From Andrew P Bennett DTM
Fellow Toastmasters it was with great excitement and pride that I received the news of my District 91 Toastmaster of the Year award. I would like to thank our Immediate Past District Governor Hilary Briggs and the Toastmasters who nominated me for this very special honour which I will treasure.
Division B Director Neil Coleman and President Charles Nahal, Berkeley Square Speakers kindly came from Swindon Conference to bring the award to me in Kent.
I am thrilled that this award reflects highly on my clubs Excalibur Advanced Speakers, Berkeley Square Speakers and also City Limits of which I am mentor.
Youth Leadership Program
Special mention was made of our Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program and I can only express my deepest gratitude and affection for the Toastmasters who have been willing to step in to the classroom and share their speaking skills with an ever growing number of young people. As District Youth Adviser I could only launch this initiative and support our members to the best of my ability, but it was my toastmasters from many clubs in the Districts who delivered the program.
Some of you may be aware that my current health situation means that I am not autonomous of movement and probably will not be able to attend club meetings in person for a while to come. During this time District 91 Club Growth Director Dorothea Stuart and Toastmaster Tony Winyard are kindly offering to actively assist any Toastmasters who are thinking of setting up a youth leadership program and carry on with the established custom of visits to the programs if possible. Our District YLP initiative continues and if you are running a YLP please keep us posted with news that we can share with our Toastmasters.
Celebrating the award!
An award means a celebration and Toastmasters Simon Frusher, David Salomons , Daniel Broadhead and Richard Gibson took me for a delightful lunch at The White Hart in Eltham. I have been very touched over the last few months by the many visits, cards and messages from our very special Toastmasters community.
Thank you to you all.
Until we meet again I take this occasion to wish you all a very happy holiday season
With Warmest Wishes, Andrew P Bennett
From Andrew P Bennett DTM District 91 Youth Leadership Adviser
Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program in District 91 is looking forward to programs new , programs in progress and programs completing as 2015 begins.
Programs completing include the one coordinated by Beate Rissbacher ( Past President Berkeley Square Speakers) at St Johann Tyrol in Austria (pictured here). This is our International export from Berkeley and London Division B – we never forget we are part of a worldwide community and love to share skills.
Beate says ‘ The young people had great fun and progressed their speaking skills. I personally enjoyed the program very much and watching the improvement was really rewarding. We were even the topic of a newspaper article,’ ( See below) Read More
From Andrew P Bennett DTM District 91 Youth Leadership Adviser
Yet more exciting news from Toastmasters Youth Leadership comes in the form of a new program at Stanmore High School.
Stanmore school teacher Richard Fowler attended a Youth Leadership briefing event I ran in October and was very keen to see the program launched at his school.
The next step was to find a sponsoring club and this came in the form of the ever effervescent HOD Speakers with President Tony Winyard and Toastmaster Gill Ornstein becoming program co-ordinators.
Stanmore Toastmasters Youth Leadership meets fortnightly on a Monday afternoon and accompanying teacher Richard runs an extra speaking session himself on the alternate weeks to consolidate the learning.
I was able to attend the very first session which began with our customary getting to know you exercise. The young people interview each other for a minute and then present their Interviewee to the group – a useful Ice Breaker which sees to it that every participant says at least a few words from the outset.
Tony and Gill decided to present the discussion on what makes a good speech in the form of good cop / bad cop.
Tony did a big introduction for Gill ‘ the great speaker.’ Gill then took to the stage and displayed every speaking fault you could think of – no eye contact, wandering around , mumbling voice , looking at the floor , waving arms – all of which greatly amused the young people as it was intended to. All credit to Gill who is really such an accomplished speaker – not easy to do it all wrong!
From Andrew P Bennett District 91 Youth Leadership Adviser
How good to be able to share with you news from Toastmasters Julia Kettlewell and Mark Mortimer who are coordinating a Toastmasters Youth Leadership program at Westminster Academy.
We are particularly excited as this is our very first collaboration with Rotary Interact – a youth work which the Rotarians have established splendidly at the school. Indeed the program participants are already looking towards participating in the Rotary Youth Speaks Contest in 2015.
Ten 6th formers have attended 3 sessions so far. They have been making good use of storytelling techniques to bring their Ice Breaker Speeches to life and express their points of view with clarity. A panel discussion proved a great success as did their first venture into the wonderful world of Table Topics!
Session 4 looks in more depth at organizing your speech, learning to speak from the audience’s perspective and having, already discussed what makes a good opening, we move on to what makes a fine conclusion to a speech.
It is wonderful to have Toastmaster Mark (from sponsoring club Excalibur Advanced Speakers) Toastmaster Julia (the very able President of Grosvenor Square Speakers), Rotary Interact and accompanying teacher from the Academy Ashraf Shah Noor working together alongside the young people as they discover their Speaking and Leadership Skills.
Westminster Academy YLP takes place once a month on a Tuesday morning. Feel free to contact Julia or Mark if you would like to attend as a guest. We always let our schools know in advance if there is to be a visitor at the session and respect the signing in/security badge protocols.
If you do attend it is highly likely that you will find yourself participating in the speaking. There is nothing better than witnessing first hand how the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program enhances and extends the participants skills. These are skills that they will take with them throughout their lives.
Somewhere in the Tyrollean Alps is St. Johann. And in St Johann is a school with a head mistress and a motivated English teacher who heard about Toastmasters through a friend. This friend is Beate Rissbacher, former President of Berkeley Square Speakers. It did not take much convincing. The Youth Leadership project at the Bundesgymnasium St. Johann (local secondary school) started in September with 15 motivated 15-17-year olds. Uniquely, the participants can speak German or English during the meetings. Fearless in either language, the participants consistently provide during table topics (impromptu speaking) how nimble and genuine young minds are in answering table topics as well as giving speeches in more formal public speaking. There is just as much older minds can learn from the creativity displayed in the speeches, many of the speakers speaking in public for the first time.
This project is the third Youth Leadership Project run by Berkeley Square Speakers and complements the successful projects at Trinity School (Belvedere, Kent) and at ACS Hillingdon (in spring 2014). Youth Leadership has been a wonderful experiences for the project leaders Beate Rissbacher, David Salamons and Marc Lottig. Special thanks goes to Andrew Bennett who lead the first project and provided invaluable support and input.