Latest Breakfast Club Happenings...

The Breakfast Club

A Toastmasters club meeting weekly from 7.15am to 9am, The Athenaeum, 1 Mariendale Lane, Newlands, Cape Town

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Posted 161 weeks ago

helping someone decide how to structure their content

  1. Mentee: I should add in that one story.
  2. Mentor: Is it relevant to your speech?
  3. Mentee: Yes.
  4. Mentor: Does it help you illustrate your point?
  5. Mentee: *long pause*
  6. Mentee:
Posted 166 weeks ago
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Posted 197 weeks ago
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Posted 203 weeks ago

Top Club in Division D!

The Breakfast Club was recognised at the Top Club in Division D for the year ended 30 June 2016.

Division D covers the whole of the Western Cape and Namibia, so we are justly proud of our achievement.

Outgoing President Sarah Rossouw and members of the new Committee accepted the award at the informative and inspiring Club Officer Training day #WinterCon on Saturday 30 July, 2016

Posted 204 weeks ago

A Cracking Contest! 19 August 2015

What a day! 3 speeches, 3 impromptu answers to a tough topic, and another Speech Contest is done and dusted.  

Without our contestants, there would have been no contest at all

So thank you Brenda Trope, Nathan Phillander and François Rossouw for your hard work in preparation to entertain us.

And the results - drum roll please!!

Acting as a tag-team we have…

First Humorous Speaker award: Nathan Phillander

Second Humourous Speaker award: François Rossouw


First Table Topic Speaker award: François Rossouw

Second Table Topic Speaker award: Nathan Phillander

Photographs of the speakers in action will follow shortly

Thanks to Cliff Featherstone and Heather Malcomess of as intrepid photographers for the day…

Warm thanks to…

Warm thanks to all our judges, timekeepers, tally counters and Sergeant-at-Arms for serving our Club on the day!

Thanks also to Sarah Rossouw who so ably Chaired the competition, and to Simric Yarrow as Chief Judge.

Posted 254 weeks ago

Lamb to the Slaughter, Anyone?

It was good to have Simric back at the Presidential helm after a long-ish absence due to teaching commitments… and no, eh wasn’t the one who got slaughtered ;)

We welcomed two first-time guests: Sindisa and Hassim, we hope to see more of you in the near future.

In addition, we are working hard at documenting our meetings now with both photographs and videos, so watch this space in the coming weeks!

Nathan Phillander was our Toastmaster of the day and with a little history about the origins of Women’s Day (when South African women marched peacefully but determinedly upon the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest against the pass laws), we were off…

Jean-Pierre Hartmann made his debut — his Icebreaker was a refreshing and unusual take on his life journey so far. With a much more philosophical look than usual, this CC1 was a winner. 

Thanks, J-P, we learned a lot more about you!

Second speaker Nicky Seymour was someone we had not heard for a while, and what a speech! It was a zinger as she wowed us with “Sport — for all?” a wonderful, challenging advocacy piece.

Sonya Stephenson, visiting from Good Hope, did a riveting Monodrama by adapting Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter”. One of the guests, Hassim, commented that this was the ‘least expected’ part of the morning for him, but incredibly impressive.

Table Topics took a political turn in line with the theme o the day, and members rose valiantly to the challenge and did a far better job than members of Parliament — at least in our biased opinion!

The evaluators served us extremely well, with relevant feedback to the Speakers which also enable other members find tips that would help them speak better when their turn comes.

With the Humorous and Table Topics contest coming up next week, excitement is running high

The contestants are… drum-roll please!

Humourous contest: 

Brenda Trope, François Rossouw, Nathan Phillander

Table Topics contest: 

Martin Gevers, François Rossouw, Nathan Phillander

Finally, congratulations to our meeting award winners! 

Three people went home clasping chocolate as always!  

  1. Sonya Stephenson (Best Speaker for her Monodrama), 
  2. Sarah Rossouw (Best Evaluator), and 
  3. Jason Sandler (Best Table Topic Speaker)
Posted 254 weeks ago

Exciting upcoming opportunities...

