London Cardinals Speech Mark

Newsletter: 22 May 2017 – Be Spontaneous!

Posted by | June 5th, 2017 | Comments Off

The end of the TM year is upon us! Our showcase meeting is on the 19th of June!

Last meeting was opened with the warm greetings of our President Sonia, who brought over some sun to London from excessively sunny California!

Chau was our Toastmaster for the evening and the audience indulged in the very well-rehearsed spontaneity of the evening. It was a witty pick of the theme, as we all know that practice makes perfect when it comes to preparing for your speech.

Joy, the Table Topics Master of the night, challenged members with questions about Britain. We had wonderful  mini speeches on a dress code for the royal wedding and on a challenge of being spontaneous when you need to book 8 months in advance!

Prepared Speeches

Helen confidently presented her #2 speech about her love for cycling. It was very easy to follow and full of fun personal stories from the life of a cyclist. Why not to try it now when the summer is in the city!

Mohammed brilliantly delivered his #6 speech about a Syrian girl Yasmin. It was a deeply emotional and moving story about Yasmin who had lost her loving and caring father in the mayhem of the Syrian war.  Powerful and beautifully descriptive language from Mo.

An advanced speech from Renata about the new age thinking was very topical and relevant for the audience. As always, Renata shared wonderful personal stories about her phases in life, supported with witty jokes and beautifully crafted allegories. Let’s not forget that age is just a  number and it’s only important for wine, cheese and whiskey!

Lucia delivered an unforgettable story based on her personal experience of getting pregnant. Lucia masterfully set the scene, outlined the characters and build up emotion. The story culminated with wonderful news – Lucia is expecting twins! It was a wonderful and winning performance as well as a masterclass in storytelling.


Best Speaker

Best Speaker

Newsletter: 8 May 2017 – Don’t let bitterness still your sweetness!

Posted by | May 21st, 2017 | Comments Off

The evening was opened with a warm welcome from our President Sonia. Sonia told us about the great time she had at the Toastmasters Spring Conference in Southampton.

Denise, our Toastmaster for the evening, skilfully orchestrated the night making it another unforgettable learning experience for all in attendance.

Stephan, our Table Topics master for the evening, masterfully  led the impromptu session filled with varied personal stories from our members. We heard stories about first kiss, first love, biggest fears and the proudest moments.

New Committee

Paul opened the second half of the evening endorsing the new committee. Lots of background work has been happening in the last few months as the term is coming to an end this summer. As always, the club is proud to have very talented and enthusiastic members serving at the committee.

Prepared Speeches

Nita has brilliantly delivered her first speech devoted to her passion for water. Wonderfully structured and passionately delivered the speech was a very poetic description of the beauty of swimming and also of its therapeutic power.

Joy has truly moved the audiences with her winning #3 speech devoted to her friend Chris. It was a beautiful story about an outstanding person who knew how to celebrate life. The story was a powerful reminder for everyone – don’t let the bitterness still the sweetness.

Leonard has delivered his thoroughly researched #6 about social media. Its omnipresence and convenience come with a price. So, let’s not forget about the negative effects of overexposure, distorted representations and peer pressure, specifically challenging for young people!

Congratulations to Joy for the best speech, Lucia for TT and Paul for evaluating Joy’s speech!

Division B Contest on Saturday, 22nd of April

Posted by | April 17th, 2017 | Comments Off

Support Danny and Caro at the Division B Contest on Saturday, 22nd of April!!!

Newsletter: 3 April 2017 – Festive pre-Easter Cardinals meeting

Posted by | April 17th, 2017 | Comments Off

Paul as acting President opened our meeting with a blast of energy, reminding us all how many opportunities Toastmasters gives us to practice preparation. He shared his polite version of the commonly-used phrase –  Prior Preparation Prevents Pretty Poor Performance.

Jenny, our brilliant Toastmaster for the night asked, as her theme for the night, what we might admit to having pilfered. The answers varied from library books to ash trays to (involuntarily) a set of car keys – a nap at work, and a joke, and in common with Nita’s word for the day, the stories were both exciting and succinct.

