A Bucket List?

Wednesday 6th February

This was a meeting with a wide range of topics as well as speakers.  We had two speakers giving their Ice Breaker speech.  One was an experienced speaker who wanted to take a step into the pathways experience (the Toastmasters new educational programme) and one speaker who was completely new to Toastmasters.

Steve presents Wojciech with his pathways pin

Wojciech, who has been a member of our club for 3 years now said of doing his icebreaker again:

“I have to say I much more enjoyed my second Icebreaker. And another challenge accepted with the Pathways educational programme. You cannot get bored with TI (sic – Toastmasters International).”

Wojciech also got the best evaluator award.

Less Bag and More Makeup

Sam gave her very first speech, her Icebreaker.  I was intrigued by the title but by the end of the speech I was laughing at the images of her over preparing for a three day music festival with a large rucksack!  She explained to us how taking so much care to prepare actually meant that she was less able to enjoy the event and how over time she learnt to relax and take things as they came.

Steve presents Sam with her Pathways pin


Karl spoke to us about the Thrive programme and how it has transformed thousands of lives around the world.  He explained the key psychological concepts and why it’s not therapy.  It was an interesting speech and we hope to hear more about it over time.

Bucket Lists

Andrea’s speech was about making bucket lists – a list of what a person wishes to achieve or experience before they die. Examples were given from her own personal bucket list. She then questioned whether such a list was of limited value. Was it only useful for building memories to carry us through old age but lost when life ends. To illustrate this, she surprised us all when she opened and closed the door next to her, kicking the bucket containing items on her list, outside so that it disappeared from view. It was proposed that a second bucket list could also be written with goals designed to help others or impact the world positively. She filled a new bucket with goals designed to make the world a kinder place. Explaining research revealing that the process of physically writing a goal makes its realisation 42% more likely, she gave a handout, challenging us all to write a list of what we wanted to achieve for others.

Andrea gets the best speaker award

Best Speaker Award: Andrea Lee

Best Table Topics Award: Dorothy Molloy

Best Evaluator Award: Wojciech


When Life gives you Limes

Our last meeting was on January 19th and the content of the speeches was very varied.  Something for everyone.

European Trade

Almost controversially, we began with a speech about European Trade by Dorothy Molloy.  I say controversially because at Toastmasters we avoid talking about Politics or religion.  We don’t like to frighten the horses!  However this speech was not about Brexit, although topical, it was just the facts about Europe and who trades with who and attempted to demystify some of the terms we hear nearly every day at the moment!

Free as a Bird

If you want to know about how aeroplanes work then why not listen to Eddie Asquith who was a commercial pilot for many years.  Who would have thought that he could have us laughing so much whilst explaining how a plane stays in the air!

The Mystery of Marketing

Rose Saliba told us about her exasperation with all the forms of marketing that we are told we need to do these days.  This was her 7th speech from the Competent Communicator manual.  Not long until she has completed the whole level.  Congratulations!

When Life gives you Limes

Bradley Peters really took the challenge of this project and ran with it.  The challenge of speech number 8 is to get comfortable with Visual Aids and Bradley used both a projector and … limes, soda water, sugar and a cocktail mixer!  He was very calm as he made use of all of these things to explain how to make a Mojito, the favourite drink of Ernest Hemingway which he drank often at one of his favourite bars, La Bodeguita del Medio, in Havana, Cuba.

Best Speaker: Eddie Asquith

Eddie Asquith is presented with Best Speaker award

Best Evaluator: Ben Osborne

Ben Osborne is presented with Best Evaluator award

Best Table Topics: Karen Harris

Wow! First time at Toastmasters and she has won the Table Topics!  Great improptu speaking Karen!

Karen Harris is presented with the Best Table Topics award

Christmas Party 2018

As ever Christmas parties come early and the same goes for us at North Herts Speakers.  Our party was on the 30th November this year.

People seated at tables for dinner

With guest from  East Herts, Luton, Eldergate, Stevenage and Cornerstones we had a chance to get to know other Toastmasters in our area as well as time to have a chat with members of our own club.


One table of guests

Steve Saunders was our Toastmaster for the evening and we had speeches by Eddie Asquith and Richard Foster Fletcher.  Eddie talked about his experience of Toastmasters and how it has helped him to gain new skills and confidence.

Richard Foster-Fletcher gave us a humorous speech on what it is to be British including a tongue in cheek quiz where he asked us questions about our ridiculous need to be polite at all times, even when it is not appropriate!

