Lynne Wilkins Competent Communicator

We are very proud to announce that Lynne Wilkins has completed all 10 speeches in the Competent Communicator manual.

This Wednesday Lynne gave us her 10th speech entitled “Who Do You Think You Are”.  Project 10 is a challenge to give a speech which inspires your audience.  The manual describes it as follows:

Inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives, challenge the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement; Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama.

This Lynne did to perfection. She described to us how our life experiences mould our view of “who we are” which was very interesting and she provided us with stories of how a young child can learn to think about themselves and how we hold on to this as we grow up.
Touchingly she showed us how the “little slips” of paper which all of us use in our meetings to give feedback to every speaker also mould our impression of ourselves.
These little slips of paper mean so much to us all as they give us a glimpse into how others see us and it is usually in so much better a light than we see ourselves.

So let’s celebrate!

John Kendall Distinguished Toastmaster


We were very proud to celebrate John Kendall cecoming a Distinguished Toastmaster. This is a great life achievement as it takes thorough commitment and hard work to say the least.

We had a plenitude of guests who came from near and far to wish John well. It’s not surprising that there were so many people at our dinner as John is well known to so many for all his work in a variety of Toastmaster clubs.

The evening was opened by our club president, Wojciech Zujla and our Toastmaster was Eddie Asquith.
Steve Saunders used the Table Topics session in an unusual way, he got all the participants to tell us something about John! It was quite amusing, we almost forgot the time!

We finally realised that we are not the only ones under the John Kendall charm. He has charmed most people into doing something or other. Kevin Baggs had us in fits with his humorous tales of John’s membership or involvement with most clubs in the area claiming that John travels 900 miles per week. Then he lets it out that John isn’t a member of Kevin’s club.

Is there something that you are not telling us? Says Kevin

David Banfro was asked what he thought John would be like when he was only 20 years old. Just like he is now! Says David. Generous and hard working!

David Banfro and Steve Sanders

Celebrating 2 years as Presidents distinguished

This Wednesday 29th November, North Herts Speakers Club will be celebrating its second year since it was chartered on 29th September. 2015. It is also celebrating second year of success at the highest level of Presidents Distinguished. This is a nomination given by Toastmasters International which rewards a club for how well it is run and the value it gives to its local community. This is outstanding for new club in its first two years.

Christmas Dinner and DTM celebtations

North Herts Speakers meet every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm at the Sun Hotel, Sun Street, Hitchin. On Wednesday we will be celebrating both our second year and our Christmas dinner.

Hitchin’s local club now has three top Distinguished toastmasters, these people have attained the highest level as recognised by Toastmasters international, this is great for the club as the average club across the country is half a Distinguished Toastmaster (the mean rather than the mode!). Bob Ferguson DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) has been a Toastmaster for over 20 years and has been national champion in the worldwide Toastmaster competitions. Elizabeth Jordan and John Kendall have become Distinguished Toastmasters just this year so we will also be celebrating their success.

At the dinner this coming Wednesday at the Sun Hotel, Hitchin, we will have a total of 7 DTMs (Distinguished Toastmasters) in attendance which includes Coralie Frances, Kevin Baggs, Daniel Sandars, Robert Skelton as well as our own 3 DTMs (Bob Ferguson, Elizabeth Jordan and John Kendall).

We are also extremely pleased to have the national director of our district (District 71) Robert Skelton, previous District 71 National director Kevin Lee, Divisional Director Daniel Sandars, Area director Steve Campion in attendance which is a real recognition of clubs success.

During the evening we will have speeches by Bob Ferguson and Kevin Baggs and also some impromptu speaking where members of the club will be invited to speak for a minute on a topic that will be chosen without preparation, a bit like “Just a minute” on Radio 4.

Rise to the Occasion

Last week’s meeting saw a variety of great speeches from our well known members and new members alike.

French in 5

Dominic Goddard


Dominic Spoke speech entitled “French in 5” about how you can easily learn a foreign language if you can change your attitude towards this. He showed us how we can make connections between words to facilitate the memorisation of thousands of words at a time.

Rise to the Occasion

Trevor Fisher


Trevor’s speech entitled “Rise to the Occasion” was actually about baking bread! One of the objectives in this speech (Competent Communication manual #8) was to effectively use visual aids. If any of you have been in a meeting at work where you have been subjected to “Death by PowerPoint” then you would really appreciate Trevor’s demonstration of how to correctly use slides. His slides showed us pictures of the baking process and left all the explanation to Trevor, we were able to quickly see what Trevor was describing without the need to read lots of text from the screen.

Why should I go to university?

Bradley Peters

Bradley has only just joined our club and already has completed his first speech, almost entirely without reference to his notes! His Ice Breaker speech entitled “Why should I go to university?” was very entertaining, especially his stories relating to working on the Yachts of the rich and famous, those “Floating Pleasure Palaces”.

Diabetes and my Research

Mohammed Fakruddin


Mohammed taught us more on Diabetes with his speech entitled: “Diabetes and my research” where he likened the onset of diabetes to a frog being gently warmed in a saucepan! The chilling way in which we unwittingly bring on our own disease. An interesting account on how body fat makes us crave more food.

Poetry, residences and Ice breaker

Last Wednesday’s meeting was very varied from a very first speech to Rionach’s 7th speech, all in a different room to the one we use usually.

How to Learn a Poem by Heart

Rionach Aiken

Rionach gave us an introduction to poetry first by showing us how a poem can improve our mental health followed by some technical details that will help us to both appreciate a poem and then learn it for ourselves.

A little bit about me

John Kendall

On Wednesday’s meeting John did his “Ice Breaker” speech which is the first speech that a member will do when they join toastmasters.  It is a speech about yourself, a way of introducing yourself to the club.  But this time we had a DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) giving us his Ice Breaker speech.  So you can see that this speech remains popular with all our members and it also proves that you can do any speech any number of times!

Buying a house vs renting

Sumit Gupta

Sumit gave us a very interesting talk on the pros and cons of buy versus renting both from the point of view of security as well as finance.