Munawir Hill Toastmasters

At Munawir Hill, we strive to create a balanced, happy and creative life for all the boys within a homely setting. The Munawir community encourages the building of self-confidence in a supportive environment, and personal growth through rewarding experiences amongst friends.

With all of the above in mind, we looked to create a similar version of ‘Toastmasters International’ during our weekly assembly to foster and enhance the boys’ public speaking and listening skills and their ability to ask astute questions.

Each week, one boy takes on the role of ‘host’, introducing the speakers for the evening in a few short, entertaining sentences. Each speaker then has four minutes to deliver his prepared speech to the enthralled audience who include two ‘errm… counters’, and three ‘timers’. The ‘errm… counters’ record every ‘errm…’ within the speech, and the ‘timers’ indicate to the speaker how much time is left.

At Toastmasters International they use a traffic light system for timings: Green light for half way through, amber light for 30 seconds left, and finally the red light for ‘time’s up’. At Munawir we use a green bowl, a yellow clipboard and a red tray that replicate the lights very nicely! The audience (still enthralled) are then invited to ask questions at the end.

Each speaker starts his speech with 100 points and one point is deducted for each ‘errm…’. Points are also deducted for using videos and words on the screen and for running over, or speaking under, time by 30 seconds. Bonus points are given for not using any phones, cue cards or screens and for delivering a ‘pure speech’. This is all in place to help the boys experience the thrill of fully engaging an audience.

Examples of speeches to date include:

  • The Rules of Debating
  • Typhoon Hato
  • Social Media
  • Why hosting the 2022 FIFA world cup in Qatar is a bad idea
  • Modern Day Nazis in Germany
  • SpaceX

At a later date we hope to introduce ‘Table Topics’ to Munawir Hill Toastmasters. This is a random topic that is thrown into the evening’s proceedings and boys can volunteer to stand up and do an ‘off the cuff’ one-minute speech on the topic – yet another fun way to improve confidence and speaking skills. Imagine being given the topic of ‘Red Boxes’ and standing up to speak about that for one minute having had no preparation time! How many ‘errms…’ do you think we’d count for you?

Celeste Taylor
Dame of Munawir Hill

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