District 91 Spring Conference May 5th – 7th 2017


For the first time ever, District 91’s annual conference will be in historic Southampton from 5-7 May 2017. The theme is “Mayflower – discovering new worlds”.

At the conference you can enjoy the District finals of the International Speech Conference when we find out who will be representing D91 UK South in on of the world-semi final in August at the International Convention (Vancouver, Canada). You will see the District final of the Evaluation Contest, and choose from an array of workshops. Toastmasters International President, Mike Storkey, DTM and 1995 World Champion, Mark Brown will also be at the conference.

Early bird tickets are available until 28 February 2017. The event will take place at:

Grand Harbour Hotel
SO15 1AG
United Kingdom

Southampton’s iconic hotel in the heart of the city

This fantastic event includes:

Keynote Speeches by Mike Storkey, DTM and Mark Brown
Communications and Leadership Workshops including:
Toastmasters in the Community
Succession Planning – what do I do now?
Pathways – TMI’s new education program
Council Meeting
UK South International Speech and Evaluation Finals
Mayflower Gala Dinner

Find out more or register to attend the conference.

AGM & Distinguished Toastmasters! (DTMs)

On Tuesday, 7th June 2016, Watford Speakers held their Annual General Meeting for 2016.

Kavita outlined the agenda for the meeting and later handed over to Graeme for the formal election of Club Officers and DeFacto Officer. Graeme carefully explained the rules and election process.

1. Minutes of the 2015 AGM were agreed with one amendment.

2. Highlights of the Year:

i. Distinguished Club Program (presented by Kavita)

  • We have achieved 7/10 goals and are set to complete another 2 by the end of June. Thus we will achieve 9 points and will achieve the President’s Ribbon

ii. Vice President of Education Highlights (presented by Jiten in Murali’s absence)

  • 20 new members to the club; Extra meetings & Speech-a-thons to accommodate club growth; Joke Master role introduced to provide new speaking role in meetings; Flexible agenda to ensure dropped speaking slots get filled; Events & reminders now recorded in EasySpeak; All EasySpeak issues resolved in timely manner

iii. Vice President of Public Relations Highlights (presented by Joe)

  • 2 Speech contests; Exceptional Evaluations workshop by Freddie Daniels; Started filming speeches (with speaker’s permission); Launched Watford Speakers new website; Launched Facebook page, Listed on Goggle+ and set up analytics tracking

iv. Vice President of Membership Highlights (Caroline)

  • 20 new members vs. target of 8; New member induction event; Mentors for new members; Decision made not to divide club in to 2 separate clubs; Limiting new membership to 2 per month; New Speech Craft session running for 6 weeks on Mondays to get new members started

v. Club Finances Update (presented by Matt)

  • Finances from 1st June 2015 – 1st June 2016
  • Total income was £3767
  • Total expenses were £3684
  • Net profit was £83
  • Fees increase from $38 to $45 this year but more members in club means we can currently cover these costs
  • Projected net profit for next year is £350

vi. Club Secretary Highlights (presented by Kavita in Piotr’s absence)

  • Using MailChimp for meeting minutes; Set up of EventBrite for events (including promoting and tracking sign up)

vii. Sergeant in Arms Highlights (presented by Jean)

  • Responsibilities include setting up room, getting milk for network break etc.; Club stock orders placed & will last until end of year; Club members are encouraged to help set up room before meeting (list of jobs will be displayed); Table Topics criteria list compiled

Election of Officers 2016/17. Term to commence 1st July 2016.

  • 8 people stood the floor for the 7 Club Officer roles
  • 2 people stood for the position of Vice President of Education – Mick Salami and Steve Brewer who stood on behalf of Peter Janik
  • Graeme explained that when more than 1 person stands for a position a “Speak Off” is held, during which each candidate has 2 minutes to explain why they should be elected
  • After the “Speak Off” Mick & Steve left the room while a private ballot took place to elect the new Vice President of Education position
  • Graeme announced that Piotr Janik had been elected as the new Vice President of Education
  • All new Club Officers were then voted in by Caroline
  • Confirmed Club Committee for 2016/2017:

Club Officer Positions 2016/2017

President – Dave Collins
Vice President Education – Piotr Janik
Treasurer – Matt Hall
Vice President PR – Joe Simmons
Vice President Membership – Jiten Sharma
Secretary – Naomi Tuttle
Sergeant at Arms – Jean Flower

In addition, Caroline Haines and Kavita Dulai will take on Mentoring roles for 2016/2017. Kavita Dulai becomes Past President of Watford Speakers. Yogesh Dattani and Sofia Geraghty will help support the club by taking on new roles as Deputies.

A warm welcome to Sonal Somaia, our newest member voted in during this meeting.

Before the network break, Coralie led a short Table Topics session where Mike had to talk about “learning to swim”, without using any body language. Ranjan had to act out Mike’s answer using body language only.

