International Speech & Evaluation Contest: Meet our representatives

Toastmasters Area 30 Contest

I am delighted to announce that Waverley Communicators will be represented by two excellent speakers at this year’s International Speech & Evaluation Contest. Speech contests are a Toastmasters tradition, each year thousands of toastmasters compete in a variety of contests. For International Speech Contest, contestants present a five- to seven- minute speech on any subject they choose.

You may have spotted the beginning of the contest on our Facebook page, where a number of our members participated and delivered brilliant speeches. The winners of the internal competition, Wen Chen (Mosy) and Michael McLernan then went on to represent Waverley Communicators at area level (Area 30 International Speech and Evaluation contests). This was held at on Saturday 9 April at State Street Bank.

It is no surprise to us at Waverley Communicators that Mosy and Michael McLernan have made it so far and will be progressing to division level with their speeches after both coming second place at area level. Mossy and Michael are both relatively new speakers but their skills are undeniable and its a pleasure to share them with the wider Toastmasters community through these contests… (we want them back by the way ūüėÄ ).

Congratulations to all contestants especially Mosy and Michael and best of luck at the forthcoming Division contest (Tron in Glasgow, 12 noon, Sunday 24 April)!


New Year, New You

I hope you have had a thoroughly enjoyable festive break. “I feel I have over indulged¬†in the name¬†of Christmas and New year” I said to my sister. “I will do well to renew my interest in getting a 6-pack” I added with a “rolling-my-eyes” emoji as we both knew imagined fitness tends to be my choice of physical fitness regime. I promptly received a funny reply summing up what my new year resolution should be, ‘My fitness goal for 2016 is to… Accomplish the goals of 2015 which I should’ve done in 2014 because I promised them in 2013 and planned in 2012’.

It can be quite easy to set unrealistic goals and what better time to do it, than when we cruise into a new year still bloated with memories of good times. I was reminded that often small achievable steps tend to make a massive difference to ourselves and those around us¬†in a short newsletter from the District Director Kevin Lee. He employed clubs and members to give a ‚Äėpriceless gift‚Äô by undertaking small targets such as sharing the benefits of Toastmasters with friends, offering up their time and¬†supporting club activities. The message echoed that of Edwin Newman, who had presented Waverley Communicators with the Select Distinguished Club ribbon for achievements within Toastmasters International and its commitment to¬†club members.

Waverly Communicators has had an excellent 2015 culminating with being awarded the title of Select Distinguished Club. This year will hopefully bring more achievements and I certainly look forward to creative fun sessions ahead. I intend to reflect on my highs and lows of 2015 before completing my to-do list, my new year resolution has already changed to¬†include mental fitness. Mental fitness will pose more of a challenge to me and no… I‚Äôm not saying this because my physical fitness efforts tends to look a lot like the chilled out cat above and therefore not as difficult as challenging my public speaking skills, but because Waverley Communicators club encompasses more than personal targets. It involves committing to the success of others through participation with the wider efforts of the club. So as I scroll through my incomplete to-do list for 2016 inspired by a new year, I highlighted my¬†commitments to family, work and¬†friends and added an asterisks reminding myself to make extra time for mental growth and a renewed commitment to personal development especially my membership responsibilities to Waverley Communicators.

Robert Burns SupperHave you decided what your new year resolution will be yet? Perhaps 2016 is the year to challenge your public speaking skills and socialise with a great community. Speaking of socialising, I would like to remind members of the upcoming Burns Supper organised by the club every year for members and friends. This is a great opportunity to experience¬†Scottish¬†culture and to find out a bit¬†more about the life and work of a Scottish icon.¬†For a truly Scottish experience in great company you have to come along! If you are unsure of how to secure your place, please contact one of the club’s officers on the Waverley Communicators portal for more information.

What is a Burns Supper?
A Burns Supper is a Scottish institution: a night to celebrate the life and works of the national Bard, Robert Burns, at the time of his birthday. It’s always a fun, entertaining evening, with plenty of opportunity to eat, socialise with fellow members, listen to some entertaining speeches and poems (and even songs?) and practise your public speaking skills (see below).

Venue:  King James Thistle Hotel, 107 Leith Street, Edinburgh EH1 3SW
Date : Saturday January 30th
Time: 7pm for meal sit-down at 7.15pm

The next Waverley Communicators club meeting is on this Thursday 7th January at the usual venue, 28th York Place, Edinburgh.

Waverley Communicators is a Select Distinguished Club

Selected DCP titleI am delighted to share Waverley Communicators recent designation as Select Distinguished Club, courtesy of the Distinguished Club Programme (DCP). This status is indeed as prestigious as it sounds ūüôā and signifies the club‚Äôs achievement of key goals mapped against the Toastmasters International criterion for a successful club.