Hoopla! Table topics

Sinead as our Table Topics Master started with a great theme, events of the season that she should go to before she has her baby. She was looking for advice on what to attend, from the Chelsea Flower Show to Wimbledon, Glyndebourne, the National Theatre, Hay Festival, Royal Ascot, Glastonbury the Serpentine Summer Party and more. Winner of the Table Topics was Thomas, who advised excitedly that she should go to a big party called Hoopla with him rather than waste her time on society events with (he said disdainfully) the posh people.

Committee Roles

Mo as our Vice President Public Relations told us about what a great experience it had been working in that role. He particularly extolled the parties that the other Toastmaster PRs organised “We really know how to enjoy ourselves”.

Sieu, as our webmaster, explained that he had enjoyed seeing behind the scenes and learning how Toastmasters was organised. In his job, some tech experience was needed. Sieu has now served in the role 2 years and was stepping down.

Prepared Speeches

First up was Joshua with this Icebreaker. Joshua started with a joke about his surname Smith, and went on to describe his work as a Chiropractor and how he met his wife. Particularly brilliant in his IB, which gave us a compelling picture of who he was – was his wordplay and the fact that Joshua both made a business pitch to Sinead, and threw in the word of the day.

Second, Helene’s #2 talked to us about the Benefits of a Travelled Mind. She told us about how she likes to travel cheap and rough, and sold us the advantages of this way of travelling, from appreciating the diversity of food to getting culture shock – and finding how generous people she met were along the way. She told us about being given a man’s car and home in New Zealand for three days – including a well-stocked fridge – while hitch-hiking with a friend.

Third up was Leonard on what he has learned from Sporting Heroes, in a #5. This was an interesting exploration of how sporting heroes can help young people get fit, and which sporting heroes we should use as role models (he thinks Rugby players). This was a thoughtful speech and it resonated with many.

Finally, Arnab’s Welcome to My Palace, also a #5, talked about his use of the Memory Palace to remember his speeches and evaluations. In a surreal beginning, he introduced us to his flat, with Greek Heroes fighting in one room, and Chicken Pie for 100,000 people in the kitchen, and X factor Judges in the bedroom. Through this he showed us how he used these motifs to remember aspects of his speech – for which he won best speaker!

Best evaluator was Stephan!

Congratulations to Arnab, Thomas and Stephan!

Newsletter: 20 March 2017 – Inspiration is Everywhere!!!

Posted by | April 1st, 2017 | Comments Off

Our President Sonia opened first Cardinals meeting in spring with… Lollipops! Handmade and delicious –  we tried them in the bar afterwords! There is nothing more inspiring as something done with your own hands!

Sally, our Toastmaster of the evening, continued the theme of inspiration inviting members to share what and who inspires them.

Jenny, Table Topics Master for the night, suggested an exciting new format for the session. Lots of random objects were given to participants to choose from and build up their table topic around the selected object. We saw the power of human imagination in action. It’s incredible how one simple object can trigger all sorts of memories and recollections. We heard stories from Danny about wooden dice, eraser made Zeph remember his violin classes when he was a child and a measure tape is Renata’s most used working tool! And of course Teddy‘s auction of the spider is unforgettable.

Prepared Speeches – 2 Advance Speeches

Mohammed wonderfully delivered his winning #5 speech “Great dream.” Mo shared his experience of pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and the feeling of happiness this experience invoked in him. Beautiful description of the pilgrimage and personal lessons on happiness from Mo left the audience reminiscent of what happiness means for us individually.

Thomas in his #8 speech “A lovely bun” gave us a glimpse into his fabulous lifestyle.  Hosting CEOs in Amsterdam, then going skiing the next day, then a friend’s wedding and a cherry on top of his fabulous week was a master class with a famous chief, where Thomas won the prize for the best dessert. Who would have doubted it?! And it was only one week in life of our Thomas.

Sinead delivered a very insightful, educational advanced speech on how to evaluate speeches. Top tips from Sinead are: (i) follow the structure Commend-Recommend-Commend (i) within this structure address content and delivery of the speech (iii) pick a theme and stick to it, supporting it with sub-points and examples. And don’t forget a strong close – come to the conclusion, not to the end!

