Look up at the blue Skype

Wonderful news! We are meeting at 18:15 GMT on Thursday! Here is the link: https://join.skype.com/aKlWceFNzKWG.

Our last meeting’s Word Of The Day was:

The future will always be beatific so long as we work to design such a future.

Table Topics

Katia provided a Table Topics session to spice up the mood around the globe.

Nkenge broke the ice responding with the things to do and see in her surroundings.

Kashif, President of the Toastmasters club in Peshwar, Pakistan, expressed gratitude for the wonders in his city.

Joseph spoke about his multicultural city, Cochin, India.

Allison of Malaysia spoke about the tourist-atrracting architecture and peaceful Putrajaya, a nearby university town.

Brian lives in between Laos and Vietnam. His favourite meal is khao soi and he gave a mouthwatering description of the Filipino dish.

Kenny (Best Table Topic) wants to speak to more people after the social distancing.

Prepared Speakers

Xiaolei Zhang concerned us with ‘Challenging questions in Global Catastrophic Biological Risks.’ She extensively defined the terms in her title. Then, she entertained questions from the audience.

Nuttawut Kongsuwan propagated Xiaolei’s message with his clear title ‘COVID 19.’ He summarised the current state of the pandemic and reviewed current testing techniques for the virus.


Joseph Martin (Best Evaluator) evaluated Xiaolei’s lengthy presentation.

Xiaolei put a lot of effort into researching for her presentation.

He thought her slides were too crowded with words.

He enjoyed the Q&A session.

Chuka Nwobodo evaluated Nuttawut’s presentation.

Nuttawut concisely presented facts and figures.

That conciseness may have lost him some thoroughness, though.

He unbiasedly reviewed the various testing techniques.

The Skype’s the limit!

Wonderful news! We are meeting tomorrow! Here is the link: https://join.skype.com/aKlWceFNzKWG.

We will be listening to our incumbent President, Yu Zhang. We will also be entertained by former President, Nuttawut Kongsuwan on speeches concerning COVID-19. Xiaolei Zhang will be speaking too!

Prepared Speeches

Harry Cai gave his inaugural Icebreaker.

Rishi Kumra started a new Path with his inspiring Icebreaker.

Varshit Dusad delivered a competition speech: ‘First Steps.’

Sadia Zaman explores humorous ways to demonstrate ‘High Performace Leadership.’

We were delighted when Paula Vila announced that ‘My 2020 wish (finally) becomes reality.’


Kenny evaluated Harry’s Icebreaker.

Shibo evaluated Rishi’s Icebreaker.

Chane evaluated Varshit’s competition speech.

Chuka evaluated Sadia’s story.

Harshit evaluated Paula’s presentation.

Afifa Zahiya led the General Evaluator role this time.

“May we keep our sanity amidst the chaos”


Due to the growing concern of COVID-19, our District (D91) has encouraged all member clubs to discontinue all physical meetings until further notice.

As of next week, then, we shall be hosting all our meetings online using the popular remote conferencing service, Zoom. You will access our meetings from here henceforth: https://zoom.us/j/601297553. Stay tuned to further emails for more information.

Table Topics

Kenny asked us to develop a sentence into a brief story.

Robin Sundström began with “In a land far far away, there was…” where there was a brilliant scientist who was motivated to cure every disease.

Sharif Shakuur was assigned: “Out of nowhere, lightning struck and…” He spoke about resilience in overcoming the trials of the Amazon rainforest.

Kenny (Best Table Topic) gave himself the sentence: “This meant there was only one thing to do.” How do you escape to civilisation when you don’t know how? Climb the tallest tree you can find.

To get out of the woods, Zainab Titus would declare: “Suddenly it dawned on me: a eureka moment!” A compass and a torchlight would enable her to get out into the “civilisation far ahead”.

Finally, Chuka told a quick story given the prompt: “Never had I ever seen such a…” “What could it be? King Kong? Godzilla?” We would never know!

Prepared Speeches

Xiaolei reminisced on ‘What I would tell myself if I just started my PhD’. Will you win a Nobel Prize if you study a PhD? Well, Xiaolei discusses the feasibility of post-PhD aspirations.

