Persistence turns failure into victory!

Roland, the acting president this evening, told the meeting about the “method of loci”, a way to memorize a speech. That method was first described by Cicero, a famous Roman speaker, and statesman. The speaker must associate speech elements with a symbol, e.g. a sword for a battle or a pan for cooking. Then he arranges the symbols in the correct order in a familiar area, like on his favorite walk. Thereafter, the speaker just has to walk through his mental landscape, discover the symbols he placed there and tell his story.

Grant was the table topics master and provided a varied and exciting collection of topics like: “If you could travel back in history and change a single thing, what would it be?”, “What is the biggest lie of which you wish it were true?” and “What do you think about people who do extremely dangerous sports?”.

Mike evaluated the table topics session and Shane, our toastmaster, injected lots of energy into the meeting.

In the second half, Abdullah, a guest from Kings Cross Speakers, delivered his speech “Failure = Success”. After completing his engineering degree in the UK, there was only one company in Saudi Arabia that could possibly have employed a specialist like him – but didn’t. He was not discouraged, managed to get into a Ph.D. programme and now pursues a much more fulfilling carrier.

Shane described the panic he felt when he ran out of oxygen during a swimming event in brown muddy water in a lake near Blenheim Castle. He thought of Churchills saying: “When you are going through hell, keep going” – and managed to keep going and finish the race.

Hugh from London City Speakers provided a detailed and thoughtful general evaluation of the meeting.

Awards were received by Mike as best table topics speaker, Abdulla as best speaker and Grant as best speech evaluator.

See you all at the next meeting.

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