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12 members, including a guest, came together for some midsummer madness, led by Jennifer.

Harsheed told us a suitable joke.

Steve sneaked in as many references to football as he could, such as fixtures, half time, and a game of 2 halves.( I must confess I was curious about the score at the time of the interval)

Cecile introduced topics, with Carmel first up, explaining her madness was not confined to midsummer.

Barbara talked about her nights out in Milton Keynes , based around the ley lines.

It was Jims creativity that won us over, as he explained a Midsummers wedding, winning best topics and humour.

Emma’s third speech was a magical story of being lost at sea. She drew us in with salty sea tales, and had us singing a sea shanty.

Maggie’s evaluation was, as always, very encouraging, winning her best evaluator.

Musttapha relayed an emotional tale of loss, and family support. Harsheed evaluated sensitively. I was impressed as he had one second’s notice of being an evaluator.

Louise tackled the abstract concept with a tale of modern art. It opened with lights being flicked on and off, to represent Martin Creeds Turner prize. What followed included a piece of blu-tack, loo rolls and abstract art from a child. Topped with the joys of taking a scientist on an artistic journey (which did not compute), and ending with references to a moving modern art theme , which included lovers reuniting.

Jim’s evaluation was informative and humorous, suggesting a powerful ending, with her personal art.

Steve brought everything together with his take on the evaluators and topics. The General evaluator award went to Harsheed for stepping in so promptly.

Carmel headed up the ah counts and grammarian, awarding smooth talker to Maggie.

Barbara timed us.

We welcomed Stephanie as a guest.

The meeting ended on a high, as we are back to President’s distinguished club status, and Carmel handed over to Steve, with a speech of thanks.

Now it’s time to set leadership and speech goals for the next year.

Remember to bring your manuals to the meetings, and please ensure you confirm your attendance prior to the meeting on the D71 website.

Jim is in charge of the next meeting. See you then.

Every year, each Toastmasters club is asked to participate in several contests, with the winners having the possibility of representing their club at the next level and ultimately in the International Club.

The International Speech Contest is currently ongoing, and North Bucks has a real success story to report.

At our meeting on 6th March, Delphine was a well deserved winner of this contest and went forward to represent North Bucks in the Area 44 Contest.

This contest was held on the 29th March, where Delphine again triumphed against representatives of all 4 clubs in Area 44.

The next round was the Division G contest in April. Delphine again triumphed, and goes forward to represent Division G in the District Contest. District might not sound that impressive, but the District is actually the whole of UK and Ireland, and the contest is held at the conference in Ireland in May. To get this far means that Delphine’s speech is effectively the best presented by all 23 clubs for this contest this year.

This is a great achievement and all of us at North Bucks, and I am sure Area 44, are very proud of her and wish her all the best in the District Contest.


16 people came together for the sunshine that is Toastmasters.

Led by Jennifer, the theme was weather, and the meeting reflected an upbeat view of it.

Anthony took on the timer role for the first time, assisted by the general evaluator, Louise. The meeting was managed with great precision, to ensure time was kept.

Emma stepped forward to count the grunts as a first role, awarding the smooth talker to Jim.

Jim was the grammarian, with eclectic as word of the day

Delphine set us up with a joke, which turned into a mini speech. We were suitably warmed up for the rest of the evening.

Maggie’s topics were weather related, and very much in the story teller theme.

Jim was a tornado, with a lot of hot air blowing around

Carmel was the rain, with tales of freak storms

Delphine was the sun, though she wanted to be rain, and the rain won. Delphine also won best topics!

Steve was a very droll snowflake, with references to the perils of health and safety.

Lynda evaluated the topics.

Micks advanced speech was based on true events and told in a story telling style. We were transported to the antics of the 1960s dance halls, and at the end Mick invited us to join him for a dance. A bevy of lovely ladies leapt up to join him, watched by the grumpy guys…a bit like the school disco!

Delphine evaluated.

Femis 8th speech was about the history of money, starting with chocolate. Femi smoothly took us on a history lesson, with facts and figures aplenty. He left us wanting more.

Gareth proved his evaluation skills with yet another fine feedback session. He won the award for this and we look forward to hearing more from him.

Cecile took us through what I can only describe as a stand-up comedy routine.

She described the French political system with the title ‘French politics, love and money’.

