Welcome To Lewisham Speakers

Lewisham Speakers, is Multi -Cultural club, in the heart of South East London. With its friendly, supportive encouraging environment, it is perfect for nervous speakers to develop confidence and excellent speaking skills. Just 5 mins walk from Lewisham Train, DLR and Bus Stations.
Lewisham Speakers club is Affiliated to Toastmaster International - world Leaders in improving Communication and Leadership.Greenwich, Canada Water, Woolwich, Canary Wharf, Catford, Croydon, Penge, Locksbottom, Paddington, Sydenham, Bexleyheath, Dulwich, Forest Hill, Sidcup, Eltham, Plumstead, Bexley, New Cross and Central London.

Monday, July 18, 2016

What Went on at the Club Meeting on 6th July 2016?

6 July was certainly a new beginning and if you missed the meeting here are some of the highlights!!

Pat our new Sergeant at Arms welcomed us all confidently promising an exciting New Year for the Lewisham Speakers club! Paul, who is beginning his term as President welcomed us all and introduced all his Officers as part his team, Club Mission to follow.

Richard, who is an exceptionally talented Toastmaster made us relax and reminded us that we all make mistakes, but that's OK! John Lead the warm up and asked us for new challenges, including a new romance, pause, with the wife.
Molly took on the role of timekeeper for the very first time and did a great job in reminding us that time really does matter. "We are at a meeting not a support club" (Fantastic advice)

Pat stepped into the role of "Ah Counter" at short notice and reported on how we all need to avoid these crutches if possible to make our speaking powerful. 

Paul, doubling as Grammarian challenged us to initiate the use of the word Initiate (our word of the day) in our presentations. 

Now, to or Speakers and we had a bonus with Sally’s Icebreaker. Titled "What's in A Name". She gave a powerful presentation on how we relate to our history, through our names, and we really enjoyed to know Sally and look forward to seeing her progress through the Competent Communicator manual. 

Mark went next with his speech "Rent a Room". He used great structure to outline the process of getting a room, including being interviewed by house mates

Lucinda- one of our excellent members who returned after a break presented her speech "Once Upon a Time" which was a modern twist on Jack in The Bean Stalk, or Tower Block including iPads! Welcome back Lucinda, you have been missed.

Julian spoke from personal experience about "Food Stuffs" and suggested that on the subject of food fads, the "truth" may not be out there!  

The evaluators all built our 4 speakers up and we were reminded by Serena, Julie, Jenny and Philip that jargon can hinder a speech and that when telling a story, the story teller would ideally focus more on telling a story than performing. We were also reminded of the power of using personal stories and finally that using notes can act as a barrier by keeping a speaker behind a lectern though all four speakers gave great value.

After the break we had an exceptionally exciting "Table Topics" session lead by John, again around firsts. The best way to sum this session up is to say that each speaker, including our guests, all gave great answers to the questions posed to them. 

The winners of the evening were: 
- Best Speaker: Sally
- Best Evaluator: Philip
- Best Table Topic: Henry 

Overall it was a great evening! Thank you to the members who attended. The meetings really are made by our membership and we encourage everyone to attend and participate! 

See you on Wednesday the 20th
Lewisham Speakers Club

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May the 4th be with you

What a great theme for our May the 4th Lewisham Speakers Toastmasters club meeting. In honour of International Star Wars Day, Jason, our Toastmaster for the evening, urged us to go boldly where we may not have been before, on an epic mission – past Catford, past Crystal Palace and possibly as far as Croydon. He was supported by a wonderful team. Christophe was our warm up leader who asked us “What would you do if you were given £10,000?”. Every person attending stood and gave their short answers, which ranged from getting some work done at home to amazing holidays and investing in the stock market.  Joyce was our Timekeeper and warned us that she was ‘going German’ after explaining some different perceptions of national attitudes towards timing. She made sure we all understood the time constraints we needed to work within and explained how the light system would let us know when we were getting close to our limit. At the end of the meeting she was effusive in her congratulations to us all for keeping well within our limits. Jason’s other team member for the evening was Pat, our Grammarian. She gave us ‘realise’ as the word of the day and was happy to note many uses of it during the evening.

John Jenny Flavia
John & Jenny have completed all 10
Competent Communicator's speeches
We had three speakers at this meeting – and Lewisham Speakers is proud that two of them were giving speech number 10, meaning that we have two more speakers who have completed the Competent Communicator Manual.

Anne was our first speaker, delivering her 6th speech in the Competent Communicator manual. She told us her public speaking story – how she knew she had a mountain to climb, when it came to overcoming her fear of public speaking but then as she learned and practiced at Lewisham Speakers, she realised that that mountain was just a hill – and she was over it – ‘Over the hill’.

With speech number 10 the task is to ‘Inspire your audience’. John spoke to us about ‘Creativity’, and told us about his hobby of writing short stories. He enlarged on that by telling us about the script he wrote for ‘New Tricks’ – just for his own pleasure. He used quotes, such as Picasso saying ‘Every child is born an artist’, and it said that ‘Education strangles creativity’.

Jenny encouraged us not to compromise as ‘You’ve only got one soul’. She told us of her career aspirations, seeking out the right opportunities and her experiences of disappointment and ultimate success. She entertained us with an anecdote about how she managed to negotiate awful traffic in order to get to one interview, which included good use of body language and humour.

