Celebrate cerebrating

Wonderful news! We are meeting at 12:15 BST on Sunday, May 24! We are meeting on Zoom! Click on this text to join the chat room. If that doesn’t work on your device, the Meeting ID is 631 522 4568 and the password is speakers.

Our last meeting’s Word Of The Day was:

Definition: think deeply about something.

Example: I have to cerebrate on my lecture slides so I can ace my upcoming exams!

Table Topics

We listened to an inspiring variety of Table Topics on ‘one word’ hosted by Kasia Chelińska.

Shahariar spoke about time. He would travel the world if he had the time to.

Seema spoke briefly about being brief (see what I did there?).

Manish explains to us how we can be selfishly kind.

Edelia states that some important values are to be respected and to be loved.

“Common sense is not common”. Rubab shows us when to let decisions be run by logic and when by emotions.

Pragya entertains sadness as the “most deep emotion”.

Prepared Speakers

Faruk Miah revealed that he used to have glossophobia (fear of public speaking) in ‘Choose Your Company Wisely To Unleash Your Potential’.

Faruk made no mistake about it in his Icebreaker: he “did not do anything wrong” joining Toastmasters.

We must be like a bird who is trying to learn to fly. Faruk invited use to “keep flying, keep trying” in the first speech of a (hopefully) long journey.

What is happiness? Murtaza Zee discussed this elusive question in ‘Unlocking Happiness’.

Murtaza recognised that he used to be the opposite of happiness. His friends and family would ask him to do fun things and he would say, “No, thanks”.

A Nobel laureate proposed three ways to unlock happiness. Find meaning, ty new things, and appreciate imperfection.

Paula Vila showed us how to ‘Speak Like A Professor’… or not?

I know it’s 9 am and most of you are half-asleep, but I am about to monotonously read to you these 200 lectures slides. This was how Paula started her speech, but, afterwards, she replaced her monotony for vocal variety, and continued making improvements after that.

Paula empowered us to realise that even the most “boring and informative” of speeches could be made engaging.


Harshit evaluated the Table Topics.

Shahariar made some good suggestions but could improve the transitions between them.

Seema delivered a practical message, but, honestly, she could have spoken longer!

Manish produced a list of three when describing his points! Harshit could barely name one improvement: improve eye contact.

Edelia began with a question. A rhetorical one, to be precise! Her Topic could have benefited from better gestures and expressions.

Rubab and Pragya both gave engaging personal anecdotes and examples from their lives to support their points. Kudos to both of them!

Chuka evaluated Faruk’s speech.

He thought Faruk spoke in a “very motivational” manner.

He should step back from the camera because some of his exuberant hand gestures were offscreen!

He repeated the main theme of his message to consolidate understanding.

Martin evaluated Murtaza’s speech.

Since his speech objective was to apply feedback from his last speech, Martin asked Murtaza how he felt now. It seems like he met his objective!

For next time, instead of telling us some anecdotal definitions of happiness, Murtaza could have asked, “What is ‘happiness’ for you?”

When he was talking about his childhood friends, his usage of ‘nah’ in place of ‘no’ sounded more natural.

Panos analysed Paula’s keynote.

She assessed her audience and adjusted her speech to maximise her chances to win rapport.

She should have used the Toastmaster of the evening “to her advantage”.

We’re glad she didn’t actually put us to sleep with her intro, but Panos was particularly happy she did not end her speech with a Q&A session.

Rahul acted as our General Evaluator.

The Toastmaster, Kenny, always transitioned smoothly between parts.

There should have been a theme to the meeting to improve the sense of connectedness throughout the meeting.

Still, the Table Topics Master gave simple, yet novel Topics, keeping the audience engaged.