An evening of Firsts

We had a great meeting on Wednesday, ably chaired by Michael, who set the topics theme as ‘Firsts’.  While Wimbledon Speakers Club does not dwell in the realms of politics or religion particularly, it was a strong topical reference considering the news around the world that day.  This had followed the briefer introduction session which was centred around, ‘something I did not see coming’…  so there were plenty of interesting anecdotes to listen to, and barely a mention of the word Trump!

Fittingly, new member Neil, also delivered his first speech later on, detailing some personal history and his path to our speakers club.  It was a natural, charming delivery, and immensely easy to listen to.  He then received feedback from first time evaluator, Peter, who clarified his thoughts sincerely and tactfully.  It is a delicate balance, evaluation, and essential to ensure the speaker is as encouraged and supported as they are inspired to develop and make small changes.

So well done to us, and thank you to all contributors!

Join us on Wednesday 14th December, for the annual club speech contest.  All speakers will be speaking to the same subject – Changing Times – and it is bound to be an entertaining, inspiring and different evening.  As always!

See you soon………….

Even better than the Bake Off…

Some of us managed to stay away from the TV culinary challenge of the year on Wednesday, and treated ourselves to a speaking one instead!  It was a fine meeting indeed, where we celebrated the return of newer visitors, and some dear friends, attending after a break. Thank you to all those who took part.

The night was beautifully chaired by Sam who brought warmth, energy and smooth efficiency to proceedings. His topic theme was ‘the best job in the world’ and we all duly took turns to persuade the audience that our career choice was best. Congratulations to Sarah, who won the best topic prize with her great conviction as dinner lady!  Other contenders were the traffic warden, the lorry driver, the night club bouncer, the weatherman, the teacher and tour manager… good fun, and highly original topics.

Michael generously shared his training wisdom and experience in part 2 of the evening, delivering a short perspective on speech preparation, and the integral value of ‘making a point’. It was a reminder that the desire to share stories and anecdotes about oneself is not always the most appealing or relatable part of public speaking!  A story without a point, he explained, is a ramble, and a point without a story is BRUTAL.  We can talk to our audience but how are they going to relate to us?  Examples, contexts, and stories underpin all valid points and bring them to life.  It was super-helpful, and clarified what may seem obvious and yet is often overlooked in speech-making!

Well done to Peter too, who cracked one of the toughest assignments in our programme, in his ‘Use of Humour’ speech.  It was a fine example of how subtle, observational humour is often enough to build and create empathy and rapport with the audience.  Running gags and clever jokes are rarely required;  keep it simple and stay close to your personal style.

We meet again in November, on the 9th and the 23rd, and look forward to seeing everyone there.

img_0961A dinner lady with a difference… well done Sarah!

 

 

 

Wednesday 12th October: new guests and chocolate!

It was a more gentle and reflective meeting last Wednesday, in contrast to the vigour and busy-ness of the previous session.  It’s fascinating how meetings can vary and mood alters, largely due to the group present, but more so I think, to the content of the evening.

Thanks and appreciation go to the 7 new visitors who attended, nearly all of whom spoke for the first time.  Nick will go into WSC history as one of very few who earned the ‘Best Topic’ prize on a first attempt!

We enjoyed 3 terrific prepared speeches this week as well, with 2 of our speakers practicing for other events and occasions, and the 3rd sharing research and learning from a degree course.

It’s so valuable that Wimbledon Speakers Club can offer a safe and supportive environment for people to practice in, before heading out into the world of often bigger, unknown audiences!  Riffi was trialling her speech for a speech competition, and Ollie his, for a charity event in order to raise awareness and funds.  Neil also shared, in another part of the meeting, that he had joined the club as he is getting married next year, and ‘dreading’ the prospect of his speech.

So, many, many reasons to visit a speakers club, and build genuine experience and confidence for all of those opportunities ‘out there’!

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 26th October.  It promises to be a good one.

See you there.

 

dark-choc

One speech was all about this… with real samples… thank you Simone!

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