I like to visit Toastmasters Clubs whenever I am aboard.
This time is London.
I visited the Speakers of Croydon for twice and spoke as the General Evaluator (GE) in January 2013, what a great way to understand club developments and its meeting experiences.
As a GE, which I loveably nicknamed it as the “Terminator“, is a role to evaluate the impression of the club meeting, the facilitators (Timer, Grammarian, Ah Counter) and evaluators that were not given comments on how they performed. So it is an evaluator role of evaluators, evil laugh, muhahahaha!
In my view, the Speakers of Croydon is at best providing a very, very, very cosy atmosphere in supporting speakers on the stage. So expect to have your audience shouted “yeah!” and “that’s right!” at times and with big applause when you finished your speech. This is always a good sign, showing the members are paying attention to you enthusiastically. Being a speaker of yourself, you will know this is your first class audience that you would wish for in building up your speech delivery skill. Members did mentioned that they can be loud and a bit informal, but I think, as long as they enjoyed and found a way to uplift the spirit for everyone, why not?
Two speakers delivered their speeches, which means that their meeting is still capable of taking one to two more speakers. For the speeches, I am impressed that they came from both the Competent Communicator (CC) and the Advanced Communicator (AC) manuals. This combination is always a good sign to me, an indicator of showing diversities in speakers’ levels and having various levels of speeches are inspiring for members to understand how their Toastmasters journey woud look like in future.
Toastmasters Joan Jardine, Wole Ososami and Akin Magbadelo are just some of the very seasoned speakers that you would meet them in the meeting and they are leaders of the club too!
Toastmasters Joan Jardine, Wole Ososami and Akin Magbadelo are just some of the very seasoned speakers that you would meet them in the meeting and they are leaders of the club too! President Adrian Moore is passionate about club developments and augmenting (bty, it was the Word of the Day) the club to expand memberships and educations. The DCP award scheme and the Toastmasters International One Plus One (1+1) Membership Campaign are actively remembered to members.
Overall, I really like the cosy atmosphere of this club – even if you are a first timer visiting the club, you could blend in easily and finding yourself would be very supportive by the members if you became one. Members are overaly very competent speakers and stage fright seems to me, really something not in their dictionary. The major challenge for this club to expand would be the agenda, could be rearranged for better meeting experiences. For example, the Table Topics was arranged after the break could be moved to the beginning – giving the audiences (both members and guests) a chance to own the stage and to have the experiences of being a speaker; bottom line: a great way to warm up the meeting too! Another rearrangements would be consolidating reports into one block; such as the Timer’s Report, it should be reported one time only with all the timings for speakers and therefore, cutting time and reducing hassles for the facilitators. I do like the idea that they have meeting manager, a person to take charge of each meeting, relieving the burden from the Vice President of Education that s/he could focus on the bigger picture of members’ education needs.
I recommend Speakers of Croydon if you are looking for a club with plenty of time slots for speeches, very supportive audience responses and a friendly atmosphere for a Tuesday evening in Croydon!
Immediate Past Governor, Area G2 (District 85), China 2011-2012
MDC Toastmasters Club, Hong Kong
Vienna Toastmasters Club, Austria
Speakers of Croydon Toastmasters Club
Fees: Free visiting as guest, email or simply turn up on the day, calendar.
When: First and Third Tuesday of each month
Time: 1930 to 2130
Address: Cornerstone House, Willis Road Croydon CR0 2XX, UK.