Wednesday, February 07, 2024
Why Keeping Records Of Speeches Is Essential
Keeping a written record of evaluations of your speeches is essential. When you register your path the VPE of your club will want evaildne of which speech you gave where.
On Facebook Carolyn street, who has DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) three times, in English, German and French, sent a useful list of Latin phrases from italki.
Friday, April 07, 2023
Passover and the last supper speech for SGI Friday April 7tj 2023
The Last Supper was likely a Passover meal. Passover is a Jewish festival, celebrating the survival of Jewish slaves in Egypt who were passed over by a mystery illness (passed over by the symbolic Angel of Death).
A Discovery programme investigated all the
Speak Loudly And Save Lives
What's the most important speech you can make? The one which saves a life.
My 93 year old Father, in hospital, said, 'I've had enough. You must let me go.'
Friday, November 11, 2022
Angela Lansbury's Speech; Why I want to Be Bilingual or Multingual and How You Can Do The Same
About the Author
I am a native English speaker, know Americanisms. I am almost bilingual in French. I have translated French into English at conferences, given bilingual thank you speeches on travel press groups of the English visiting France, and attended the French speaking Toastmasters Club in Singapore, giving impromptu speeches, and evaluating speeches.
I can read signs and muddle through basic Spanish, Portuguese and German. I know half a dozen words in multiple languages. I am currently (November 2022) learning Swedish daily on Duolingo. That's not all. I am also signed up for ten other languages. I follow the forums, the questions and answers, on Facebook Polyglots. My dream is to be a polyglot, to be able to chat in at least four languages, English, French, German, Spanish - and Swedish. I know a dozen words, road direction signs, transport signs, in Malay-Indonesdian, Hebrew. I learned Latin at school and can read Roman gravestones in museums and archaeological sites, which helps with Italian. I recognize most of the letters in the Hebrew, Greek and Cyrillic (Russian-Bulgarian) alphabets and can read slowly. My far off challenges are Japanese and Korean. I studied the simplest made up language, Esperanto but was not good at it. Lack of practice. I am pro Interlingo. I have numerous blog posts on American English, Australian and New Zealand English, and French, Spanish, German and Swedish on travelwithangelalansbury.blogger.com
I gave a speech to Singapore International Dynamic club, an online only club which I belong to as secretary. On Friday 11th November 2022. I have given speeches on being bilingual in the UK and Singapore and to the online club SGI.
I am a member of five Toastmasters clubs, meeting in person or hybrid in Singapore BHA an advanced club of which and TCA and NSS. In the UK I am a member of Harrovians.
I gave this speech several times on how to study languages, showing various books and flashcards. The feedback recommendation for improvement was, tell us why we should take all that trouble.
I had also given the speech on why you should be bilingual, and got the feedback, yes, it sounds a good idea, but in the past I found I was not good at languages. How should I go about it?
This time I gave a speech covering why you should be bilingual and how to do it.
I felt like I was sure I had given an almost identical speech previously and thought people might be bored, but my evaluator was ultra-enthusiastic.
A really good evaluation enthuses the speaker to give the same speech again or to give another speech. It does not repeat the speech but says why each element was effective, so that anybody who missed the speech because they were late or had poor reception, or did not follow the English words, can still infer the gist of the speech from the evaluator's comments.
Ananya said, "This is one of the best speeches I have heard. It told me how to learn languages and why and gave me all kinds of new ideas. I was very interested in the idea that being bilingual helps postpone or prevent Alzheimers, because Indians are known to have low rates of Alzheimers, and we mostly are bilingual because we need to speak English to communicate with Indians in other Indian cities and states speaking different languages.
"I also thought the information on Duolingo was helpful to me personally. Although I had heard of it and several people in the audience said they used it, the information about how it works was useful to me. I never understood why it was better than just using Google Translate, I thought Duolingo was just another translating system. But now I am keen to go and look at it to find out more about it.
"I don't have any recommendations for improvement. You involved me and other members of the audience with a call to action and how to do it.
"I had been very busy working late and was tired, in two minds about whether to come to this meeting; but now I am very glad that I did. I am keen to come back and hear more speeches from you."
I gave this speech from the pathway Persuasive Speaking, Icebreaker, 4 to 6 minutes.
Improve your English by Angela Lansbury
Toastmasters international find a club
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Is it fair and helpful to belong to two clubs? And a speech contestant in two clubs?
