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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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