Sharon was our Tabletopics Master for the evening. She came up with an imaginative set of questions for impromptu answers, maintaining the Star Wars theme. Mimicking Darth Vader, with ‘Luke- I am your Father’ and asking who he would like to discover he was related to? Paul gave a heart-warming short speech about why he finds Dr Dre so inspiring. If Molly were ‘captured by the Empire’, if all other attempts to persuade her capturers to release her failed, she would resort to crying. If George could use a ‘Force for good’, he would bring peace to the Middle East. And if Naomi had her ‘own android’ she would definitely instruct it to do the ironing.

Our general evaluator was Paul. He evaluated all of the speakers who hadn’t already been evaluated, such as our President, Flavia, who always greets us so warmly – members and guests, with her calm, evenly paced manner, using pauses and vocal variety to keep us engaged. He praised Jason’s choice of theme along with his energy and humour as he guided us through an exceptionally well run meeting.

When Flavia, our President, opened the meeting she welcomed our eight guests and at the end she asked them to report back about what they had enjoyed. We’re happy to hear that guests always find us a friendly and welcoming group; challenging, in that everyone ends up speaking a little, even on their first visit (unless they really don’t want to), but particularly safe and nurturing too. Other comments included being inspired by the speeches, learning tips from the evaluations and enjoying the humour. We’re happy that three guests are planning to take up membership to start on their journey towards confidence with public speaking.

Joyce stood up at the end to highlight how well our Lewisham Speakers had done in the recent International Speaking Competition. At Divisional level we had two speakers in the top three. Flavia coming second at Richard came third. They are both inspirational for all of us!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Clean

Flavia, our President introduced the first spring session with encouragement for us to believe that we can become good speakers - as if we believe, we will succeed. “Every speaker’s journey begins with a single speech.” She welcomed our visitors and asked them what made them decide to come along. The answers were varied: a second visit, a friend is a member, a friend took her to a club in the US so she looked for a local club, one just browsing and thought it looked interesting and another was walking by, saw the sign outside and decided to pop in and find out more.

Our Toastmaster for the evening was Sharon. She lead us through the meeting very smoothly with an encouraging and positive attitude.  She was supported by Paul, our Sergeant at Arms, John as Timekeeper, Anne as Grammarian and Mark for the warm up. Sharon chose the theme of ‘Spring Clean’ for the evening. Anne chose the word of the day as ‘Refresh’ to work with that theme and Mark warmed us all up with a question about how we felt about spring cleaning. Members and guests gave quick answers expressing their views on cleaning, ironing and washing up. A great warm up with lots of laughter!

We had three speakers – including two Icebreaker speeches – two exceptional Icebreaker speeches! Julian and Christophe took to the Lewisham Speakers stage for the first time and Pat gave her 3rd speech.

Prize winners
Speeches and Evaluations means  Prizes!
Pat, Joyce & Jenny
Julian’s speech was ‘Be More Dog’, using a phrase which was familiar to us as an advert tag line which he related to the question ‘What makes us want to change?’  He took us from the bad habits he’d had at university, told us about an old man’s comment, which was his ‘trigger for change’, and his achievements since. His stage presence was admirable, he moved around the stage, made eye contact with the audience, spoke clearly and confidently and engaged us with his smile.

Christophe opened with “Who would like twenty million pounds?” and put his hand in the air, looking around, engaging us with his eyes, encouraging us all to answer the question by raising our hands too. He told us about his childhood, his yearning to better himself, his decision to become a teacher and moving on to new plans. He left us with a Les Brown quote “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

Pat’s speech was ‘The Magic of Words’ and she highlighted that words are the most powerful drug used by mankind. She needed to ‘Get to the Point’ for this speech and she did that by explaining the impact of words in therapy and generally in life. The pace of Pat’s speech and her voice make her easy and calming to listen to. She engages the audience with her eyes and makes good use of pauses to allow us to digest what she’s said before moving on to the next point.

Jenny, Mark and Jason evaluated the speeches, highlighting what was done well and offering a few recommendations.

We were visited by Rob, Area Director for our area - Area 59. He took a few minutes to let us know about some area and national events (see below); to thank the current committee for their hard work in the last year and rally support for members to participate as committee members in the next Toastmasters year (starting in July) – and to give us some general encouragement on our Toastmasters ‘self-education’ journey.

Richard lead the Table Topics asking random questions around issues like: What irritates you? What do you think of tattoos? Do you believe there are aliens? Do you believe in love at first sight? All of the answers were exceptionally delivered but Joyce was awarded the prize for the best impromptu speech about whether she would prefer money or friends. Joyce’s delivery was effusive - full of energy. She asked rhetorical questions as she considered the dilemma which had been posed and varied the volume of her voice as she conveyed what is and isn’t important to her.

The General Evaluator was Julie. She noted how everything was prepared before the meeting. Paul had made sure the room was set out properly so we all felt ready to go when we arrived. She praised Mark for getting us laughing during the warm up and Sharon’s warm and confident handling of the role of Toastmaster – her first time. Her recommendation was that when we are Evaluators and introducing the speakers, clarifying their objectives – we should try to use our own words rather than read from the Competent Communications manual.

Dates to note – and book:

  • Saturday 23rd April - Division K International Speech & Evaluation Contest and Workshops – BUT IT’S SOLD OUT – Keep your eyes peeled for next year.
  • Saturday & Sunday, 7th & 8th May - Spring 2016 Londinium Conference -  Book by 30th April - http://d91toastmasters.org.uk/conference/