Meeting Review! Wednesday 13th December

Wednesday evening saw the last meeting of the calendar year at Wimbledon Speakers Club and the annual speech competition!

WSC team photo

The meeting opened as ever with icebreaker introductions where everyone had to declare their favourite Xmas song, with Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas’ running out a clear winner!

We then moved onto the Topics round which this meeting had a festive theme, but with a twist! The Chair asked us all to start talking about our love for certain festive items such as brussel sprouts, New Year’s Eve and Christmas jumpers, but as soon as she rang the bell, the contestants had to switch direction and say how much they hated those very same items! This proved to be very entertaining with the bell sometimes ringing mid-sentence and speakers having to change tack very quickly! The winner was Arsh – his second time since recently joining the club.

Arsh topics winner

It was then onto the main event of the evening – the speech contest – where we had 5 speakers who had chosen either ‘sowing seeds’ or ‘topsy turvy’ as the title of their speech. Ben kicked things off and chose topsy turvy which he used to talk about the London riots in 2011 and how he was living in New Cross at the time and the way they affected him and his opinion of London.

Frank came up next choosing sowing seeds, where he talked about his time working at Sainsbury’s in Croydon with people from different backgrounds and how he would love to give us all types of fruit and veg.

It was then Jo’s turn to speak, again with sowing seeds, where he gave various examples of how sowing seeds of change in his way of thinking have changed his life.

John chose sowing seeds and used this title to tell us about the three celebrity guests he would like to invite for dinner – Carol Vorderman, Jeff Stelling and Sir Michael Parkinson. The common theme here was how successful they have each became in their respective roles despite not having any contacts within the industry and how that was inspiring to John.

Last but not least came Josie, who spoke about the importance of sowing seeds for the future to create a positive change for yourself and the world and how her father arrived in the country with little more than a bag of clothes – this taught Josie that each person has everything they need to make a success of their lives. This proved to be a very thoughtful and inspirational speech which won the contest, as chosen by long-standing ASC member Gwyn Redgers, who provided a comprehensive speech evaluation. It was great to have such a stalwart of the ASC joining us on the evening.

Josie speech contest winner

A thoroughly enjoyable and successful evening was rounded off in traditional style, with a Christmas drink in the Antoinette Pub next door!

We look forward to meeting back once again in the new year on Wednesday 10th January (kick off 7.30pm) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!

 

Meeting Review! Wednesday 22nd November

Religion, Sex and Politics. The three subjects that Speakers Clubs should never go anywhere near. But that’s exactly what we had yesterday evening* in an explosive, blockbuster meeting chaired by Club founder, Debra!

Debra in the Chair

The traditional icebreaker saw Debra ask us to name one thing that we wouldn’t mind losing, with the audience giving answers such as their gardens, their sense of time and their noisy next-door neighbour! This warmed us up nicely for the Topics session where we were all given a discussion point on one of the taboo subjects of Religion, Sex and Politics. Despite the seriousness of some of the themes, it was all very light-hearted, great fun and and an undoubted success.

Michael's topic

Big issues of the day (as well as of yesteryear) were confronted by the eager audience who got well and truly stuck into the merits of Margaret Thatcher and Jeremy Corbyn, the scale of the housing crisis and real value of money, and the worthiness of charity CEO’s enormous pay packets. It was Don Bishop who came away with the trophy for best Topic of the evening, with his analysis of his namesake Donald Trump’s first year in office.

Don

How could we possibly follow this? Well in true Wimbledon Speaker Club-style we did just that with an engaging second half that saw Neil give his Level 4 speech, which saw him have to focus on the use of gestures and body language. Neil made a great choice of subject matter for the speech – overcoming his fear of scuba diving – which saw him able to use a wide array of gestures as he described being fitted with his diving kit and making the leap overboard! Sam evaluated Neil’s speech and gave him a solid pass, but with encouragement to take the stabilisers off and dispense of the lectern for future speeches.

Lissy then followed with an education session on the best way to structure a speech. As one would expect with such an experienced public speaker, Lissy gave us all some invaluable advice on the most engaging and logical ways to get from A-Z in speech structure and cleverly used props and a reference to the tale of Little Red Riding Hood in order to illustrate her key points.

It was left to Phillipe to round off the evening with the general evaluation which he did so in fine style and heralding the meeting as a roaring success! And with that, the audience made their way next door to the pub to enjoy a post-meeting tipple!

Philippe

We look forward to meeting once again on Wednesday 13th December (kick off 7.30pm) for the annual speech competition and for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!

*Shhhhhh don’t tell the ASC! :)

Meeting Review! Wednesday 8th November

Peter took to the Chair last night as another bumper crowd turned out at Wimbledon Speakers Club in order to practice and make progress with their speaking skills.

After an icebreaker session where we were asked to introduce ourselves and mention one thing in life that we’d not yet done (Skydiving and watching Game of Thrones were both referred to more than once!), it was onto the Topics session, where Peter cleverly devised a ‘film’ theme, giving us all topics based on titles of some of the Top 75 British Films Of All Time! ‘Fish Tank’, ‘Don’t Look Now’ and ‘Under My Skin’ were examples of the titles given and it was young Arsh, on only his second visit to the Cub who was voted to have given the best Topic with his response to ‘A Matter Of Life & Death’ – well done Arsh! It’s exciting to have so many talented young speakers joining the Club recently.

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The brief Business Session from Katherine saw her reveal the Title of the forthcoming annual Club speech competition, to be held in December. And this year participants have two titles to choose from – ‘Sowing Seeds’ and ‘Topsy Turvy’ – everyone is free to enter so let Katherine know if you’d like to give it a go!

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The second half of the evening saw two prepared speeches – a Level 2 from Rachel where she painted a wonderful and vivid picture of what the country of Colombia is like, as well as a Level 4 from Bilwa about what it takes to be lucky in life. Both speeches were given a firm pass from adjudicators, Joseph and Katherine and we look forward to hearing from both Rachel and Bilwa at their next respective levels.

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Michael rounded the evening off with the general evaluation, giving some great feedback on what we all did well as well as some tips on how we could get even better!

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We look forward to meeting once again on Wednesday 22nd November (kick off 7.30pm) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!

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