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 13th September

Wimbledon Speakers Club met back up again last night after the Summer break for a fun-packed evening chaired by club founder, Debra Owen-Hughes.

debra

Debra in command!

Three brand new visitors were welcomed on the night, all of whom were looking to improve their public speaking skills – there’s no better place!

After an ice-breaker where we each stood for 30 seconds to say what we’d do with the extra half hour in our lives now that we’ve decided to shorten our meetings slightly, it was onto the topics session.

As Chair (and by default, as Topics Chair!), Debra dished out 2-minute speeches that we had to make on various subjects, ranging from imagining we were giving a ‘best man’ speech for a friend at his ninth wedding, to congratulating a colleague on his retirement at aged 87! Katherine took the honours after delivering the topic she was given with aplomp – changing career from police dog handler to yoga instructor!

katherine

Well done, Katherine!

After a cup of tea and a custard cream, the second half of the evening saw an excellent prepared on nutrition and the impact of negative thoughts on diet / weight loss from Simone, followed by a ‘masterclass’ on how best to handle the topics session from Michael. As a 4-time UK Public Speaking Champion, there’s no better person to learn from.

simone

Great speech. Great trainers, Simone!

The evening finished with another quick-fire topics session based on ‘song titles’ followed by an excursion to the pub next door for a drink to reflect on another fun and successful evening at the club.

bar

See you all at the next meeting on Wednesday 27th September. Kick off 7.30pm. Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!

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