Philippe took the Chair at the latest meeting of Wimbledon Speakers Club and led another highly entertaining evening, not least because of the extremely philosophical and thought-provoking topics session!
And we did just that, as Sam took the chair to welcome the audience to an action-packed evening, the highlight of which was the Annual Speech Evaluation Contest, for which we were honoured to have Suzanne Taylor Warren from Chaucer Speakers Club (and former National Evaluation Finalist) in attendance to judge the competition.
After the traditional icebreaker where Sam asked us all to introduce ourselves and tell us about one memorable place we’d been to in our lives, he then moved onto the Topics session, which this week centred around one of his passions – horse racing! Having noted some of the wonderful words and phrases that owners give to their horses, he gave each participant the name of one horse that ran the previous weekend and asked them to speak for 2 minutes in any particular way about that word or phrase. Our Topics Evaluator for the evening, Bilwa, noted the fantastic and inventive responses that were given to all Topics, including ‘Deeds Not Words’ by Katherine, ‘Whatswrongwithyou’ by Debra and ‘Shortbackandsides’ by William, but Michael took the honours for the final time at William Morris House, with his response to ‘Bloody Nose’! Special mentions must also go to our three newcomers on the evening – Anne, Natasha and Roya, who all participated brilliantly on their first visit.
After the brief business session and a cup of tea, it was time for the Main Event. Ben provided the Target Speech for the contest – a Level 3 ‘Mean What You Say’ speech entitled ‘From Duckling To Dolphin’ – where he told the audience of his experience of training for his first triathlon. John, Bilwa and Joseph took part in the contest and, after careful consideration and describing the key things she was looking for in the evaluation, Suzanne announced that Bilwa was this year’s champion. Many congratulations to Bilwa who goes on to represent our club in the next round of the competition. As Sam remarked, our new venue has a large mantelpiece that would look great with a trophy on it……
After some last quick-fire topics, it was time for Michael to close the evening with his general evaluation – a fitting way to bring the curtain down on 20 years at William Morris House. And with that, Debra, our Club Secretary and Founder, closed the door for the final time….
And so now it’s time for pastures new!! We look forward to our next meeting on Wednesday 28th February (kick off 7.30pm) which will take place in our new home of Wimbledon Library (2 minutes walk from Wimbledon train / underground station) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!