I want to say a big thank you from all the Clerkenwell Speakers to our previous president, Kirsty Henderson! She has done an amazing job as president of Clerkenwell Speakers. The role of president is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable transferable skills such as Team building/Leading, Strategic Planning/Guidance, Conflict Resolution, Negations/Project management, Meeting Facilitation, Time Management, Parliamentary Processes, Consulting, Coaching and Networking. For anyone toying with the idea of joining Clerkenwell Speakers, I urge you to jump in and join! Once a member, you can to aspire to become the president and gain those skills that not only help with public speaking but also help in your personal and professional life too.

Next up is another big cheer for our new president, James Hodgson. We are all looking forward to his time as president, best of luck James!

What anCompleted Competent Communicator 15.06.16 eventful night we had with James Goddard completing his Competent Communicator manual! He can now starting completing his Advanced Manuals. We are looking forward to his next speech.





Best Evaluator 15.06.16

We had Rachel winning Best Evaluator, covering valuations for Table Topic.




Best Table Topic 15.06.16


Finally we have Kerstin winning Best Table Topic Speaker.



We look forward to seeing everyone at the next Clerkenwell meeting on the 6th of July.


From the school memoirs……..

If you could go back in time to invent something, what would it be? This was one of our Table Topic questions to a guest last Wednesday night. Without a doubt, the Table Topic Master Riecha kept us all very entertained with her Table Topic questions. One of the skill sets members develop at Toastmasters is the ability to keep an audience motivated for a sustained period of time. There have been times when I’ve had to sit through a dull as dishwater presentation, as I’m sure most of you have too. When we are bored, nervous or just plain old terrified when having to speak in public, our audience picks up on this straight away. The energy you put out is the energy you get back when it comes to public speaking. Which brings me nicely to last Wednesday’s Toastmaster for the evening, Paul. Paul’s use of the stage, his energetic and positive body language ensured the audience was engaged for the whole night. If being Toastmaster for the evening is something you would like to achieve, please come along to our next meeting on the 1st of June!

Best Evaluator 18.05.16

Best Speaker 18.05.16

Best Table Topic

How to deliver a great speech! – International Speech Competition 16th March 2016

It was with a mixture of pride and anticipation that I attended Clerkenwell Speaker’s International Speakers Competition last Wednesday.

Who is your role model is in life, or if you could choose anybody in the world to mentor you, who would it be?

James, our Toastmaster of the evening, kicked off the night with the very apt theme – mentoring and role models. We had some fantastic answers ranging from one member saying his fiancée was his role model to another member giving the author of Mindset Carol Dweck, who is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation.

Have you ever had a downtime between boyfriends and felt you needed a substitute to get you through the stopgap? Well, we all found out there is a product out there that is just that! Thanks to the high jinks of our Table Topics Master, some poor soul had to sell us the idea of the One Armed Inflatable Boyfriend (for those lonely nights you just literally want a cuddle). If you are new to the concept of Table Topics, or if you would like to get your hands on one of these boyfriend substitutes, come along to our next meeting on the 4th of May to find out!

On a more serious note, lets have a big cheer for our Best Evaluator of the the night, Zainab. No easy task as she was evaluating Vivek who is a well seasoned member of Clerkenwell Speakers Club. Last but by no way least, a joint effort to a newbie guest and our General Evaluator winning Best Table Topic Speaker!

See you all on the 4th of May.
Best Evaluator 18.04.16 Joint Table Topic Winners 18.04.16

If you could hire an assistant, what would you ask them to do and why?

Some great speeches tonight, an overall superb performance from all who spoke! With our president Kirsty doing the role of Toastmaster for the night, her theme was ‘If you could hire an assistant, what would you ask them to do and why?’ We had some interesting answers ranging from a telepathic assistant to an assistant who doesn’t mind being dominated! For those of you reading this post who have never attended Toastmasters, I urge you to come along, if not for improving your public speaking, just for the sheer fun you will have on a week day evening!
Table Topic Winner 06.04.16Table Tobics Evaluator 06.04.16Best Speaker 06.04.16

International Speech Contest 2016

It was a proud moment for Clerkenwell Speakers at the International Speech Contest on March 16! Well done to our members for James and Anis for winning Best Speaker and Best Evaluator!

Best Evaluator Speech Contest March 16. 2016 Best Speech Contest March 16. 2016Kaveh March 16 2016

Great Escapes 2nd March 2016

Best Speaker 02.03.16Wow, wow, wow, what a night! Let me start off with our guest speaker David. His speech titled ‘Last Impressions’ certainly left a lasting impression on our audience. The objective for David’s speech was to persuade with power. A moving speech, in particular his quote on being a good President from President Obama “be useful, be kind” it won David Best Speaker.





Best Table Topic Speaker 02.03.16Of course our favourite section of the night is the Table Topics. Winning Table Topic Speaker was the delightful storyteller Carl. The answer to his question “How do you get an elephant into a refrigerator?” involved three mafia type scoundrels, a questionable Bronx accent and the Queen of England wanting her baby elephant returned in it’s rightful home (refrigerator)!





Best Evaluator 02.03.16Evaluating the Table Topic speakers was Ayse. She gave such an energetic and constructive feedback it really raised the game for the standard of evaluations. To have someone with such skill is a real gem for members and audience alike. Well done Ayse.





