Tag Archives: toastmasters

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

Any wordmonger in the room?

IMG_2027On Wednesday 16th we gathered at Anthony’s Place to see three of our members, Mabel, Ana and Alberto, demonstrate how the objectives of their respective speeches could be achieved.

The meeting began with the introduction of our guests. Jaime, a member of Excelencia Toastmasters club. Carla and Sam, both of them English teachers. Blanca, whose mother had recommended her to visit a Toastmaster meeting. And a girl, friend of our fellow member Masha, from Moldova.

Raquel, our Toastmaster of the Day, told us about the Toastmasters International new app. Before the meeting, she had contacted all the participants to ask them for the app they found most useful. That is how we learnt that the most useful app for Quyen, who was filling the role of grammarian, is Waze. She introduced wordmonger as the word of the day. I have to say, few of the participants found a challenge to use it correctly. Additionally, we learnt that Iván, our timekeeper of the day, most useful app is Fintonic.

IMG_2032Before the speeches started, Eric used the thought of the day section to tell us about the most dangerous word in the world: no. And how brain reacts to negative idea. Great start.

Mabel, whose favorite app is Runkeeper, delivered the speech “Superheroes”. After a moment of silence, she confessed she had superpowers. She used her movements, gestures and facial expressions to convince us that we could also be Superheroes. We just need to master the “Champion Position”. Those that were not able to make it, missed a great opportunity to be a more powerful individual.

Ana, who calls herself a Whatsapp addict, become a Competent Communicator after successfully completing project #10 of the manual. Her speech “Follow your hunches” was an inspiring tour of her life and why is important to act on our intuitions. Ana cleverly used well recognized songs to lead the audience through a self-discovery journey.

IMG_2042Alberto, who picked e-Park as his most useful app, completed the first project of the Storytelling manual by delivering the speech “The Pied Piper”. He started asking us to close our eyes and imagine that we were in bed. That peaceful moment was quickly left behind when he introduced one of the main characters in the story, rats. The plot was an intelligent reinterpretation of The Pied Piper of Hamelin with a tougher end.

Strangely enough, only one app was chosen by more than one person. Teresa and Luis, who were both evaluators, chose the app that informs about public transportation in Madrid. Both of them together with Carlos, Ana and Jim gave constructive feedback to all the meeting participants aiming to improve their skills. Ana, our VP of PR, confessed Raquel she doesn’t let Twitter rest.

IMG_2048Maria, as the table topic master, ask some “victims” to deliver an elevator speech to a capital investor while waiting in line at a coffee shop. The pre-set business ideas run from a matchmaking service for dogs to auction-based restaurants. I have to say all the participants, Jack, Navinya, Santi, Juliet and Rose, achieved their mission

I almost forgot to mention that Jim, our club founder, mentioned that Alberto’s speech reminded him of the book “A nation of sheep” by William J Lederer. I’m sure it is a worthwhile reading.

Written by Javier.

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.

Making your voice heard

Our toastmaster of the day, John, started the session explaining the organisation objectives. His aim was to clarify expectations and inform our guests. Amongst them, we have a former member of a Canadian toastmaster club, an ex-member of Ericsson club, the president of Standing Ovation club, three visitors from Germany, a group of engineers from Airbus and of course some locals. All of them interested on knowing what Toastmaster is all about. Around 30 people filled Anthony’s place.

Eric, as Grammarian, proposed two expression as word of the day: “at the helm” and “only a matter of time”. Julian, the guy with the Italian name and the Australian passport as he was introduced, used both of them one minute later while explaining his Timekeeper role. That was quick!

IMG_0176 (1)Victor, who has just joined the club, delivered a Thought of the day speech around the usage of painting and architecture through civilizations. He used plenty of visual aids to demonstrated how art is a priceless mirror of the society at a given time.

Maria, apart from being the General evaluator, delivered a Thought of the day speech around Toastmaster motto “where leaders are made”. Is there anybody out there who still doubts that all great leaders are great communicators?

The two main speakers of the day were Ana and Pilar. Ana’s “Do It Yourself” speech inspired us to consider DIY as a source of self-satisfaction. The speech included tips to help us get started: use pinterest to discover projects and visit the DIY fair celebrated twice a year in Madrid. Pilar’s “Home is where the heart is” was a call to spend time discovering your local area. She explained us how her plans to relocate to Bristol have caused her to spend her summer holidays visiting Alicante’s wonders: Santa Pola lighthouse, Tabarca island, …

IMG_0181Jim and Raul were the speeches evaluators. Both of them gave precise improvement points using constructive feedback, which is Toastmasters trademark.

Finally, Christian, Juliet, Jack, Ana, Jim, Jane and John were the “victims” of Alberto, the table topic master. He made them participate in a “Secret Santa” event as part of a company party. What would be your acceptance speech after receiving a “How to be nice and make friends” manual?

I should also mention that we had a special group of guests. A family having an early dinner help everybody demonstrate how important is to project the voice to the whole room in order to be heard. Their participation on this regard was priceless.

Written by Javier.