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