The DCP is essentially a framework the club works within and serves as  a way for clubs to measure itself. The idea is that, quality clubs where members have a better experience and the club achieves more as a whole strive to tick off 10 key goals (aka a club success plan) within the year.  These goals can vary, but generally tend to fall under four main categories:

  • Education: ensure members progress through communication and competency manuals
  • Training: A minimum of four club officers trained during training periods
  • Membership: Increase members
  • Administration: On-time payment of membership dues.

Waverley Communicators achieved 8 out of the 10 goals which comes with the prestigious title of Select Distinguished Club, a shiny ribbon (pictured above) and bragging rights :).

‚ÄúAs a group motivated by individual goals to develop communication and leadership skills, and a shared goal to succeed in the DCP. Your club meet and exceed the objectives of the program. Your club truly exemplifies the Toastmasters International brand and mission, and all club members should be proud‚ÄĚ.

Mohammed Murad, DTM International President

This recognition not only serves as a pat on the back but a reminder of the wider responsibilities of the club to members and for the sustainability of the Toastmasters International brand.

We are very proud of this achievement and will strive to meet the next set of targets. Waverley Communicators club has its members development at it‚Äôs core which makes for a much happier community. Indeed, turnout, every other Thursday is a good indication in my books, and take it from me it‚Äôs always busy around the biscuit table in our meeting ūüôā

Of course, we couldn’t have achieved this without club officers; the people behind the scenes cookiespropelling the success of club members and Toastmasters International as a whole! РThank you, you deserve extra tasty treats (*hint*) at our forthcoming meeting (29th October, at 28 York Place).


Well Done!

Attention! Club meeting venue change

The Scottish summer has had a shaky start but the draw of¬†the Edinburgh Fringe (world’s largest arts festival) is unwavering. Around this time each year, we swap¬†our¬†regular venue for¬†another to¬†accommodate such events.¬†For two meetings only (6th & 20th August), Waverly Communicators will be held at The King James Hotel, Edinburgh.

Thinking of visiting us? Why not pop in, grab a cuppa and enjoy the¬†circle of support as members challenge their public speaking skills. It’s light-hearted, structured learning with a sprinkling of fun. The agenda for this Thursday’s meeting looks set to teach and thrill as three of our advanced communicators take the stage.

Here’s what you need to know

Temporary venue: Thistle Edinburgh, The King James Hotel (Carleton Suite), 107 Leith Street, Edinburgh. EH1 3SW.

Dates: Thursday 6th August & 20th August 2015

Time: 19:00

How to get there

The Thistle Hotel is directly next to St James Shopping Centre. From Waverley Train Station next to the Balmoral Hotel side head pass the statue of Wellington on his horse turn left down Leith Street and carry on down the hill…(don’t go into St James Centre)…hotel on the left hand side about 100m.

See you there!

Annual Tall Tales & Awards Event 2015

We celebrated the end of another successful Toastmasters year with a prestigious dinner on Saturday 27th June. It event which was held at Abden House for the second year running, more than satisfied  the palette with personalised drinks and food which prompted general murmurings of  approval.


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President Neil MacLure welcomed the attendees with a special mention for Area Governor¬† Eoin McDunphy and¬† 2 past members¬† Reuben Welch who was¬† the club’s first president and Duncan Thompson a past humorous contest winner.

Between courses the  entries in the Tall Tales contest provided excellent entertainment and votes were taken for true? or false?

We were regaled with a wide variety of stories :-  a  submarine trip to  Saint Petersburg, Roman coins at the bottom of a rabbit hole, buying black market tickets for a World Cup football match, sleeping in kilts and a phone kiosk, hotel room phone sex, teaching Irish dancing to the Chinese, indoor mushroom hunting, a garden treasure trove and a British Rail sponsored nude peep show (yes really, it was true too!)

The winner of the contest  is the one who cons the greatest number of the audience and Rueben did this most cleverly, winning the £30 Amazon voucher,  by enticing our own imaginations take over in favour of listening to what he actually said.

Toastmaster of the year: Paul Bailey (right)

Neil MacLure (Club president) presents Paul Bailey (right) with Toastmaster of The Year Award

The evening ended with the Toastmaster of the Year award which was presented to Paul Bailey.

In his introduction to the award the president cited Paul’s record of activity both in and outside of the club meetings, his willingness to help and advise his fellow club members¬†and his caring attitude for the continued health of the club, a most worthy winner.

It was an excellent evening all round and one which it is hoped more members will take advantage of next year.



Neil Maclure
Dimitrijs Limonovs (Photographs)