The EBS 60 Second Interview – Rafael Henderson

The EBS 60 Second Interview – Rafael Henderson


Rafael is a former VPE (Vice President – Education) at Early Bird Speakers and he lives in Wandsworth. He is a senior project manager in financial services and is currently working on the ‘ring-fencing’ of a large UK bank.  In his spare time, he likes the great outdoors and has plans in 2015 to enter the Dragon Gran Fondo, a 225km cycle race in the Brecon Beacons and climb for the 2nd time Mont Blanc. He also hopes to attempt some stand up comedy and complete his CC

What brought you to EBS?
Former EBS member and much esteemed George Metcalfe.  He is a family friend and I had met with him regarding interview advice. He suggested attending Early Birds and described the benefits  and what they would do for me,  building confidence, improving  presentation and vocal skills and it greatly appealed to me.

Was it everything you expected?
Yes and No.  I thought it would be formal, straight and rigid, and I was pleasantly surprised by the warm, open and friendly environment and all the diverse backgrounds and makeup of the members.  I also liked the latent talent and natural skills of the members whether they were at level CC1 (Competent Communicator Manual Levels), 10 or those going for gold, especially that they didn’t seem to even recognise it themselves and that everyone wanted to learn more and constantly improve.

How long have you been a Member?
Just over 2 years

Did you have any expectations before you came?
Yes, that I would be a CC10 in the 1st year, without realising how many others want to do speeches as well and that you don’t need to be CC10 in the first year and can still improve just by watching others

Were your expectations fulfilled?
Yes I’m still not a CC10 yet and yes I still feel I am learning by watching and listening to the other members… and guests

What surprised you most about EBS?
That I’m still being surprised almost every week

What has been your greatest learning as a Toastmaster?
When I listen to other peoples stories, It reminds me to never give up and keep believing in myself to make changes in life

What is special about EBS?
The venue, its reputation and the talent and attitude of all the members

What do you like best about coming to our Club?
I have visited several clubs and so far I am still most impressed by Early Bird Speakers

What do your friends and family say about you since you joined?
That I have definitely improved in my speaking but most comments have come from colleagues and senior management at work

How has becoming a member of EBS affected you/ your life?
It has helped get me out of a hole when I was having a terrible year back in 2013

What was your biggest fear before you came?
I sincerely tend not to have the types of fears addressed by EBS and Toastmasters, mine are more straightforward such as being in the wrong part of town at the wrong time or being stuck in the wild with Lions, Tigers or Bears without my ruby slippers to magic me out of there

Is that still your biggest fear?
Yes, but I don’t mind wearing the ruby slippers anymore

How does public speaking impact your life?
It makes one stand out from the crowd and puts one at a significant advantage

Is there anything else you would rather be doing on a Thursday morning?
Not that can be printed here ;o)

Our Club Mission
To provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment to foster self-confidence and personal growth where every member can develop communication and leadership skills. Join Us!