July 23, 2015
Do you want to get a fast-track on your Speech and Leadership projects? 
You can!

We have the privilege of teaching Speechcraft for the Sports Science Institute from 29th July for 6 weeks. Contact François Rossouw at francois(@) and step up your own progress a notch, too. We need timekeepers, demo speakers, toastmasters and more. 

PLUS: Speech contest — 19 August 2015 at 7.30am

It will take place at our usual meeting time and place and we are looking for more contestants, judges, tally-counters and other officials.

So far we have:

  • Brenda and Martin as Contestants - (we need 3 more, and there are no minimum qualifications)
  • Nathan as Competition Chair
  • 2 external judges + 1 internal

 We still need:
  • 3 more internal judges
  • a tie-breaker judge
  • 2 timekeepers
  • 2 tally counters
  • 2 sergeants at arms
Email Alison, or speak to Alison at or before our next meeting to find out more...


Chocolate for Breakfast!

July 22, 2015
Chocolate for Breakfast!

Seriously, we always get chocolate prizes at the Breakfast Club...

That is why so many of us attend ;)

But today we actually all got to eat gourmet choccies for breakfast - what a pity some chocolate lovers like Noni could not be with us ;)

Our cracking three speeches started with Brenda Trope's "Mmm, chocolate — yummy!" in which she demonstrated how one can make healthy, unprocessed chocolate and used body language in her speech as part of her CC5 assignment. We all got to sample her scummy wares, too. This was a meeting to remember!

Martin Gevers entertained as always with wild stories, this time about "Meeting the Alpha Male" in his Humorous Speaker # 3 - well done Martin. Your life must be full of excitement, judging from the fountain of fascinating experiences you bring to life in your speeches.

Finally we hosted new Area Director François Roux, who inspired us all to take a step up with his speech "Success, significance and Fun". It was good to see how Toastmasters can contribute to each of these three aspects of life as you embrace all the opportunities on offer.

Who won what?

We proudly awarded chocolate bars to the following for their contributions to our morning's enjoyment:

Best speaker: François Roux
Best Evaluator: Nathan Philander
Best Tabletopic: Sarah Rossouw

Exciting upcoming opportunities...

Do you want to get a fast-track on your Speech and Leadership projects?
You can!

We have the privilege of teaching Speechcraft for the Sports Science Institute from 29th July for 6 weeks. Contact François Rossouw at francois(@) and step up your own progress a notch, too. We need timekeepers, demo speakers, toastmasters and more. 

PLUS: Speech contest — 19 August 2015 at 7.30am

It will take place at our usual meeting time and place and we are looking for more contestants, judges, tally-counters and other officials. Speak to Alison at our next meeting to find out more...

That is all for today. Watch this space next week!


Meeting #190 with Aletta

June 17, 2015
Thank you to the outgoing Division Governor of Toastmasters Southern Africa, Aletta Rochat, who shared "Reflections of a DG" with us as a Competent Communicator project.

Her inspiring points were that:
  •  holding high office is not about the Wearing the Badge, but about the opportunity to serve and grow
  • things are always personal first, because that is how the Toastmasters organisation best serves the individual member 
  • you have to have a message, otherwise you are just transmitting information.

The meeting was also unusual in that we held the election for new Club Officers
The newly-elected portfolio holders on the committee will serve the members of our club for the Toastmasters year starting on 1 July 2015, and they are:

President: Simric Yarrow
VP Education: Alison Beere
VP Membership: Gideon Louw
VP Public Relations: Nonhlanhla Chanza
Treasurer: Sarah Rossouw
Secretary: Brenda Trope
Sergeant At Arms: Coenraad Myburgh

There was a scuffle for the chocolate today!
In the end Best Speaker award went to Martin Gevers for his highly entertaining "Flush in the Pan" with Noni taking best Evaluator and JP offering an excellent Table Topics performance as a 'day-old chick' - he joined as a member today.

Alison Beere 
was Toastmaster of the day and the theme "Seagulls and Sailors"
inspired Gideon Louw to some truly challenging Table Topics choices. Respect for your preparation, Gideon, and well done to those who tackled them so gamely. 

