District 91 Spring Conference

 Over the weekend (9th -10th May) District 91 held it’s annual Spring Conference and we saw the first International Speech contest at Evaluation Contest awards for this new District. Held at the 5 star Grange Hotel in Tower Hill, just a short walk from our own Toastmasters venue (St Botolph’s Church).


There has been a lot of change and excitement over the past year. Due to the growth and popularity of Toastmasters across the UK particularly in London, a brand new District was created to cover UK South. Known as District 91 and effective since July 2014, this provided greater opportunities for people to take part, learn and continue being empowered to develop their communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

So it was important for the first District 91 Spring Conference to go off with a bang; it certainly didn’t disappoint, featuring contests, workshops, dinner, dancing and good times to catch with old friends and meet new acquaintances.

dinner picture

The contests in the Spring Conference are for speech and evaluations; all of the contestants have battled through their Club, Area and Division contests over the past 3 months to get these finals – the winner of the Speech contest going on to represent UK South at the Finals being held in Las Vegas this year.

The calibre was incredible and plenty of inspiring thoughts. Congratulations to Jeremy Robinson (NZICA Bank Speakers) who won the Speech Contest and Alex De Jong (North Avon Speakers) who won the evaluation contest.

Coming up is the Autumn Conference in Swindon from 7-8th November and will feature the table topics and humorous speech contests. More information and details to book will be available soon – so keep an eye out.

Ga Lok Chung – Club President

So, last week we hosted the Area 58 International Speech and Evaluation Contests…

Taking place on Thursday 26th March, Area 56 comprises of:
1st London Toastmasters

  • Broadgate Speakers
  • City of London Speakers
  • MLP London Bridge Speakers
  • Woodford Green Speakers
  • PMI UK

And guess what?

Our president bought home the bacon…

Area 58 Contest March 2015

Yes, Ga Lok came in with Best Evaluation for two years running!

Though we must also congratulate David Sterling of 1st London Toastmasters for winning best speech.

Can G-Lizzle go forward to win at the nationals? Only time will tell…

The GE Challenge

My heroes are the people that transform perceptions of what is possible and what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it.  Take for instance Roger Bannister; for year’s experts stated that the human body was simply not capable of a 4-minute mile.  It wasn’t just dangerous; it was impossible – yet in May 1954, he accomplished this feat. What make’s it so interesting is that there were no sudden catalysts such as technology that enabled him to achieved this, he simply had the certainty in himself that he could do the un-doable. Once he crashed through that barrier, the rest of the world saw that it was possible, and the 4-minute mile challenge has since been broken routinely.

For my more modest Toastmaster themed challenge – we encourage speakers to leave their notes off the stage yet I have never seen a General Evaluation completed without notes. The General Evaluator is usually a visitor to another Toastmaster club and responsible for the evaluation of the entire meeting and all the functionaries combining a tricky triple task of:

1. Using your public speaking techniques

2. Giving constructive feedback to everyone

3. Rapidly familiarising yourself with a group of strangers

Is it un-doable to give a great General Evaluation without notes?

My challenge: Complete 20 General Evaluations without any notes before my tenure as City of London club President ends in June 2015.

Since November I’ve completed 8 and another 5 are scheduled in over the next few weeks. The jaw dropping feedback has been fantastic as I’ve become more and more comfortable with the challenge; now I’m hoping that with every club visit I’m breaking the barrier and inspiring more people to go for it.

For those of you who want to take up the challenge, the 3 most common questions I get asked are:

How do remember everyone’s name?

Preparation. Request a copy of the agenda before the meeting and make a point of introducing yourself to each functionary whilst people are settling down at the start and in the break.

How do you remember all the feedback?

Conciseness. You’ve got 10 mins, to give feedback to about 11 people. Don’t get lost in pages of notes and details, just focus on the 2 or 3 observations that really stood out in the meeting for each person.

Do you use any memory tricks?

Apart from preparation and conciseness? I appreciate that every person who goes up to speak wants to improve, so I’ll always put something in help them. If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Written by Ga Lok Chung

Vincent Is Famous!


We have a cause for celebration…

As we all know, Vincent recently completed his Competent Communicator manual at the end of 2014 AND he then managed to get a mention in the prestigious London Toastmasters newsletter.

Click here to browse for yourself.

Well done Vincent!

Christmas Update


As the Christmas period is approaching we thought it would be a good time to update all on our meeting dates pre and post Christmas:

  • Tues 2nd December – Church meeting
  • Tues 6th January – Church meeting
  • Tues 20th Jan – Church meeting
  • Tues 3rd Feb – Church meeting
  • Tues 17th Feb – Church meeting

We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible!


CoLT Comittee

Area Humorous Speech Contest

It was a dull Tuesday evening at the end of summer…

CoLT members and guests enthusiastically gathered together at the usual time of 18:45 at St Boltophs.

Though there was something tangibly different about the atmosphere…

Of course, it is the clubs Humorous Speech Contest!

With some fantastic entries for both table topics and prepared speeches, Dimos and JP were respectively victorious.

Though unfortunately JP cannot make the Area Contest so Christine has kindly volunteered to stand in.

So, if you are up for a laugh, head down to our usual location next Wednesday (24/09/2014) to support Dimos and Christine.

Area Humorous Speech Contest

Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014, 6:45 PM

St Botolph’s Church
Aldgate High Street EC3N 1AB, London London, GB

1 Toastmasters Attending

Dimos and Christine compete in the Area Humorous Speech Contest!

Check out this Meetup →

See you there!

Let’s Do Speakers Corner

The Blank Stare…

One of the things in public speaking that unsettles many people is the audience’s Blank Stare© - a completely non-responsive audience.

That is actually the default position for most audiences and entirely natural.

The polar opposite is full on audience interaction of the sort that can make people envy speakers enduring the Blank Stare© 

And that is the sort of feedback you get when speaking to the general public.

On that note…

Area 58 is organizing a day out at the original free speech site, Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park on Sunday 20th July. The meeting point is Marble Arch at 11.00.

There will be exercises beforehand that everyone can take part in whether you choose to speak later or not

Let’s Do Speaker Corner

It will be a very entertaining day for all involved. The bonus being that it will be taking place at arguably London’s greatest park (amoungst Regents, St James’s and Victoria).

CoLT speaker gets triple award!

It’s great to see good speakers get recognised for the time and effort they put in to their club.  At the recent D71 conference in Dun Laoghaire one of City of London Toastmasters finest was recognised for achieving 3 awards in a single year!

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They Don’t Have to be Naked – Free eBook

We were contacted by a fellow Toastmaster named Ivan Wanis Ruiz from Canada, who has written an ebook on public speaking and is offering all of us a free copy.  It looks like a useful book for any Toastmaster and contains lots of hints and tips that you can use to help you through the manuals.

They Don’t Have to be Naked: A New Approach to Public Speaking That Will Help You Conquer Your Fears & Deliver Talks That Get People Talking.

They Don't have to be naked

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New Committee

Thanks to everyone who voted on Tuesday, and thanks to those who put themselves forward to be part of the committee and lead this great club over the next year.  Without further ado, i’d like to introduce the new committee….


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