WH award winners - 3 July 2017

Public speaking meeting – 3 July 2017

Our evening of public speaking and fun started with Rosy, our club president, wishing us all a very happy new year.  Some of us may have been forgiven for thinking she had gone slightly mad, but then she explained that Toastmasters clubs operate a yearly programme which starts in July of each year.  As the weather warms, this is an ideal time to make “new year’s resolutions” about improving public speaking and leadership skills.

I was the Toastmaster of the evening on this occasion.  We rotate the roles for our meetings so that everyone has chance to practice their skills.  As Toastmaster, my task was to guide everyone through the planned activities.  Nadia, a brand new member of the club, was our grammarian for the evening.  She challenged us to use the word Kudos as many times as possible.  Kudos to Nadia for choosing such an interesting and positive word.  Nandarane, another new member, had volunteered to help us pay attention to our distracting  “filler-words”, such as ah, erm and … well, and…  Finally, Dorothea kept us all running to time throughout the evening.

After all the introductions had been made, we started with our prepared speeches.  This is where the speaker has used the Toastmasters International Education Programme to help them craft their speech.

Prepared speeches

Ekong started off with a speech entitled “The greatest is charity”.  His aim was to persuade us all to give (and give more) to charity.  He made a very compelling argument, particularly when talking about helping homeless people.  I was pleased to provide him with feedback afterwards.  His confident delivery helped us all to focus on his key message.  As this was Ekong’s eighth speech in Toastmasters, it was clear that he has been learning a lot and getting benefit from the practice.

Rosy then treated us to some reflections on changes in the way people travel.  Her “travelling changes” speech helped us understand some of the trends in the travel industry over the years.  We learned that the USA is no longer the top destination for travelers from the UK, and how air travel has grown dramatically.  Rosy also shared stories about how people used to complain in the days before smartphones, Tripadvisor and Twitter.  John then commented on the value that he had gained from the speech.  He also shared with us all some handy tips on using flipcharts effectively.

Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin.  For our final prepared speech, I shared a story about “Poor Michael”.  A folk tale about the trials and tribulations of Poor Michael trying to get a job.  The message of the story was that it’s important to think carefully about the advice that you receive.  Salem kindly commented on the use of language, structure and energy in the speech.  These were all things that I learned about in the Toastmasters Storytelling advanced speaking manual.  Salem also offered me some great advice on how to use contrasts to make even more impact.

Impromptu public speaking

After catching up with friends and meeting new people in our networking break, we practiced our impromptu or off-the-cuff speaking.

Barbara guided us through this section, which had an extra-terrestrial theme.  We were asked to imagine what would happen if we how we would respond if abducted by aliens or whether we would move to another planet.  All very thought-provoking and entertaining questions to try an answer.  Sinita was speaking to us about her shape-shifting flights-of-fancy, whilst Lee pleaded with the alien visitors to be friendly.  Dorothea shared what she would do if she found an inter-dimensional portal under her stairs.  John won our Table Topics award for the evening by telling us what happens when he finds an alien curled up on his favourite chair.

Salem provided each of our speakers with feedback on what they did really well and what they can consider for the future.  This provided just the type of support, advice and encouragement that we come to expect from Toastmasters evenings.  The club voted Salem as the Best Evaluator for the evening.

What next?

Kudos to everyone that attended and practiced their public speaking last night.  The fun and learning continues at our meeting on 17th July.  Please visit or contact us to learn more.

Steve Campion

Public Speaking Award winners for 3rd July 2017 - Steve (best speaker), John (best Table Topics) and Salem (best evaluator)
Public Speaking Award winners for 3rd July 2017 – Steve (best speaker), John (best Table Topics) and Salem (best evaluator)


What is Gavel Club?

Gavel Clubs are affiliated with Toastmasters International and provide a supportive and structured environment for members to develop their public speaking and leadership skills.

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What's in it for me?