A special mention goes to Taahir Khalfe... for his highly entertaining account of being a pirate on the high seas — it was great to see you laughing and enjoying yourself! Your speaking confidence has already soared since your last Table Topic speech.

Thanks to all who were there, and those who were not were sorely missed.


Reaching goals + New Members

June 10, 2015
First up, congratulations to our meeting award winners who went home clasping chocolate as always!  Alison Beere (Best Speaker), Sarah Rossouw (Best Evaluator), and guest Zoliswa Gidi (Best Table Topic Speaker)

Nathan Phillander 
was Toastmaster of the day and chose the theme Wonderful Winter to set an upbeat tone in spite of the weather. Thanks Nathan for your energetic and entertaining leadership, and all the best for those university exams next week.

It was a meeting of reaching goals and welcoming new members...

Alison Beere
 completed her Competent Communicator manual with a speech entitled "Tiny Increments" to inspire everyone to embrace change. This was the big CC10 which is her first large Toastmasters milestone.

Graham Klein (visiting from Grove club) completed his Advanced Communicator Bronze with a speech from the Public Relations manual, handling a crisis situation.

Acting President Sarah Rossouw outlined the various roles of club committee members in advance of next week's election.

Jill Mackay hosted a round of Table Topics, inviting guests and members to offer their opinions about winter as a time of rejuvenation, the best winter movies to snuggle up with, and load-shedding vs snow-sledding. Loads of fun there!

Our evaluators, Sarah Rossouw and Martin Gevers provided valuable insights and constructive feedback for the speakers. Avoiding rocking on the spot, keeping things personal, and looking on the bright side even in a crisis were some of their suggestions.

Thank you to new member Taahir Khalfe who took on the role of Time Keeper for the first time. Congratulations on taking a step towards become a powerful communicator to enhance your work in entrepreneurship training. We look forward to walking alongside you and cheering you on.


Under New management ;)

May 11, 2015
Alison Beere (Breakfast Club secretary) has taken on the task of dealing with all things web, so watch this space for more Club news!

The big win for Alison is that this relatively small administrative commitment will help her fulfill the requirements of a couple of projects in her Competent Leadership manual, moving her closer to her next achievement.

Love your Leadership Manual

January 30, 2014
In a toughly contested battle between V. Acant and myself, I am the newly appointed VP PR (Vice President - Public Relations) for The Breakfast Club.

My purpose for this new role is two fold: complete my CL manual by using this position to fulfil some outstanding assignments, (see, I am honest) and to give other members the opportunity to work on some of the more obscure assignments (I am generous too).
If you are trying to finish your CL manual, (and who wouldn’t want to achieve that accolade?) then here are a few public relations related topics that you could do to finish it off.

The benefits?

  1. It is so cool to have completed a level beyond Competent Communicator which is where most people stop. And to have the acronym after your name on your badge, for which you will have to pay an additional R45 for a new one. 
  2. You will be closer to one day achieving your DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) which is great to have on your CV and is internationally recognized, wherever people speak. And it is achievable. Reference Lois Strachan who is doing it for the 3rd time!
  3. You will help The Breakfast Club get another point towards our Distinguished Club program which runs every year. The benefit is a sweet ribbon to go onto our flag to show off to visiting Toastmasters from other clubs.
  4. And, even though we are not in this just for ourselves, by working on these projects you can learn some valuable marketing skills that you can apply to your own life, work or career.

Here are the projects and assignments.

Project 6 - Organizing and Delegating

Help Organize a Club Public Relations Campaign
Help Produce the Club Newsletter
Assist the Club’s Webmaster

Project 8 - Motivating People

Club Public Relations Campaign Chairman

Project 10 - Team Building

Club Newsletter Editor or Club Webmaster

How to use these projects

More details on these projects will follow for interested parties, but what I would like to do is work with members who need to finish any of these projects. I will assist you with any newsletter or web site stuff and show you the ropes. I promise that it is not difficult.

