My Toastmasters journey: some photos in an album

Toastmasters journey photos album - a long journey
got wiser, got fatter too!

It begun with an Online Photo Group I did administer very actively for six years: found workshop leaders that did teach and explain something new every month, then commented on the added photos. Towards the end, 2500 members in the !Afterclass! photo masterclass name, as we were allowed to add photos also after the monthly theme closed and another class begun. I realise just now, how much I learned at the time and how many photographers from all over the world met and come to know a lot better.

TM Julie Kertesz

From then to now, I went to visit many Toastmasters clubs, told stories in public, made audiences laught at 77+ gigs,.

Now, ten years later, finally, got to have two toastmasters clubs:
Lewisham Speakers a bus drive away (member now in 8th year)
Firebirds Collective from living room but contact with Toastmasters around the globe (just passed 1 year)


How to get from here to there (Ted talk 2015)

From the "best TED Talks 2015" this is by Patti Dobrowolski
We can learn, not only from what she suggests, but also how she delivers it.

Today, after looking over the 1h 30 of yesterday's Firebirds Celebration speeches, stories, dreams, I understand it even better. Some of us dreamed to bring us here, to be able to create, charter and for a whole year already, for me, a few month for others, Advanced Toastmasters from all over the world.
Next post will be about "us" Firebirds visiting each other in our homes from New Zealand, Malaysia, cities or out of way places in Australia, Dubai, Philippines, Germany and London, all the way to Virginia, Dallas, Colorado, to the Virginia Island of Canada.

Some of us, dreamed it, others (as me) jumped on early on what they created, yet others fell in love with Firebirds Collective Toastmasters club as soon as they where invited as guest, to become in March Charter members or soon change from first time visitors to enthusiastic members.

Ian, Susan, Manhal envisioned the future, created the new possibilities, and a better place to be.



Spark London storytelling tips

Spark London Welcome to Britain’s first True Storytelling Events

True stories told from the stage. Expect the unusual, the hilarious, the tragic and the heart warming. Our storytellers have included teachers, car dealers and barristers - anyone with a story to tell is welcome. Joanna Yates created them.

Here are Joanna's advice for preparing and telling them

Storytelling tips

1. A strong story will always have a dilemma also know as a predicament.
E.g. ‘What did you do when you realised your passport was gone on the morning of your holiday’. Or, ‘What did you do when you accidentally forwarded an private email to the whole office.’

2. Start in the action. There is only five minutes to tell your story so don’t waste time telling us what the story is about, just tell the story.
E.g. I got home I could smell burning-  Yes
E.g. I am going to tell you the story of when I discovered a fire at my house – No

3. Know your opening and closing line.
If you want to really nail your story decide what your opening and closing line are in advance. This will help give your story impact.

4. For some inspiration and examples of previous stories go to www.sparklondon.com and click the Itunes logo on the right hand side. This will take you to our free weekly pod cast where you can hear stories from the last three years.

5. Have a go.  
The best way to master storytelling is to practice and these nights are a good place to start. 

What to avoid
1. Ranting – if you are upset about something turn it into a story
2. Stand up routines – funny stories are welcome but not stand up routines
3. Poetry – this is not a place to tell poems

7 minutes with rehearsal at Canal Cafe Theatre once a month

5 minutes Open Mic at Brixton Upstairs at Ritzy one a month
There are more places and other venues now, after years! Look for them.


One leads to another

It all begun when Jacub Pawlowsky, Toastmasters Division B Governor, posted a few month back: "who can host a Toastmaster from Riga?"

 I did.

We got well together. A great young woman, founder of the first TM club in Riga, told me about going in November to Budapest, where the Continental Europe Toastmasters hold the Laugh and Learn in Budapest, conference and contests. Humorous and Table topics contest, last time together, before they will split.

I have to participate too, for the first time in 59th District conference, and plus, in Budapest!

A young toastmaster and TEDx organiser, very nicely invited me to their place, on Buda!

At the conference, I met many from all Europe, also from other parts of the world, living nowadays in Europe. What a diversity between the 370 attendees! Strangely, between all, Bea, PR, have chosen me to be interviewed by a journalist, who arrived with a photographer..

I spoke Hungarian, of course, and having begun Standup Comedy at 77 seems "media worth".

