Mountain climbing, mathematics and social media

The meeting was opened by Roland, who said goodbye to our current venue and reminded members and guests that we will meet again on the 9th of January at 18:30 at our new venue at the Department for Transport, 33 Horseferry Road – just 6 minutes’ walk from our current meeting place.

Ana, the Toastmaster of the Day and an experienced master of ceremonies steered the meeting with a sure touch while keeping the atmosphere light and humorous.

Trang, our Table Topics Master, encouraged speakers to pick their topics from the last part of the previous speaker’s contribution. Robert told us that he is not all too concerned about privacy. While others might just mention their name and job title, he is happy to share stories about his work and his life. Ram emphasized that we should communicate more, because it helps us to stand together when bad things happen, like the latest spree of stabbings in London. Jannis elaborated on the weirdest link he has made on social media and Yongxin thought that people rather share too much on social media. Roland admitted that he is a Google search addict who loves to get lost in a flood of information.

In the prepared speeches session, Robert told the audience about his mountain climbing adventures. He brought part of his equipment, like shoes and a harness, and gave the audience a vivid impression of how it feels being up there. He also gave a climbing demonstration on the wooden panels behind the stage.

Yongxin described how mathematics has influenced her life. She started in the Chinese countryside, studied at a prestigious university and then moved to London. For her, mathematics is not just a way of calculating things, it is a way of seeing life. Her preferred topic, Brownian motion, gives us clues how order may rise from chaos.

Robert won the award as best table topics speaker and Yongxin was honoured for presenting her Icebreaker, the very first prepared speech in a Toastmaster’s career.

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