Kenny (Best Speaker) gave a crash course on the knowledge argument in ‘What Do You See?’. He is practising for the Area Contest.

Robin conveyed a meaningful message in ‘Crickets’. He is practising for the Humorous Speech Contest at the District level.


Kenny evaluated Xiaolei’s presentation. 

He liked her structure.

His vocal variety was rather bland.

She became more confident and started making eye contact towards the body of her speech.

Robin wanted everyone to comment on his speech. It was novel but effective.

Chuka spotted Robin’s tactical use of humour at the start to win audience attention.

Kenny noted that he was inaudible at times.

Xiaolei agreed with the majority that Robin delivered an excellent well-rounded speech.

Chuka presented his evaluation of Kenny’s speech.

His energy was even better than last time. Well done!

Some terms were technical and a bit difficult to understand, though.

He seemed well-prepared for the upcoming Area Contest. Good luck!


Lesson 10: List some scintillating moments of your life for which you can be grateful.

Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 17 (for our Area Contest) on Zoom. Don’t miss your chance to incrementally develop yourself.

A new adventure

International Contest

Rishi presented a motivational tribute to the legendary Kobe Bryant. He notes that ‘Leaders Drive Momentum, Followers Ride Momentum’. Momentum equals “action × growth”.

He constructed the following anacronym:

Dare to take risks (otherwise, how can you ever hope to get better?)
Respond with patience (failures are not the end!)
Involve yourself (because that will get you results faster)
Visualise your goals (to get into the correct mindset for taking positive action)
Enjoy the journey, not the destination (because the journey is much more interesting, anyway)
Raise the bar (keep on developing and you will eventually become a force to be reckoned with!)

Paula divulged her notion of ‘The Power of Happiness’.  Is there a limit to our happiness?

She expounded upon three points. In the first instance, she defined happiness. Secondly, she shared an anecdote of how happiness has affected her life. Lastly, she summarised what happiness means to her.

She concluded by exposing the individual and time-dependent nature of happiness.

Chuka captivated us with ‘Food For Thought’. “Food is the energy that gives you energy”.

He tried to squeeze the significant difficulties and breakthroughs of his life that have been influenced by food into a monumental motivational poem!

He energetically ended by exposing the truth that everybody can live great lives if they simply look after their health.

Kenny gave a crash course on the knowledge argument in ‘What Do You See?’. Is my “blue” the same as your “blue”?

In the “philosophy of mind field”, Kenny explained that there are two schools of reason. There are physicalists who believe that all phenomena (concerning the brain) can be taught. Duelists, on the other hand, believe that sensory phenomena cannot be understood.

Many of us may already be physicalists, according to Kenny’s reasoning, but by considering the Mary’s room paradox, we might be able to shift our paradigm.

Harshit suggests a neat way we can easily practise ‘Time Management’ with some simple actions. He shows a glimpse of his workflow in Microsoft To Do.

Everybody has suffered from poor time management at some point. Harshit offers an expedient solution to help us overcome procrastination. To-do lists can be a priceless (also, price-less!) tool for preventing our time from slipping through the cracks.

He makes managing time seem so straightforward! If only we had the time to manage our time!

Evaluation Contest

Katia Hougaard gave a delightful test speech on her favourite animal: the sloth!

Chuka, Paula, Kenny, and Rishi all evaluated Katia’s speech.

Chuka thought Katia started off strong with the way she dramatised the experience of walking through the jungle of Costa Rica.

However, she seemed to fail to keep up this engaging style.

Paula admired Katia’s use of descriptive language and evoked strong emotions of the jungle and of the sloth.

She could have given some past experiences with sloths.

Kenny enjoyed Katia’s engaging and informational speech.

Notwithstanding the theme of sloths, Katia could have slowed down!

Rishi noted particularly strong uses of descriptive and informative language.

Why was the sloth Katia’s favourite animal, though? It was unclear, according to Rishi.


Communication is the key to our survival

Table Topics

Paula provided our Table Topics session on the theme of politics.