A very nice journalist and a great photographer arrived together Saturday afternoon and let me speak, interviewed me. From it came an article all the 5th page of Sunday's Bors, which is in every newspaper stand, (in 6/7 was a paper to whom the English Queen gives the title Sir and Dame).
November, 2013 Sunday newspaper, Bors

Different photo published in the journal and the online BorsOnline.hu - and the photographer, let me download many others too.
I got an email from RTL Club, in Budapest, to appear (too late, no more there) and then today, I discover, then there is a great article about my activities, on line from Finland Toastmasters!

I also met others, from Germany, one whose father is Hungarian, another young couple, and so many interesting others! In case you do not read Hungarian, most probably, on my Facebook page I published the translation of it in English and also a link to the Finland Toastmasters blog page, which is written originally in English already.

One leads to another, one just has to begin!

Funny bones Workshop, Tallinn Estonia

After my Tallinn Workshop
Posing after the workshop I offered in Tallinn to Toastmasters arrived from many Nordic Europe countries, but their origin was even more diverse, as some went from Spain to Finland, other from America to live in Sweden, or from Africa to Estonia.

Raido Huberg was happy to have invited me: he organised the three workshops and invited the keynote speaker too. This picture is his idea, the official photographer of the event took also a photo only with us two, but with my camera, only this was taken.

The third happy young woman in the image is a very happy audience "Your workshop changed my life" she come to tell me. By it, not only I made laugh, taught "how to reach any audience" but also persuaded "they can" and of the importance of humour in life of each of us.

My stories went very well and in the good order, making the points I wanted to convey. I knew, I can give good True Storytelling workshops, did it for years already, but this was first time I did a Comedy Workshop - and to so divers audience too. I succeeded to involve them, in groups, then some one by one, and at the end with Q/A that gave me occasion to use yet others from my routine and explain tell some of my other true stories.

55 minutes finally - for those to whom seems a lot, go to minute 37... and begin there. The video, send so fast after the workshop by Tallinn Toastmasters, does not show all the discussions between the audience, almost at the beginning: they liked it a lot too.

Humour Workshop by Julie Kertesz from Julie Kertesz on Vimeo.

Many looked at me so warm after the workshop, and yes also those meet told me they learned, noted, got courage to try from now on. Understood, also that comedy can heal even.

All the workshop was taken in video, when I'll get is, I will be able to analyse in more detail. And later, not yet, today, will put in this blog the main points I conveyed, all learned from the three first Comedy Workshops I have taken in 2002. At the occasion of this, as I prepared for it, I realised how many I have taken, shorter ones, later on too, and how I did learn something from each. Now, it is indeed, time to give back that and explain how important looking at life problems with Comedians Eyes, become to me, after at 77 I discovered it.

Darren Lacroix from Las Vegas, gave a workshop I organised


And many other great photos in a set, and others soon in the set. At the citi criers toastmasters

Freddie Daniels introducing Darren
and with the audience (and some organisers too)


Ten years ago: Adventure!

What if you go to the train station or airport without knowing you'll take the train or plane?
What if you decide "why not take the one departing in a few minutes"?
I have dreamed wanted desired it for long time.

I did not take yet a plane, so that is still a dream in the mist so far, but ten years ago, at early age of 71

Ten years ago, I did take the first early morning train from Paris to London, after I dropped my son going for a professional meeting, instead of taking my car to go home, I went back and asked "how much if I take a ticket now for the train departing in ten minutes?"

They gave me a very cheep ticket, "last minute" and "senior" go now and return open.
I have not been in London at that time for about 30 or 35 years!
Arrived at Waterloo station, went to Trafalgar square.
At the station, they gave me the address of Manor House hotel, near Early Court: nice small cheep.

Londres G022
Here is the album of my 100+ photos I took rediscovering, discovering, England and London.

Of course, I did not know, less then three years later I will move and live in London.


A first time, again

Firebirds collective meet from all over the globe as you can see here
This night was a first time for me, again: given a speech, a story of beginning in Toastmasters club - at 2 am my London time. Of course, as you can see from this picture, we had Toastmasters from different part of the world. Our moderator from Australia. My Evaluator from Dubai. My Timer from Canada. The Toastmaster introducing my speech from Chicago. Soon, in the morning, the Firebirds meeting will begin and we will have members from even more places participating.

An image speaks better then words in this occasion I do believe.