Meeting Review: Wednesday 16th May

Debra training sessionAnother action-packed meeting of Wimbledon Speakers Club last night opened with a short AGM, where Debra was re-elected as Chair for the next year. Congratulations to Debra, Bilwa, Katherine and John for being elected to their various roles – and a huge thanks for volunteering!

With those formalities dealt with swiftly, it was then onto a training session, delivered by Debra, which focused on how to increase our presence on stage. One by one, the audience were invited up to deliver the new salutation ‘Chair, Speakers and Guests!’, with the remaining audience stood right at the back of the room, giving feedback (and encouragement!) on whether the participants could be heard – a very valuable exercise.

Audience at back of the room


With our stage presence skills finely-tuned, Alice – the Chair for the evening, then delivered the Topics session, which was a set of mini debates. The audience were asked to go up in pairs with one member arguing in favour of a statement made by the Chair and the other member arguing against it. Such Topics given included ‘All redheads should be deported to Scotland and Ireland’ (masterfully handled by Joseph and Don), ‘A woman’s place is in the home’ (dealt with great humour by Bilwa and Jake) and ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’, which saw a barnstorming performance from Jan and Ian which secured them the Debra trophy for the meeting!

Jan & Ian

The Topics session was evaluated by Ben who, considering it was the first time he’d tackled this task, gave a brilliant range feedback for all competitors – great encouragement, praise as well as points of improvement – great work, Ben!

After a tea break, it was Rachel’s turn to deliver a Level 4 speech, where the emphasis is on gestures and body language. Rachel chose ‘job-seeking’ as her speech subject, which Bilwa evaluated and gave it a strong pass. Congratulations to Rachel – it’s onto Level 5!


Katherine rounded off the meeting with the general evaluation, declaring it a great success, not least in part due to the fun and highly useful training session and the creativity of the Chair’s Topics.

We look forward to our next meeting on Wednesday 6th June (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!