helping to develop speaking and leadership skills 
Wokingham Speakers Club

News, January 2016 

Jo Thayer 
19th January 2016 

A full house of members and visitors braved the cold weather to join us for another evening of great speaking and merriment. 
With a full programme of speakers, the evening commenced with Nadir Ahmed. Giving a speech using the skills on vocal variety, Nadir talked about his business specialism, IT. 
Also giving a speech using vocal variety, Brian Moffatt's speech called "the great timesheet" entertained the audience on a poem he created for his Scottish HQ. 
The next speaker was Monika White who gave her first speech, the icebreaker to the club. With a title "east meets west", Monika treated us to a glimpse of her childhood growing up in the Czech Republic. 
Lastly, Thomas White used great emotion in his speech called "a used bus ticket, what is it good for", relating the incident in 1982 when he wrote down the telephone number of a beautiful young lady who later became his wife. Thomas was awarded best speaker. 
Monika receiving her icebreaker award from President, Mell 
Asha led the impromptu speaking section of the evening, asking a variety of members to speak on various aspects of new year's resoltuions. The best table topic speaker was awarded to Andrew Sims
This was followed by a flurry of speech evaluations by Amanda Bouch, Rachel Tinker, Karen Marshall, Therese Edkins and Deborah Broadhurst. The best evaluation was awarded to Therese. 
Jo gave her thanks to the speakers, timer, grammarian and evaluators who all contributed to making the evening a roaring success!! 
Steve Catchick 
5th January 2016 
President Mell Sheppard opened the first meeting of the year with her usual warm and energetic style, welcoming members and guests, and inviting guests to introduce themselves, before handing over to Toastmaster of the evening, Steve Catchick. 
Steve kick started the year with a full programme of 5 speeches, 3 of which were from the advanced storytelling manual. 
After introducing the team for the night, Steve set the pace for the evening, and ensured at all times the energy and attentiveness was high to support and encourage all speakers. 
As it was the first week of the new year, Steve selected a theme based on change - and asked all the 5 speakers ‘what change you would like to see in your life, business, or environment?’. 
Our first Speaker was Ray Kin Fai, who gave his Icebreaker speech. His change for the year is to be a good chiropracter and his speech was about the changes in his life to date. 
Next was Robert Okao, who wanted to learn to slow down, and use more pauses in his speech this year. His speech title was “a cup of tea that very nearly cost me dearly”. He told us of his upbringing in Uganda, and how fetching milk for his family caused him to run into rebel troops, who threated him with an AK47 rifle, something I hope none of us would ever experience in our lives. 
Our third speaker was Therese Edkins, speaking from the advanced story-telling manual, entitled “The Journey". The change she wanted for this year was in her waistline and fitness, due to too much good food and wine over Christmas! 
She told us how a trip with her mother, and how switching trains at the platform, actually backfired as the delayed train left before hers. However, it turned out to be a blessing, due to an incident which passengers on the first one would have witnessed. Therese was awarded best speaker. 
Our fourth speaker was Asha Narisimha, also speaking from the storytelling manual. Her speech title was “Honesty is the best policy”. She gave a fable about how keeping a promise, even though the expected outcome was to go back to face an adversary, because of a promise to return, ended up with the adversary acknowledging courage and integrity and letting it’s prey go free.  
Our fifth and fina speaker was our VP education, John Murphy, with a speech entitled “Greta’s Tale”, about a young girl who was kidnapped into slavery, and escaped from her captors to start a new life. John gave his speech sitting down, and had an emotional impact on the audience. 
John gave a holistic answer to change, saying he would like the recent medical breakthroughs to accelerate and make a real difference to those who suffer from disabling medical conditions. 
After a break, Steve handed over the table topics mistress, Amanda Bouch, for some impromptu speaking. Amanda kept to the theme of change, and the change she wanted to see for herself was for a new coaching tool she had invested in to prove successful for her business and her clients. Best table topic speaker was James, visiting from Ascot Speakers. 
We then went on to the evaluation section with Deborah Broadhurst evaluated Ray. Daniel Roberts evaluated Robert. Graeme Hobbs evaluated Therese. Brian Moffatt evaluated Asha. Mell Sheppard evaluated John and Marce Colucci evaluated the 4 topics speakers. All the evaluators gave excellent evaluations, showing just how strong the club has grown in quality of feedback over the 3 years since we formed. Mell was awarded best evaluator. 
The grammarian, Karen Marshall gave a report on language used, before handing over the general evaluator, Beverley Christopher, who gave a terrific report on the evening and feedback on those who had not been evaluated, before handing back to the TME, Steve Catchick. Steve thanked all for keeping the energy up all evening, and supporting all speakers. 
Finally Steve handed back to President Mell Sheppard, who handed out the awards, and asked for comments for members and guests before closing the meeting.