ASC 2013 National Topics Champion
Michael Ronayne, returned to the competitive stage at the ASC’s (Association of Speakers Clubs) National Speech Contests in Castle Donington on April 26th and walked away crowned National Topics Champion 2013 at the head of a highly accomplished field of UK speakers.
Following on from Katherine Inglis’ victory in the National Evaluation Contest in 2012, it is another highlight in the accomplishments and National standing of Wimbledon Speakers Club.
Michael delivered a very thorough and well received seminar on the Use of Voice to the National Conference delegates in the afternoon, and then went on to ‘walk his talk’ in the evening contest by really showing the conference how it was done.
In recent years Michael has twice won the title of National Speech Champion, but this time he excelled in a competition where the contestants have to speak on a given subject without receiving any prior preparation.
This year each of the Topics contestants was required to speak for 3 minutes on the very short but highly challenging title of ‘Set’. They were given the title at the door of the auditorium and only had the short walk to the stage to prepare their thoughts.
‘When you are given the title it is like being suddenly turned upside down or wrestled to the floor’, said Michael. ‘Your job as a speaker is to right yourself and respond as quickly as possible. Once you have found your balance and direction, a strategy for a short speech should start to form in your head. I view it like having to escape from a small box or freeing yourself from a wresting hold. It is a great skill to develop. It really is thinking on your feet.’
Clearly Michael knows how to ‘set’ a great example to all the UK’s public speakers.