helping to develop speaking and leadership skills 
Wokingham Speakers Club

News, April 2015 

The Benefits of the Toastmasters skills 
Amanda Bouch 
21st April 2015 

 
Toastmasters learn far more than simply how to stand and deliver a powerful talk. This was demonstrated at our meeting of 21st April. 
It started with a last-minute change of Toastmaster of the Evening to Amanda Bouch, so that Andrew Sims could deliver an educational speech on closing and complete one part of the Advanced Speaker Silver award he is working towards. Mell Sheppard stepped in at the last minute on the evening to take on the roles of Sergeant at Arms and Evaluator. Adaptability like this is easy when you have built strong skills of time management, team work and collaboration. Also, new member David Wilson showed his willingness to jump in at the deep end at take on the role of Timer, when asked on arrival, and did a great job. I love the way members quickly learn to pull together and trust each other to do what is needed to create a strong club, which delivers for its members. 
 
Speakers were Brian Moffatt, doing project 9 in the CC manual – Speaking to Persuade – and he sought to persuade us to keep an open mind about technological developments that may seem at first to be damaging. Thomas White gave a speech from the Advanced manual ‘Speaking to Inform’ on “Meditation: facts and fiction”. He gave us lots of information on meditation, including in the Q&A and left us feeling we could achieve good results for ourselves through practising meditation. Andrew Sims shared powerful techniques to help us close our speeches memorably – one of the most overlooked elements of speaking. 
 
The evaluators were (in order) Jo Thayer, Therese Edkins and Mell Sheppard, who all gave good analysis for us all to learn from and motivating comments to encourage the speakers to do more. Thomas won Best Speaker and Therese Best Evaluator. 
 
Rachel Tinker led the Table Topics session on the theme of the Queen's birthday, won by John Murphy. Marce Colucci gave helpful tips to each TT speaker in his evaluation. Beverley Christopher took on Grammarian for the first time and discovered that listening attentively to all the speakers is quite demanding! But she gave us accurate and focused feedback. Graeme Hobbs was General Evaluator and picked up on many of the features that make a difference to how the meeting runs. 
 
Great teamwork and inspiring speeches, thanks all! 
 
 
Stand and Deliver 
John Murphy 
7th April 2015 
Toastmaster of the evening, John Murphy, told the audience that on this day in 1739 the infamous highwayman, Dick Turpin was hanged in York for stealing a horse. To provide a theme for the evening the highwayman demand to 'Stand and Deliver' was proffered to encourage everyone who would be speaking. 
 
As there were only three prepared speeches on the agenda the opportunity was taken for Steve to remind the audience of some of the key Toastmaster values that we should adhere to as we develop our skills. 
 
Weightlifters, Fairy tales and Stateswomen provided the theme for our three speeches this evening. Sandra told us why 'It's Never too late' and how she was inspired by a 77 year old female weightlifter. Recalling how being a workaholic led to poor health Sandra told us how she had been inspired to turn her life around knowing that it doesn't matter how old you are to make a difference. 
 
Our next speaker, Christina captivated the audience by telling us how man's best friend, the dog, found its way to man's side. It seems it all began as a 'Carnage in the Jungle' a long time ago. 
 
The final speaker, Amanda reprised a speech by Hilary Clinton that was delivered in 1995. The theme of the speech 'Women's Rights are Human Rights' showed how badly the plight of women has been across the world and what needs to be done to improve it. 
 
Best speaker for the evening was judged to be Christina
 
Table Topics Master, Jo had picked up on the topic of Dick Turpin and invited participants to deliver a topic that questioned how successful a malcontent they would be. Thomas decided that dressing up as an old lady would help him disappear in a crowd, Beverley promptly provided several aliases she could go by, James (one of visitors) wanted to learn from villians that had never been caught, Brian decided that he wanted to be known for saving the world (no pressure there then), Steve wanted to dress in a Poncho as part of the Cool Dudes gang and Paola decided that Ed Milliband was a shady character, especially if he appeared in a Carry On film. 
 
Best Table Topics speaker went to Steve
 
Our speech evaluators were Mell (for Sandra), Paul (for Christina) and Ian (for Amanda). Each provided very useful feedback that will help each speaker do even better next time. 
 
Mell's evaluation was judged to be the best of the evening. 
 
First time General Evaluator, Deborah provided very informative feedback on the evening as a whole and offered some good advice to improve things even more.