Early Bird Speakers Leadership Team 2021-2022
CANDIDATE PROFILES AND VIDEOS
The Early Bird Speakers Leadership Team Elections will be taking place at the Early Bird Speakers meeting on Thursday 27th May 2021.
On this day, you will be voting for who you want to see in next year’s leadership team.
Voting will take place electronically that morning. Starting at 6.45 am email ballots will be sent to any member who has entered the Zoom meeting room. Cast your vote through the link in the email before the start of the meeting at 7.10 am. The results will be announced at the end of the meeting.
Voting is open to all full members of Early Bird Speakers. Please arrive on time to cast your vote.
Ahead of the elections, please take a look below at the following profiles and videos of the candidates running for the different roles.
Thank you and all the best at the upcoming club elections.
Sabrina R & Richard S
EBS Electoral Committee 2021
Since joining Early Bird Speakers in 2019 I’ve seen first-hand the tremendous benefits that membership can bring. Through the Pathways projects and the supportive, warm, and insightful advice dispensed from our members each week, EBS has helped me grow both as a speaker and as an individual. From obtaining a recent promotion, to confidently speaking at my wedding, I can trace a direct line from my membership at Early Bird Speakers to so many of my recent triumphs.
Serving as a Technology Officer and Seargent-at-Arms in the 2020/2021 Leadership Team I was a key member of the group tasked with navigating the club through the perilous waters of the pandemic, and while we avoided disaster, when faced with yet-another-Zoom-meeting in their calendars many members sadly abandoned ship and engagement has been on a downward trend as lockdowns dragged on and on.
If elected President in the 2021/2022 term, it is my ambition to head a team dedicated to replenishing the clubs membership by drawing fresh voices in to our ranks, and guiding efforts to reclaim our title as London’s premier Toastmasters club by returning us to in-person meetings, reinvigorating our curriculum of workshops, events, and extracurricular social activities, and ensuring EBS remains the welcoming place that is for us all to learn and grow together.
I think it is time for maturity and gravitas. The President role needs someone who has life experience and who will push the boundaries of human endeavour. Challenge you to stand tall and all be leaders. I want Early Birds to Fly Higher. To reach the pinnacle, to stop at nothing. I think the time is NOW. For someone who is not afraid to step into the limelight and set the world ablaze. There is no time like the present. We have suffered and now we need to reach out for new sensations and new beginnings. I am the person. I have what it takes, and I want to take it all. To have power. To make things happen. To be the best I can possibly be. For us all to be the best we can be. Don’t be scared of a future where I hold the strings. I will pull them just for you.
Vice President of Education
OK, so you are thinking of speaking or taking a role at an Early Bird meeting. What do you hope for?
Encouragement. I love encouraging people to try new things. I will lend an attentive ear because I know from personal experience that sometimes you may have a good idea but still hang back. I’ll be there to say YES. I will give you the time to talk to me if you want to find out what is possible and when and also, I’ll liaise closely with the VP Mentoring to ensure you get the support you need to practice, practice, practice… Well, as far as speaking practice goes, I am the person for this role because I’m a believer. (Music from the Monkees)
Enthusiasm. You’ll want to make the most of your Toastmaster journey because we are all here to grow and flourish. I’ll have the enthusiasm to make sure each meeting is set up in a relaxed and competent way to give everyone the opportunities they need. My aim will be to create a firm foundation for each club meeting. Because it’s all about the bass. (Music from Meghan Trainer)
Education. I think you want to deal with someone who is sincere. I’ve demonstrated my interest in education by joining the Three Degrees. (Lots more lovely music) I have two BAs and an MBA. In fact, I’ve got a doctorate and gone for Toastmasters Gold too. So, I think you will agree, I’m all for Education. And if you’ve got it, why not share it?
Vice President of Membership
I am a fairly new member here at EBS, and because of this reason I consider myself to be a good fit for the VP membership role. I remember being on the other side and I’ll be very proud to bring new and exciting people to this club.
I am a Publisher (Lawless Publications Limited); Historian; Author and Commercial Lawyer in that order of descent.
I came to England from Nigeria as a young boy of 7 speaking no English and terrified of speaking in public. Growing up in Islington, I attended the local boy’s comprehensive, Highbury Grove Secondary School where my only notable attainments were collecting the 100% attendance certificate each year and being caned under the approving gaze of a headmaster, Dr Rhodes Boyson, who later became Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Minister for Education.
I read law because I was rubbish at science and not much better at mathematics but luckily found that I had a gift for law. After I qualified as a barrister in 1985, I left the Bar to work for the leading City firms Price Waterhouse Coopers and Hogan Lovells before setting up my own law firm, Akin Palmer LLP, in February 1997.
I am a Committee Member of the oldest private dining club in England, The Whitefriars Club; I am also the self-appointed President of the Fatherland Group which is a global network of Nigerians. Although now retired from playing football my genius for the sport is still recognized by former team mates at Mill Hill Ballers Club in my office as the life-President of the Club.
I am a Toastmaster ‘Advanced Speaker Gold’ and have been a member of Early Birds for 12+ years. I have previously held the office of VP Mentoring.
Vice President of Public Relations
I would like to stand for the role of a VP Public Relations! I have no formal experience in the field, but I bring with me 16 professional years of building relationships as an English teacher and maintaining a good image and reputation as a private tutor.
