Category Archives: Icebreaker

Speak With Confidence

Despite the Real Madrid match, a multitude of members including a decent amount of guest came out to witness Ola, Jack and Juliet deliver their icebreaker and 7th speeches respectively.

The Toastmaster of the evening, Luciana, along with the time keeper Villy and grammarian Rose ensured that the meeting run smoothly.

IMG_2738First to the stage was Ola who dazzled the audience with her flawless movements and expressive hand gestures as she spoke about her life. For her first ever speech, she did well taking control of the stage. Her fairy tale style speech, focused on abandoning her native land Poland at the age of  23 years,  to begin a new life in sunny Spain. As an introvert, she declared that the move had made her more lively and open. Although it was her Icebreaker speech, Ola exhibited vital public speaking skills such as maintaining eye contact with audience, and she was even able to use humour in her speech.

It was no fairy tale speech with Jack. He was very expressive about the things he likes, thanks to the Beatles vinyl, Atletico de Madrid jersey and a family portrait he had brought along to back up his case.

Any toastmaster member would attest that delivering your Icebreaker speech can be nerve-wracking but not Jack, he kept his cool, was calm and collected and owned the stage. His speech had a clear structure and  a good conclusion.

IMG_2737Juliet started her speech with a question which immediately captured the audience’s attention. Her chosen subject about beauty touched the audience heart. Thanks to her personal anecdotes, Juliet made her speech a personal one. Also the use of visual aids helped to follow and understand her speech. Juliet appeared natural on stage and spoke with a clear loud voice backed with superb movements.

After the prepared speeches, it was time for the impromptu speeches which was well thought and wonderfully executed by the Table Topic Master Masha.

Lewis, Jesus, Nacho, and Jim were the fortunate ones to participate in the Table Topics, they were to guess the person behind a secret and also elaborate more on that secret.

All in all it was a it a great meeting, and most importantly we learned some dark secrets about some members.

Written by Christian

Wise Recommendations

We enjoyed a lot during our last Club meeting: the Toastmaster of the evening and the supporting roles worked hard, the speakers were amazing, the Table Topics participants revealed hidden aspects about themselves… but the evaluators, they all were awesome gave us lots of wise and useful recommendations. We must put all of them into practice!!

We all know that Jesús is the Sergeant At Arms of Toastmasters Madrid, but he was not able to attend our meeting on 21st of October. Therefore, Masha opened the meeting and introduced the Toastmaster of the Day: Wanda.

Wanda chose Halloween as the topic of the day. How many of us do celebrate Halloween? Where does this tradition come from? Are we buying pumpkins instead of “buñuelos”? asked Wanda at the beginning of the meeting.

Before the prepared speeches, we discovered how thoroughly Iván and Maravillas had prepared their roles as Grammarian and Timekeeper:

  • Ivan’s explanation of his role was very professional. We will never forget that the choice of SASSY as word of the day was displayed with several excerpts from Classic Literature.
  • Maravillas was Timekeeper for the first time. She was very strict with the use of time and didn´t hesitate to start clapping when some participants went overtime.

All of us are happy when a recent member delivers her Icebreaker. It is the first step for becoming CC. And on 21st of October, Ana Belén introduced herself as a Toastmaster. Thanks to Ana Belén, we remembered that there were frontiers between Spain and Portugal not a long time ago. All the times she crossed the Spain-Portugal border during her childhood made a great impact on her.

“Is it about time to move on?” was the question that Javier asked to us when starting the second speech of the evening. The objective of his third project was to “get to the point”, to be extremely clear, and he was. We will never forget Javier’s explanation of many employees´ feelings after being a long time without a promotion: “I quit some time ago, but I forgot to tell it”.

Marina was the third speaker of the day. Her evaluator, Eric pointed out that the 5th speech of the Competent Communicator manual is very important, because the speaker has to use her entire body in order to communicate. She spoke about good manners around the table, how she learnt them thanks to her mother, and how everybody should behave during business meals.


All the evaluators (Ana, Pedro and Eric) praised speakers, remarked their great job and gave wise and useful recommendations that all of us should learn too: breathe more, choose a specific topic, impersonate characters, and be sure all the audience is watching.

If you have ever attended a Toastmasters Madrid meeting, you know that there is something very important after the prepared speeches: Table Topics!!!

Maria was Table Topics Master and charged her victims of stealing, reckless driving, or committing environmental crimes. Jonas, Mabel, Christian, Julian, and Masha had the chance to defend themselves in front of the Toastmasters Madrid Jury, but Judge Maria took the Club gavel and found all of them guilty.

Table Topics have an Evaluator too: Teresa, who was shocked by the amount of criminals in our club. She gave useful tips to all of them in order to invent a better alibi next time.

After the Grammarian and Timekeeper reports, Wanda, the Toastmaster of the Day, introduced the last role: General Evaluator, who evaluates the meeting as a whole and gives wise pieces of advice to improve our events.

