The Importance of First Impressions

This week we had the pleasure to host a  joint session with our fellow Toastmasters of Top Notch Club from Zurich, Switzerland. This was possible thanks to the long lasting friendship between a member of Toastmasters Seville and a member of Top Notch Toastmasters. We were all excited to meet each other and ready to bust some of the clichés that we may have held. By the way, chiché was the word of the day and the topic of the session was “First Impressions». There we go!

The session was dual (virtual and on-site). Our tech team in Seville did their best, as always, to meet this challenge and had the chance to explain to our Swiss friends how to organise a hybrid session. Not only the Swiss were interested, but also our guests, who showed up via zoom from all over the world!: India, Slovenia, London, the Netherlands…

The Toastmaster of the Day was María Betancor, who was able to address the online audience, the live audience back here in Seville and brief everyone as to what to expect of the session and how to participate. According to the topic of the day, she gave us some tips to make a good first impression! 

After the roles of the day were introduced, we listened to two engaging speeches delivered by Alicia Bustillo, from Toastmasters Sevilla and Marina Sutter, from Top Notch Toastmasters. Next, they were evaluated by a member of the other club. Alicia told us about her negotiation experience in Morocco and Marina Altman gave her a humorous, yet sensible and completely to-the-point feedback. Marina told how to improve the way we communicate, and her speech was celebrated by Isabelle Steiner. After all, Toastmasters is all about becoming better communicators.


On the third block of the session, Pia Stievenazzo conducted a thrilling Table Topics drill in which she nudged some members and guests out of their comfort zone. They had to use skills to come through unscathed! Well done, Marina and her brave volunteers! Toastmasters is also about improvising and keeping your cool in potentially stressful situations! The audience really enjoyed this section of the meeting.

Finally, the different evaluators gave their report in the evening. They conveyed information that hopefully will be put to use by our speakers. Toastmasters is sooo much about ongoing improvement! The Body Language Evaluator, a role that is not present in Top Notch Toastmasters showed the importance of her part. On the other hand, the way the session was organised, with the speeches being delivered first and the evaluations after, was something new for Toastmasters Seville, and we took good note of it. The General Evaluator praised the calm and graceful demeanour of the Toastmaster of the Day and the enthusiasm of all the participants. The guests had one final opportunity to intervene and they agreed that the evening had been friendly, interesting and inspirational.

Thank you so much to all of you who made it possible! Join us again and watch out for live sessions as soon as it is permitted! Practice your public speaking skills, and, once a month, your English too.  Have a look at our calendar. We’re here for you!