There are so many changes happening at the London Cardinals – try keeping up with the meteoric speed of the presidential changes, the new learning programmes being introduced and some impromptu changes to the meetings. The abnormal weather meant some last minute changes to the programme and what a night it was. The participants said no to the bad weather and yes to some dazzling energy, humour and togetherness creating our usual fun evening.
Sonia our acting president opened the night ( for her last time ) as Lucia is returning from her maternity leave in early April to reclaim her position of presidency and influence, having completed one of the most important tasks of her Life!
Sonia shared her experience of a winter skiing extravaganza and encouraged all of us to video ourselves to maximise our visual training. For sure, Sonia’s legacy and creative energy will carry on shaping the club’s future through our performances and achievements!
Mo, our TM of the evening glued the meeting together with his undoubtable authority, expertly mixing in to the programme those who had booked their roles in advance and those who had no choice, but to volunteer during the evening having felt Mo’s piercing eyes on them!
Zeph, the best scientific guru of the club, delivered a speech about the health benefits of a bitter foods and fruit in our diet, in what his 7th speech. Many say it is easy to deliver scientific material, but to do so in such a lively and joyfully way, is not easy and Zeph truly shone during his delivery!
Shimi, a keen pioneer and researcher of the new educational ways at Toastmasters had a difficult challenge in preparing her speech. She spoke of ‘pathways’, with 5 competency levels for 10 different paths. Oh yes, these are coming our way, so please embrace them with the full love and care that only the London cardinals are capable of. Dive in to the resources online, or speak to Shimi to enjoy and embrace the new day and the new journeys that are available.
No awards or ribbons would have been good enough to praise those who made the evening so special. The ‘best cold freeze evaluator’ and the ‘best cold freeze speaker’ nominations went to those who spoke Zeph, Shimi, Maria and Sinead. A good job done by all involved!
Our Cardinals President, Sonia, began our meeting on Monday 5th March with inspiring stories about the first women who joined Toastmasters. She explained that as society evolved to include women, Toastmasters has also evolved. The latest advancement is ‘Pathways’, which is a new program within Toastmasters. Shimi will tell us all about it at our March 19th meeting.
Thomas, our ‘Irish tornado’ began the evening by encouraging us not to focus on the snowy weather of the last week, but onto more tropical locations. Each functionary and speaker made us dream of sunnier days while telling us about delicious mojitos, Long Island ice teas and more obscure cocktails like Death of an Aristocrat. The grammarian, Renata, introduced the word of the day: ‘grandiose’. Michelle led us through table topics which focused on the theme of food. We learnt from Malachi that in hard times, people turn to bread. Maria recounted her disgust at tasting bacon-infused chocolate and Charles reflected on the Instagram-obsessed culture that results in people’s food getting cold while they photograph it. Imagining a world where society turns against apples, Paul warned us that apples can be deadly – not just a choking hazard but also a cause of disease! He encouraged us to eat oranges instead. Alfred did an amazing job evaluating all 11 table topics speakers.
During the second half, we heard two ice-breaker speeches and one advanced speech. Elliot began with his ice-breaker titled ‘Adventure’ and shared about his experiences spear-fishing with sharks, working as a crew member on a ship in Mexico and becoming an art dealer. His main message: ‘The next big adventure is just around the corner’. Neil’s ice-breaker, titled ‘Speech number 1’ was somewhat unconventional. He began by saying that the one constant in his life since he was aged 18 was ‘I am extremely cheap’ and recounted his entrepreneurial activities at university, which involved him basically opening a highly-successful corner shop out of his room. He gave us tips for saving money including switching bank accounts regularly (to get the £200 cash). To finish, Jacqui (who is from another Toastmasters club) delivered a speech titled ‘Age is just a number’. She encouraged us to have ambition, let go of things and have fun throughout our lives. Her takeaway message: ‘Growing old is inevitable but ageing is not’. Our evening ended with insightful evaluations from Maria, Mohammad and Ana, as well as a General Evaluation from Carolina.
On Monday 19th February, our President Sonia opened by telling us about the new Toastmasters educational program – ‘Pathways’ – which we will hear more about next month. Our Toastmaster for the night was Renata, who regaled us with the theme for the night – things we love about London Cardinals. The strong theme emerging from these reflections was around the positive, encouraging environment that we have at Toastmasters, including the way we can learn from mistakes and grow together in our public speaking journeys. Our grammarian, Richard, introduced the word of the day: ‘tenacious’.
