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Sunday, 12 August 2018

Another Wonderful Excalibur Meeting...


We enjoyed another fantastic meeting in the Fitzrovia Community Centre, with Ben calling the meeting to order before he handed over to club president Monika, who opened the meeting. She then introduced our Toastmaster for the evening, Alfredo, who took command.

Robin—who was performing the role of Meet and Greet—then invited our three guests on stage: Marti, Thomas and Edmund, who all told us a little about themselves and explained why they were visiting Excalibur, which is an advanced Toastmasters club.

Our Timekeeper was Nick, who explained his role before effortlessly keeping things on track throughout the evening.

Table Topics Master was Ian, whose topic was stupidity (!) though his questions were anything but. Ben, Thomas, David, Robin, Monika and Edmund all found something interesting to say, though members of the audience in general and Marcin in particular voiced doubts about the veracity of Ben’s claims to have punched (later to become) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the nose, back in the day. Evaluators were Marcin, Eva, Freddie, Cat, Simon and Errol.


The first prepared speech was delivered by Chinkata (Interpretive Reading 5 – The Oratorical Speech). He chose President Kennedy’s 1961 powerful inauguration address, written by Ted Sorensen. This is often considered one of the very greatest speeches and Chinkata did it justice with his flawless delivery.

Our second speaker, Lukasz (The Entertaining Speaker – 1 – The Entertaining Speech) was titled “How to Meet the Queen”. Not, as it turned out, QE2, but a damsel in his coffee shop! The audience shared his pain when it was revealed his carefully crafted advance was not entirely successful.

In our third speech, Cat (Storytelling – 5 – Bringing History to Life) recounted the mystery of the ten day disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926. From a car abandoned at a quarry to denials of her identity, Cat kept us enthralled not just by the narrative, but also by her expert use of pauses.

Three insightful speech evaluations were delivered by Errol, Marcin and Sue.

Freddie then conducted the Open Feedback session—where audience members are invited to make commends and recommends on the evening’s speeches.

Our General Evaluator was Marti. When Marti commented that Nick, the Timekeeper, had performed so faultlessly that he couldn’t think of a single recommend, Nick helpfully volunteered him an extra two minutes to develop the point.
Alfredo then handed back to Monika, who announced the evening’s prize winners:

Table Topic Winner: Robin 
Best Evaluator: Errol
Best Speech: Cat

Our next meeting is at 19:00 on 22nd August, 2018 at the Fitzrovia Community Centre, W1W 6DN. Guests are very welcome!


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Excalibur Meeting Report, 25th July 2018

Meeting Report, 26th July 201

😎 Excalibur Speaker = EasySpeak + Website + FaceBook + Twitter + Email + Blog πŸ˜Ž

Excalibur Advanced Speakers Toastmasters Club Meeting Report for Wednesday 25th July 2018

On a (rather too?) balmy London evening (the mercury hit 31 degrees Celsius/88 degrees Fahrenheit and off-the-scale humidity), our meeting was called to order by Marcin.

The meeting itself was opened by our President, Monika, before she handed over to our Toastmaster, Robin. Robin expertly sailed the good ship Excalibur far from the jagged rocks of boredom and whirlpools or disappointment by giving us a little background information about the role of Toastmaster before introducing the theme of the evening: fairy tales.

Before each person took the stage, their favourite fairy tale was announced, and why it was special for them.

Robin then invited our Meeter and Greeter for the evening, Freddie on stage who introduced our three guests: Moh (who was our GE for the evening), Marti and Thomas. After each had told us a little about themselves, our Toastmaster invited our immediate past president, Chinkata to explain his role as Timekeeper.

Ben was Table Topic Master for the evening and continuing the fairy tale theme, he invited a member of the audience to choose the hero of the evening’s story from a set of twelve carefully selected photos. The room fell silent with anticipation before the face of our protagonist was held up for all to see. There were gasps when (in a possibly slightly rigged vote), people recognised our Prince Charming as none other than club VPE Freddie!

Table Topic participants Cat, Lynne, Nick, Ian and David in turn picked two pictures from a hidden deck which they were invited to incorporate in what became a fast-paced and unpredictable yarn that one audience member was overheard suggesting was good enough to be long-listed for the Booker Prize.

Once the story had reached its riveting denouement, the Table Topic contestants were evaluated by Chinkata, Monika, Noor, Marcin and Lukasz (possibly even in that order). The club followed an atypical Table Topics this evening which brought a nuanced and even challenging variation to one of Toastmasters’ most popular activities. The club’s VPPR (this evening's Table Topic Master) can report that members gallantly rose to the challenge. We await confirmation of this assessment from the VPE.