Richard Foster-Fletcher doing his speech

Not forgetting the awards.  We were able to present awards to our very new Toastmasters and experienced Toastmasters alike

Ribbons for Ice Breaker Speeches

Award winners

Dorothy Molloy winner of humorous speech competition

Bev also got an award.

Bev Rimmer

Ice breaker to Dynamic Leadership

Our last meeting on Wednesday 21st November was a great mixture.

We had a very new member, Godfried Debrah who completed his very first “Ice breaker” speech at Toastmasters and also a speech by a very experienced Toastmaster, John Kendall.

Godfried Debrah

Godfried completes is IceBreaker

Godfried told us about his life growing up in Ghana, about how his father managed to persuade him to stop messing around at school and get down to studying.  He had us all laughing at the thought of the young Godfried having to sit down and learn all for the sake of a bar of chocolate.

Rose Saliba’s speech was on Performance Poetry.  She used this speech to complete project number 6 which requires you to expand and improve your vocal variety.  It’s great to see our members progressing so quickly in their journey to become a competent communicator.  Competent Communicator is a Toastmaster term for someone who has completed all 10 speeches in the original Toastmaster handbook but I think that it really does give you a picture of how a person’s skills have progressed.

Rose Sailiba

Rose wins Best Speaker

John Kendall gave a speech entitled “Reflect on your path” which is a summary of his progress through the new “Pathways” Toastmaster courses.  It was great to hear first hand how this course has had much to offer even a Distinguished Toastmaster.

Eddie Asquith won Best Evaluator and Lynne Wilkins won Best Table Topics (impromptu speaking).

Lynne Wilkins

Lynne Wilkins gets the Best Table Topics award

We won the Humous Speech Contest!

The Humorous Speech and Table Topics (Impromptu speaking) area contests were at our club venue this year.  It was great to welcome so many other toastmasters from the neighbouring clubs.

With every stage of contest the level of the competitors gets higher and so too does the enjoyment.  Of course the Humorous contest is bound to get the audience chuckling but so does the table topics competition.  Soon everyone was in very high spirits.

One of our own members: Dorothy Molloy won the Humorous Speech contest and went through to the division contest in Cranfield on November 3rd.

Here are the winners from the Area Contest:

Table Topics

Brian Chipchase

Humorous Speech

Dorothy Molloy
Elizabeth Jordan

The Area Contest is in Hitchin!

Looking forward to tomorrow night’s contest.   This is the area contest.

Tomorrow nights competition includes members from:
* North Herts Speakers (Hitchin)
* East Herts Speakers (Hertford)
* Hertfordshire Speakers (Hatfield)

and the contestants are:

* John Kendall (TBC) or Dominic Goddard (North Herts)
* Dorothy Molloy (North Herts)
* John Allsop (East Herts)
* Ruth Williams (Hertfordshire)
* Elizabeth Jordan

* John Kendall (TBC) (North Herts)
* Dominic Goddard (North Herts)
* Stuart Lawson
* Tamara Cianfini
* Bryan Chipchase
* Elizabeth Everington

Club Competition Night!

What a night! Two competitions and five very funny speeches kept everyone guessing who would represent the club in the Humorous Speech and Table Topic competitions…

Table-Topics was chaired by Chris and saw Dom and John both have to talk about ‘Why they love giraffes’.

And the winner was:

1st Dominic – with his story about riding a giraffe.

Lynne hosted the official Humorous Speech competition and the winners were:

1st Dorothy – “Learning from mistakes”

2nd John – “Growing older & Younger”

3rd Dominic – “Milk” (it was actually about squirrels).

Humorous Speech Contestants

Dom accepts 1st place in Table-Topics

Dorothy accepts 1st place in the Humorous Speech contest

Dorothy and Dom now go on to represent us at area level!

‘My Head in the Clouds’, ‘What’s on your Mind?’ and ‘Power of the Atom’

Another great evening of prepared and impromptu speeches!

Icebreaker, Adversity and Enid Blyton – Another Great Meeting!

Around twenty of us met up for another great evening of talks and impromptu speeches. We have posted the winners receiving their awards!


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Toasting at our 100th Meeting

Our 100th meeting was a very relaxed affair with many more opportunities for impromptu speaking.  It was great to have some guests too and they were good sports, joining in and taking up the challenge.

Guess who won the Table Topics best speaker award?  None other than Nick Gill, Editor of The Comet, our local newspaper!  He was really good, a natural!