Alan McMahon led the 2nd part of the evening which was a session on ‘Leadership, Part II: Developing your Leadership Skills‘. Alan facilitated an interactive session in which the below areas were explored:

  • What is a Leader
  • An Effective Team
  • Contracts Between Team Members
  • Stages of Team Development
  • Expectancy Model
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Creating a Positive Environment
  • How to Reward
  • The Coaching Process
  • A Good Leader

At the end of the evening, Alan led a workshop exercise, where he split participants into groups of 3.

Each group had to assign a Leader/Coach, a team member and an observer. Teams were then given 1 of 4 case studies which they had to act out.

Leaders/coaches had the task of coaching their team members through a problem. Observers then reported back with summaries of their group’s case study and how the coaching process was used.


  • Friday, 17 June 2016 –  Distinguished Toastmaster Dinner for Coralie Frances & Alan McMahon


Distinguished Toastmaster dinner for Coralie and Alan

We are pleased to announce that 2 of our members have made it to the level of Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM)! It’s very much deserved, and an unimaginable amount of work has certainly gone into them both making it to this level.

To honour this occasion, we will be holding a dinner to celebrate, at Donna Theresa Restaurant in Pinner (HA5 4JR). 3 courses will be included for the price of £25.

Interested in attending? All are welcome, simply RSVP to our club president, Kavita Dulai, at Kavdulai@gmail.com .

View the full event details here, and add it to your calendar: Link



Watford Speakers

Meeting summary for 2nd February 2016

Meeting Theme: Time Management

Our usual Tuesday meeting was hosted by Pamela Attfield who took the role of Toastmaster. she was supported by Murali (Ah Counter), Piotr (Grammarian) and Caitriona (Timekeeper).

After a Table Topics session led by Coralie Frances, we moved to prepared speeches.

Mopani, with his speech ‘Principles of Flight’, helped us to overcome our fears of flying. He was followed by two Icebreaker speeches delivered by Naomi with “Adventures of a Simple Life” and Jibran with “Welcome to the UK”.

This was a special evening for our club, as we ran an open evaluation of the Table Topics session, meaning everyone was able to participate.

Prepared speeches were evaluated by Dave Collins, Caroline Haines and Rebecca Carrera.

After speech evaluations, Donovan presented his appraisal of the meeting.


Best Table Topic Speaker Fadzai Kunaka-Steamer
Best Speaker Naomi Tuttle
Best Evaluator Rebecca Carrera


Humorous Speaking and Table Topics Contest 2015

On 15th September 2015 we had our club level Humorous Speaking and Table Topics Contest.
This evening was hosted with great delight and charm by Rosemary Calder, who took the role of Contest Chair.
We started with the Humorous Speaking Contest.
Contest participants were expected to prepare a speech to entertain the audience. The standard of speaking was exceptional.

As we reached the second half of the evening, we moved onto the Table Topics contest. Here, each contestant had only the time it took from hearing the title at the door, to walking onto the stage, to prepare a speech to deliver.

After long deliberation, the contest judges delivered the following results:
Place Humorous Speaking Table Topics
1st Alan McMahon Coralie Frances
2nd Mopani Mkandawire Matt Hall
3rd Matt Hall Pam Attfield



A farewell to Sandra Lawes

Sandra Lawes Farewell

Today we say farewell to Sandra, one of our most experienced and well established speakers and mentors.

A few words from Sandra…

Thank you so much for the lovely send-off you gave me on Tuesday. I still have a big lump in my throat and a glow in my heart from all the gracious things that were said and all the memories you stirred up for me. I honestly had no idea you were going to do all that for me – and I will treasure that gorgeous Outstanding Member pin for ever. I had never even seen one before – let alone owned one! It means a great deal.

I was touched that so many busy people came to the meeting and the meal – particularly those we do not often see who are inextricably embedded in the history and progress of the club.

I am immensely proud of what we have achieved at Watford Speakers and the way our work there has benefited so many people. I have made so many friends and learned a great deal in the process, as we strove to rise from our humble beginnings to where the club is now.

My time in TM has not been without its challenges but on Tuesday, all those difficulties melted away and you made me feel so special and so happy. You gave me a wonderful memory to hold onto for a very long time.

I am sad to leave the club but I know it is in good hands and on solid foundations and it is time for me to move on to the new challenge of being Chief Ambassador for the REP. I look forward to keeping in touch and learning of the club’s progress and continued success. I am sure you know that if you feel I can even help in any way, I am just at the end of a phone or an email. I will hold you all to the promise to invite me to the Christmas event and I am already looking forward to it.

Please pass on my thanks to the rest of the officers and the club members not just for the lovely event on Tuesday but also for everything that has happened at the club since those tricky days in 2008 with the local youth throwing bricks at our windows!! The club has come a long way and so have I.

My very best wishes.