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.