Monday, August 31, 2020


Learn An English Accent From: The Ladykillers (1955) ORIGINAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]

Do you want to acquire a traditional British accent. Listen to this and repeat using the same intonation.


Speech On Blogging

As a toastmaster member of five clubs in the UK, Singapore, and a permanently and exclisviely online club, I have finsihed one of the 11 courses, Presentation Masters, and am near completing Engaging Humor. The toastmasters International Pathways has electives (in the UK I would say options) at levels 3, 4, and 5 including a project on blogging. You have to compete eight posts within a month, then deliver a three minute speech on one aspect of your expreience. 

Three minutes is no time! You have just time to make three points, with an introduction and ending, which could be a summary and/or call to action.

(I was l later told by the evaluator I should have started with an explanation of what is a blog. I asked at the start how many people had a blog, how many wanted to start a blog, and nobody raised their hands of the only four I could see of many. So here goes.)

You can send out blog posts less often than daily. Just as you could have a diary and only update it at the end of the month.

A blog is a web log. Like a daily diary or ship's log. An account written on line.

A blog is like a book or website. A post is like a page or daily entry.

A Personal Blog
The simplest blog, one you might like to start, is just a diary which only you can read. Start here if you are shy or want to try out.

Next up is sharing with one other person. This could be a Toastmasters mentor, a committee, such as a whatsapp group. How does it differ from emails?

No introdctions. But you might like a welcome page.
You can link each blog post to the next.

Novel Writing On A Blog
You can have a purposeful and professional small circulation blog. For example, you could sign up to write a novel in a month which happens every novermber. You write a minimum number of words each day, with a buddy, another person who is also writing a novel. At the end of the month you have a compelted novel. I have tried writing my family hisotyr as a novel. the only trouble is you end up with the final chapter is first and everything in the wrong order.
Blogs assume you want to read today's post first, not the first post every written.

Some professional blogs fail because the writer tries to write a personal blog and expects to become world famous. Unless you are already world famous this is unlikely. Only your mother cares about your child and your dog.

On the other hand, if you can cure a common problem, hundreds, thousands, might find you in a search.

Marketing a blog has four elements.
1 Do you have something worth saying, selling, buying or getting free.
2 Can people find your blog?
a) you can try search engine optimisation, which my son does for a living. Find out which subjects are most popular. and which word seraches. Then you have to make yourself as good as or better than rivals or alternatives.
3 a) You can boost your post your current post by mentioning it on all the media
b) Make people come back by mentioning your future posts.
c) Boost previous posts by referrring back to them
Save time by repeating last year's post.
Plan ahead.
Schedule posts. Write seven posts on Sunday and schedule them to go out through the week, so if you are busy or travelling the post still come out.


Great Quotations

Maya Angelou's comment is rather long. But the ending with umbrella is memorable.

Without defeats, how do you really know who the hell you are? If you never had to stand up to something - to get up, to be knocked down, and to get up again - life can walk over you wearing football cleats. But each time you do get up, you're bigger, taller, finer, more beautiful, more kind, more understanding, more loving. Each time you get up, you're more inclusive. More people can stand under your umbrella. - Maya Angelou

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Workshop on Impromptu Speaking Using Props by Angela Lansbury

I told three personal stories:

1 Mobile Phone Prop
The first time I used a prop was when I used my mobile phone. It was around my neck.

My topic was, If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you do? Which one object would you use to get help?

I looked down at my phone, then my shoes. I thought: it has to be my phone.
I said, 'I would phone for help. 999. "Mother, I'm on a desert island! Where am I?  No idea. Third palm tree on the left. Can't you use the phone signal? Please send somebody to find me. Oh, I saw a plane, I shall wave. It's a British Airways plane. Call British Airways and tell them they just flew over my island, please turn around and rescue me.'

'In summary, my mobile phone.'

2 Second Story - The Daffodil Prop
As I was racing to the car, I thought, I need a prop.

I picked a yellow daffodil and put it in my pocket. I was going to pick a bunch of flowers to decorate the hall, but the driver was in a hurry, so I put the single flower in my pocket.

When I was given my topic it was: 'Spring, What do you think of?'

I said; 'Daffodils. Yellow daffodils.'

I pulled the daffodil out of my pocket.

I asked, 'How many of you know Wordsworth's poem? Do you know the words? "I wandered lonely as a cloud..." '

I won the prize.

3 Third story - Toastmasters Manual As Prop
I had no prop. So, as I ran to the stage I grabbed a Toastmasters Manual.

Question: What is your favourite book?

