Meeting Report – 16th February 2017

Our latest meeting of 2017 was a very lively occasion.

First we were all warmly greeted at the door by our hospitality person,  Dave Henson, who welcomed guests and members alike and handed out name badges to everyone.

The meeting was opened by our acting Sergeant at Arms, Richard Green, who then handed over to our President, Paul Andreas.  Paul announced the creation of a new committee, the Nominations Committee and encouraged members to join it.  Its role will be to oversee the election of the new committee, which is likely to happen in May.  Richard M is looking for two people to join him on this Committee, so please see him, if you’re interested.

Our VPE, Susan, then encouraged us to stand for the main committee and especially to stand for her role of VPE, which she then went on to describe.

Our Toastmaster for the evening was John Cross, doing the role for the first time.  He introduced his team to us comprised of Timekeeper – Susan Rayner – Timekeeper, Richard G – Ah Counter and Grammarian,  Warm up – Martin, Hot Tip – Karen.

Martin led the Warmup by asking members to share things they were passionate about, which was appropriate, as we had just celebrated Valentine’s Day.

Our first speech was by Paul A, with Speech # 4 from the CC Manual titled “Was it or wasn’t it (a conspiracy)”. He gave us several reasons why he thought the assassination of JFK was a conspiracy, including the fact that the “House Committee on Assassinations” had said it was.

Our second speech was by Margot with a speech called  “A Postcard from America”, which was Speech # 2 from the CC Manual.  Margot gave an amusing account of her four-day holiday in New York, which coincided with a hurricane so that everything was shut down during her stay.

The third speech was by Riya with Speech # 5 from the CC Manual called, “What goes around comes around”.  This was a story with a moral about someone who helped an old lady whose car had broken down and in turn was rewarded, in a wonderful way.

After the break Annelise led the Table Topics with some very interesting questions one of which led Tony to share an amusing story about how he got his first kiss.

Then onto  the Awards.  Christine won the Table Topics award, Richard M won the Best Evaluation Award for his evaluation of Riya’s speech and Margot won the Best Speaker Award for her American holiday speech.

Richard M was then presented with another award – his CL Award that he has achieved for the second time!

Paul A then reminded everyone about our extra meeting on 23rd February and then drew the meeting to a close.

A big thank you to all those who took on roles and gave speeches and helped to make the evening a great success.  A special thanks and kudos (our word of the day) to John, who did a great job of being the Toastmaster for the first time.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be held on Thursday 23 February, which will be a special Speakathon.  We have six speakers and we still need one more Evaluator.


Paul Andreas, President, Bromley Speakers

Meeting Report – 2nd February 2017

On a dark and cold night when others didn’t dare venture out, the members of Bromley Speakers turned out en masse for our first February meet up. There was a warm welcome as you stepped through the door of The Ripley Arts Centre and visitors quickly found that there were members willing to share their experience of Toastmasters and answer any questions.


It was great to see ex club President Joe, and our past Area Director, Samir and Paul Rhys-Taylor from our District Committee.


Neil our Sargent at Arms efficiently ensured that everyone was ready and seated so that he could introduce club President, Paul on time. Paul reminded members that there will be an extra meeting in February on the 23rd.  This meeting will be a Speakathon with six speeches.  The places will be primarily for newer members wanting to do CC1 to CC5.  To book a place contact Susan Rayner or enrol via Easy Speak. 


The clubs International Speech Competition and Evaluation Competition will be held on March 16th.  Competitors must have completed the first six speeches in the Competent Communicator manual. The club also needs judges, counters, ushers etc. to run the event. Please speak to Dave Henson or Susan Rayner if you can compete or help.  Everyone is encouraged to take part in the event, as you don’t know what you can achieve, until you have a go.  Even if you do not have a role, please come along to the meeting as an audience is needed to clap, laugh and respond to the speeches.


Simon was our fabulous Toastmaster. Simon has been a member of Bromley for four months and a Toastmaster for four years. His humour and energy were on show from the moment that he took control, to the moment when he handed back control of the meeting to our club President.  We all loved his phrase, that Toastmasters ‘changes your brain without drugs.’  In other words it is life changing and allows you to step up successfully to take on new challenges.


Alexanderz was in charge of the lights at his first meeting after becoming a member. Congratulations Alex on a great job. Clear and succinct reports throughout.


Dave took on the roles of Ah Counter and Grammarian. It was a sign of the quality of the meeting that ten members did not use any filler words such as ahs or ums. Another six had only one or two.


Our musician Luke was in control of a very different warm up.  One by one the members joined in until the room was filled with a glorious sound.


Carrie was in charge of the Hot Tip which was, ‘believe in yourself, stand up and get on with it’. Good advice which was well delivered.


Christine was the first speaker. Her talk was titled, ‘giving up is so very hard to do’. A personal story of her struggle with cigarettes. It was also interesting to reflect on the changes in attitude over a relatively short time.


Next up was Annelise with, ‘welcome to my digital world’.  Again a speech that reflected on changes in her lifetime which included, vinyl to downloads and phone kiosks to Skype.


The last speech was from the very experienced Chris, delivering a Special Occasion Speech from the Advanced Manual Series. Chris praised his friend Kevin who has given a lifetime of service to the RAF cadets.  The applause was both for Chris and Kevin at the end.

The three speech evaluators were Riya, Richard M and Richard G. Each found much to commend from the speeches that they had heard.  They reminded us that a personal story can give the audience something that they can relate to.  Also, that if the purpose of a speech is to inform, to make sure there is content that the audience will want to know.


Our session on Impromptu speaking, (Table Topics,) was led by Alain. His theme was ‘nature or nurture’.  A great selection of subject matter that all the respondents could tackle well.


Georgina gave the evaluation on Table Topics suggesting points for improvement, as well as commendations.  She gave a very well structured review of the session especially as it was her first time.  We look forward to many more evaluations from her.


Paul G rounded off the evaluations as General Evaluator in his own inimitable style. Upbeat and very energetic. He gave two great bits of advice; after a meeting reflect on what you have done; and, to take all the opportunities that you are offered at Toastmasters.

At the end of the meeting, awards were presented by the club’s President to Samir (Best Table Topic), Richard G (Best Evaluator), Christine (Best Speaker).


Not wanting the evening to end, many members and friends of Bromley Speakers, headed off to the local ale house to reflect on the learnings of the evening.


The next meeting is on February 16th.