Anand, Chane, Chuka, Remi, Kasia (Best Table Topic), Katia, and Ayuba challenged themselves with this complicated (and often controversial!) theme.

Prepared Speeches

Chuka captivated us with “Food For Thought”. He will be competing with this enchanting piece of motivational poetry!

Katia entertained us with “How to Coach a Colleague”. She won Best Speaker.

Paula sheds some light on how to “Lead the Fun Way”.  Hint: don’t binge-watch your favourite episodes if you’ve got an assignment coming up!


Kasia evaluated the Table Topics session. 

Paula introduced the topic very well and acknowledged that it may spark controversy.

Anand “always smiles” and is confident.

Chane was “fluent” and calculated.

Remi has a good “vibe” onstage.

Chuka started strong and paced his speech well.

Katia repeated the question to give her “extra time” to prepare her speech.

Ayuba was very “poised” and ended this session on a high note.

Katia analysed Chuka’s lyrical address. 

Chuka gave a Shakespearean-styled verse about the role of food in our lives.

He could have punctuated his speech with more personal anecdotes.

It was theatrical and highly entertaining to watch.

Chuka evaluated Paula’s speech.

Her introduction was powerful as it included various tactics for engagement.

She needs to curb detrimental habits, like swaying.

She gave a detailed retrospective based on feedback from the Vice Presidents.

Kasia also evaluated Katia’s presentation. She won Best Evaluator.

Her title was constructed well and with clarity.

Her single presentation slide was quite overwhelming.

Her exposition, role play, and Q& sessions were pleasurable to watch.


“Every successful person must start out from humble beginnings.”


Next Saturday (February 29), Kenny, Sadia, and Chuka will be going to Warwick University to compete

On March 5, you (and your friends) are cordially invited to our first Club Contest of 2020!

Grosvenor Square Speakers is the oldest Toastmasters club in the Area.

On March 9, they will be celebrating 40 years of existence!

Prepared Speeches

Remi Wester kickstarted her public speaking career with her icebreaker “From Stress to Success”.

She said she loved her job, which was believable from the raw enthusiasm she demonstrated.

James Nightingale also gave his “Icebreaker”.

On his journey in the Amazon rainforest, his guide placed a seduced tarantula on his face!

Have you ever wondered what makes Black Panther so special? Kelvin Idialu-Ikato informs us in his exposition on “Afrofuturism”.

He used a slideshow to capture the essence of its colourful history.

We should aim more to “Provide Feedback Outside the Toastmasters Sessions” according to Adolfo Tunon.

To get on his good books, we need to start contributing (more) at other Toastmasters clubs.

Try to “Troll Me” and see how Sadia Zaman handles distractions.

She tries to mimic a setting where someone may be constantly chatting to others on the front row or gets up and leaves the room.


Chuka evaluated Remi’s icebreaker.

She appeared surprisingly confident onstage considering it was her first prepared speech. She seemed to have everything under control.

However, she could use some more eye contact.

She also added good humour, which was not forced.

Sadia evaluated James’ speech.

James’ lexicon was very appropriate for his speech and his word choice evoked strong emotions.

His conclusion could have been better, especially since he “started off strong”.

However, he was passionate and confident.

Harry evaluated Kelvin’s address.

His hand gestures appeared to be well-choreographed.

He was always standing to the left of the room so it was more difficult to engage with those sitting on the right.

Still, he managed to not clutter his slides with text! Instead, the pictures were vibrant and large.

Chane assessed Adolfo’s discourse.

Adolfo used the stage to his advantage and carefully made eye contact with everyone in the room.

Paula analysed Sadia’s performance.

Sadia engaged the audience with multiple different media.

Though well-rehearsed, it seemed as though her volunteers were not made properly aware of their role in her speaking project.

Her content was “very relevant to the audience”.

Adolfo was also our General Evaluator.

His highly structured evaluation was well-received and practical.

He managed to provide at least one commendation and recommendation for each.


Lesson #7: Become a zealot of life and life will reward you handsomely.

Our next meeting is Thursday, February 27 (in the Sir Alexander Fleming Building, SAF 121). Don’t miss your chance to incrementally develop yourself!