After the Timekeeper’s report, we moved on to the prepared speeches which began with a speech by Lynne titled “Say Anything” (Pathways Strategic Relationships #2 – Evaluation and Feedback). The speech was an expertly delivered and amusing semantic feast that held the audience throughout.

Our second prepared speech, from the Story Telling Manual #2 Let’s Get Personal, was delivered by Noor. “Wisdom from an Outcast” took us on a Tantric journey of self-discovery. 

Our final speech was delivered by Ian (#2 from the Entertaining Speaker manual, “Resources for Entertainment”). Ian introduced us to the concept of “Kakistocracy” which he explained was the all too prevalent system of government in which the worst people gain positions of power. 

Speech evaluators were Ian, Nick and Freddie, all of whom delivered skilful and insightful evaluations.

Excalibur Speakers followed these evaluations with an Open Feedback session—in which the entire audience is invited to make commendations and recommendations on the prepared speeches. Expertly moderated by Cat, this session teased out more valuable suggestions for the speakers and audience to ponder.

Our General Evaluator, Moh, then took the stage to describe what he liked about our club, also making a number of suggestions. Moh demonstrated his experience with his relaxed and thoughtful delivery.
The evening wound down with Robin, our accomplished Toastmaster handing back to Monika, our President, who announced the evening's prize winners:

Table Topic Winner: Ian.
Speech Evaluators, Freddie and Nick shared the honours.
Best Speech: Lynne.


Despite the tropical heat and oppressive humidity, attendance levels were very good and the evening was a great success. A promising degree of rehydration was achieved in the  neighbouring King and Queen public house immediately afterwards.

Our next meeting is scheduled for 8th August at the Fitzrovia Community Centre, 2 Foley Street, London W1W 6DN.

Guests are very welcome!

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Excalibur Meeting Report, 27th June 2018

Next on: Regular Meeting on 11th July! (Details)

😎 Excalibur Speaker = EasySpeak + Website + FaceBook + Twitter + Email + Blog πŸ˜Ž

Happy birthday to TME Freddie Daniells. We had a joyful toast in the beginning of the meeting. Cat Kipling warmly greeted our members. Lukasz Karwacki served as a timekeeper. 

Table Topics

Table Topic Master, Lynne Cantor brought the audience to think on their feet. When it comes to Freddie's birthday gift, Sue Mannering would like to introduce various girls to him. Ian Brown liked the idea and recommended to have a strong ending. Anne Bingham painted a beautiful scenery of her Oxford graduation celemony. Cat Kipling liked her storytelling skills and hoped to hear more details. Lukasz Karwacki mentioned that in spite of a thousand of friends on Facebook, people usually chat with less than 100 friends. Eva Yang really enjoyed his point of view and suggested to extend the idea to more examples.

If the cater is missed in a 200-people party, Monika Swiderska would ask for his father's help since he cooks really well. Brain Skelton loved her sense of humor. In terms of the biggest birthday cake, Sonia Araujo looked forward to a vegetarian cake. Chinkata Okpara really appreciated her intersting viewpoints. Marcin Tolysz would hide himself in the corner if he was the only one in fancy dress. Freddie Daniells really appreciated his self-debracating humor and recommended to get close to the audience more. 

Prepared Speeches! 

Brain Skelton proposed a TEDx speech about his journey to overcome his stammer with the title “Never Give Up.” Evaluator Monika Swiderska enjoyed his courageous and touching stories and recommended to modify the title to "You can only go up!" Ian Brown convinced the audience to attend votunteering works (link1, link2, link3, link4) during their spare time. Evaluator Sonia Araujo loved his passion and suggested to have more descriptions on his volunteering experiences. 

Open Feedback & General Evaluator: 

Eva Yang clearly and succinctly drew out audience commendations and recommendations for both speakers. General Evaluator as well as the coming Division L Director, Marcin Tolysz suggested to adjust the invisible angle of a music stand.

Finally, Chinkata Okpara closed the meeting by announcing the winner: 

Best Table Topic Speaker: Anne Bingham 

Welcome to join us!

Next on: Regular Meeting on 11th July! (Details)

😎 Excalibur Speaker = EasySpeak + Website + FaceBook + Twitter + Email + Blog πŸ˜Ž

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Excalibur Meeting Report, 13th June 2018

Next on: Regular Meeting on 27th June! (Details)

πŸ’—Excalibur Speaker = EasySpeak + Website + FaceBook + Twitter + Email + BlogπŸ’—


On 20th Excalibur birthday, TME Simon Bucknall introduced everyone with possible global presidential meeting topic. Freddie Daniells warmly invited our guests to mention something attractive in Excalibur. Paul Andreas served as a timekeeper.

