ASC 2013 National Topics Champion

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.

South Eastern District Finals

Wimbledon puts its best foot forward once again. On St Patrick’s Day, Michael (the man in green!) wins the South Eastern District Topics contest and will therefore go on to represent the District at the National Finals over the weekend of April 26th – 28th at Castle Donington near Birmingham. Wimbledon’s other London representative Alice took part in the Speech contest and shared a strong message on the lure of diets in a speech entitled ‘Hope springs eternal’. She came third in a strong field of eight speakers.

London Area Contests

On Saturday February 23rd Wimbledon hosted the finals of the London Area contests.
With a long club tradition behind them and great expectations on them, neither Alice nor Michael disappointed.
In a packed room, Alice (pictured with SE President Ian Price) won the speech contest for the second time in 3 years and Michael came out on top in the Topics contest.
Each will go on to represent London in the SE District Final in Maidstone on March 17th.

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