Shimi engaged the audience with advanced interpretive reading speech “Look closer”. Wonderful and emotional delivery of two beautiful contemporary poems about nursing and caring.  Brilliantly delivered piece from Shimi allowed the audience use their imagination to create visions and images in their heads.

Congratulations to Mohammed, Joshua and best evaluator of the evening Emily!

Area 8 Contest Results 2017

Posted by | April 1st, 2017 | Comments Off

Congratulations to fellow London Cardinalians

Carolina Castillo for winning the Area 8 Evaluation Contest!!

Danny Callaghan 2nd placed & Carolina Castillo 3rd placed in International Speech Contest.

Newsletter: 6 March 2017 – The Robots are Coming!

Posted by | April 1st, 2017 | Comments Off

Our wonderful President Sonia opened the meeting with her customary enthusiasm, warmth and confidence.  She challenged all of us to consider the many events going on in the world and how we as Toastmasters are sharpening our skills to talk about these events whether with prepared speeches or  just “thinking on our feet”.

Christian was “suited and booted” for his role as Toastmaster as he guided us brilliantly through the evening.  He was both funny and engaging – at one point suggesting he may be removed by democratic process at the interval!  Since it was Academy Awards week, movies were the topic of his intros for the functionaries with favourites like “Forest Gump” and the “Great Gatsby” getting nods for favourite films.

Lucia took us into the not too distant future with her Table Topics on robots.  We were entertained and challenged by questions like “what makes you better at your job than a robot?” and “would you choose a robot over a human for a spouse?” Some great answers came back – Paul decided he could retool as a robot coach and make out quite nicely from the coming robot invasion.

Prepared Speeches

Helene gave her Ice Breaker!  We all got to know Helene better as she told us the story about the small French town she grew up in surrounded by fields of potatoes and tomatoes.  She loved it there but three things drove her to leave home for “A Big World Out There” as her speech was titled.  In a very confident and warm style she told the club how her desires for travel, to have a life the fit her values and to seek adventure by getting out of her comfort zone all brought her to London.  Well done and congratulations on a great Ice Breaker!

Next up was the first of our club’s golden couple, (yes husband and wife both speaking on the same night!), Ellie with a #2 speech.  Ellie gave a well organised, thoughtful speech on “Organisation and efficiency”.  She took the club through how to “write it down!”,  be a scheduler and, above all, “don’t procrastinate”.  Your newsletter correspondent this week has taken Ellie’s advice and written this missive without putting it off!  She ended her speech with a  variation of a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger: “The most beautiful feeling you can have as you go to bed is knowing you worked harder than the people who procrastinated”.

Ellie’s “other half”, Teddy, was up next with his #4 speech “How to Get Over Fear”.  Teddy delivered a very inspirational speech with poise and confidence.  He told the club how despite facing opponents taller and bigger than he, he was able to fight his way to a silver medal in the Bulgarian national martial arts competition.  He described how, despite not knowing some of the ins and outs of being a CEO, he pursued his ambitions and has become a CEO of several companies.  Along the way he did this by “naming the fear and rejecting it” and knowing when “fear comes into your mind you must reprogram your mind-set to remove the fear”.  Well done Teddy for a very inspiring speech on pursuing goals despite our fears.

Last up with a speech from the “Advanced Manual on Interpretive Reading” was Shimi.  For her interpretive reading she chose to read from the first chapter of “Wild Swans”.  She gave a short introduction about how the book covered three generations of Chinese women starting with a grandmother living in 1920’s China.  As Jenny Cutler, Shimi’s evaluator, said, an interpretive reading is a lot harder than you think.  Out of a book of several hundred pages you must choose the right 700 words to read to get the essence of the book across to your audience.  Shimi’s choice from Wild Swans was impeccable as she read about the grandmother having her feet bound as a child and ending up as a concubine by the time she was 15.  A very enthralling reading by Shimi – well done!

Along with Jenny, we had a great Table Topic evaluation by Carolina and speech evaluations by Maggie, Mohammed and Sinead and General Evaluator Renata.  Well done to each of them.

Keeping with the Academy Awards theme of the evening…and the winners were:

Thomas for best Table Topics (“robots and San Francisco trams”)

Mohammed for best evaluation of Teddy

Shimi for best speech

And finally – a big congratulations again to Helene for her Ice Breaker.

