Back on the saddle!

Focus on one thing helps a lot!

Also, we can learn from one domain y as here and apply to the other.

Yesterday, I went out again, at my Lewisham Toastmaster club and had given a 15 minutes speech abut my love affaire with Ralph Smedley, (TM founder) and how much I feel he would love what will come with the REP (Revitalised Education Program) in the future.

I got great feedback from the Area Director, present so my presentation for the Area COT will be improved and yes, I will add slides to it. Lot of work in perspective for the end of the month and the joy to meet together officers from 6 clubs.

Also, I will have my thee front teeth restored, well, a dentures on them by that time and by March too for my next comedy gig in Depford, near Greenwich University.

You are booked for a 7 min spot on the 15th of March at the BEE HAPPY COMEDY. You must bring a friend to perform. Please do not arrive without a PLUS 1 as it is awkward to have to say you cannot perform.
Address: http://www.thedukedeptford.com/  please be there at 7:30.

I already have another toastmaster who just finished David Jones class and begun gigging, coming with me, but I would appreciate any of you reading this, being with us too.

I hope, now that I have given, once and filmed, a 20 minute Standup Comedy in public I will be able to select the best material and make a 7 minute (nonstop laughing) gig at a club where the last time I was told "come back whenever you want".

For me, it seems that the new year begins now, and I was challenged by the President of Firebirds collective, advanced Toastmasters, to give speeches from all the projects from Ralph Smedley Basic Training manual: I am writing and rewriting the first one. Title: CROSSING Boarders or I did not know I will be seen as a "migrant." A sad story, but also a story of resilience. We can bounce back, we can find something in any situation life drops on us. Those were the ten years 18/28 of my life.

 I'll try to finish with humour and even add some of it in the middle. 



Kim, from Australia, used a yellow lemon last week to signal the middle time for the speakers of Firebird Collective. As timekeeper, yesterday 20 December, I used Green and Red Apple, and a yellow... potatoes.  

Thus, keeping time become fun instead of pain. Creativity makes a meeting more entertaining.

Red on red : the apple won


5 minutes film realised by Tyson Joseph

Produced by Tyson Joseph 
for Hubdot.com 

Do close yourself in one box only! You are many things at a time. 
Do not wait till others recognise what you do, to affirm it.
Dare to do, enjoy. Live.

Life with comedian eyes is easier. 
Life with photographer eyes is more interesting. 
Life with stories can change even your own past and other people's future.


Comparing delivery and audience: Julie 4 gigs

With almost the same words, from my ever first gig alone to 2 years later, so much difference.

1. Debut Julie Kertesz, November 2011.

Julie's StandUp at JesterJester from Julie Kertesz on Vimeo.
I did have three successful showcases before, after each of my workshop, but this was the first time, when I ventured out all alone to Jester Jesters at near Farington. To get courage, I gave myself a challenge: stay in the light shining to your eyes, instead of hiding (as I did at my last showcase) There were about 15 in the audience, not so easy when there are so few, plus mostly they were not really "audience" but other comedians waiting their tour and thinking about their own text. The pub is nice as were those who put us on the list or asked when we want to make our numero. (In fact there were only 3 women real "audience" at the time my performance come).
Compere telling jokes I hated, masked as Hitler.

Most of my lines did not change but I get a lot more laughter from them now. Delivery: oronly the audience? Confidence? Probably both.

2. Here is a month later, at Angel Comedy, with a great compere and audience a wonderful MC (see first minute) and better presence also (but still learning my lines...) stronger laughters.

3. My 30th gig at The Cavendish Arms​: always great audience and great MC. More experience in delivery. A lot stronger laughter with, almost, the same text. Plus my "famous" end, found at my 4th short comedy workshop.

4. 2 years later, was it the 77th gig? Cataract operations slowed down my pace of gigging, but my stage presence improved and I had a delightful audience and of the best MC too.


I remember a beautiful morning

sapin au soleil couchant

poem translated from Hungarian by me and told


"to live is great to live is good
when thy held holds"

to live is good, to live is great
when someone holds your hand


9 recommended books (and others) from my bookshelf

Public speaking is telling stories, using humour, presenting them all together. And conveying an old wisdom in a new way. Here a few of my favourites I studied and read again and again, Each time discovering new nuggets and understanding deeper.

1st where all starts :
The Power of Personal Storytelling, Jack Maguire
Why, how to find, how to shape, how to remember the story parts, embed it in yourself.
- the speaking champion Malachi studied it before going all the way up to Las Vegas
- the renewed education Ambassador and well known workshop leader is studying it now too

2nd, Improving your storytelling, Doug Lipman
About finding "MIT": The Most Important Thing. Explains a lot also of our links between the audience, the story and the teller and relative, different the importance at each telling. Also the different kind of audiences and evenings; the joy of reaching each time the "one" who does needed it.

from my Books for Public Speaking3 th Wired for story, Lisa Cron,
Explains, what we expect from stories. How to hook the reader, delving deeper in "why" we are expecting, why it is important to go deep. Not easy to reach all the goals the book talks abut, but explained clearly what we are "wired for", need from a story.

