Special Guest, Vinette Hoffman-Jackson, at our next meeting

On 16th September, Vinette will be guesting at North Hearts Speakers. She will delight us all with her speech entitled ‘Where leaders are made’. Find out more about her and join us!

Vinette Hoffman-Jackson was born in Barking Lodge, St Thomas, Jamaica and emigrated to the United Kingdom in August 2002 as a Chemistry and Physics teacher. She is active STEM ambassador and a passionate advocate for girls going into STEM careers and has delivered training nationally. 

After years in he classroom she reached the point where she felt there was more to her life. Instead of remaining cocooned in the security of a nine to five job and a regular salary she started on her own personal journey towards self-discovery. Vinette is the only person in the United Kingdom to win thirteen speaking trophies in one year at the prestigious Toastmasters International.

UK & Ireland International Speech and Impromptu Speaking Champion 2017/2019

Vinette also has a flair for writing and has published four books. She has been endorsed for her skilful writing by international entities such as Les Brown, the international motivational speaker. She is also a contributor to business magazines like Endizine, New business and Networkshe.

Vinette regularly runs workshops for corporate and individuals in ‘Effective speaking & presentation, how to live your life like a CEO! and Behind my Smile’’ She has spoken all over the world including France, Jamaica, Canada and Austria. Her entrepreneurial and skills have been recognized and awarded by Bedfordshire University, UK.

Vinette presents a weekly talk show every Wednesday on her local radio www.lurlive.com where she interviews ordinary people with extraordinary smiles. She is also a regular panellist on the BBC 3 counties parenting show where she speaks on current issues affecting parents in the modern world.

She has recently started the Behind my Smile Initiative TM where girls learn to communicate in a safe space so they can resolve conflicts, speak or their rights and become confident and articulate speakers.

Vinette oozes confidence and is a fantastic speaker. Not only is she truly motivational but she uses her sharp wit and humour to disseminate her message and make it memorable. Audiences respond to Vinette with mixed emotions including laughing, inspiration and awe.

Vinette’s accomplishments:

  • UK & Ireland International Speech and Impromptu Speaking Champion 2017/2019
  • BBC New Voice 2019
  • London Professional Speaker Association ‘Speaker Factor’ winner (2016)
  • TEdx Speaker
  • Radio Presenter and ‘Behind my Smile’ Chat show host
  • Award winning Author and Poet (Did the Right Sperm Win? Bks 1&2, Behind my Smile, Vinette Vignettes and Journeys)
  • STEM Ambassador and Educator
  • CEO at 321Speak! And 321Write! Institutes
  • Immediate Past President of Bedford Speakers, UK.
  • Current VPM, Advanced Communicators Advanced Speakers and VPPR , Bedford speakers.
  • Nominated for the World Civility Award 2020

What advice would you give to a new TM member?

In our last meeting, we asked attendees what advice they would give to a new Toastmaster member. This is what they said:

Start early and quick

Get started as soon as possible in speaking (from Rose Saliba). 

Do a speech (just a minute or table topics) at your first meeting, it feels extremely rewarding and stops you building it up into something scary if you’re nervous (from Anna Taylor).

Don’t wait too long to give a speech

Don’t wait too long to speak – it’s easier to get started and start the journey – when you do, you’ll realise how much you learn from people evaluating you and applying that takes you on the journey further.

Not starting is like sitting on the edge of a pool dangling your feet in the water and thinking it’s cold – it’s a lot warmer if you just get in and start swimming, you might need some help with technique, but it’s definitely warmer! (from Lynne Wilkins).

Image by Harish Sharma from Pixabay

Get out of your comfort zone…with a supportive bunch

My advice would be once you get over the “hurdle” of the first meeting every single one after that becomes much easier, especially if you throw yourself into the deep end. Being in the deep end is much easier in toastmaster because everyone is non judgemental and are on the same journey you have been (from Charles Russell).

Get the Toastmasters’ mindset

Just relax and be open minded to be carried out of your comfort zone, it’s all a safe environment (from Oliver Schlenker).

We are all in Toastmasters to learn

All of us are here in a TM club to learn and help each other to be better speakers  in our daily lives (from Enroy Nugent).

Consider getting a mentor

Get a mentor so you can become your best self in not just speaking but other leadership skills too (from Judith Nugent).

Manage your inner critic

Don’t beat up yourself when you make a mistake when giving a speech, because we’ve all been there (from Enroy Nugent).

You get as much as you put in

You get out what you put in and also the other members are a lovely group of people who are incredibly supportive. Give it a whirl 😋 (from Maria Iredale).

If questions, ask and get involved

Ask others to explain how things are, how their experience has been and participate as much as you can (from John Kendall).

Take care of yourself and be yourself

Take your time, be yourself and you will pick up the speed (from Enrico).

With massive thanks to all North Hearts Speakers who contributed to write this blog.

Rossana Espinoza, VP Public Relations

Triple Crown Award for Rose Saliba 🥇

Rose Saliba received a special ward for completing three advanced level achievements in the last Toastmasters year (which runs from July to June).  She completed three advanced level honours – two on the leadership side with her Competent Leader and Advanced Leader Bronze and an Advanced Communicator award which involved completing 10 speeches on themes of humour and story telling.  Well done Rose.

Rose Saliba receiving her Triple Crown Award from President, Lynne Wilkins

North Hearts Speakers, like all Toastmasters clubs around the globe, adapted to the COVID-19 challenges. We have been successfully conducting our meetings online now for a while. Nevertheless, one of the things toastmasters love is fellowship outside of the regular meetings too.  So it was a particular pleasure for our President, Lynne Wilkins, to be able to meet Rose Saliba in person recently to present Rose with her badges of honour over coffee and cake.