helping to develop speaking and leadership skills 
Wokingham Speakers Club

News, June 2013 

 
Information, humour, body language 
Notes from our June 18th meeting 
Nazeer Mohammed 
 
All the above were played out on this evening. The audience had the opportunity to enjoy various speaking styles, which were followed by impressive evaluation speeches. 
 
We started with Rachel Tinker on project 7 from CC manual “Research you topic”; she took us into the era of the Iron Lady (Mrs Thatcher) with lots of information, much of which is little known and which came as news and information. A well chosen subject. 
 
Then it was time for chortles and laughs for a speech injected with humour, describing his own experience of facing an Aussie Doc and the possibility of surgery. Ian Rodwell, speaking from the Advanced Manual Project One with a speech entitled “King Edward VII & I”, vividly described his pain when poked by the crutch of the patient in the next bed. 
 
We were then moved to consider the mother of all problems: the economic recession and the dramatic downturn in consumer spending as a result of job losses; and how a bright idea of voluntary work may bring consumerism back again - to the relief of politicians. Faisal Mooraby spoke from the Advanced Manual, his speech entitled “The Press Conference”, with members of the audience donning the hats of reporters, ensuring Faisal got the taste of a real press conference. 
 
Finally the club’s president Steve Catchick decided to revisit Project Five from the Competent Communicator's Manual: “Body language” with an interesting speech title, “Life is a gamble”. He explained the importance of feedback, and its purpose; internalising the suggestions and changing. What else could be a better test-bed than Las Vegas to check it out, if one is improving as a result of feedback. Remember Steve’s strategy of money management if you are in Vegas! 
 
Best speaker award went to Ian Rodwell
 
The evaluators provided their suggestions with clear and concise structure and confident delivery, at times with examples and experiences which matched those of the speakers. Jorge de la Calle, Paul Gardner, Mell Sheppard and Christina MacGuire all showed us their skills, the importance of the evaluator's role and the gift of feedback. 
 
Mell Sheppard was voted best Evaluator. 
 
The evening was further enhanced by Table Topics conducted by Phil Cook, who picked an ever popular theme “party”. One of our guests, Tsitsi surprised us with her poise and confidence taking away the best TT speaker award. 
 
Amanda Bouch was the evaluator for the Table Topics session and was quick to pick the trend in the TT speakers' approaches and emphasised the importance of organising one's thoughts in these situations. 
 
Therese Edkins as Timer helped guide the speakers in their time management and Cathy Wells as Grammarian (word of the evening “Chortle”) quietly but clearly observed all talks highlighting crafty phrases, alliterations and other good usages of language. 
 
In the end the General Evaluator Cathy Richardson, who is president of Camberley Speakers Club, spoke on the whole programme, from the planning stages to the end, pointing out practical and useful changes and she was clearly impressed with the way we greet important guests! 
 
And I had the opportunity of being the Toastmaster of the Evening. A great place to learn and mingle with fellow members. 
 
 
Small successes on the road to big achievements 
Notes from our June 4th meeting 
Amanda Bouch 
 
 
Teabags, starts, villains and spies – what do they have in common? At first glance nothing! ….. they were all memorable aspects of the main speeches we heard this evening. Just goes to show what a diverse range of topics we cover and I’m always delighted by the way Toastmasters both entertain and educate. 
 
As Toastmaster of the Evening, I’d chosen the theme of small achievements on the journey to success, mainly because I hoped this would be the meeting when we reached the minimum number of members needed to charter with Toastmasters International and that would be a critical achievement on our journey to become an outstanding speakers club. Also I was reminded that 4 June 1913 was the day Emily Wilding Davison stepped out in front of the King’s horse at Epsom races to protest on behalf of female suffrage. This was one of the key incidents in that campaign and a turning point, so she didn’t die in vain. 
 
We enjoyed a special talk on Emotional Intelligence by Karen Szulakowska, who had presented a workshop on this topic at the conference in Torquay. This went down so well, Amanda is planning to organise an extra workshop evening with Karen doing her full EI session and a session on Humorous speaking, to help members prepare for the upcoming Humorous Speech contest in September. 
 
Prepared speeches were presented by Gary Cranford (Icebreaker) - you wouldn’t know Gary was a Liverpool lad from his accent! - Paul Gardner (#3), who spoke on King Juan Carlos of Spain and both his heroic achievements and when he’s a ‘villain’. Jorge de la Calle, who told us about his namesake Jorge Juan, who was a naval engineer and spied on the English ship building industry, before designing a faster and more threatening warship for Spain. Best speaker was Paul Gardner. 
 
The evaluators – Therese Edkins, Nazeer Mohammed and Sandra Rodwell – all did good work in both preparing interesting evaluation speeches and in giving helpful feedback and recommendations we can all learn from. Best evaluator was Therese Edkins – with her first evaluation … go girl! 
 
Table Topics (impromptu speaking) was led by Trevor Jones and he invited up both members and a couple of visitors, who did really well in responding to the topic and standing up to speak at their first meeting. Trevor’s Topics were stimulating and accessible and everyone spoke well. Best Table Topic speaker was Faisal Mooraby
 
The atmosphere was buzzing as the room was full – we had 5 guests attend and 4 of them signed up to join us – welcome Jo Thayer, Mandy Sunner, Anthony Spears and Carole Connolly
What a night☺ 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wokingham Speakers listening intently
The audience listening intently 
Steve Catchick and body language
Steve Catchick spoke on body language 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Trevor Jones leading Table topics
Trevor leading Table Topics