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organized by  Toastmasters 75 Club

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Last night was contest night! It was an exciting evening with a full house and 6 speech contestants as well as 4 evaluation contestants.

And then, after careful deliberation, the judges spoke. and the results are…

International Speech Contest

  1. Damien
  2. Shelley
  3. Lyly

Evaluation Contest

  1. Shelley
  2. Hemanth

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

The 1st and 2nd prize winners in both competitions have agreed to represent La Défense Toastmasters at the Area 4 Contest in Paris on Saturday morning, 11 March.

Our club champions will need our support at the area contest! So don’t hesitate and sign up now 🙂

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At the end of September – on Thursday 29, to be precise – our Fall club contest will once again take place.

All members can be a contestant in either the Humorous Speech contest, and/or the Table Topics contest. Or, help organize in a variety of roles.

The winner will go on to the area contest, and if you win that, the division contest. If you win that contest as well, you can represent us at the South & Western European (District 59) Conference in Madrid!

Here you can sign up:

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We are happy to announce the winners of the Area 4 Contest Oct 17th, 2015 below!

 

Humorous Speech – English:

  • 1st Place: Mark Finneran 
  • 2nd Place: Carol Bausor
  • 3rd Place: Shelley Mullon

Table Topics – English:

  • 1st Place: Carol Bausor
  • 2nd Place: Shelley Mullon
  • 3rd Place: Juliet Meere

Humorous Speech – French:

  • 1st Place: Albena Gadjanova
  • 2nd Place: Sean Ryan

Table Topics – French:

  • 1st Place: Sean Ryan
  • 2nd Place: Albena Gadjanova

Humorous Speech – Spanish:

  • 1st Place: Juan-Pablo Chaclan

 

Thank you for coming out to enjoy such a great afternoon with us. We hope that you will continue supporting our contestants in the next round of the contest!

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Humorous Speech and Table Topics Division Contest!

 

Come join us to enjoy an event full of laughter, listening to the best and funniest toastmasters in the division! This is a great opportunity to mix and mingle with the other Toastmasters members. You will also enjoy a bilingual workshop on Improvisation, Creativity, and Laughter!

Date: Saturday, October 31, 2015

Place: Paroisse Saint-Eloi, Salle Forum – 7 Place Maurice de Fontenay, 75012 Paris (Metro Montgallet or Reuilly-Diderot; Bus 46/57, Parking nearby)

Time: 10:00 – 17:45

Fee: Early Bird price of 20€ if paid before October 26, 2015; 25€ after October 26, 2015 and at the door

Signup: http://goo.gl/forms/dyHtL8g6H5

Should you have any further questions, please contact:

robert.johnstone.tm+humour.2015@gmail.com (English)

meline.rochand@hotmail.com (French)

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Area 4

Humorous Speech & Table Topics

FALL CONTEST
Paris, on 17 October 2015, at 1 PM

 

We at La Défense Toastmasters are pleased to invite you to this Fall’s Humorous Speech & Table Topics contests for Area 4.

It will be an exciting and entertaining afternoon. Some of the best of the area’s many outstanding speaker will compete… Each club in the area will send the winners of their club contests. These clubs are:

  • La Defense Toastmasters
  • Paris Speech Masters
  • Toastmasters of Paris
  • Toastmasters 75

Program

13:00   Welcome & Registration
13:30   Humorous Speech Contest
15:00   Break
15:30   Table Topics Contest
16:30   Awards Ceremony


When & Where ??

When: * Saturday 17 October  2015 *   13H00  –  17H00

Where: American Church in Paris – 65 Quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris

For more information, send us a message: info@ladefense-toastmasters.com

Register Now!

Fee & Payment

The fee is 15€ if we receive your payment before or on 12 October. It is 20€ if we receive it later.

BANK TRANSFER – send it to:
La Défense Toastmasters
IBAN : FR91 2004 1000 0168 0540 7M02 081
BIC : PSSTFRPPPAR

The RIB can also be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B41XqxSp5qq_RXB5dVBxR09JSlE/view?usp=sharing

PAYPAL
Contact igorversteeg@gmail.com

CHECK  to the order of: La Défense Toastmasters
Send your check to: VERSTEEG, 62 rue François Arago, 78370 PLAISIR

CASH
To benefit from the Early bird rate (15€): come visit La Défense Toastmasters on Thursday 8 October (http://www.meetup.com/La-Defense-Toastmasters/events/225344367/)
At the door: regular fee (20€)

For more information, send us a message: info@ladefense-toastmasters.com

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World Champion of Public Speaking 2014
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What better to improve your public speaking than by observing those who already excel in it? Our ‘Get Inspired’ series will look at different people who have delivered incredible speeches and see what made them engage with the audience.