Dual memberships can benefit members. It is important if you are the second dual club not to criticize the 'rival' club, or the member for still being a member of the other club, or to blame them for just joining you to enter a contest. Any member who joins your club should be invited to every meeting. If they cannot attend, follow up with phone calls so they still feel part of the club.
If you act like their constant friend, they will want to see you. If you act like you have forgotten them, they may forget you. You have a member. It is easier to keep a member than find a new one.
I have heard somebody complain that a member just joined their club to enter a contest and then left.
1 Repeating speeches is one way to improve and finalists have often given their speeches at many clubs. This person didn't just come to practice his speech without paying at your club. This member paid you. I have seen two contestants who gave dreadful speeches at a club but after doing the same speech again at other clubs were completely transformed into winners at the next level and beyond.
2) Many good clubs either train their contestants, or hold a public feedback session before the contest. Did you do this? If so, everybody benefitted.
If not, you still benefitted if you asked your members to watch their member competing, got them interested in contests, and encouraged them to consider entering, or judging, or just watching contests and learning.
3) The same or other clubs might hold a debriefing session where the contestant who goes on to compete again gets feedback. So every time a contestant competes, they are improving from feedback, and other members improve by observing.
4) You can use your member's win in publicity. If you coached your contestant, they can write on Facebook how your help enabled them to win.
Did you invite them to rehearse the speech at your club the week or month before? Maybe your feedback helped.
Even if you said nothing, the practice of being on time will have helped.
The club where they were a winner can place news of 'our member's win' on Facebook, fliers, websites and elsewhere.
(People in the other club can also say that their member won, because their member has come to meetings and given feedback about what it is like at different levels of contests, and tricky things such as keeping to time, being audible.)
Did you invite the winner back to speak after the win to speak at the club about their success?
If not, or they were too busy, you can still analyze what your current, or past member, did to win a contest.
5) If you congratulate your winner privately and publicly and make a huge fuss of them, they might want to stay in your club. I was a member of two clubs and often won the second time. Maybe it was because I learned from my mistakes the first time.
Monday, March 21, 2022
Look Co-ordinated - like The Vietnamese National Costume and Toastmasters Colours
Judging Good and Great Table Topics (Impromptu Speeches) and how yours could improve
My Club Experience As An Evaluator
I have been a project evaluator at many meetings, and an evaluator of table topics. (To enlighten those who are not Toastmasters, table topics are impromptu speeches, lasting two minutes. The subjects used to often be picked from the table at a physical meeting. Nowadays more often table topics are on a theme, on a numbered set of mystery slides when online).
In a contest, every contestant receives the same topic.
My Contest Experience As A Judge
I have also been a judge and a tie breaker judge at many contests.
I came second in an evaluator contest at Division level, which is the third level, club, area, and then Divison. So I have given many speeches, judged many speeches, and listened to others giving prepared speeches, impromptu speeches and evaluations. (My win was on Saturday March 19th, 2022.)
My Experience As A Speaker
I have been a Toastmasters Member since 2004. I achieved and have completed all 11 Pathways, each of which has 14 projects. Total 154. A few of these involve giving two speeches. Add 5 speeches per pathway. Another 55. About 200.
I have also attended several club officer trainings, workshops.
And watched the prize winners on YouTube.
What have I learned about table topics, and the winners and runners up and participants who weren't placed and judges?
1 The Questions
Great Questions - Challenging Questions
Cultural Questions - and Complicated Idioms
Americanisms - such as cookout
Watch out for words such as cookout. Unknown in the UK. Most of the world calls it a barbecue. In North America they have one word for food eaten and cooked outdoors, which is cookout, which is often cheap food such as hamburgers. However, it is different in the Deep South of North America. For them a cookout is exclusively cheap hamburgers and sausages. A barbecue is grander and lasts longer. A whole animal is roasted all day long, beef or pork, cometimes chicken as well. Deck chairs are provided to sit around - a grand occasion. Southerner invited to a BBQ expects solid meat, not cheap cuts mixed up with fat and bread.
We had one question, if you were invited to a cookout, what would you bring. I thought the first contestant was asked, if you were invited to cookout, what would you bring.
I could tell by the delay in answering that the people were considering. One responded: I don't know what a cookout is. When invited to a social event, I always take perfume. " I thought she mean as a gift. No. She continued, "I like to wear perfume to be sure I smell good. I would not want anybody to say, "Oh, you smell terrible."
Oh, dear, I thought. This is supposed to be a discussion of food. It has turned into a talk on body odour.
However, she continued, 'I would make sure that I wore something good. I have read that the best thing to wear is a smile. To sum up, I would always bring a smile and perfume."