Zeph led us through the table topics which focused on the theme of adventure and exploration. We learnt that Trang would create a time capsule for space with items including a frozen human body (!), Ana shared about the delicious deep-fried, honey-roasted insects she would cook on a desert island, Andy encouraged us all to ‘keep a sense of adventure’ in our lives, Maria entertained us with her after-hours antics in the Olympic stadium and Roland shared his very detailed descriptions of how he would create his home in a cave on the moon. Mohammed delivered very insightful evaluations, sharing recommendations for each of the table topics speakers.
During the second half we heard three speeches. Michelle began with her speech titled ‘Fight or flight’, sharing honestly about her fear of birds and how exposure to what we are afraid of helps to reduce the power that fear has over us. Alfred’s speech, titled ‘Love on the brain’ talked about dating and mating, detailing results from scientific research focused on love. The takeaway was: ‘love is more than a feeling, there’s a whole chemistry to it’. Leonard ended with a speech titled ‘Get involved’, encouraging us all to skip the gym and focus on playing a sport instead. We learnt that the ‘healthiest sport’ is squash! The evening ended with detailed evaluations from Ana, Trang and Carolina.
An important reminder: the London Cardinals Club Contest is on Monday 12th March. If you’ve completed at least six speeches, contact Chau or Maria ASAP and sign up to compete to deliver a speech or an evaluation. We also need functionaries that night which anyone can volunteer for.
Sonia, our president injected an unbelievable level of interest and energy in to the meeting right from the start by reminding everybody that any grand journey begins with a small initial step. The meeting’s opening note then progressed in to philosophical reflections of our speaking paths at Toastmasters. All journeys at London Cardinals have begun and still begins with an icebreaker, then evolves in to an incredible personal and in many cases professional journey.
The toastmaster of the evening Gino entertained the audience with the replies from functionaries of the evening about the hottest modern topic- Bitcoin. We heard all sorts of creative replies as to how the participants would get rich and how would they spend their money too!
Shimi our table topic master, prepared a table topic extravaganza all woven around a choice. The bravest of Toastmasters were challenged to choose in between: ‘simple or sophisticated’, ‘global or local’, ‘quantity or quality’, ‘short or tall’. The winner of TT was Matt, who half way through his speech took a different course. Matt spoke about heights of humans and then moved to speak about tall and short drinks, which was brave indeed!
The second half of the meeting was fascinating and expressive with 1 icebreaker.
Anna confidently delivered her first speech at the club. We all learnt about Anna’s 3 tiers of passion and where she is now in her life and what she would like to achieve. Anna’s speech cemented the formula: of understanding a need- finding resources- and moving to action was truly inspirational. Anna won her first 2 blue ribbons of her TM journey.
Richard spoke about how to fight effectively against an ugly dragon called ‘procrastination’. The message of the speech outlined effective steps in fighting procrastination: an effective counting method in the morning; mapping your day and reflecting on the progress achieved.
Joy, with her project number 6 drew us in to the well-structured and very well-prepared speech talking about Richard Feynman and his book called ‘surely you are joking Mr. Feynman!’. The speech was packed with interesting examples from his life and full of combustible combinations which made possible by his unique mixture of high intelligence, unquenchable curiosity and eternal scepticism.
The meeting had a very humorous summary up by our GE, Malachi. Malachi delivered a creative and funny final set of evaluations keeping authority and yet dishing out good quality recommendations to all functionaries of the evening.
The evening was truly opulent in its quality!
On Monday 22nd January, our President Sonia opened by describing the Toastmasters journey as a ‘rollercoaster’ – full of highs and lows. Our Toastmaster for the night was Michelle, who entertained us with the theme for the night – advice we would give our ten-year old selves if we could go back in time. Our grammarian, Trang, introduced the word of the day: ‘effervescent’.
Ana led us through the table topics which focused on the theme of winter. Maria encouraged us to ‘make January special’, Solly entertained us with the account of her penguin-themed Christmas presents, and Denise delivered the best impromptu speech with her hilarious depiction of Christmas on a New Zealand dairy farm. Stephan gave us all a master class in evaluation – turning the usual table topic evaluation approach on its head to creatively deliver his feedback.
We began the second half with a Cardinals Challenge – Christian came up with a speech incorporating Hawaii, superman and a baby stroller, telling us about his encounter with a magic show. His advice – don’t use solid objects for magic tricks, always use live objects! Mohammed delivered a poignant number 8 speech about his visit to the Calais refugee camp and the spirit of humanity he found there. He recounted the moving story of his friend in the camp and highlighted that even in a hostile environment, there is a thriving community of refugees. Shimi ended our evening with an advanced speech – giving her own take on a famous speech that shared nine life lessons.