Answer: 'The Toastmasters Manual!'
I waved it.
'I haven't yet finished it - but it's time I did. Then I might be able to win a contest.'

At my workshop, after I told the three stories, I set the audience to work in the workshop.
I said:
'Now I want you to get into pairs. Talk for two minutes on any nearby object. It could be a pen, a phone, a book, your spectacles, the desk, or chair, or window, or door. Make it relevant to solving problems in life which the audience might have to face one day.

'Your punchline must be how the object helps you and how it can help the audience if they do the same.'

Afterwards I asked one person from each pair to report back.

The pairs talked about:
1 A pen for signing cheques and writing novels.
2 A phone for calling for a taxi and pizza.

Our guest
A door stop for making sure the door was open for opportunity.

He won the prize for best table topic.

At Braddell Heights Advanced speakers club, 2019, Saturday.Sept 21st.

About the author
Angela Lansbury is a member of four clubs:

Harrovians 2004 onwards
HOD 2004 until 2018

Braddell Heights Advanced (President 2019-2020)
Tampines Changkat Advanced.
Singapore Online advanced club. (Later renamed Singapore International Online Advanced Club.)

Angela Lansbury, travel writer and photographer, author and speaker.
Author of
Wedding Speeches & Toasts
Quick Quotations
Who Said What When

Useful Websites:

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Winning Impromptu Speech on Smile

Eminent Toastmasters club 2019 September, lunchtime at Jurong.

My topic was: The most important thing is your Smile.
I said:

When I walk into a room I look round for somebody who is smiling so I can speak to them. When I see somebody smiling I am happy. I don't know whether they are smiling because they like me or just because they are a hapy smiley person. But I know I can approach them.

Everybody wants to give a great, welcoming smile. Dentists promise you a better smile if you pay them lots of money to have your teeth fixed.

Yesterday I went to a Toastmasters Meeting and we met a girl who gave a speech about how she had her teeth fixed and got a lovely smile and decided to become a dentist so she could give everybody else a lovely smile.

(I wish I could be paid to give everybody a lovely smile.)
I see the red light so I might go, and leave you, with a lovely smile.

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Saturday, August 31, 2019


My Prize Winning Table Topic On Success

At Henderson Toastmasters Club, thursday 29th Auguest, 2019.

What does success mean to you = what is the secret of success?

The secret of success to me is the abiliity to finish the job or task, however difficult it is at first, however many setbacks doubts and few people support you.

I have heard of so many cases where people started a business which did badly and later became a success.  People such as Jack Ma (of Alibaba) on the internet.
He applied for lots of jobs and did not get them.

You may remember doing O levels or A levels or other school courses. When you started you knew nothing. At the end you knew another language or other subject.

In Toastmasters clubs we experience the same.

Toastmasters also teaches us to be on time and continue with a course until we complete it. I see the yellow light and know to be a success I must leave the stage now. I leave you with this thought; Success is just continuing. I wish you every success.

Angela Lansbury, travel writer  and photographer, author and speaker.

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Monday, November 12, 2018


Three Kinds of Problems You Can Solve, Big Problems, Small Problems and No problems. The Goat Story Reminds Me Good Things Are Good - The bad things Could Be Worse

There are three kinds of problems: Big problems, small problems and no problems.
Big problems - nothing could be worse. Wrong.
Things could be worse. You could have small problems.

Three Troubled Men
Imagine that once, long ago, a wise man had three visitors.
The first man had big problems. He was suicidal.
The second man had small problems. He was stressed.
The third man had no problem. He was aimless and bored.

The wise man asked the bored man to listen from the room next door to the solution to the other two men's problems.

No problems
One day, long ago, a wise man had two visitors.
In the morning, the first man called. He was a widow who was so fed up because he had lost his job. He had no wife, no children, no home and no work.
The wise man said: I can suggest three solutions to your problem.
First Find somebody to marry.

Three types of spouse. You could find somebody worse off, very poor. Help her. You only need a basic job. Offer her food, shelter and companionship.
The story of Job in the bible, called the bible by Christians, and the Old Testament by Christians.

Alternatively, find somebody who can help you. Look for a rich, clever woman. Tell you how much you admire her and would appreciate her help and companionship. Make yourself indispensable.

Third option, avoid the rich and the poor. Find somebody like yourself, who wants a companion. Marry them and make the best of life together.

This problem is dealt with in the story of Job in the Hebrew bible, renamed by Christians as the Old Testament.

The wise man said, Get a job, and that will take your mind off your other problems.
When you get paid, pay for some shelter.
When you have a job and a home you will find a wife.
When you find a wife you will have children.