And finally, a big congrats to Robert on completing his Ice Breaker! The hardest speech to tick off the list, Robert’ story of overcoming the odds to make your goal happen had the audience enthralled from beginning to end.

All in all, this was another fantastic night for Clerkenwell Speakers.

I am excited to tell you all we have our International Speech Competition on the 16th of March!

Please do come along to see some of our experienced speakers give it their all on the night!

Opening Lines…..

We had a very exciting night on Wednesday……two of our newest members both completed their Ice Breaker speech! Jason kicked us off with his ‘The route to Toastmasters. A great opening with a recital from T. S. Elliot, Jason brought us on a journey of how he came to joining Toastmasters. Second up was Reicha with her Ice Breaker speech ‘Taking the Plunge’. A beautiful and humorous speech, a great start to a rewarding journey with Toastmasters.

Best Table Topic Speaker went to our experienced speaker Carl Rodrigues. I won’t ruin the plot but it was a riveting story involving caked flour and floured cake (you really had to be there!).

Last but not least, our Best Evaluator award went to James Hodgson.


Please do join for our next meeting on the 2nd of March.

How to get arrested in Luxembourg! – February 3rd 2016

Ice Breaker Speech 03.02.16

February’s first meeting I have to say was a total knock out! Without blowing our trumpet too much, Clerkenwell Speakers really had their game on last night. What a line up of speakers! First up was Zainab with the Competent Communication Manual #1, The Ice Breaker speech, ‘Literally Bliss’. The aim of this speech is to speak before an audience using existing speaking skills and introducing self to fellow club members. Zainab’s evocative use of language painted a vivid picture of whom she is and why she joined Toastmasters. Well done Zainab.

Next up was our President Kirsty giving her Competent Communication Manual #5, Your Body Speaks, ‘How to get arrested in Luxembourg’. This speech focuses on use of stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact to express the message and achieve the speech’s purpose; make body language smooth and natural; focus on methods of delivery as well as speech content. What a speech! Kirsty achieved her aims, keeping the audience riveted with tales of fake blood, naked bodies and bewildered police officers. To conclude, I no longer want to work in a boring 9 to 5 office!

‘What makes people happy?’ Good question. Well, Vivek had some insightful answers with his Competent Communication Manual #6, Vocal Variety speech. Delivered with warmth and humour, we learned having strong social connections, being busy but not rushed and doing something we love that is meaningful made it to the top three of what makes people happy.

Best Speaker 03.02.16

A big round of applause goes to our guest speaker for the night, Gosbert. He won Best Speaker with his speech ‘Success after failure’ from Speaking to Inform (2006) #1, The Speech to Inform. The aim of this speech was to select new and useful information; organize for easy understandability and retention; motivate the audience to learn. Gosbert owned the stage! Confident and well paced, he delivered a clear and exciting speech. From the seeds of entrepreneurship when he was a young man selling vintage vinyl records to a savvy tech start up business, he gave us his tried and tested advice on the transition from success to failure and back again.

Best Evaluator 03.02.16

Another big whoop please, for Best Evaluator James. Never an easy task, James’ role was to evaluate all the table topic speakers. We had a great turn out of guests on the night. James delivered with flare, good humour and sensitivity.



Best Table Topic Speaker 03.02.16

Congrats to Callum, his first visit to Clerkenwell Speakers and he wins Best Table Topic Speaker! With the ease of a stand-up comedian Callum convinced us all to think about becoming a vegan. A hard sell by any means, he left the audience with a great conclusion and a lot to ponder.



What do you want to achieve in your life?

Clerkenwell Speaker Club Banner 2016

Our Toastmaster for the evening Nuala, kicked off the meeting with the theme of the night ‘What do you want to achieve in your life?’ A toughie of a question to answer but members stepped up with some thoughtful and interesting responses. Our Club President Kirsty, tied the question in brilliantly by asking what do guests and members want to really achieve by coming to Toastmasters!

Best Speaker 20.01.16Best speaker went to Anis with her title ‘Change your thoughts, change your life’. Her speech is from the professional speaker manual and it the number 5 speech (The motivational speech). The focus of this speech is to apply a four-step motivational method with the purpose of persuading and inspiring; Deliver a motivational speech to persuade an audience to emotionally commit to an action. Anis did this with passion and great energy. Well done!

Best Evaluator 20.01.16Best evaluator went to our President Kirsty. Kirsty was evaluating Rachel’s number 10 speech from the Competent Communicator manual. This being the final speech in the manual, Kirsty stepped up the game with her evaluation. A more experienced speaker can handle a more thorough evaluation and Kirsty delivered this with excellence, giving Rachel some great points to work on and some points to be really proud of.

Competent Communicator Award 20.01.16Speaking of pride, what a great moment for both Clerkenwell Speakers and member Rachel as she accepted her award for Competent Communicator! Her speech was titled ‘Barbara’. The focus of this speech is to 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.

Best Table Topic Speaker 20.01.16And finally, the fun part of the evening, Table Topics! Best Table Topic Speaker went to Elaine. She brought fun, warmth and a moral message to the audience with her answer. Not an easy feat when the question was ‘How to convince people to vote for Donald Trump’!


That’s all for this week folks! If you are looking to achieve, challenge yourself or just meet some great people, come along to our next meeting on the 3rd of February.