Philippe took the Chair at the latest meeting of Wimbledon Speakers Club and led another highly entertaining evening, not least because of the extremely philosophical and thought-provoking topics session!
After a warm welcome, Debra used a box of trivia cards that she had received as a Christmas present as the basis of both the icebreaker as well as the topics round. The icebreaker asked us all to recall a ‘senior moment’ that we’d once had – no shortage of answers there!
A wonderful variety of topics saw the audience provide 2-minute impromptu speeches on such subjects as ‘how to make a good cup of tea’, ‘unexpected item in the baggage area’ and ‘first impressions count’, with Arsh taking home the trophy on this occasion, much to the delight of his family in attendance! Bilwa provided an exemplary display of topics evaluation (as one would expect from an award-winner!), giving each of the participants praise as well as a suggested improvement, to help us all hone our speaking skills.
The second half saw us move into the big main room in the library and onto the main stage for the annual ‘Parliamentary Debate’, with the Chair quickly morphing into the role of Madam Speaker for proceedings! There were two mini debates (one on the role of the British Monarchy and one on the required etiquette of visitors to London) with 3 speakers on each side arguing for and against. The format worked very well and kept the audience engaged throughout – many cheered, jeered and threw impromptu questions at the speakers to keep them on their toes!
Sam rounded off the evening with the general evaluation, declaring the evening a great success – a remark that was met with resounding approval from those in attendance!
We look forward to our next meeting on Wednesday 21st March (kick off 7.30pm) at Wimbledon Library (2 minutes walk from Wimbledon train / underground station – entrance via the automatic side door on the left of the building) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!
And we did just that, as Sam took the chair to welcome the audience to an action-packed evening, the highlight of which was the Annual Speech Evaluation Contest, for which we were honoured to have Suzanne Taylor Warren from Chaucer Speakers Club (and former National Evaluation Finalist) in attendance to judge the competition.
After the traditional icebreaker where Sam asked us all to introduce ourselves and tell us about one memorable place we’d been to in our lives, he then moved onto the Topics session, which this week centred around one of his passions – horse racing! Having noted some of the wonderful words and phrases that owners give to their horses, he gave each participant the name of one horse that ran the previous weekend and asked them to speak for 2 minutes in any particular way about that word or phrase. Our Topics Evaluator for the evening, Bilwa, noted the fantastic and inventive responses that were given to all Topics, including ‘Deeds Not Words’ by Katherine, ‘Whatswrongwithyou’ by Debra and ‘Shortbackandsides’ by William, but Michael took the honours for the final time at William Morris House, with his response to ‘Bloody Nose’! Special mentions must also go to our three newcomers on the evening – Anne, Natasha and Roya, who all participated brilliantly on their first visit.
After the brief business session and a cup of tea, it was time for the Main Event. Ben provided the Target Speech for the contest – a Level 3 ‘Mean What You Say’ speech entitled ‘From Duckling To Dolphin’ – where he told the audience of his experience of training for his first triathlon. John, Bilwa and Joseph took part in the contest and, after careful consideration and describing the key things she was looking for in the evaluation, Suzanne announced that Bilwa was this year’s champion. Many congratulations to Bilwa who goes on to represent our club in the next round of the competition. As Sam remarked, our new venue has a large mantelpiece that would look great with a trophy on it……
After some last quick-fire topics, it was time for Michael to close the evening with his general evaluation – a fitting way to bring the curtain down on 20 years at William Morris House. And with that, Debra, our Club Secretary and Founder, closed the door for the final time….
And so now it’s time for pastures new!! We look forward to our next meeting on Wednesday 28th February (kick off 7.30pm) which will take place in our new home of Wimbledon Library (2 minutes walk from Wimbledon train / underground station) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!