What I have
Some things are bad. I could do with more money. I am worried about things which have not yet happened and might I have food. I have shelter. I have a toilet. I have company.
Yesterday's problems are over. Today's problems will be over tomorrow.
never happen.
As Benjamin Franklin said, Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.Things Could

Be Worse
The Goat Story

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Sunday, November 04, 2018


How To Use Props in Table Topics

Why should you listen to me? What are my credentials?

My Qualifications
I am an ACG, which means I have delivered at least 40 speeches.

I am an ALB, Advanced Leader Bronze, which includes mentoring others, evaluating and doing many roles.

My Experience
In Singapore I go to a meeting every day except Sunday, an average of 7 meetings a week, because I often attend two on Saturday or one midweek and occasionally a meeting Saturday or Sunday night.

Most meetings include three prepared speeches. (When the speaker is insufficiently prepared, you are getting an impromptu speech!)

My ribbons
I have won numerous ribbons. I have more than 50 in frames in London. In Singapore I have several for table topics and others for evaluating, which is itself a mini-speech, unprepared.

My Clubs
I belong to two Toastmasters club in London, England, Harrovians and HOD. In Singapore I belong to Braddell Heights Advanced and Tampines Changkat Advanced.

The person who introduced me to Toastmasters was Indra Sikdar who I met at Harrow Writers Circle. He took me to Harrovian Toastmasters Club. He was my mentor. When I did my Icebreaker, he told me to use props.

Hats and Books
I had a cowgirl hat for my time in the USA, a coolie hat for my time in Asia, and my book Wedding Speeches and Toasts about my writing career.

The Cheque Prop
Mike described a cheque for money he was paid. He was advised to use a prop. The cheque. Second time he gave the speech, he showed a cheque he was paid. Too small. You don't expect me to create an outside cheuqe like a poster. Yes. He did it, a huge cheque. Very effective. He won at next level.

The Michelin Man prop

Darren Tay and the underpants
International Winner 2017 (?)

The Coffee Cup
Gideon gave a speech about coffee. Where was the coffee cup?  Are coffee cups too small to see. Then print one.  Easy to find one, In any magazine advertisement. No printer. Cut one of the outside of a pack of coffee.

The Flower
My friend drove to collect me. I thought, I don't have a prop. My garden was full of daffodils. Just a minute I said. We're late.
I'm not going back insdie. Just picking a flower.
st that for, to decorate the venue.
Er - yes.
When I got there we did not have a vase. I put the flower in my pocket.
The topic was, In spring a young man's fancy turns to love, what does spring men to you.
I pulled out my flower. Yellow daffodils. As Wordsworth said,
I wandered lonely as a cloud ...
Afterwards I thought everybody must have said the same thing, None of them did.

And I was the only one with a prop. My friend asked me, 'How did you happen to have a prop in your pocket?'

The Manual As A Book
I wanted a book. I asked somebody if they had a book or a notebook. No, only the toastmasters Manual they said.
'May I borrow it?

My topic was:
What book would you take with you to read on a desert island?.\
The TM manual! Never mind how long the rescuers took. I would have time to practise all my speeches. And when they rescued me I could give a thank you speech.

Topic: Tell Children To Take Precautions Without The Words Sex or Naming Any Body Part
John Cyriac was the winner. He said: Imagine you had just bought a new car or motorbike. You would want to protect it, wouldn't you. You would cover it up with a plastic cover to be sure it didn't get damaged. That's what you should do with your own precious body. Look after it. Protect it.

Angela Lansbury ACG ALB

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Monday, July 30, 2018


Best TableTopic on 'My Terrible Itch'

Harrovians July 30 2018, I won the ribbon for best table topic.

I was hoping to be picked but had been ignored for the first two topics. However, I was glad not to be picked when I heard the topic.

President Jesus Parada was also the Table Topics master for the evening.

Question: Describe the time you had a terrible itch.

That's a difficult topic, I thought. First my mind was blank. Sneezing, tickling, that's not an itch. Mosquito bites? Allergies? Pimples and crabs and head lice? I don't want to be embarrassed or disgusting.

As I heard the question and walked to the lectern on stage, I thought: Chicken Pox.

When I go to the lectern, I thought of a label on the back of a dress scratching. I said:

The worst itch I had was the label of a dress scratching the back of my neck, when I was sitting in a meeting. I wriggled around. (I demonstrated wriggling).

I looked like I was doing yoga or practising a dance movement, or an aqua class. (More wriggling of both shoulders and frowning.) I couldn't reach it!

