topics contest at Division level. Our President said that he has ‘mastered the skills of making the difficult look easy’ and he certainly did that as he guided us expertly through the meeting this week.
You can watch David’s in a humorous speech contest here.

Deborah Goodman warmed up our vocal cords with her mouth-watering question, ‘what’s your favourite dessert?’ and left us all feeling a little hungry after hearing about all the puddings people love to eat. It’s a good job there were some delicious chocolate cookies available in the tea break!

Tom Jewers presented his very helpful ‘Top Tip’, reminding us that it’s fine to be nervous. He told us not to panic, just practise and the nerves will fall away as you speak and your delivery will improve.

Prepared Speeches

We had three fabulous speeches, beginning with Cecilia Mbullah’s personal story entitled simply ‘She’. This was followed by Rajesh Deshmukh’s Icebreaker speech about his journey towards becoming a cataract surgeon, aptly entitled ‘Why Did You Choose Eyes?’

The third prepared speech came from Richard Green who had us laughing all the way through with his humorous competition speech, ‘Life in Siberia’. Richard is taking this speech into the Division competition after winning at Club level and then at Area level and we wish him all the very best in the competition.

The speeches were expertly evaluated by Susan Raynor, Vinu Madhavan and Margot Glover and the evaluations are speeches in their own right.

Susan said that Cecilia has a natural ability to engage her audience and that her speech was vivid, descriptive and emotive. It was delivered with emotion and had a strong message and the ending had impact and direction with a call to action.

Vinu commented that Rajesh delivered an excellent first speech without the use of any notes. He engaged well with the audience and was clear and confident in his delivery. An Icebreaker speech is the first prepared speech so we congratulate Rajesh for stepping onto his pathway and taking the first steps to becoming a better public speaker.

Margot evaluated Richard’s speech and it was an easy one to evaluate as Richard is an accomplished and experienced speaker with a natural ability for comedy.

Table Topics

Table Topics, led by Karen Mefflin were fun, as always, and new members, Harry and Arun, and guest, Adrian, both did well for their first attempt. Tom Jewers won the contest with his impromptu speech about where he sees himself in five years’ time.

The topics were evaluated by Alain Culos and Susan Shaw gave an evaluation of the rest of the meeting.

Other Roles

Our ‘Ah’ Counter, Robert Parker galloped us through an excellent and very unique report, as if we were at the races, which was a lot of fun. Well done for coming up with that idea Robert!

Hospitality was Vinu, Sergeant at Arms – James Kirkby, Timekeeper – Ben Lopez, Grammarian – John Cross.

Congratulations to our winners. Richard Green for his prepared speech, Vinu Madhavan for her evaluation speech and Tom Jewers for his impromptu speech.

Another great night at Bromley Speakers Club!

Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm.

For more information please email us

Would you rather fight 50 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

You may think this is a strange title for a blog. And you would be right, it is a strange title. It was one of our amusing Table Topics questions on Thursday, presented to us by Luca Fortuna. The theme of the topics was ‘would you rather…?’

We had questions like ‘would you rather have a conversation with your past or future self?’ and ‘would you rather have no taste buds or be colour blind?’

The chosen speakers had just a few moments to think of what they were going to say before delivering their 1-2 minute speeches and it was a very entertaining session, as always.

Alistair kindly saved us all from a plane crash, David became famous and rich, Susan Rayner angered a witch and became smaller, Alain went back and forth in time, Neil spoke to his future self to find out how much longer he had and Jenny had pink hair (oh hold on, that was real!). It was fabulous to welcome Royston back and great to hear that he is having no regrets.

Table Topics Master Luca Fortuna

Robert Parker evaluated the Table Topics and gave us some good tips on how to answer them, such as ‘whilst walking up to the front, think about the 3 key points that you want to make’.

