Speaking Stars

Congratulations to Lissi, who won the annual speech contest at Wimbledon Speakers Club.

Up against six other experienced contestants, all of whom shared the title of ‘Changing Times’, Lissi delivered an original and witty reflection on her career path.  Together with Peter who took 2nd place, they will go on to represent Wimbledon at the Area contests in February.

There is still lots of opportunity for every one to practice at our first meeting of 2017, on Wednesday 11th January.

Why not have a go at any of the many speaking roles and opportunities available, and start the new year with strong resolutions and good intentions?!

Hope to see you there!



Well done, Lissi.



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!




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