When I stood up, it didn't go away. It just got worse!.

I was still hunching one shoulder, and wriggling about like a was trying to salsa and had forgotten the moves. It looked like I was a loony. I edged towards the door to get away from people. People must have been wondering if I was about to have a fit or run out of the room.

When I got home, I found the dress label was the problem. I couldn't understand why the label was so scratchy - until I went onto a website about using my sewing machine to make a dress label. The instruction suggested cutting a ribbon, embroidering your name, then sealing the frayed edge of the ribbon with a glue gun, which heated up and sealed the glue.

No wonder I itched!
It was rough and sharp, and scratching me. (Wriggle and frown.)

 The label didn't have a soft edge, sewn with thread.

I cut off the label.

I used to wonder why people cut labels off clothes? I remembered we used to have an au pair girl from Yugoslavia who cut labels off clothes. She said that when the country was Communist she was not allowed to bring back clothes from the West, so she concealed their origin by cutting off the label. She never suffered from the itching of scratchy labels!

The dress I'm wearing now doesn't have a scratchy label. It doesn't have any label - because it's a reversible dress. If you want to avoid the itch of a scratchy label, either cut it off, or wear a reversible dress. Remember my terrible itchy moment. (Wriggle shoulders.)

Two hecklers from the audience. Indra calls: "What's a reversible dress?"

A reversible dress is what I'm wearing now. (I lift up my skirt to show the different pattern on the lining / underside.)

(Indra from the audience) "Are you going too take it off and show us?"

I did take it off when I was giving a talk to a Women's Institute about travelling light with reversible dresses. But no point taking it off for you, because it doesn't have a label!

Besides I'm out of time. Anyway, next time you look at a label, think of my terrible itch.

I looked at the meeting agenda and saw nobody listed as the table topics evaluator. So I wrote notes on the other speakers.
After the other speech evaluators, somebody, probably Indra, queried, do we have a topics evaluator?

Somebody said no.
I called out, I can do it, or we call all do it.
Seema, the most senior person in the room, Division PR director, decided, 'Yes, we'll all do it'.

The Toastmaster of the evening agreed, "Yes, we'll all do it."
He beckoned to me, "Come up, Angela.:

Somebody said, "I thought we were all doing it."
He replied, "Yes, and Angela can organize it."

When it came to evaluating myself, I asked what was good about my answer.
Indra said, "You were able to answer a challenging subject. You told a personal story."

I was also able to demonstrate the itch by amusingly dancing around and making faces.
Copyright Angela Lansbury

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Saturday, May 12, 2018


List and topics of my prize winning table topics (impromptu speeches) planned speeches and evaluations

Saturday evening at SCTA in the Hindu temple, 2018, May 12, evening before Mother's Day.

Best table topic speaker.
Subject Spare the rod
(Quotation from Pearl Buck, American prize-winning author who wrote: The Good Earth; and Peony.)

Spare the rod and spoil the child is thought to come from the bible but it's hard to find the exact saying in the bible, rather a longer verse which has been summarised in this way.
Nowadays in the UK, and some other countries, a mother is not legally allowed to use corporal punishment and nor are schools.
Instead, you have to use other methods of instructing, reminding and controlling children. This was demonstrated on TV by a Supernanny. She had a naughty step and lists of actions which would win gold stars, which would cumulate to win a prize such as an outing. You can give pocket money or stars for tasks, or allocate them on a rota. In Japan, the schoolchildren cook and serve lunch, clean up the kitchen, classrooms and common areas and this increases a feeling of responsibility. In think rewards are better than rods - this is how a modern mother wins love and respect and helps her children achieve.

I also won the ribbon for best evaluator. I evaluated an excellent story telling speech. The speaker had an important message, how a mother can be a good mother to her own child and other children, with or without the help of a husband.
I commended the way she gave a very visual speech, painting pictures of herself, a small Indian girl, walking hand-in-hand with her new classmate and friend, a Chinese boy.

A second picture was how his mother waved and smiled at both children.

The third picture was how the boy's mother gave a gift of a food box to the girl on the boy's mother's birthday.

Finally, the visual picture of the boy's mother celebrating not one but many occasions with the other family's children.

My suggestions for improvement:
Make the title clearer: bonding is the key - a great metaphor, a key is for a door, what kind of a door.
Start with the message or summary of the speech so we know where it is going and what to remember and look out for.

 End with the message, an emphatic sentence, and emphatic word. End with a call to action - should we copy that mother, how, by doing what?

Author and speaker
Angela Lansbury ALB ACG

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