Gavel Club will give you the skills and confidence you need to effectively express yourself in any situation. Whether you are a tenured manager, student, young professional, someone looking to advance their career, or someone hoping to make an impact in your community, Toastmasters is the most efficient, supportive, enjoyable, and affordable way of gaining great communication skills. By learning to effectively formulate and express your ideas, you open an entirely new world of possibilities. You’ll improve your interpersonal communication and be more persuasive and confident when giving speeches.

Joining Toastmasters can help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Is one of your goals listed below? Click on it to see how we can help you accomplish it!



  1. Build Confidence for Public Speaking: Gavel club present speaking opportunities at every meeting. Whether you present a prepared speech, participate in Table Topics®, or fill a meeting role, you can get the valuable practice needed to build confidence for public speaking. And Toastmasters’ safe and supportive club environment means there’s no pressure, so you can work at your own pace.
  2. Become a more effective speaker: An integral part of Toastmasters is giving and receiving feedback. When you speak at a club, a fellow Toastmaster will provide you with feedback to help you grow your public speaking skills. With the Pathways learning experience, you will have access to an education program that will teach you the skills required to become a more effective speaker.
  3. Improve my presentation Skill: Gavel Club isn’t only for improving your public speaking or communication skills. By giving speeches and working through a learning path in the Pathways learning experience, you will learn how to structure your presentation and incorporate tone and body language to truly engage with your audience.
  4. Improv my Leadership Skill: Since Gavel clubs are run by members, each club offers volunteer leadership positions. When you combine this with the leadership skills you can learn through the Pathways learning experience, you can not only build skills, but can gain valuable experience leading a team.
  5.  Meet my professional Goal: By improving your communication, public speaking, and leadership skills, you are building a better version of yourself. Whether you are hoping to land that big promotion or simply want to feel more confident when communicating with coworkers, Gavel Club can help teach the skills you need!
  6. Increase my fluency in a Language: By improving your communication, public speaking, and leadership skills, you are building a better version of yourself. Whether you are hoping to land that big promotion or simply want to feel more confident when communicating with coworkers, Gavel Club can help teach the skills you need!
  7. Network With Others and Build Social Communication: Gavel come from all walks of life. Over time, attending meetings will allow you to build social connections and network with others that you may not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. In a Gavel club, you’ll find likeminded people who are working hard to build similar skills as you!


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What can I expect in a meeting?

In Toastmasters, everything revolves around the club meeting. With over 15,000 clubs in almost 150 countries, each club is unique in their own way. While clubs all feature the same structure, some are more formal, feature a theme, or have criteria for members to join. We encourage everyone to visit several clubs until they find one that fits their needs. To learn more about the basic structure of a Gavel Club meeting.

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What does the club experience offer?

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What are members saying?

Don’t just take our word for how great being a Gavel Club is. Hear from members from around the world who have used the Toastmasters program to learn new skills, solve problems, and grow as individuals.

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How do I learn and grow?

In addition to the supportive learning environment in the club, there is a structured education program called Pathways.

What is the Pathways learning experience?
Pathways is Gavel’ exciting, interactive, and flexible education program open_in_new. It focuses on five core competencies: Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Strategic Leadership, Management, and Confidence. With 11 paths to choose from (and more in development), you have the option to pick which skills you want to focus on.

How does Pathways work?
Sign into Pathways and take the online assessment, which will suggest a learning path based on your goals. As a Toastmasters member, you will receive one free path when you join. Progress through your path by completing projects, giving presentations at club meetings, and implementing feedback, all done at your own pace. Each path has five levels and you’ll start by mastering fundamentals before working your way up to demonstrating your expertise. Best of all, Pathways is available online or in print and is translated into eight languages!

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How can I start learning now?

Ready to experience the ultimate source in public speaking and leadership? For 90 years, the Gavel Club  has provided practical information and inspiring stories, with a range of in-depth articles and helpful tips written by industry experts and experienced members. You’ll gain tools for improving your speeches, advice on growing your leadership skills, and deeper insight into your strengths. Plus, look forward to online exclusives every month!

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I’m ready to join. What’s next?

You can visit a club near you—or one that meets online—for free as a guest, with no obligation to join. Find a club that best fits your schedule and personality.  Send questions via email to Winchmorehillspeakers@gmail.com .

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