In another great session at Sagrada Familia Toastmasters, our President Joan Pont started by introducing our a guest, Simon from Viva Toasmaster Club, the Spanish-speaking club in Moscow https://www.facebook.com/SpanishClubMoscow/ ).

We followed by the presentation of session’s theme by the Toastmaster of the night Victor Piqué: Feeling confident in front of an audience, a Victor’s explanation about his experience improving as a public speaker in our club.
The stage then received Alba Hincapié, the General Evaluator, who is a great public speaker since her experience back in 2013 in front of an audience of 300 people

Alba’s technical team consisted in three excellent leaders:
o Timekeeper, Marynes with her green, yellow and pinkish red post its to control the time of the speakers
o Grammarian, Eva Ayet, sharing the word of the day and expecting everyone to use it: Confidence
o Ah counter, Cees, first time ever to take this role (being super active since he became a member of the club few days ago)

Technology played a bit of a joker with our speakers, but the session organizers responded quickly, and we moved directly to the Impromptu Speeches run by the table topic master, Alex Fernandez.

We had four volunteers to prepare a short 1-2 minutes speech with only 30 seconds to prepare it. Juan Carlos try to convince us about the health benefits of cheesburgers roleplaying McDonald’s CEP ; Sandra convinced us there’s an alien in her neighborhood; Simon (yes, our guest) was assigned the task to convince us about the Coronovirus conspiracy to reduce world’s population and; Juan told us the story about the living Buddhist monk, who suggests that having hair is what’s causing Coronavirus, just like 200 years ago when the monk was a child (long-lived monk!).

No more technological problems with the speaker! yeah! the Toastmaster shared a story about our speaker, Mercedes Ruiz, who remembers some time ago seeing some colleagues from the US who did not seem to be embarrass to speak in public, that motivated her to improve her own skills. She presented her speech her speech Pobre de mi…, what about self-compassion?
In her speech she shared her idea of self-compassion, “I care about my friends and family when they suffer I try to understand them and I feel compassion for them , not pity… why can’t I feel the same for myself? Why can’t I accept that I sometimes feel down and feel compassion for myself without feeling pity?”
So yeah, we learn about Leadership and Communication in Toastmasters, but there’s a lot more to learn from our fellow speakers.
Mercedes had an excellent evaluation by Jaume Adrover, who pointed out how credible Mercedes speech was considering Aristotle’s means for persuasion: Ethos= credibility, Pathos= emotions and, Logos = reasoning.
Exceptionally, we had some extra time to continue with more Impromptu Speeches, so more improvisation (many of us love this part of the session). Not only there were volunteers to improvise short speeches, but Alba Hincapié run the session with some improvised topics for the volunteers.

Eva shared how the quarantine has made her feel stronger about people or even movies. Encarna explained why people need to love each other more strongly when they least deserve it. José Manuel (myself) had to explain with the least excitement his new book: The exotic life of Jose Manuel. And Felipe happily explained how, fictionally, he lost millions of euros in a casino, Angelina Jolie was there!

We finish the second part of impromptu speeches and went back to Alba as General Evaluator and her team. Timing was good, use of enumerations, comparisons, few filling (unnecessary) words. In general terms, a great session (as usual) even with all thos technical issues 😊

Jose Manuel Gutiérrez

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