4rd speak like Churchill, stand like Linkoln by James C. Humes
Secrets of history's great speakers. Easy to read, great "power technique"s. First chapter for example is  "The Power of Pause" that I learned to apply and it does give great results.

5th the Story Factor by Annette Simmons,
Influence and persuade at work through the art of storytelling in the enterprise and workplace. Why, how and what kind of stories to give in companies.

6. Be a great standup, by Logan Murray, London. He is also great workshop leader, I did attend three of his workshops. For all budding amateur comedians, the book explains some important basics, with examples of how to develop a "comedian eye".

7. Standup Comedy, the book by Judy Carter, 
First ever book about standup comedy, some great techniques, basics on humour. She has a chapter on the importance of "top the punch", how to use the punch line and add another to it. Very effective!

8. The naked presenter, Garr Reynolds,
Presenting with or without slides, but opening up going deep into your story. Opening yourself to draw the audience into your speech and your point of view.

9. Resonance, Nancy Duarte
Present visual stories that transform the audience.

Another time, I will add three more book to the list. All these books I read and studied and re-read., they all helped me to progress and added to the total. I am still in need to study them again, as at every stage we understand differently.


"When I was ten the war caught up with me" performed Manchester Town hall

"True Stories with Grant Whisky" at Manchester Town hall with 400/500 audience and two big screens showing the performance so all can see it well.

It was from the beginning a decision to tell this story from the eyes of a ten years old me, and do not relate how I see it now with knowledge not even from what I learned a year later.

Another big decision was to add to it a part about "now" and link it with "holding hands" with the past: that leaves all with a warm feeling and also a non told but important second message.
I changed the publication date in memory of 70 years commemoration of survivors.
Asking Advice
Toastmasters to whom I told this story in my different clubs (it was each time from a project Manual speech), and asked advice, all gave me very useful advices.

Where should I stretch to hold the suspense longer, where should I change my face and make more pause, for example. Joanna Yates, producer of Spark London, helped me a lot to shorten and cut from my long initial beginning where I talked, for this story at least, a lot more of my cousin.

Telling it some other time, perhaps I could add back as different blocks can be taken out usually and added depending of the circumstances. But this story I told so many times that I learned it as is, and last year as I went to give a keynote in AYR, West of Scotland, I met two young women on the train and told them the story. It went so easy and they were fascinated.


The power of a song and it's words: their simplicity touches all

The ceremony from Paris savage killing victims held at Invalids begun with this song.

Quand on n'a que l'amour/ A s'offrir en partage/ Au jour du grand voyage/ Qu'est notre grand amour

When we only have love As offer in share
On the day of the great journey That is our great love

When we only have love My love you and me
To burst in joy Every hour and every day

When you only have love To live our promises
Without any other wealth That believe it always

When we only have love To furnish with marvels
And cover with sun The ugliness of the suburbs

When we only have love As unique reason
As unique song And unique assistance

When we only have love To dress in the morning
Poors and small bandits With velvet coats

When we only have love To offer in prayer
For the sickness of the world As simple performer

When we only have love To offer at those
Whose unique fight Is to look for the day

When we only have love To trace a path
And force the destiny At every crossroad

When we only have love To speak to cannons
And only a song To convice the drummer.

Then without having a thing Beside the strenght to love
We'll have in our hands Friends from all the world.


Spark London Anniversary

While Spark London celebrates its 8e anniversary, this fall, I did celebrate my 6th anniversary of my first public storytelling telling a version of the same story, about how I arrived in London, at Hackney Moviehouse's 5th floor "Attick". Full of public, more then 60, wonderfully reacting diverse, great compelling stories.

Johanna Yates, producer with Dave and Matt faithfully still there and having each developed since their own flavour of Spark. Johanna, as usual made us rehearse and gave very valuable feedback and advice, our stories got stronger by it, as usual. She even remembered a detail from 6 years ago that I did not tell this time, having forgotten almost and not giving it importance. I have begun looking for room to share, but no one wanted an old woman with them, so I begin to look for cheep apartment to rent : of course I added it again.

Dave decided the order we come and told us himself the first story, and introduced us, one by one. He is always full of compassion and was a great MC.

Matt send us the sound recorded masterfully so I could see and hear if the audience's reaction to my telling : was it so wonderful as I felt? In my heart and their faces it was warmer.

Matt invited me to the special 8th anniversary of Spark London at the Exmouth Market's Theatre.
"Julie, you bond wonderfully with your audience" a producer wrote me. I think, I did.

This experience made me, and others, remember, how great is to perform with Spark London and how much it brings to each of us.


Top 10 Presentation Mistakes to Avoid: Mistake #35 Super Hero

Be yourself, be authentic, not superspeaker! shows us so well Darren LaCroix.
Ralph Smedley, said the same 100 years ago and we should listen: instead of exlaiming, exagerating (too much) speak as you do to your friends. Or, almost.

A friendly voice and gestures will take us far and into the audience hearts.