This was the first session of the season 2020-21! Lots of changes in everyone’s lives with the pandemic. Unfortunately, we still must do our sessions online for safety reasons, but as our president wisely said: what an opportunity to nail public speaking behind the screen! Right?

Surely, we all rather to meet each other and socialise in the bar after sessions as we used to. Seeing other’s houses, shelves & books, kitchens, relatives, pictures, and so on on the backscreen it’s not so appealing any more… However, that’s what it is and we need to adapt to circumstances and always look at the bright side of life!

Today our Toastmaster Jaume Adrover introduced and guided perfectly the session ‘Back to school folks!’, this exciting time that changes from person to person depending on circumstances. He had this experience on his sixteens when the first day of school was a proper unforgettable performance, like being in a movie (American movie), in a year he spent in a high school in the United States.

The team of evaluators were introduced by Victor Piqué, the general evaluator of the session. Eva Ayet controlled our times with a tambourine to be played if exceeded; Sandra González hesitated with annoying sounds to introduce her role of ‘Ah Counter’; and Juan Escobar did himself a little speech as our grammarian, he enthusiastically presented the word of the day ‘comfortable’ pronounced by all of us (behind our microphones on mute) /’kʌmf(ə)təb(ə)l/ in many different accents.

Roberto Sbrolla, with his personal speech about communication styles named ‘My Style’, gave us a lot of tips to think about what our style could be when preparing a speech. Analytical, direct, initiative, supportive. The four communication styles according to Toastmaster manual, four different communication styles adapted to everyone’s way of being. Roberto has a mixed of styles, according to him is analytical but his wife disagreed and told him his ‘absolutely not analytical’, but more oriented to people. How important is to know others’ opinions, right? Depending on the situation, who the audience is and what are you looking to transmit with the speech. There are lots of things to analyse before deciding which type of communication style we want to use… and why not mixing them. Marcel evaluated Roberto. Good start. Good examples. Good end with an educative conclusion. Good gestures which helped to follow speech. Good pauses. To improve he recommended to use longer pauses, accelerate the rate of speech to give a more dramatic stance. Overall a great speech that we all enjoyed!!

Alba Lucía Hincapié delighted us with a speech that kept us speechless from the beginning till the end. Alba is at the level of visionary communicator, mastering skills about giving and receiving feedbacks. Alba started sharing with us her mantra: ‘if you picture in your mind, you can have it in your hand’, and this was the basis of her speech. The real story of how she managed (or not) to go to the ‘Master of mind’ training in London. I will not do any spoilers as this is a history to be listened. Then the technique she explained using an acronym: C.A.V.A. Accompanied by a glass of cava :-). C for clarity, A for affirmation, V for visualization. Open brackets: what is the best nation of the world? The best nation of the world is not what we were thinking (many countries came up) the best nation of the world is imagination, close brackets. And finally, the 4th step A for Action, if we do not take the steps and act, it will not happen. Juan Carlos Durán evaluated her speech, who first of all, loved the mind power technique of Alba’s speech. Useful. Informative. Loved the use of a story as a centre of it. Unforgettable. Participative. An endless list of positive adjectives. On the downside, the questioning about what was exactly this technique for? For visualisation? Maybe a little bit of clarity at this respect would improve the overall message to reach perfection.

Table topics were particularly fun in today’s session. Conducted by Scarlet Vázquez who ‘manipulated’ the impro-speeches of participants! How during this time of confinement, she was surprised of seeing people delivering speeches, reading questions on chats, and answering them without hesitation, all at the same time. Then she decided to do the table topics writing words in the chat to be used in the speeches of the ‘non-voluntaries’ chosen to deliver this experience. You can imagine the crazy stories that came up by José Manuel, David and Damian. If someone does not look at the chat and listens the speeches will think that we are crazy in SFTM! We did really laugh throughout.

Great evaluation reports to end up this first session of the school-year! Happy guests, let’s meet at the v-bar! V for virtual.

The end.

© 2012-2020 Sagrada Familia Toastmasters Club Barcelona