Wow, lots of things to learn from Juliet’s evaluation. Some of them that we should never forget are:

  • Having a backup or second Sergeant at Arms in case Jesús Clemente cannot attend again.
  • Having plenty of pens and evaluation sheets for crowded meeting.
  • Welcoming the guests (11 during our last meeting) and explaining them what is happening during the meeting. Juliet noticed how all the members tended to sit close to each other, without mixing in with the guests.
  • Speak loud and clear when somebody is having dinner in the same room!!

Written by Raquel


Strip Away Your Fears

The first meeting of October was ‘cool’ just like the time of season itself. Before Maria and Jesus would come up to explain their respectful roles as grammarian and time keeper, Eric the Toastmaster of the day, did something a little bit different in how guests are welcomed. Instead of the conventional “Hello and where are you from” form of introduction, he instructed guests to just say their names. Later at the end of the program, he gave the guests a chance to speak again by providing feedback on the evenings meeting.

In the main part of the nights program, Ivan lead the way with his Icebreaker in which he stripped off of his shirt to reveal his cyclist jersey. This was of course part of his plan to illustrate his passion for cycling as he delivered his autobiography speech. He talked about his brief childhood in Colombia, moving to the States and subsequently to Madrid. Marina who was evaluating him praised him for not using any notes.


Mabel on her third speech, delivered an educational speech on Visual, Audio, and Kinaesthetic (VAK) learning styles. She practiced what she preached as she used visual aids to capture audience attention. And also pitched her voice clear and loud enough to be heard from afar. Maintaining eye contact also added a personal touch with the audience.

Juliet’s fourth speech in her fourth month as a member was entitled “The Power Of Many”. One take home lesson from her speech was her advice on coming out more when faced with tougher situation in order to receive help. Jane was her evaluator and applauded her use of anecdotes to add flavour to the speech. To keep the momentum going, Eric commented on Juliet delivering her fifth speech next month to make it five speeches in five months.

The table topics was conducted by Ana. To help her carry it out were, Lewis, Javier, Villy, Raquel and Christian who delivered impromptu speeches about their various job roles such as a hotel bed warmer, and a life guard at a nude beach. The quick thinking and improvisation skills of the participants made it an eventful session.

Written by Christian.

Take To The Stage

Although the word of the day was “scorching”, it is fair to say that our last meeting was not the hottest evening of the Madrid summer, as we gathered open-air in Retiro Park.

20150715_203158After a brief introduction to the guests by Alberto, who was the Toastmaster of the Day, the show was good to start. Marina led the way with his brief talk on Self-Confidence and Self-Investment.


In the first speech of the day, we saw Alex chant and scream (he is not crazy) as he told a legendary story from his native country Brazil. Benito, his evaluator, thought it served well in grabbing audience attention and interest.

Eva gave us a “touching story” about inheritance which had the audience intrigued and connected to her family. Jane, who was evaluating her, liked the structure of the speech.

19541365330_6eb5e22492_kFor her Icebreaker, Mirat filled us in as to why she had a mixed set of jobs on her CV. Her speech ended on a high note as she quoted the words of Buddha “the path is the goal”. Her evaluator Jose commented her use of humour in the speech.

Time for the fun part arrived when the Table Topics Master, Luciana, magically turned Jim, Raquel, Manolo, Sonia, Raul, Anthony, Christian and Julian into salespeople and were tasked with selling various related items like holiday accommodations, modes of transport or relaxing holiday destinations.

Pilar and Ana played their roles as Grammarian and Timekeeper with enthusiasm. It was only right at the end of the meeting, that the General Evaluator Nacho pointed out the lack of usage of the podium for delivering any of the evening’s speeches and activities. Only if he had reminded us much earlier to Take to the stage…

Ethical Meeting

A good number of fellow Toastmasters and guests gathered together for our first meeting of the new Toastmasters year, which became the perfect refuge to escape from the heat. The news were even before the meeting started, with our new Sargent at Arms, Ana, kicking the meeting off and giving the lead to our Founder and Distinguished Toastmasters, Jim Dodson, who acted as Toastmaster of the Day, serving as a good example of how to exercise that role in an optimal way.


The speakers and evaluators roster provided a good combination of novelty and experience. Julian gave an artistic Thought of the Day, Maravillas talked about her professional twist and Christian shared with us his key learning experience in their Icebreakers, while Marina’s speech about Ethics made us reflect. Alex, Masha and Alex formed a dream team to evaluate the speeches in a way that everybody learnt something, like the “Virtual Image” concept that Aline shared with us or the importance of keeping the structure and the sentences simple in a speech.

The Table Topics session was driven by Pilar who, based on her work experience, and Marina’s speech, challenged the speakers with questions about Ethics in our daily life, which was positively valued by the audience, as the evaluator Ana pointed out. The auxiliary roles were performed really good by Rosa (timekeeper) and Jonas as Grammarian, who chose the word of the day “Pull Off” and paid extra attention to the usage of the English Grammar, apart from the control of the filler words.

Written by Nacho.