“If you ever find yourself dazzled by life, throw on some shades. ?”

Bam! What a dramatic episode of speeches!

This week’s meeting was an exhilarating opportunity to observe how “great leaders are made, not born.”

This speak-a-thon, we heard from:

  1. the founder of The Warwick University Speech Contest, Harry Cai,
  2. our Seargent At Arms, Anand Krishnakumar,
  3. our award-winning Toastmaster, Paula Vila,
  4. our renowned Area Director, Adolfo Tunon,
  5. our infamous Division Contest runner-up, Chuka Nwobodo.

    Harry explained what to expect at “The Warwick University Speech Contest.” Also, we are pleased to re-open applications for the contest! (Click on the link to apply!)

    Anand hypnotised us with his sensuous “Leadership and Jobs.” (Can you guess what his speech was about?)

    Paula detailed her “Lessons From My Sustainability Project This Summer” with her signature aptitude for clarity and structure.

    Once, Adolfo had to announce the devastating news that “We Will Lose Our Jobs”. How he delivered this news was the topic of his speech.

    In his keynote speech, “A Journey of Diet,” Chuka encourages a much-needed paradigm shift about our relationship with food to empower and enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. (Click on the link to watch the video on YouTube.)

    Lesson #5: Being altruistic toward others will pay dividends in the long term.

    Our next meeting is Thursday, February 13 at 18:15 (in the Sir Alexander Fleming Building, SAF 121). Don’t miss your chance to incrementally develop yourself!

“It may be the end of the decade, but it is the beginning of a revolution!”

Thanks for making the 2010s so memorable! We are so proud of the growth of our Society and Toastmaster club!

It is incredible how after a relatively short existence, we have already transformed the lives of countless people! We are unspeakably grateful for our achievements and experiences this decade.

Let’s make the next decade wonderful too, shall we? Continue reading ““It may be the end of the decade, but it is the beginning of a revolution!””

“Words have no value until they are used to change lives.”

On 22 November, our impressive President, Ronnie, doubled as Table Topics Master.

He deliberately asked easy questions so that guests were more willing to answer.

It worked! People were leaping to go onstage before Ronnie could even finish saying the questions!

Chuka blew us away with the moving spoken-word poetry in “My Descriptive Journey”. He started, maintained, and ended with unmatched energy. He won Best Speaker.

Xiaolei surprised many of us by announcing her completion of multiple long-distance running feats! In “How to hack my first half-marathon”, she proposed how she will take herself to the next level.

Have you ever wondered how flowers look so beautiful in pictures? Kasia explains the sophisticated art in “How to Photograph Floral Arrangements for Online Store”.

We are highly delighted to tell you about a very special event that is happening at our club next Thursday.

Next week, Adolfo Tunon will be presenting a unique workshop to teach a crucial, in-demand skill: leadership.

Adolfo has been a Toastmaster for over 12 glorious years! He founded Corporate Club Citi Speak and Lead in Northern Ireland. Adolfo has worked at Santander, and Lloyds Bank.
Adolfo will instruct attendees of our next meeting to simulate – in groups – our club liaising with Corporate Clubs. If you come, you will discuss the deciding aspects that you need to take into account when leading a project, a team, or an assignment.

Moreover, you will apply these concepts to a plan that the IC Speakers are leading on how to be in close communication with Corporate Clubs for mutual benefit.

You do not want to miss this meeting! Sign up here now!

Become a better social animal, like a Robin

Hey there!

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to speak to someone but just couldn’t?

Well, Robin Sundström educated us on how to be better social animals. We learnt how to step out of our comfort zone and engage with people on a personal level. After all, there can be no growth without growing pains.

(His workshop was half an hour long so we did not have Table Topics this week.)

Kasia intrigued us with her Icebreaker titled “Who am I?” She definitely gave us something to think about. Are you aware?

Paula Vila announced “My Future Communication Plan”. Blogging, according to her, is the way forward.

Xiaolei Zhang told us about a controversial topic concerning her home country, China. She won the Prepared Speech prize. Congrats!

Watch out! Our Halloween meeting is this… Halloween!