Her only prop was a pair of glasses, though she managed to portray a middle-aged lothario on a motorbike, a scheming mistress and enthusiastic children. The room roared with laughter as Cecile’s third speech brought the house down. Best speech and humour were awarded.

Carmel stepped in to evaluate, which she very well with more humour.

Louise brought it all together with the general evaluator role. There was a reminder that the GE role is about giving feedback to all, without repeating anything that has already been said. There were more recommendations and commendations for many, as the evening came to a close.

Lynda reminded us about the promotion day on the 12th,and Steve encouraged entries to our speech contest in March.

We also have a club officer gathering on Saturday at Cranfield.All are welcome. for comments and a photo from last night.

Meet up promotes all the clubs and is well worth joining.It’s free too

Intro : Apologies for the gap in transmission – North Bucks’ meetings have been continuing over the winter months, and I will endeavour again to ensure that this blog is updated after the event with any relevant information.

The following meeting notes are supplied by Louise.

17 people attended the second meeting of 2014, including 2 guests.

Jim presided with a theme of paraprosdokians, and set the scene with a joke.

Agnes was the timer, and had to cope with some blatant disregard for red lights. This led to the meeting going on for longer than planned.

Lynda was the ah counter and awarded the smooth talker award to Mustapha.

Veselina used Flabbergasted as her word of the day, which was used in so many forms.

Margaret’s first topics’ outing was a session where she invited participants to talk about their educational aspirations, after being accepted to Oxbridge from the area of Newham in London.

Carmel, Mustapha, Emma and Steve all participated, with Steve’s down to earth interpretation winning.

We were treated to an evening of French flair as Cécile’s second speech had us in stitches as she talked about teenagers. Props included a flamboyant wig. She won best speech and humour and was evaluated confidently by Gareth.

Delphine told an advanced story of the perils of dropping litter. Props included multiple scarves, and Delphine set imaginations going as she pretended to be a tree. Maggie evaluated, giving superb feedback as our resident story teller.

Louise returned to planned speeches after a year away, and this was reflected in a Keynote speech of up to 20 minutes duration. The speech was about a series of 3 accidents and subsequent recovery, enhanced by meeting others on the journey. Louise cracked an egg at the beginning to demonstrate the shock of an impact. Femi evaluated with style and panache. He checked the audience response prior to his evaluation, in order to give comprehensive feedback. He won best evaluator.

Tip. If speeches are longer, negotiate extra feedback time to accommodate the project.

Micks’ general evaluator role led him to remind us about handovers. Handshaking gives a clear ending to the speaker. He also reminded us that feedback slips need to follow the same pattern as the evaluators, with praise and recommendations, as well as signed and directed clearly to whom they refer.

This quote may help when you give feedback.

‘Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.’ – Napoleon Hill

Next Meeting : 30th January – Workshop based around vocal variety and body language. Everybody welcome.

It’s been a while since I’ve provided an update of our North Bucks meetings, but as we enter into Autumn, our meetings have continued every 2 weeks without interruption or pause.

17th October saw another fine meeting, shepherded by our Toastmaster for the evening, Delphine. The theme of the meeting was Autumn, which carried over into our word of the Day (Deciduous) and our Table Topics, led by Nicola, a returning visitor from Bedford Speakers.

This session featured contributions from Mick, Lynda, Carmel and Nalinda, and was won by Mick, who had to explain the concept of Autumn to a group of 5 yr old Martians in 2076.

Our prepared speeches featured an Icebreaker from Cecile, explaining how she really wanted people to mistake her for English, and the confusion in her house over the pronunciation of pyjamas. Cecile was evaluated by Maggie, and deservedly won both Best Speech and Best Humour.

Second up was a third speech from Agnes, who explained how we should all beware of teflon in our kitchen, and that it is guilty of far more than just stopping our food from sticking to our pans. This was a persuasive third speech, well evaluated by Mick.

Our final speech was the second speech from Veselina, which asked how much substance there was to the friendships that we have in the virtual world. This was another thought-provoking speech, with astute recommendations from Jim.

Louise was General Evaluator, Steve was Topics Evaluator, whilst Maggie and Jim shared the award for Best Evaluator.

Of special note was the encouraging number of guests at this meeting. As well as Nicola, we had returning visits from Habee, Anthony and Nalinda, who all indicated that they planned to sign up to the fold. We’re looking forward to their Icebreakers.

