The EBS 60 Second Interview – Mutsuyuki Tokeshi

The EBS 60 Second Interview – Mutsuyuki Tokeshi


Mutsuyuki Tokeshi (Yuki) studied Arabic and Spanish at Girton College, Cambridge and is now working as cabin crew for a major gulf airline. Before taking to the skies he worked as a Harry Potter Tour Guide and performed stand-up on the London comedy circuit.

What brought you to EBS?
I was sitting in the Computer Sciences Library in West Cambridge weeks before my finals, desperately trying to cram in four years worth of neglected Arabic language study, wondering why I hadn’t gotten more into debating or acting, instead of the fun-but-no-doubt-useless activity of university dancing. My latest procrastination coma led me to absent-mindedly googling public speaking clubs in London. I liked the idea of a morning club so I made a vague mental note to check out this ‘Early Bird Speakers’ Club once I inevitably ended up on the dole in London. I finally made it to my first meeting sometime in July 2010. Reece Howe did a CC6 with pirate noises about being the Club Treasurer and Lesley Lear did a speech about the seaside where she kicked off her shoes.

Was it everything you expected?
It was actually far more. Contrary to the stuffy, suit-and-tie type space I was expecting, EBS had a very creative and wild vein running throughout it. People were doing all sorts of crazy things I didn’t know you were allowed to do in a speech. It immediately felt like somewhere I could use as a creative outlet without the fear of looking like an eccentric wannabe Bohemian.

How long were you a Member?
4 years. I was at EBS weeks after I graduated until days before I Ieft for the Middle East in 2014.

Did you have any expectations before you came?
Not really. As I said, I didn’t expect it to be so open to exploring and experimenting with different styles of public speaking.

Were your expectations fulfilled?
Yes. I’ve seen and heard everything. From Nieztche to knob-jokes. Cough..cough..Al.

What surprised you most about EBS?
I’m always pleasantly surprised by how un-boring the meetings are. Somewhere deep inside me there’s a serious doubt as to how interesting I or indeed anyone can be. Yet, every time I go I would be pleasantly surprised by the creativity people would bring to subjects I would have no interest in otherwise. It gave me the confidence to be less scared of what others may think of what I say or do.

What has been your greatest learning as a Toastmaster?
That people are in fact fascinating creatures. That through our own perceptions and experiences of the world we can arrive at unique and intriguing conclusions that when presented in an original style can really inspire us to take action and change our lives.

What is special about EBS?
The refusal to use the official Toastmasters endorsed traffic light contraption. I think it sums us up really. Out of all the clubs I have visited, I feel that EBS is one of the few that has individuals who are truly committed to innovation and trying out new things.

What do you like best about coming to our Club?
The banter. We’re inherently a gossipy bunch of people so it’s always fun to do a bit of post-meeting analysis of what we liked and didn’t. And what goes on outside of meetings. Wink, wink.

What do your friends and family say about you since you joined?
‘Perhaps you should be spending less time on this and looking for a paid-job instead.’

How has becoming a member of EBS affected you/ your life?
It’s confirmed my understanding that deep down, I’m someone who thrives in a creative environment. My mind races when I get a new idea for a speech or how to present an idea in a novel way.

What was your biggest fear before you came?
That I was using this as an excuse to finding a real job.

Is that still your biggest fear?
Errr…No? Although I’m not sure If I’m answering these questions correctly anymore.

How does public speaking impact your life?
I’m naturally a shy, reserved person who struggles to get a word in during group discussions. By the time I have the certitude to say what I’m thinking, the conversation has usually moved on by leaps and bounds. Public speaking gives me a chance to present my ideas without being interrupted by everyone else.

Is there anything else you would rather have been doing on a Thursday morning?
Is this a trick question? Getting paid to be at EBS perhaps.


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