In the first of this series is Dananjaya Hettiarachchi from Sri Lanka who won the 2014 Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. His speech, entitled ‘I see something’ encompasses all the elements of an excellent speech with elements of surprise, inspiration and humour.

These are the two things I found exquisitely done in Dananjaya’s speech.

Vocal Variety

Dananjaya used the fool-proof technique of repetition very well and not only weaved it cleverly in his speech but he used his title to turn it into a catchphrase. Combined with carefully timed pauses, the impact of each time he said the catchphrase, created a real connection with his audience – the evidence is in their rapturous laughter. This is what I found made his speech so powerful and egaging.

Body language

We know body language is important to delivering a good speech (no surprise that it’s part of Toastmaster’s Competent Communicator program) and Dananjaya’s gestures and movements are done with deliberation to add drama and visual emphasis to his words. Watch how his actions when he talks about his mother crying and how the emotions you felt when he described this.

Watch the video yourself and see how many best practices you can learn from his storytelling techniques. What did you found inspiring in Dananjaya’s speech? Let me know in the comments below.

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toastmasters humour speech winner
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La Defense Toastmasters Club sent three participants to the Area Contest on October 18 and we are immensely proud that one of our participants came in the top three for the Humour Speech! Ka Yee will go on to represent the club at the District Conference on 15th November.

We caught up with our winner Kayee Chiu after the contest.

Many congratulations on winning 2nd place! How does it feel to come in 2nd place?
Thank you! I couldn’t believe it because the level of other contestants was really high. When I first prepared my speech, I thought it contained more body movement than really speaking so wasn’t sure it could really count as a “speech.” However I really loved the topic and so decided to have great fun preparing and delivering it without thinking about getting any award. I simply enjoyed every millisecond of the speech! I am really happy and grateful for what La Défense Toastmaster Club has given me!

What was your speech about and what was its key messages?
It was about learning a weird finger movement that I saw on TV when I was about 8 years old and now mastering it. There is really no big philosophy behind the whole thing but if I had to find one, it would be, “Don’t underestimate doing silly little things in our lives. They can be tremendous fun and bring joy to ourselves and others!”

What inspired you to do this speech?
I wanted to entertain people and make them laugh!

When did you become a member of Toastmasters and what made you decide to join? 
I joined early 2014. I was working in La Défense and as I am a really active person who loves meeting people and doing fun things whilst improving myself. I saw the La Defense Toastmasters group on Meetup.com and went there as a guest. I had such an awesome evening that I decided to become a member!

How has coming to Toastmasters helped you?
It has helped me by giving me back my self-confidence. I used to be very active in theatre acting during my teenage years and up to about 5 years ago. I was not sure whether I would be able to have the same level of confidence again, but Toastmasters has proven that it is possible thanks to the support and feedback from our club members.

Would you recommend Toastmasters to others and why?
Certainly! For me, participating in the Humour Cotest was simply this: right before that precise moment I told myself, “I don’t care how I will be judged. It’s not about winning but having fun, being myself and talking about what I value.” I am proud to be recognised for my speech. Everyone should give themselves the chance to find out what public speaking means for them because you never know just how far you can go!

toastmasters humour speech winner

Kayee Chiu shows us her trophy

Read More →

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Club Contest La Defense Toastmasters
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We’re excited to run our very first club contest on October 16th and we’re looking for candidates! Whether you have a competitive spirit or you want to challenge yourself, you can’t afford to miss this fun opportunity to take your public speaking skills to the next level.

Humourous Speech Contest

Muscle up your funny bone! Everyone has their ultimate funny story and here’s your chance to perfect it.

Need ideas? Just look around: your job, the metro, your cleaner or coiffeur, grocery shopping, addiction to your phone, etc. Pick one subject and make fun of it or yourself. Be part of the humour!

Table Topics Contest

What better way to practice thinking on your feet and let your creativity run wild? Whether you have already won a number of times or you want to win more, start your journey in becoming the ultimate table topics champion today!

How it works

The contests are open to all paid members of the club and will take place on 16th October at our club, Naked Restaurant, La Defense. Winners will then represent the club in the area contest. Non-paying members can still participate as judges, timekeeper or counter. For every role, you will be guided.

Deadline to sign up will be Sept 30th so grab your place now!

 

For more information on how contests are run you can refer to the Toastmasters International Speech Contest Learning Module in three sessions.

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Self confidence
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Go to the gym more.

Spend more time with the kids.

Eat more healthily.

