Meeting Review! Wednesday January 24th

It was almost standing room only at Wimbledon Speakers Club at this week’s meeting as a bumper crowd were in attendance for the annual Club Topics Contest.

Michael was in the Chair this week and gave us the icebreaker introduction where we all stood up, introduced ourselves and briefly shared a sporting mishap from our lives!

We then moved onto the usual Topics round where Michael went through the alphabet and simply gave participants a word talk about for two minutes on stage (Apples, Catastrophe, Dogs etc) and it was Sangia who ran out as the winner on this occasion, giving a great performance with her given topic of ‘Fried Food’, on only her second visit to the club – well done, Sangia! Sam was Topics evaluator on this occasion and made special mention of both Pung and Ken’s short speeches, noting the great progress that both had made in recent weeks.


Sangia wins this week’s Topics session

We then enjoyed listening to Sanija Limbu giving her maiden speech (Level 1 – ‘Making A Start’) which was given a strong pass by Bilwa, who in turn was making her first speech evaluation. We look forward to watching and hearing both Sanija and Bilwa build upon these great starts as the year unfolds.


Sanija gives her maiden speech at the club

After the break it was time for the main event of the evening – the Club Topics Contest 2018 – and we welcomed back WSC Alumni (and now running the FCA Club London), Barry Watts & Becky Bellars as special guests judges for the competition. The selected word that contestants had to talk about for 2 minutes was ‘measured’ and the judges praised all 9 that took part for the creative way in which they went about the task.


The chosen word for the contest is revealed!

After much deliberation, Barry announced that Arsh would be awarded third place, Ben the runner-up and John the winner for the way in which he used the word to talk about what it’s like to be a millennial in the world right now. Congratulations to all three and good luck to both John and Ben who will go on to represent Wimbledon in the Area Final on Saturday 24th February!


Congratulations and good luck in the Area Final to John!

Katherine rounded up a fantastic evening with the general evaluation, where in particular she praised the way that the Chair had handled proceedings with such a large audience to manage, ensuring that everyone had had the chance to practice their speaking skills.

We look forward to our next meeting on Wednesday 14th February (kick off 7.30pm) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!

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.


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!


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! :)

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