Jenny and her pink hair

Returning member Tom Jewers shared his success story about how coming to Bromley Speakers recently helped him to secure his new job. When you have to get through eight rounds of interviews and a big presentation just to secure one job, the skills that you gain at Toastmasters can definitely benefit you in achieving success. Congratulations Tom, we wish you all the best in your new position.

Margot Glover also shared her success story about how she delivered a speech at her friend’s party. People at the party congratulated her on what a great speech it was and she feels that she has taken a huge step towards where she wants to be.

We are so thrilled to hear that Bromley Speakers has helped.

Our President Christine Morrell talked about how to handle failure. She reminded us that when you’re faced with a challenge and it doesn’t go your way, you can either have a limited mindset or a growth mindset. Failing never feels good but if we choose to, we can learn so much from it. When everything goes right for us, there is no opportunity for growth.

Our Toastmaster for the evening was John Vickers. John eagerly throws himself into the roles at the club and is a very keen and supportive committee member. He oversees our mentoring programme and is our club Secretary and he won the most improved speaker award at our annual dinner in July.  

James Kirkby led an amusing warm up by asking us what our best night out with our work colleagues has been. Funnily there seemed to be a common theme of alcohol consumption and the answers provoked lots of chuckles from the audience.

Our first prepared speech, entitled ‘Under the Oroaka tree’ was delivered by Cecilia Mbullah. Cecilia is a great storyteller and evaluator David Hampton said that this was an easy speech to evaluate. It had a dramatic opening, an interesting story and it was well delivered.

Two strong aspects stood out as Cecilia was speaking: passion and control. She is a passionate speaker and uses her voice and hand gestures well to create drama within her speech. She has great control over the structure of her speech, with good pauses and movement on the stage.

Our next speaker, Adrian Clay, lured us into his dark secret. Adrian is an engaging speaker and it’s fair to say that he uses as much of the stage as he can.

Adrian Clay

Speech evaluator Richard Green enthused with just about as much passion as Adrian himself when he said that Adrian told his story with passion and humour. “He’s watchable and likeable and he has charisma” Richard said.

His geeky story had him running to the window to point out a plane and as Richard said, although he has a dark secret…… he has a bright future!

Well done to both Adrian and Richard for a great speech and evaluation.

Our third speech entitled ‘Solo2Darwin Dare to Dream’ was delivered by Pilot Amanda Harrison. Amanda told us her story about how she had dreamed about emulating Amy Johnson, a pioneering English female pilot who was the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia. We flew on a journey that started with a young girl who dared to dream.

“Someday….. one day…. I WILL”.

When Amanda’s father passed away, she was reminded about how short life is and she knew that she had to do it, and do it now. The day came and that day was January 6th 2018. She flew her Tiger Moth solo to Australia and she took us with her in what was described by her evaluator, Vinu Madhavan as a ‘perfect speech’, which is amazing being as Amanda only signed up for it a day before the meeting.

Amanda Harrison Solo2Darwin

Vinu said that Amanda’s speech was well organised and that her experience of speaking really showed. She said that Amanda had amazing confidence and stage-presence. As she acted out the scenes, she brought the story to life, enabling the audience to really feel the emotion.

Great job Amanda, you are a worthy winner of our best speaker award.

Our general evaluator was Karen Mefflin who did a great job of evaluating those who hadn’t been evaluated, including our President Christine. Karen thought that the meeting was hugely entertaining and we have to agree with her on that one!

And so, with that thought in mind, some of us went off to contemplate our existence and others went to the pub to talk about what we’d learned this evening. Which, by the way, was that Richard loves Adrian.

It was wonderful to welcome four guests to our meeting who all indicated that they enjoyed it very much and we look forward to seeing them again.

Thanks to our Sargent at Arms, Jamie Simpson, our ‘ah’ counter Ben Lopez, our grammarian Margot Glover and our Timekeeper David Wilson.

Congratulations to our winners: Amanda Harrison, David Hampton and Richard Green.

Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm.

For more information please email us