Quit smoking.

Get a (new) job.

How many times have you seen these on people’s lists of New Year resolutions? With the start of the New Year, we’re looking for ways to improve ourselves and this is why you should seriously consider public speaking as your new interest.

Personally, attending my local Toastmasters club has already helped me grow in different ways including these:

Increase my self-confidence

Self confidence

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I have seen myself grow more confident in being at ease in front of a crowd and I did it all in small, sure steps. The first step was when I just psyching myself to get up and talk for the first time, followed by my  first Icebreaker speech to leading an entire evening as the Toastmaster.

Manage stress and handle change easily

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There have been times where I’ve helped run the evenings and there have been a few unexpected surprises that required making slight amendments to the agenda or how we run things. You learn to roll with it and adapt with a sense of humour. These types of situations are essential if you want to effectively manage your own study and work environment.

Socialize and network more outside of work

Dinner at Toastmasters

When I came back to France, I buried myself in my new job where I’ve often been too tired to do much else when I got off work. Toastmasters restored my work-life balance and our group members are amazing people who bring lively stories to each session.

Broaden my horizons

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As I just mentioned, you meet interesting people from all walks of life and geographies from African sociologists, life coaches, and photographers to engineers, HR professionals and finance auditors. It’s without fail that you’ll learn something new at every Toastmasters session, from Word of the Day to improve your vocabulary, to random subjects from people’s speeches. We recently learned the psychology behind eating a gingerbread man!

Improve my analytical skills and hone in my attention to detail

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At Toastmasters, it’s not just about talking but also about listening. One of the best ways to learn how to improve on your public speaking is evaluating how others do it. Listen out for what they do well and also what they can improve on. I’ve picked up some best practices just by doing evaluations.

Become a quick thinker

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Doing impromptu speeches in front of strangers is no easy task and it really does get your heart pumping the first few tries. Yet now, I’ve grown to love and thrive in Table Topics; even winning a few!

Learn to become a storyteller

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I love finding ways to make my speeches be more colourful from similes, alliterations, metaphors to onomatopoeia and personification. Toastmasters gets your creative cogs in motion and I’m becoming smitten with the English language every day.

Have you already joined Toastmasters, I’d love to know how it’s helped you. If you’re new to Toastmasters and want to see what it can do for you, sign up to our next session or get in touch.

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Techniques on breathing, eye contact and filler words

Techniques on breathing, eye contact and filler words

Since joining toastmasters, I have learned a lot but here’s my first list of three basic areas on public speaking that I think will benefit every beginner:

1. Breathing

When you’re cast into the spotlight, especially for the first time, have you ever experience one of these?

  • Dry mouth
  • Sweaty palms
  • Shaky hands
  • Jittery knees

You may even find yourself also speaking too fast and before you know it, you’ve ran out of breath.

Don’t worry, these are simply signs of nervousness and they can get the better of us at times. The good news is that you can control these by doing just one thing: improve your breathing.

Pause and take a deep breath before you speak and you’ll find that you’ll command your voice better. This will give more power and presence to your opening sentence and you’ll have achieved your goal of having a captive audience.

2. Eye contact

Your body language is important to delivering a good presentation and eye contact is the first essential technique you need to master. It helps you to
  • Build a rapport with your audience
  • Keep their interest throughout your presentation 
  • Judge your audience’s feedback through their reactions
I was first taught in secondary school that as long as I lift my eyes up from my notes once in a while, that is good eye contact. Of course, we’re no longer students in English class so that just won’t cut it anymore.

So here’s two quick tips that I’ve learned to improve this technique:

  • Let your eyes wander around the room so that you are speaking to the whole room
  • Look at specific people so that you build a real connection

3. Fillers

As a native English speaker, I’m guilty of saying the following filler words a lot: um, ah, uh and like. Toastmasters is a great place for you to practice speaking with more purpose and here’s two ways you can limit this bad habit:
  • Get an Ah-Counter: Having someone who can note when you tend to fall foul. This will help you understand when and why you do it and come up with tactics to avoid it in the future. Our Grammarian at our Toastmasters often act as the Ah-counter at our meetings so you can always practice with us.
  • Pause for thought: One of the best practices I’ve seen from others is their use if pauses. Instead of being intimidated by breaks in their speeches, they used the silence to their advantage. So next time I feel the urge to use a filler word, I will instead embrace the pause.

To put these into practice, I recommend joining a public speaking club such as our Toastmasters group. You get the support in trying out these techniques and feedback to progress further.

What tricks do you use to master these three techniques? Are there other techniques people need to also learn? I’d love to hear from you.

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