The evening ended with evaluations from Carolina, Richard and Beatrice, as well as feedback from our General Evaluator, Chau. All in all, a brilliant second meeting for the year!
Congratulations to the winners for the evening:
A very happy new year 2018 to all Toastmasters!
And especially our beloved London Cardinals club, which started the new year’s meetings at the new fantastic venue at The Chapel, Grange Wellington Hotel, 71 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PA! The new venue is truly remarkable and certainly injected lots of a renewed energy in to our performances. It is also probably something to do with an incredible acoustics and the layout of the room where each one of us can experiment with loud, low, brave, funny and soul touching public speaking!
Mo in the opening note for the evening spoke about new dreams, challenges, aspirations and positive changes which we are all facing in 2018 and set the energy and the frame for the whole evening.
The Toastmaster of the evening was Malachi with his tender loving care approach and a good Irish humour held the evening together and shaped it to an intricate entertaining learning bright Monday evening meeting. The functionaries and evaluators upheld the main mission of engaging, encouraging and entertaining in the best traditions of London Cardinals. Anna our grammarian suggested an incredible word ‘plethora’ (means many) which was enthusiastically used by many speakers. Neil, our time keeper was in full control of the evening and Joy engage our table topic speakers with a visual theme: to get to know you!
In the second half of the meeting Matt took the stage and delivered his project number 2 from the CC manual. Matt’s speech was about how the new technology effects creative industries. Matt’s speech raised an interesting dilemma whether the new technology helping or hurting creative industries and we heard his vision on this point.
Michelle with the project N3 was talking about her experiences of becoming a new puppy owner recently and despite a common perception of how beautiful and comforting young pyppies should be, the reality sometime can be far from the visual image drummed in to our conscious minds by the media. The whole experience is not anxiety free, but Michelle spoke from the point of responsibility, care and love.
Maria with her project number 8 was speaking about an art of learning. WE all ‘learned how to learn’. Maria was talking about a mental effort, effective recalling, sleeping on what you learned, effective summarising and visual metaphors working as anchor of the key blocks of information.
On Monday the 11th of December Mo our VPE stepped in for our acting president Sonia who was away on the business trip. Mo opened the evening with an engaging story about his friend who was shot during a robbery at the restaurant where he was working. Whilst at the hospital fighting for his life, Mo’s friend made positive choices thought laughter and fun. Mo’s friend wanted the nurses to laugh with him and treat him as he was a survivor! The story illustrated that we are all live our lives through the choices we make.
Christian, who took the stage as the TM of the evening tuned the evening on to Christmas spirit. Each functionary’s introduction was through their personal reflection about goals and heights achieved in 2017. Christian’s smile and jokes kept the festive mode though out the meeting.
Michele as our TTM, for the first time, amazed everyone by a very funny and unique Christmas table topic session with a magical twist. What would you do if you are a chief Santa and your reindeers have gone on a strike? Or how do you tactfully say to your Santa that he is getting out of shape by eating all those mince pies- these are some of the examples of what the audience had to produce the answers for!
Our prepared speeches session again demonstrated the true quality of our club and the long-standing traditions of the preparation and a honest self-disclosure on the stage. Malachi spoke about the illusive concept of being lucky. Those of us who are open to the challenges and changes would view themselves as truly lucky, compared to those who actually think that luck comes in phases or patches. Nobody has got a monopoly on luck even Irish! To be lucky is the choice we make.
Renata spoke about the modern-day obsession of mobile phones and tablets. The speech was interlaced with facts cautioning everyone from becoming a phone zombie.The obsession with our phones has various physical and emotional implications and a contributing factor towards the fastest growing crime in London.
Chau on Monday completed her mile stone delivering an emotional and personal number 10 speech. Chau spoke about her journey about learning to speak up. The episodes from Chau’s life ranged from the colourful sketches about bulling episodes at work, addressing a poor quality meal at the restaurant all the way to what Chau stands for and represents now; a confident young Vietnamese lady who is very proud of her heritage and who has broaden her personal comfort zone to an incredible depth and height!
Onwards and upwards!
December 11th 2017 was our last meeting of the year at our current venue Double Tree Hilton.
We are delighted to inform you that from January 2018 London Cardinals will be meeting at a new fabulous venue at a new time!
New Time – start at 7.15 for a 9.30 finish
Next meeting – Monday, 8th of January
New Venue – The Chapel at the Grange Wellington Hotel in Vincent Square, Victoria
71 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PA (closest tubes are Victoria, Pimlico or St James’s Park)
Great hotel bar at this venue for the “apres-meeting”!
We are looking forward to see you in a New Year at a New Venue!