Our next meeting, on the 31st October is our traditional Halloween spooktacular. Fancy Dress is encouraged, as is food and drink for the interval. Please sign up for roles and, if possible, bring along a guest!


Only a week after the Tall Tales, and it was back to Willen for another busy meeting. This one saw the election of a new committee, one person completing their CC projects, two people completing Speech 9, and a first-time guest winning Table Topics !

Maggie led the meeting with a firm steer, and amongst our multi-taskers today were Louise as General Evaluator / Grammarian, Jim as Ah-Counter / Speech Evaluator and Carmel as Topics Evaluator / Speech Evaluator. All did sterling work, with Louise setting batology as the word of the day.

First up was Topics, introduced by Tim and based around the theme of Summer. Lynda gave us a story about a picnic where the gas cylinder ran out, and she had to resort to other means of fuel. Mick followed up by expanding on the picnic theme. Harsheed explained the best things about the summer, before our first-time guest Agnes gave her tips for going on holiday to the UK. Carmel evaluated and Agnes was the deserved winner.

Jennifer delivered her speech 9 on how to stop your habits becoming your destiny. Jim won best evaluator and drew attention to the triads at the beginning of the speech and to the facts peppering it. Excellent Speech 9 – looking forward to Speech 10.

Steve delivered his Speech 10, looking at why he is doing Toastmasters, what he feels he is getting from it, and why he thinks the CC manual is only the beginning. Carmel praised the development from Speech 1 through to Speech 10 with characteristic good humour.

Finally, Delphine gave her ninth speech, with fashion ideas to help us to love the rain. Mick evaluated, praising Delphine’s powers of persuasion and drawing attention to her effervescent presentation skills. Delphine won best speech and best humour.

Before the meeting closed, Lynda chaired the election of next year’s committee, who will hopefully steer the good ship NBS through another successful year.

Attendees : 16 including 3 guests.


A motley crew of  Toastmasters and guests gathered in the round to enjoy an evening of Table topics tips and demonstrations, followed by Tantalising Tall Tales.

Louise led a topics interactive workshop and showcased types of topics and how to adapt to the very terrified. Explanations of the styles were given between speakers, and audience participation was encouraged to add to the event. All of the speakers had no other roles on the night, which shows the importance of arriving early and being prepared for the event.

First up was Garth with his explanation behind him becoming a successful author

Second was Anna who explained why she kept a dragon in her house

Third was Harsheed who is a secret government agent ,with a job of putting us off travelling on Bank Holidays

Delphine did an animated demonstration about a police hat  .

Cecile ,a guest, talked of her passions in life.

The most outstanding performance was that of Veselina , who spoke for the very first time, about her love of surfing ,including picture words, triads and great body language. She was a clear winner.

Tall tales included green fingered graham…..fake

Carmel’s dodgy lodger…true

Louise’s  x rated canal hijack….false

Jims regaled a previous story of a farmer and his 3 daughters,  which gave him 3rd place. It was no more true than the first time we heard it!

Tim sold us the invention of the gnome away product to ensure your garden is gnome free….totally fake, but hilarious, and 2nd place

Mick won with a story of how he was thrown out of church! Complete with demo at the end.

Maggie held the entire event together, and Steve and Seema  kept time.

Those of you who did not come missed a fabulous evening. Photos will go on the facebook page shortly.

Our next meeting is on the 6th June.

We are looking to fill many roles,so please sign up now.

We have one evaluator so far,and four speakers.Please sign up as a matter of urgency as we have just a week to go.

North Bucks Speakers are hosting a Tall Tales event on Thursday May 30th. As well as the Tall Tales contest, there will also be a Table Topics workshop. This evening is open to all. Refreshments will be provided, but do please bring drinks or any other nibbles to share.

Flyer – NBS Tall Tales 2013


Our May Day meeting was led by Steve,who threw in some facts about the day. Uthpala was a time keeper for the first time.

Harsheed was welcomed back with a joke delivery, as well as the ‘ah’ counter role.

Maggie volunteered to make any assessments for the leadership manual,and Carmel reminded us she had a leaflet to explain the leadership track.

Tim’s table topics were about having to report on an event.

