What an evening of coincidences!
Last night I attended the Winchmore Hill Speakers club meeting at the delightfully pleasant pub, The Winchmore in Winchmore Hill.
The meeting was well attended with a mix of club members, visiting Toastmasters from other clubs and guests.
Anna our Toastmaster for the evening set the tone with her infectious enthusiasm and subtle humour throughout the evening ensuring everyone felt welcome and at ease. Especially taking care of the guests.
We had 2 prepared speeches; Anna gave us an interesting insight in to CRM (Customer Relationship Management), – the first coincidence – I am currently looking at CRM system for my work, so Anna’s speech was particularly relevant for me personally. The feedback I heard from other members, was that her style of delivery gave many of the audience some good pointers on how to be more effective in public speaking.
The second speech was given by Florian. Florian is a very experienced Toastmaster who was visiting the club for the first time. His speech was a completely different type of speech to that given by Anna. It was based on presenting an award. Florian told us about the courage and determination of early pioneers moving from Europe to America, and linked that to the establishment of the first Toastmasters club here in the UK some 30 years ago. Then through to the establishing of the Winchmore Hill Speakers Club now. He finished by presenting the club president a certificate!
What I very much appreciate about Toastmasters is that as well as the clubs individually being very friendly and welcoming, the ethos of mutual support and encouragement is felt whenever I meet Toastmasters from other clubs; sharing experiences is a great way to improve public speaking and leadership skills.
The impromptu part
Later in the evening the impromptu speaking led to several more coincidences.
Shirley, a first-time guest visitors at the club spoke for Just – a – Minute. She told us that her husband had in fact been a founding member of the same first UK Toastmasters Club which Florian had referred to in his speech. By coincidence, several years ago she had worked at the same pub that Winchmore Hill Speakers now hold their twice monthly meetings. Two coincidences in one!
Sunita spoke warmly of a recent experience at work which had brought a tear to her eye. Coincidentally, Barbara had a similar experience which she shared so passionately with us!
We were on a coincidence roll now!
The Table Topics session is an enjoyable part of the evening. Members are invited to speak on a topic which they have no warning of. This is a great opportunity to practice and learn from others. Overcoming that fear of speaking, in a safe and supportive environment. Sunita lead the session the theme she had chosen was “Private Number Plates”. What a coincidence, Anna’s boss from work is an avid collector of prestige cars with private number plates. She could take the topic given her and turn it into a humorous speech about the excitement and joy of experiencing her first ride in a Tesla all electric sports car!
An enjoyable evening which concluded with 10 to 15 minutes informal networking!
As the English actor and writer Heron Carvic once said;
“If there were no such things as coincidence, there would be no such word”