Join Us – London Cardinals Club Contest 13 March 2017

Posted by | March 12th, 2017 | Comments Off


Newsletter: 20 February 2017 – Celebrities Came to Town!

Posted by | March 12th, 2017 | Comments Off

Sonia, our President was in a good spirit and reminded us that even shy people can become great public speakers or performers.  Remember the front man, the late Freddie Mercury from The Queen. Though shy by nature, but exceedingly flamboyant on stage.

Alfred, our Toastmaster of the evening, energised the atmosphere with his fantasy theme –  ‘How would you like to re-engineer the human race?’ Oh! Just give us one more eye that needs no sleep, so we could all be on the look out 24/7.

Leonard suggested another fantasy theme for the Table Topics – he challenged the audience to act out his secret list of celebrities such as Adele, Kardashian, Simon Cowell, Trump, Ed Sheeran, David Beckham, Gordon Ramsay, Kate Moss, Justine Beiber and Elton John to name a few.  And the best act went to Christian Asare who played Trump so well that me thinks he’s a secret admirer!

Prepared Speeches – Two Advanced Speeches!

Olga gave her #2, “What are you?” which in fact is a continuation of her personal life story from her ice breaker. She gave a poignant reminder that parents should let their children choose their own career paths.

Chau redefined the meaning of ‘Graffiti’ in her #8 as secret messages from the artists and not just an act of vandalism.

Maggie skilfully delivered her advance Interpretive Reading speech about a book titled ‘The Uncommon Reader’ by Alan Bennett, a subversive story about the royal establishment.  We could visualise The Queen’s presence when Maggie mimic her voice so well.

Our last speaker was Danny with his advance Folk Tale speech ‘The Hare and The Tortoise’, a tragedy in two parts. Tragedy indeed, but triumphant for Danny as he took the best speaker award yet again. To be fair it was well executed in his pomp.

The evaluators were Arnab, Jenny, Lucia and Thomas and the best evaluator went to Jenny Cutler who evaluated Chau with her good tips for improvement.

Newsletter: 9 January 2017 – First Meeting of 2017!!!

Posted by | January 15th, 2017 | Comments Off

It was a storming meeting on 9 Jan 2017, with Paul back as our Toastmaster and Sonia debuting as President.

Exciting start of the Year with fabulous speeches and more inspiration and learning!

A great Storytelling Workshop is coming on the 23rd of February at the London Victorian’s venue:

Paul‘s theme, channeling Danny, was “un-resolutions” (not a real word – ed), and we found out all the things that the club members resolved not to resolve this year, from doing a Dry January to keeping Gratitude Journals. It was an entertaining evening.

Word of the day from Christia was “Flamboyant” – and it was widely-used. She later commended Cardinals for these lovely phrases:
– “the atmosphere in the house nose-dived” – Charles
– “solution-oriented inquiry” – Isaam
– “listening to your inner voice and trusting your gut” – Emilie
– “broaden my horizons” and “serendipity” – Lucia
– “grabbed onto a subject and held onto it” – Maggie
– “festival of literature” – Stephan

Table topics led by Ting were all about resolutions; and no surprises when Danny won.

Prepared Speeches

With a blazing #1, Charles set the house on fire with his ice-breaker. a personal and inspiring story of making his own career decisions and creating his own path towards becoming a doctor, via dentistry and with a lot of hard lessons along the way. This was an exceptional #1 and we look forward to seeing what Charles does next.

In his well-structured #2, Issam gave us his practical tips for making and keeping New Year’s Resolutions. He carefully appealed to the audience by showing that he knew what happened to those resolutions we make, usually.

Third speech of the night was Emilie‘s beautiful Storytelling project in which she transported us to the sounds and sights of India. We felt as if we were there with her, as she painted a compelling picture of the cultural shock she experienced on arrival.

In her winning #10 Lucia told two contrasting stories about communities, -about murders, about a Valentine’s Day Fire, and her personal journey towards discovering and building communities – to encourage other Cardinals to get involved in their communities this year.

Best evaluator was Danny, for his amazing evaluation of Emilie‘s speech.

Lucias Winning Speech

Lucias Winning Speech