WH award winners - 8 May 2017

Club meeting – 8 May 2017

Yet another fun evening at the club. We had fewer club members than usual due to other commitments. We were delighted to welcome four guests and several visiting Toastmasters to our meeting.

Rosy opened the meeting with her usual good humour, helping everyone to feel welcome and setting the tone for an entertaining and upbeat meeting. Kevin was the Toastmaster of the evening, with responsibility for guiding us through the planned agenda and helping everyone understand what was going on.

As usual, our meeting started with our prepared speakers. These are members of the club that are keen to develop their public speaking skills and have prepared short speeches that they wish to practice. First up was Wendy, who treated us to a speech with the title “Fit your own oxygen mask first”. Wendy used some of her personal experience to explain the impact and importance of stress in the workplace, and gave us all great tips on how to handle it. This was Wendy’s second speech at the club and in this speech she demonstrated what she has learned about how to structure a speech effectively. Wendy is able to see good progress in her speaking and we’re certainly looking forward to the next one!

Rosy spoke to us about a person she admires. She shared with us the personal story of this individual, who was born in Ireland and moved to the UK. It was an informative and though-provoking speech, with a twist at the end that intrigued all of us.

Graeme was next up with a competition-style speech. This was a little unusual for our club – but Graeme delivered it with great style and confidence. He talked to us about “the fight between the ears”, and the importance of not giving up. He illustrated it beautifully with stories about teaching his daughter to swim, and his personal experience of company telephones. It was certainly entertaining and inspiring.

Each of our prepared speakers receives feedback and advice from another member of the club in the form of an evaluation. Arnold, John and Steve were our evaluators, and each provided supportive and encouraging feedback based on the personal objectives of the speaker and their level of experience. These evaluations are at the heart of what makes the club special – as this is how we best learn how to develop our speaking skills.

We also practice impromptu or off-the-cuff speaking at our club meetings. This session was led by John, who gave us an opportunity to speak on a topic for just one to two minutes. We ended up with quite an eclectic range of topics, including small minute steaks, the whole problem of foxes digging holes and contemplating stationery whilst stuck in traffic.

Throughout the meeting we had Luke paying attention to any distracting “filler words”, Steve listening out for good uses of language and Dorothea helping ensure we all kept to time. At the end of the evening Graeme provided us all with a summary of what we had achieved, and the club members decided on our award winners for the evening.

WH award winners - 8 May 2017
8 May 2017 award winners – Rosy Holt (best Evaluator), Graeme Bass (best speaker) and Arnold John-Mensah (best impromptu speaker).

At the start of the meeting Steve set everyone the challenge of using the word “Surprise” when presenting. It was used very well indeed, but the fact that it was a fun and entertaining evening was not a surprise at all. That’s what we expect from the Winchmore Hill club!

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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