Roger regaled stories of exploding foods. Steve stunned with a butterfly plague. Carmel commandeered camels into Baghdad. Sue sparkled with fire at a fireworks factory. Sue won best topics, and Lynda evaluated.

Jennifer was on speech 8 where she talked about ‘Death by Powerpoint’ It was a contrast of not only how Powerpoint ‘kills speech, kills the speaker and the audience feel they are dying too’ ,but also how the space shuttle’s faults were missed due to Powerpoint reports.The end was stunning and thought provoking. Maggie evaluated Jennifer.

Carmel evaluated Delphine who talked about environmental issues and clothing. Fun facts and super sketches illustrated the benefits of going organic. Delphine won best humour.

Tim introduced Micks advanced speech about Bobby Moore, which was a passionate journey through Micks past. The secret to a great speech is to add incredible passion to draw the audience in. In Mick’s case, this was real passion,and appealed to the whole audience. Tim’s evaluation won best evaluator.

Louise introduced one of our newer members,Garth,who is on his 3rd speech. His speech was entitled ‘Raw Revelation’ and took the audience on an emotional journey through adversity and hope, darkness and light, ending with a personal poem. Louise’s evaluation reflected the sensitive nature of this speech.

Mick and Garth won the best speech prize together, though Mick gallantly gave the trophy to Garth.

Jim was general evaluator and reminded those who use Powerpoint to use the correct button to black out screens. He awarded the General Evaluator’s Award to Uthpala for her first timekeeper experience.

Louise, as grammarian with word of the day ‘discombobulated’, praised word pictures,alliteration and triads in some of the speeches.

We had 2 guests,Suzanne who was met and welcomed in the car park,and Gareth. Both enthused about the warm welcome and agreed to return.

We have an extra meeting in May, a ‘Tall tales’ evening on the 30th. We have the large room and plan to showcase what Toastmasters does for people. It will include a buffet and table topics demonstration. Flyer to follow

Maggie is chairing this event as part of her leadership program. Louise agreed to be interviewed by MK business about speaking secrets.

Lynda is now officially Area Governor Elect from next year,and Sue talked about her journey through the last year. Lynda is requesting more committee involvement and our elections will be held at the next meeting. Please contact Lynda direct.

On a personal note,I felt this was an exemplary meeting. Having been with the club since it chartered in 2005,I was amazed to see how members have developed since joining us. There is a warm welcome at our club,and we have been described as ‘family’ by some….a true accolade.

Next Meeting : Thursday 16th May. 19:15 for 19:30 start at Willen.

Jim led the meeting with a theme of paraprosdokian, which means a tale with a twist. Jim’s wicked sense of humour set the theme for the evening, along with Foundation as word of the day from Steve. Frank was multitasking with a timely joke, timekeeper and speech.

Garth led his first topics with a mix of themes,which tested imagination. Louise led with a story of life as a dolphin, convincing enough to be offered a fish! Delphine followed with a Ted talk,though admitted she wanted to be a dolphin instead. Noor,a returning guest told us about why speaking was important to him. Caroline explained speaking was important in her job and urged support for Age uk. She won the trophy.
Maggie’s evaluation and advice was along the lines of good story telling.

Chris returned from University to explain about deviance in sport. The best grammar was ‘avoiding detection deepens the deviance’ after talking about the amount of drug use in sport. Linda evaluated and gave clear advice on improving the future presentation with powerpoint alterations.
Frank’s 3rd speech was about looking after neighbourhoods, with general safety advice. Louise praised his improvement and gave extra advice about moving away from notes.
Margaret’s 9th speech rallied us to tax the rich….less! Margaret showed how her journey has taken her from timid to tiger by following the manual! Mick evaluated with a very lively demo of Mick Jagger, winning him best evaluator and humour.

Femi’s smooth talker award went to Jim. Tim was general evaluator, praising people appropriately, and made a few added recommendations. He added if there was nothing to add as an improvement, evaluators could explain that the speech or topic was exemplary. We had feedback from those who attended the competition, and a reminder about our forthcoming meeting where the new committee will be discussed. Please remember, we want you on the committee to be part of the bigger team, and move towards your leadership goal. More information on this is on the Facebook page.

Our 4 guests gave good feedback, and one has already joined us, welcome to Veselina.

Next Meeting : 2nd May. Sign up for roles on