Table Topics

Table Topic Master, Ian Etherson brought the audience to various scenarios. When it comes to laziness, Brian Skelton stated different opinions on sleep late and sleep more. Lynne Cantor recommended to be more critical. Simon Peter found cooperation is more effective than competition in the long teet. Steve liked his well-use on power of three and suggested a punch line for the ending. Chinkata Okpara theoretically analased the relationship between job payment and a person's capability. Rod really enjoyed his point of view. Alfredo mentioned the importance of the ability to fake it. Sue loved his interesting answer. In terms of dogs, Marcin Tolysz said that the worst situation is the lovely dog was not loved by the human. David Adam really appreciated his viewpoints. 

Prepared Speeches! 

Eva Yang proposed a technical presentation with the title “Passive WiFi Radar.” Evaluator Monika Swiderska enjoyed her clear slide content and recommended to avoid looking backward. Ben Starling delivered an informative speech on the interesting topic of “My life as a women”. Evaluator Lynne Cantor loved his examples and suggested to have more variations on vocals. Cat Kipling amused the audience with her fascinating adventures in travelling. Evaluator Bob Nisbet really liked her interesting experiences and the storytelling skills. 

Open Feedback & General Evaluator: 

Robin Alcott clearly and succinctly drew out audience commendations and recommendations for both speakers. General Evaluator as well as the current District Director, Pedro Casillas had a lot of fun in the meeting and provided recommendations for the session masters and evaluators.

Finally, Chinkata Okpara closed the meeting by announcing the winners: 

Best Table Topic Speaker: Alfredo Iorio
Best Evaluator: Bob Nisbet
Best Speaker: Ben Starling

Thanks to Robin Alcott, Cat Kipling and Eva Yang, who helped taking photos, the meeting report becomes so colorful and fruitful. 

Welcome to join us!

Next on: Regular Meeting on 27th June! (Details)

πŸ’—Excalibur Speaker = EasySpeak + Website + FaceBook + Twitter + Email + BlogπŸ’—

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Excalibur Meeting Report, 30th May 2018

Next on: Regular Meeting on 13th June! 20th birthday party! (Details)

πŸŽ‰ Excalibur Speaker = EasySpeak + Website + FaceBook + Twitter + Email + Blog πŸŽ‰

With the meeting theme "Horoscopes", TME Eva Yang introduced everyone with his or her personalities of the star sign. Cat Kipling warmly invited our guests to promote their Toastmasters home club. Noor Khan served as a timekeeper.

Prepared Speeches! 

Paul Andreas who used to be an Marine Engineer explained how an engine works with the title “The Wheels on the Bus.” Evaluator Ian Etherson enjoyed his clear slide content and recommended to be aware of time limit. Simon Bucknall delivered an educational speech on the importance of teaching public speaking in schools. Moreover, on 1st July, Simon Bucknall will speak at TEDx London with the same topic! Evaluator Errol Williamson loved his examples and suggested to balance the time used in two stories. Robin Alcott, as a Canadian, amused the audience with her adventures in ice hockey. Evaluator Sonia Araujo really liked her interesting experiences and recommended more vocal varieties. David Adams, opened up his Icebreaker in <Innovative Planning Pathways> with a lovely poem of his star sign. Evaluator Dan Stoddart was surprised by his comfortable and confident stage charm and suggested to organised the speech.  

Open Feedback & General Evaluator: 
Carolina Castillo clearly and succinctly drew out audience commendations and recommendations for both speakers. General Evaluator as well as 2014 District evaluation champion, Lynne Cantor provided many useful tips for each individual evaluator.

As an extra event of Excalibur meeting, we also included some interesting sessions which are unusual for the regular meeting. Grammarian Marcin Tolysz introduced the word "chillax" (calm down and relax) on his T-shirt and reminded the audience various beautiful word usages from the speakers during the meeting. Moreover, Harkmaster Freddie Daniells brought a box of delicious chocolate and conducted the Q&A session with lots of fun. 

Finally, Chinkata Okpara closed the meeting by announcing the winners: 

Best Evaluator: Dan Stoddart
Best Speaker: Robin Alcott

Thanks to Ben Starling, who was the photographer during the meeting, the meeting report becomes so colorful and fruitful. 

Welcome to join us!

Next on: Regular Meeting on 13th June! 20th birthday party! (Details)

πŸŽ‰ Excalibur Speaker = EasySpeak + Website + FaceBook + Twitter + Email + Blog πŸŽ‰