We also have the lovely dual assignments in Projects 6 and 8 - Help Organize a Club Public Relations Campaign  and Club Public Relations Campaign Chairman. There are so many opportunities here. A team of 2 or 3 members can tackle any of these projects that takes their fancy, and you can all sign off on assignments in a short period of time.
  • We could gather Toastmaster magazines, put our club meeting details in the address block and share them local businesses around Cavendish.
  • We could take photos at meetings and write a short blurb and send that to the local media.
  • We could contact the local radio stations and offer a short talk around Toastmasters Day in October.
  • We can contact other clubs toward the end of the Toastmasters’ year and offer space for them to complete their assignments in time.
  • Motivate Cavendish to make mention of our meetings on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, even perhaps their website.
  • Prepare a list of speaking tips from our members and share them on the club Facebook Page and blog.
  • Get our members’ stories about why they joined and what they have learned, and share that, with photos or even short video clips. Arrange to put that onto the club Facebook Page and blog.
  • Run a member invite challenge with a prize for the person to invite the most non-Toastmasters guests to the club over a period of time. A bonus prize for the person who converts the most visitors to members or this or any other Toastmaster club.

Other PR tasks include:
  • Writing, or organizing a club member to write, something for both the club newsletter and the blog.
  • Taking, or organizing a club member to take photos or videos of each meeting for both the club Facebook Page and the blog.
  • Taking some of the Toastmaster magazines to the Claremont Library, surrounding medical offices and perhaps the local high schools for their libraries.
  • Update or arrange and handout visitor packs to guests. Include 2 or 3 postcard type handouts that they could pass on to others. The message would be along the lines of “I attended this Toastmaster club at Cavendish and it was great fun. I am planning on going back to visit but I thought I should let you know too as you would enjoy it.”

Folks, I will never get all of this done. That isn't the point. But if just a few of you put your hands up, then we can all complete assignments, get new members for the club, promote Toastmasters, learn some good stuff and have fun.

Please contact me to make some plans.

Charlotte Kemp
082 491 9252

Meeting review - 22 January 2014

January 30, 2014
~ Sarah Rossouw

After an excellent meeting the week before, mostly because I got over myself and shocked everyone by delivering a prepared speech, I was thrilled to see a full table of faces greet me on Wednesday morning – 14 pairs of eyes stared with anticipation back at me!  We welcomed two guests in this number, Rhona and Leanne, a mother and daughter team out to conquer the world.  We hope to see them again.
Francois led the meeting with his usual aplomb and entertained us with stories in between the items on the agenda.  He included one about a young American driver, who, under the influence, was totally unaware he had picked up a newspaper delivery man – through his windscreen!  Francois did, however, get a resounding telling off for not running the meeting to time from our General Evaluator, Brenda.  Well done Brenda!
All admiration goes to Wendy Ward who, on the day, realised that she could not deliver the CC 9 she wanted to do, and still do it justice.  She needed more time to prepare.  But instead of dropping the Toastmaster by just pulling out, she honoured her commitment, and filled her time with her blog post, which was most entertaining.  Charlotte Kemp followed with an Eduslot on Impromptu speaking and shared with us 5 useful tips to delivering a great impromptu speech.  I think Charlotte possibly also broke the world land speed record for the fastest speaker in one part of her speech! Wow!  She also reminded us that to become proficient speakers and to always improve we needed Stage Time, Stage Time, Stage Time!  Excellent advice.
After one very impromptu evaluation and one excellent evaluation (it’s fantastic to see Simric getting up there and learning the ropes of evaluating), it was my turn to present my Table Topics.  No pressure on me to follow Charlotte’s detailed presentation of what makes a good Table Topic topic and what doesn’t!  But I think I did okay.  Kudos to Leanne, our guest, for being brave enough to give it a shot.  Good job, Leanne!  Of course, Nathan walked off with the prize AGAIN!  Man, he’s good!  I hope he’s going to compete in the next Impromptu Contest.
After another entertaining, interesting and fun-filled meeting, we all waved good bye and went on our merry inspired ways for another week.  See you all next time!  Ciao

Verity Price take 2nd place at Minicon 2012 Humour Contest

October 17, 2012
Verity Price take 2nd place at Minicon 2012 Humour Contest

Toastmasters from across the country gathered in the Mother City this past weekend for District 74's annual MiniCon, which was hosted at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. It kicked off on Friday evening and didn’t stop until the last booty had been shaken late on Saturday night.