To enhance my students learning I like to offer them real-life experiences. In doing so, through the logistics of organising museum tours or inviting local MPs to a College, I have learned the importance of building positive relations with others. While in the private setting, a professional, high standards relationship with my clients, has given me the reputation of an honest tutor and a very good teacher. Even in cases of students failing an exam, parents still remained satisfied about the quality and solid educational base I gave their children and maintain a lasting, friendly relationship with me. My professional highlights are hearing news of past students and receiving their birthday pictures over the years.
As the newest member of the any other club, I would have felt it inappropriate and daunting to stand for such an important role, but it is a testament to EBS’s inclusiveness and supportive, welcoming stance that I believe that I can take on this challenge! I plan to learn, work and grow with you to advance EBS’s reputation and standing as the number one Toastmaster Club in London, and why not? If you give me enough time, (check my icebreaker!) even the best Toastmaster Club of the World!
The leadership team needs someone responsible, objective and trustworthy when it comes to the role of a secretary. I believe that I am the right candidate in addition to ensuring that leadership meetings are organised and minuted effectively. It would be my pleasure to serve the club.
I came to Early Birds, like a lot of people, to get over my fear of public speaking. However, attending initially as guest I was a bit intimidated by the quality of the speeches and speakers (and the venue!). But everyone was so supportive and encouraging, which was a real confidence boost. I realised that I get so much from the club and its members, not least in terms of that support and encouragement, that I want to give back. I was going to stand in last year’s Committee elections but my situation changed, as I moved to Ireland. However, due to the move online I was still able to attend remotely (as we all have done).
As we move back to physical meetings, much as I would like to be there in person I will have limited opportunities for that. But I would still like to take a meaningful role on the Committee if possible. As my location makes it difficult for me to be there in person, I have looked at roles that I can usefully undertake remotely and believe that Treasurer is well-suited to that. So I’m putting myself forward for that role. Whilst you might not see me much in Freemasons Hall, you can be confident that I’ll be beavering away diligently in the background managing the club’s finances.
Mark Hanly has been a member of Early Bird Speakers since November 2016 and attending meetings since May 2016. He became a member despite a natural wariness of clubs. All clubs. He was Vice President Education in 2017/18 a role he thoroughly enjoyed, getting up close and personal with all of the members. After a two-year break from the Leadership Team, Mark is gung-ho to get stuck in again. This time he is running for Treasurer despite being an unmitigated disaster at managing his own personal finances. He can but grow this role. Mark is a passionate multilingual educator, researcher and one-time washing powder maker who is still passionate about detergents and is actively involved in stage performance in his spare time and who also dabbles in swimming (i.e. gasps and flails around like a fish out of water, paradoxically). He has recently given up sugar and caffeine, but is still happy to push both on other people.
An inveterate poor money manager, Mark seeks to grow and learn new skills as Treasurer for Early Bird Speakers. What’s the worst that could happen?! Vote for me!!!!!!!!!
Sergeant at Arms
Vice President of Mentoring
For all of us, having an effective mentor is one of the key factors helping us to achieve our full potential. As VP Mentoring my role would be to facilitate and encourage effective mentoring arrangements amongst members, building on the work of previous VPs of Mentoring, so that all members have access to the mentors that they need to progress as communicators and leaders.
Learning and self-improvement are two of my key values, and over the years both my paid work and voluntary work have involved training and mentoring. In my previous roles on the Early Birds Leadership Team (VP Membership and Treasurer) I loved using this experience to encourage members, and to facilitate events like the weekly EBS Book Explorers to help people connect and grow.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ method of mentoring, and as VP Mentoring I would be contacting each and every one of you to ensure that you all have the arrangements that work best for you. One idea I’d like to suggest is mentoring mastermind groups – small groups meeting regularly to practice speeches and get feedback and support from each other.
Do contact me if there’s anything you want to discuss before the vote and – vote for Steven!
This would be a good fit for me as I am convinced that I would give good assistance to all members, helping them in developing their public speaking and leadership skills. Putting them in contacts with experienced members of the club. I am also a believer in the idea of giving back as a tool to grow and to learn.
Mark Hanly has been a member of Early Bird Speakers since November 2016 and attending meetings since May 2016. He became a member despite a natural wariness of clubs. All clubs. He was Vice President Education in 2017/18 a role he thoroughly enjoyed, getting up close and personal with all of the members. . After a two-year break from the Leadership Team, Mark is feeling friskier than ever to get stuck in again. This time he is running for VP Mentoring. Who will take a chance on him? Mark is a passionate multilingual educator, researcher and one-time washing powder maker who is still passionate about detergents and is actively involved in stage performance in his spare time and who also dabbles in swimming (i.e. gasps and flails around like a fish out of water, paradoxically).
Like Linda Radlett in Nancy Mitford’s “Pursuit of Love” , Mark is a born chatterer and thus ideally suited to connecting Members for mentoring purposes as VP Mentoring.
Vice President of Events
Fellow Toastmasters: after a fallow year, in-person events are BACK! The VP Events is responsible for celebrating success, seasons and our social selves. Vote for me and there will be
- A return of the EBS Oscars (or ‘the Birdies’)
- An early start on finding a suitable venue for the Winter Party (I’m thinking about it NOW)
- Free events such as picnics and walks throughout the summer
- I’ll take a vote on whether we have a group visit to a London landmark or take a day trip out of town… I have ideas, all I need is the enthusiasm of members!
For my full manifesto, click here.
I’ve worked in the events industry and know that running a good show is about teamwork and leadership. EBS members do teamwork in their sleep – so I’ll bring the direction, ideas, organisation and planning.