With only three meetings left this calendar year the annual speech competition is fast approaching. This is held on our last meeting of the year which is the 9th of December. The competition is open to all members of Wimbledon Speakers Club regardless of length of membership or experience. The theme will be announced at our first November meeting and will be decided by our immediate past president Michael. We would encourage everyone to have a go as it is great experience. This is also an excellent meeting to attend as you get to see how different speakers tackle the same subject. There will still be the usual opportunity for participation in topics prior to the competition.
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.
Great news for Wimbledon Speakers this morning as our team did us most proud in the London Out Loud Contest.
Claire, Alice and Michael stepped up to share views on the shared topic of ‘Win or Lose… surely it’s the taking part?…’ , and just in case there was any real doubt about what matters, they won!
The standard was high and it was wonderful to see strong teams from City, Camden and Sutton taking part.
Huge thanks to our team for getting involved and to those Wimbledon Speakers who kindly came along to support.