It’s been said that once you have attended a conference you will be hooked for life, a truism if ever there was one. District 74 Conferences are renowned for providing great value for money, fantastic speakers, a high level of contests and of course, the BEST parties.

Keynote speaker, Alan Committie, had the audience in stiches on Saturday morning as he did his best to ‘dissect a butterfly’ in order to explain its beauty. He’d been tasked with sharing comedy tips with the eager crowd and that was the odd, but uncannily apt, analogy he came up with to make the point that trying to explain funny just isn’t funny.

Not to be outdone, our Humour Contest participants in both the English and Afrikaans categories were equally hilarious. After much pencil chewing and agonizing the judges eventually arrived at a decision.

Biddy White with her speech, Sole Proprietary, won the English contest and Breakfast Club member, Verity Price, took second place. Adri Rothman won the Afrikaans Showcase with her speech, Want boot gaan ons boot. 

There’s unfortunately no direct translation for this delightfully descriptive phrase, but in a nutshell it means we’re going to sail that damn boat no matter what.


Verity to represent Breakfast Club at District Contest

September 30, 2012
The Breakfast Club is soon to be represented by member Verity Price at the District Contest for Humourous Speaking that will be held at Kirstenbosch on the 13th of October at the Flower Power Mini Con. 

Verity won the Division Contest on the 27th September that was held at The Alphen Hall in Constantia with her speech 'Me, Myself & I'. This makes her the Western Cape and Nambia winner and she will now compete for the title of Southern African Champion at the District Contest.

To book your place at the conference go to


19th September: Meeting Review

September 23, 2012
At just over a year old and already 59 meetings in, I think we can safely say that The Breakfast Club is way past “the little train that could” stage and now in a league all its own. Catch us if you can is probably more apt these days.   We enjoyed another fun meeting this morning, with lots of old faces and even a few new ones. It was great to have such a big turnout.

Unfortunately Thobeka made a last minute apology, which left Angela not only as the first speaker on the agenda, but also the only one. She handled the unexpected turn of events like a pro however, making no attempt whatsoever to bolt for the escalators (at least not that we noticed).   Thank you to Sarah for giving Angela such an in-depth and well put together evaluation. Table Topics madam (Evan’s word, not mine), Berni, kept her victims on their toes by giving them each a quote, saying or phrase based on the meeting’s theme: Lighting a candle.

Burning the candle at both ends
. According to Francois this is a way of being energy efficient. Now that’s some out of the box thinking.  It is better to light a candle than curse the dark. Tambu told us that for some people candles are their only means of light. Thank you for the reminder to not take things for granted Tambu.  A Candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. Ayesha said that she learnt from a young age the value in helping others. She also encouraged us to visit the elderly, which I think is a splendid idea!

How to blow out a candle without spraying wax all over the table
. Instead of offering practical advice, Nicky took a different approach by using wax as an analogy to remind us that our experiences are to be treasured, not discarded or avoided simply because they don’t measure up.   I remember when the candle shop burnt down. After first having to establish what exactly a candle shop was, Gideon went on to regale us with a wonderful story about the time that the community’s candle shop went up in flames. What a disaster!

, our grammarian and um counter for the morning, was on top form. Not a single um or ah was missed. She did soften the blow with chocolates though, so we’ll probably let her do the role again sometime.The meeting ended with a real treat, again from Verity, as she performed her winning speech from the humorous contest for us. Hilarious doesn’t come close!

The Division finals are being held next week Thursday at the Alphen Hall in Constantia, so if you’re looking for a fun evening night out, be sure to come along! Tickets are R70 if you book via EFT or R85 at the door. Snacks are included.

Wishing you all an ‘ab fab’ week until we meet again.