In my opinion her answer was the most amusing and original.
I would have discussed how American and British English languages differ.
Let's look at other difficult questions.
2 The Disasters
At a Toastmasters meeting what could go wrong? Sometimes, as Language evaluator, I have photographed myself against a drawing of the Word of the day. Unfortunately, the text is reversed left to right.
You start with a welcome slide. It is in the club colours. Red. Unfortunately this signals 'stop' to all the speakers.
Birthday Sounds At Country Club
We booked a country club. The country club asked: 'Do you need microphones?'
The president over-ruled my cautious view that we should have them. He said, "We don't need them. We are Toastmasters."
On the night, the venue, which had told us we were the only booking, had two late bookings, one for a birthday and the other for a wedding.
The birthday party started singing Happy Birthday To You in chorus in the middle of a novice speaker's speech. The birthday party were happy. The contest speakers next door were unhappy.
After that, the wedding group started playing dance music.
Weddings. What could go wrong? Music? Dancing? Music?
MC At Wrong Wedding
At a hotel we had a French group visiting.
I offered to translate.
We welcomed on stage a man in a red coat.
I translate. I had a speech on wedding customs and I was dressed in white.
I translated, He says, 'What a pleasure it is to preside over our wedding. Where is the bride?"
I smiled, I said, 'He is speaking in French. He has a great sense of humour. He thinks I am the bride."
He insulted me, "You are the bride's mother? Mademoiselle Mathilde Lebranc. Grand ballroom."
I told him, "Small ballroom. Wrong room. Pas ici.Not a wedding. Pas un mariage ici."
Candle Alight For Baby Blessing
Then our Hindu guest gave a speech about blessing his newborn baby. He walked around the table three times, after lighting a fire on the table. I didn't like this. The flames grew higher and higher. Then the fire alarm went off.
You could not hear anybody. Security appeared at the door. Everybody out.
The fire brigade sirens appeared.
An entire wedding group evacuated the restaurant. We waited half an hour.
The chef looked woebegone. I said, "sorry about that."
He said, "We have to cook the whole thing again."
One contest speaker spoke upside down.
A test speaker was on mute.
The speaker could be heard clearly, but we saw the ceiling.
Another speaker spoke clearly. But we could see only the carpet.
Another contest in the UK was in a health centre. At half past the hour the classes changed over. A parade of women - wrapped in towels - walked past the back of the improvised stage.
The male master of ceremonies was open mouthed. He looked like he was watching a tennis match.
He kept recovering, then another woman appeared, clutching a slipping towel.
Children's Ballet Class
Another Toastmasters meeting above a pub in London ran over time.
A ballet class had booked the room. As the president tried to present the best speaker award, little seven-year-old girls filled up the spaces around the outside of the room. They took off their coats, and dresses, and revealed their ballet costumes. They took off their boots and revealed their tights. They began their warm up stretches.
The President continued talking, not the least bit distracted. He was the only person not distracted.
Our meeting video was still running. I prayed, 'President, please stop the meeting We are about to be arrested by the police.'
Such is life. If I didn't attend another meeting, I would still have a lifetime's memories and stories.
I would love to win this contest. But winning or not winning a contest, is just one wave, in the ups and downs of life. If your favourite doesn't win, there's always another year. Learn from other people's mistakes.
If your family is watching, I apologize. I am going to tell you two things, which are - uh! - a little rude.
If I do proceed to the next round, hope I shall remember to remove the lapel microphone before going to the toilet. One speaker didn't. During the interval, we heard tinkling, and flushing. She came back, beaming, ready to start her speech, and said to the stoney faced chairperson, 'What's the matter - am I late?'
The chairperson said, "I'll tell you the problem, later.'
Another contestant unmuted and told her, "Your lapel microphone was broadcasting to us from the toilet."
The French Prince's Revelations
The French Prince who showed us group of journalists around his chateau. He said we had only time to see the front.
I insisted, We must see the back, absolutment.
He told everybody, I hope you liked the front of the house. Angela has insisted on seeing my backside.'
I muttered, backside is what you sit on. You mean the back of the house.
He did not understand me. But said, 'Angela definitely wants to see my backside. You can sit here and rest, while Angela follows me to see my backside.'
Table Topics Challenges
You are sometimes asked daft questions: what colour would you like to be? Which animal? (I'm not Hindu.)
What is your greatest fault?
I'm not telling you that!
If you insist. My greatest fault is avoiding answering the question.
What is the best sex you have ever had?
I can't remember.
