Meeting Report 20th October 2016

Reported by Sue Shaw
Sargent at Arms, Neil Pettigrew kicked the meeting off on time and tempted us with the promise of chocolate fingers in the break. He then passed over to our President Paul Andreas who reported on the previous weekend’s Division competition and the organizational role that the club had played to make the event such a success. He then urged all members to attend the District competitions being held in Woking on 5 November 2016.
Toastmaster for the evening was Sue Shaw who made reference to historical events that had happened on the 20 October and asked us to make our own history.
On the stopwatch and lights this week was Georgina Singleton who reported on timings and ensured that we finished the meeting on time. Great job!
A big thanks to Margot Glover who despite her long journey that afternoon from Wolverhampton led the warm up with charm and poise. Her question for everyone was, what we are looking forward to now that winter is approaching. Cosy pubs, hot water bottles and not having to mow the lawn were among the answers.
Our hot tip was from the very experienced Richard Murray who gave advice about gauging the amount of content that you need for a speech e.g. know how many words you speak a minute. He also suggested that if you are writing a full 5-7 minute speech it will equate to two sheets of A4 at 14 point.
Our trio of speakers were very diverse. Jennifer Andreas undertook her second speech since joining; John Cross his ninth (Persuade with Power) speaking on sugar tax; and Jenny Taggart, The Roast, from the Advanced Manual Specialty Speeches. The Roast is a chance to gently poke fun at someone with their permission, using humor. The best bit is that the target is allowed to respond if they wish, which Richard Murray never shy to speak took.  Most members had not seen this assignment being tackled before and it did show that the Advanced Manuals give depth and greater variety to the Toastmasters experience.
The evaluators Richard Green, Alex Clark and Neil Pettigrew all gave well balanced reports with recommendations and commendations to the speakers. Apart from knowing how to improve it is important to know what we do well so that we keep doing it.
After the break, when all the chocolate fingers disappeared very quickly, the very affable Tony Smith was in charge of Table Topics. He provided a wide selection of subjects to get everyone’s brain working.
Ian Brett gave insightful feedback on the session. Well done to all for stepping up to the challenge, especially visitors and returning members.  A good tip from Ian was to drill down to the detail so that you can fully explore the subject given.
Further suggestions from our Toastmaster on filling the time in Table Topics, was to slow down, use the pause, and to do a summary of what you have said so far.
During the meeting Alain Culos kept an ear out for unnecessary filler words and repetitions. He delivered a very structured and well organised report.
Karen Meflin as General Evaluator, gave an overview of the meeting and provided valuable feedback to the functionaries of the meeting.

The evening was then handed back to our club president Paul Andreas to hand out the awards.
Top table topic speaker was Neil Pettigrew, best evaluator went to Richard Green and best speaker on the night to Jennifer Andreas with her speech titled ‘A fear of animals’.
Thanks also to Susan Rayner as VPE for all her work behind the scenes pulling our meetings together.

The next meeting will be on 3 November.

The ‘Pause’ – 6th October 2016

An Educational article by Sue Shaw

Spaced out for success


Put another way, space brings clarity and understanding.   In a speech, space is referred to as the pause. The pause is an essential element of speech craft. To maximise the effect of your presentations, identify where you need to add pauses and mark them in as stage notes on your script e.g. ^. Enhance your pauses further with appropriate actions such as a raised eyebrow, a change of position or a hand gesture. Use the pause:-

  • before you start to get your audience’s attention;
  • to make sure that your first words are heard;
  • for dramatic effect and to increase suspense or develop emotional connection;
  • for emphasis and to create impact for each point;
  • between sections to indicate that you are moving on to a new subject;
  • to allow your audience to catch up and take on your key messages;
  • to enable the audience to see and enjoy or understand a visual aid;
  • to allow your audience to react to humour or respond to questions, even those that are rhetorical;
  • to consider your response to a question from the audience;
  • at the end of your presentation to acknowledge applause.

You also need a pause ……. to breathe. After your talk take a few quiet moments to reflect on your performance.

Finally – If you haven’t enough time to include pauses within your presentation, you probably have too much content.

Meeting Report – 6th October 2016

…the very next day was our club meeting on Thursday, 6 October.   Our SAA, Neil Pettigrew, opened the meeting then introduced our president, Paul Andreas, who welcomed our five guests then gave a brief talk about mentoring. Richard Green, our VP of Mentoring, then encouraged everyone who did not yet have a mentor to come and see him so, if you would like to be a mentor or mentee, please give your name to Richard Green.

Our Toastmaster for the evening has a memorable name –his name is Paul Goodhill, who led the evening with his usual wit.

Our hot tip was given by Sue Shaw, on “the pause”.  A reminder of this will follow, and will also be available to re-read on the Bromley Speakers website.

We were then entertained by three speeches: Jenny Andreas gave her Icebreaker speech and talked about “Her Journey” and Julie gave her speech number Two, talking about the difficulties of juggling a very demanding job with demanding young children. Richard Murray then entertained us with a humorous speech titled Dr Tim about the time that he got distracted when he was filling up his car and broke down on the motorway as a result. He had to call out Dr Tim to drain the petrol from his car to get going again. And this was the second time it had happened!!

Our Table Topics Master was Paul Lynch who came up with some difficult questions one of which completely flummoxed Anneliese.

The winners were Richard Murray for best speech, Richard Green for Best Evaluator and Sue Shaw for best Table Topic.


Paul Andreas, President

Contest Report – 5th October 2016

Last week was a great week for Toastmaster meetings!

Area Contest

First of all the area contest was held on Wednesday, October 5th.  The contest was hosted by Croydon Communicators at East Croydon whose members helped to make it a successful evening.  The evening was ably led by Michael Majuru who entertained us all with some humorous jokes during the break.  Stephen Davis was the Chief Judge.

Our club was represented by Neil Pettigrew for Table Topics and Richard Murray for Humorous Speech. Richard gave a very humorous speech about how he came to have a tattoo. However, he revealed in his interview with Michael that he didn’t really have a tattoo.  His whole speech, it turned out, had been prompted by something that his children had said to him and was based on conjecture of what might have happened if he had of had a tattoo. That came as a surprise as his speech had been very convincing!
Neil’s Table Topic was very interesting – it was to talk about his worst Valentine’s Day – a rather daunting subject but Neil dealt with it very well. He resorted to a good tactic if you’re not sure what to say, which is to get the audience involved and ask them questions and win some time to think. This tactic worked remarkably well because Neil finished second.

The winner of the Speech Contest was Vidhya Nagendran from Purley speakers with a humorous tale about how she suffered from FOMO and how she was cured from it.


The winner of Table Topics was Trudy Kuhn from Speakers of Croydon with rather a sad tale of how she broke up with her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day!


The certificates and awards were presented by our Area Director, Mike Abrey-Bugg who then reminded us of the Division Contest to be held this coming Sunday, 16 October at 12.45 pm at Oxted.


Paul Andreas, President