A Tale Of Two Evenings

I have to start by admitting to being utterly rubbish at updating my blog. This blog post should have been written a week ago, alas, I have been too lazy! So here we go.


Whilst perusing twitter a wee while back I kept seeing the hash tag #mysteryplymevent or something along those lines, and my usual female ness kicked it, yes, I mean being nosy. As it turned out the event was being held at a local hotel in Plymouth, so off I toddled with Jason from EasyContentUnits to see what this ‘discussion on public speaking’ was all about. Admittedly, I heard there were prizes, so I was straight in there!

As it turned out we had arrived at an evening held by The Armada Speakers, part of the Toast Masters International and the evening was sponsored by the Speakers Trust.

It started off quite quite interestingly with talks about how public speaking can change your life with some great examples like Barack Obama, and how even a job interview can be classed as public speaking, definitely showing you the power of effective public speaking. It can even be a wedding speech or a presentation to an international audience at an international affiliate event 😉 see what I did there?

We then learnt some history about the Toast people (much to my annoyance, there was no bread involved) starting in 1903 at a YMCA. Opening up to women in 1973, and now having over 250,000 members and 12,500 clubs in over 100 countries and in prisons and is bilingual.

So on to the fun part, we all had to give a 10 second blip about ‘what we liked about the dark nights’ there were some interesting ones, mainly involving children going to bed early giving the parents some extra time alone. Mine was ‘ The thing I like about the dark nights is being able to snuggle up on my sofa with my slanket and cats – Oh my god, im only 24!!!’ This some how was heard as ‘i like snogging cats’ which lead to some hilarity! I won a prize for that, and that set the tone for me as i was my usual cheeky self!

We then went on to a speech from this manual that people in the club have to do, the talk was 5 ish minutes on -time and punishment – where we took a trip down memory lane to meet mr crook the policeman, mr deacon the preist, the gay venture – the old village shop and finally – Poo corner (to do with mr winnie).

After that we had to get into pairs and learn about each other then give a speech on each other (old school drama lesson) We had to say their name, job, family story and interesting fact. Knowing Jason fairly well and vice versa this was pretty easy and we sailed through.

I must point out we did have numerous breaks

Then onto an evaluation (also mandatory at the speech evenings) of the talk we heard, which was quite positive.

Then to the final and fun part of the evening – The Toast Topics, This is where you get given a random topic to discuss and you have 2 mins to talk about it, starting the talk with – Mr Topics Master, members and guests… – My topic was my favourite meal – Obviously roast beef and yorkshire puddings! This impromtue speaking is set to test you and for you to have a giggle at times. I was really quite annoyed by it. The topics master seemed to pick things for people to discuss that he knew or stereotyped about them, for example – Jason got ideal car, a girl on a media course got ideal film, etc etc… So WHY OH WHY did I get food? I’ll let you come up with your own assumptions!

There were only about 20 people there, mainly made up of people from the Armada Speakers and there was an underlying sales tone throughout the whole evening. Right at the beginning we were given the costs of joining – £20 joining fee plus £50 every 6 months. You get 2 meetings a month and some text books etc. If I had that kind of cash spare, then I may consider it as public speaking is something I enjoy, I did alot of it as part of my science communication course at uni, and through various clubs, jobs and things I have been involved in. I would also have to behave at the evenings, which may be hard, and I didnt exactly feel a youth presence (no offence) there, at just 24 and fairly new still to plymouth I want to socialise with people my age. Sorry, that sounded harsh. I do think it’s worth while for people wanting to gain confidence in speaking, learn new skills and make new friends, its just not for me.


I didn’t make notes from this one. OOPS. It was a Devon Social Media Cafe, which is basically a chance for people in the area to come together and talk about all things social media. Once again Jason was there and we made quite a few new contacts, although explaining affiliate marketing to everyone in the room lead to me having a raging tickle in my throat and a coughing fit. There were free cupcakes from Bellas Bakery and some free wine and juice (darned it i drove). As I didn’t take notes and the evening was much like any networking evening I really dont have much more to say, but if you want to know more have a look here – http://devonsocialmediacafe.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/a-very-social-social-media-cafe/

The cupcakes were incredible by the way! And thanks to PRdogs for organising it!

Here are my yorkies – OH YEAH!