Never mind the past. Let's talk about tonight!
At one contest, the challenging question was,
"How would you advise your boy scouts to use contraception - without describing any body part, nor using any technical term?"
The winner said,
"Boys, if you bought a new car you were very proud of, you would keep it covered by a waterproof jacket to protect it. When you mature as a man, you have a new gift, a body part, which you are very proud of, so you must always protect it, with a waterproof jacket."
I arrived late, with the help of my satnav, which I removed from the car so it would not get stolen. I sidled into the front row and sat down. As the proceedings resumed, they were interrupted by a robotic voice from my tote bag: 'You have reached your destination!'
The Hobby Horse Neighing
I gave a humorous speech about fear, using as my props a scarecrow and a horse which neighed when you pulled the ear. The trouble was, I forgot whether you pulled the left ear or the right ear, whether you pulled once or twice. I got the horse to neigh. Then I resumed my speech and it neighed again. I turned it off. Silence. I pressed again to be sure and it weighed again. In the end, I had to race over to the waste bin in the far corner where it continued neighing to itself at intervals. My horrified expression and the constant neighing had the audience in stitches.
On a serious note, a recent table topic was, be like water, adapt. Of the six contestants, two of them identified the fact that the quote was from Bruce Lee. I had forgotten that, although I have written two books of quotations, and Bruce Lee is one of my favourite film stars and heroes.
I often use the judging forms to judge a speech, whether of not I am the real judge. It is good practice for when you are a judge, and reminds you of what to do in contests when giving a speech. I gave them both as extra point for identifying the quote.
Some of the speakers talked about water and how changing the course of water affected the landscape and flooding. Others talked about being in Toastmasters. I was listening for somebody to explain the transition or link between water in a river, and human life. I was also listening out for a personal story. Not just a lot of generalising.
'Of course, this is good. This is what we should all do. I agree with this statement. This applies to everybody."
These statements could apply to any question and could be said by any speaker. If three people say variations on this, you are not learning anything new about life, or the speaker, or how the saying could affect your life.
What you need are 1 A personal story or two. 2 A comment on the origin of the saying, and that it is now a metaphor or symbol. 3 A call to action. A summary ending with a powerful and decisive and specific call to action.
What if you can't discuss it? The subject is football, about which you know nothing?
Once the topic was football. We had three equally good or bad similar speeches about the pleasures of watching football. But the winner was a man who knew nothing about football.
He was passionately against it, and its dominating TV. He described how he had tried to have a meal out with his wife. The pubs were full of people watching football. The seats were full. The TV was noisy. The audience kept shouting. They tried a restaurant. The restaurant had brought in a TV, especially so the customers - and staff - could watch the match. The man ended up going home to eat.
He ended by listing all the things he would rather do than watch football. The last one was having a meal in a restaurant without having football on the TV.
Monday, October 18, 2021
Halloween's Happy Prize-winning, Memorable Speech From Angela and Scary Stories from Others at Nee Soon South
Halloween was the amusing subject of the questions in the table topics (impromptu speech) session at Nee Soon South Toastmasters Club online on Zoom. The President, Chan Ah Cheng had prepared interesting and challenging topics including: Share a scary incident; What would you offer as a healthy treat instead of sweets? What would you wear to a Halloween party. All three speakers were voted best speaker, the best evaluator was Isabella Tham and I won the vote for best table topics.
Monday, September 27, 2021
Best Table Topic on Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud
I won best table topic speaker jointly on Friday September 24th 2021 in a Singapore Online Dynamic speakers' meeting. My topic was be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. I said:
We all want to be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud. And we'd all like somebody to be a rainbow in our cloud. Unfortunately, some people are clouds in our rainbow. My rule is three rains and you are out. I can't be a rainbow when somebody else is a perpetual cloud. Now the weather in the UK is variable. Cloud rain, cloud rain. But how do you distinguish a friend from an enemy? A friend is more rainbow than cloud. If somebody is a rainbow all your life, and you are their rainbow, then one day a cloud falls, you are ready to go to help. If they are a double cloud, they blot out your rainbow and you are no use to anybody. If you are one rainbow, you brighten one day. the next day they are in the cloud again. If you give a little extra, a double rainbow, enough is left over to brighten their tomorrow.
Sometimes complete strangers step in to help. I'd rather be a rainbow with somebody else's rainbow and make a double rainbow.
Wouldn't that be gorgeous. I hope my speech is more rainbow than cloud, so I'll say the word rainbow twice, rainbow, rainbow, double rainbow.