helping to develop speaking and leadership skills 
Wokingham Speakers Club

News, August 2014 

 
Creative writing to fantasy storytelling 
Therese Edkins 
Notes from our meeting of 19th August 2014 

 
We enjoyed listening to two separate speeches about writing and publishing your own book. Firstly, Paul Chapman gave his maiden speech about the importance of relaxation and his motivation for writing a book about it. Ian Rodwell shared a personal ambition of having a book published, how he researched it and how blogging was a key part of making it happen. 
 
Asha Narashima expressed the virtues of home cooking and Tsitsi Madzinigra told an inspirational story about a boy who dared to follow his dream and won a singing competition. 
 
Having returned from a visit to Normandy, Richard Shearing recounted the tales of getting lost several times in France as well as attending a moving ceremony to mark the centenary of WW1. 
 
Richard Shearing was voted best speaker of the evening. 
 
After a well earned tea break, Carole Connolly led a humorous and lively table topics session by asking members to create a fantasy story line from a character, a place and a thing. Firstly Paul Gardner told us about Cleopatra on a cross road with a trilby hat, Rachel Tinker fascinated us with Van Gogh painting at the top of Mount Everest with his Louis Vitton bag. 
 
Marce Colluci played the two roles of Sherlock and Holmes finding trousers in Edinburgh Castle, Deborah Broadhurst recounted the fantasy tale of Del Boy finding a coffee cake for a Jewish wedding. Sandra Rodwell amused us with her story of Nigella driving her red Ferrari in Brighton. 
 
Rachel Tinker was voted the best table topic speaker. 
 
The team of evaluators gave fluent and comprehensive feedback to the speakers. Mell Sheppard helped Paul with his stage movement and body language, Jo Thayer encouraged Asha not to hide behind her notes. Graeme Hobbs commended Tsitsi on her body movement and flowing story line, Amanda Bouch commended Richard on his vocal variety and suggested more pausing and better use of the French accent with the French words. Steve Catchick recommended to Ian to make the audience feel more motivated through his speech. Mia Towndrow took the role of table topics evalutor and gave useful feedback to the team of fantasy storytellers. 
 
The best evaluator was awarded to Amanda Bouch
 
Our grammarian, Catalina Pedraza gave a precise report on the use of the crutch words and the word of the day. The meeting was completed by generous encouragement to all participants by the General Evaluator, Christina MacGuire who also commended evaluators on their use of mind maps. 
 
Thank you to our timer, Matt Burchett for keeping us in check. It was a pleasure to be Toastmaster of the Evening. 
Therese 
 
 
Impulses generate change, being a tuna is therapy 
Amanda Bouch 
Notes from our meeting of 5th August 2014 
 
We heard about how impulses led to major life decisions for Matt, including moving all the way across the world to New Zealand. Nadir helped us to understand how such changes make us stronger and how to overcome obstacles to change, especially fear of failure. 
 
Mia expounded on the benefits of massage therapy and Catalina got her therapy through singing as a ‘tuna’. We were all thoroughly entranced and entertained by these four speakers, all were excellent and the Best Speaker of the evening was Nadir
 
The evaluators did a good job in giving feedback to the speakers, identifying the many things they did well and picking up on things they could do better, with specific suggestions. Sandra empathised with Nadir, as both of them speak English as a second language and pronunciation and pace is an extra challenge. Richard helped Mia understand how she could use the stage to give herself more space and openness to the audience. Brian’s puns on tuners, notwithstanding, he clearly enjoyed Catalina’s speech and Ian found much to commend in Matt’s speech and recommended more use of the body to speak. 
 
Steve had six Table Topics speakers to evaluate, all responding to Rachel’s (Table Topics Master) theme devised around cars. The Best Table Topics speaker of the evening was Phil Cook, making a welcome reappearance at the club after extended absence for back problems. Steve won the Best Evaluator for his sterling work giving feedback to all six speakers. 
 
Jo offered the word ‘surreptitious’ as the word of the evening and was pleased to report that a few people had integrated this into their speeches. Marce’s general evaluation provided a good overview of the evening, sharing everyone’s pleasure. 
 
Well done to all for a wonderful evening. 
 
Amanda Bouch, Toastmaster of the Evening