helping to develop speaking and leadership skills 
Wokingham Speakers Club

News, March 2014 

Lights, camera, contest 
Mell Sheppard 

The 18th March was a momentous occasion for Wokingham Speakers Club, as we hosted our first ever International and Evaluation Speech Contest. 
Contest Chair Mell Sheppard and Chief Judge, Amanda Bouch ensured everything was ship shape and Bristol fashion as we were entertained in the first half of the evening by our rehearsed speech contestants; Paul Gardner, Therese Edkins, Ian Rodwell and Steve Catchick. 
Paul Gardner was up first with his speech “The Killer That Stalks Us All” , an insightful account of the dangers of eating too much sugar. Steve Catchick presented us a speech entitled “Gap Years Are Far Too Good For Kids”, a motivational argument, encouraging us to seize the moment and accept change within our lives. Ian Rodwell gave a beautiful presentation, about the unfortunate death of his best friend many years ago and what he learnt from that. Ian Rodwell’s speech was entitled “Wally’s Guide To Tragic News”. Finally Therese Edkins took the stage with her speech, “All About Will”, in which she demonstrated the importance of will power in order to reach your dreams. 
A fabulous first half and after a short break, we were back and ready for our second half entertainment, the Evaluation Contest. Guest Speaker, Paoloa Kathuria entertained us with a speech, entitled, “Why Is Your Hair Blue?” and our Evaluators were given five minutes to write up their notes and then return and present their feedback to the audience. 
Steve Catchick, Paul Gardner, Ian Rodwell and Marce Collucci competed and all gave fine Evaluations, including useful recommendations and positive commendations. 
After a short break (which included Therese playing us a few classics from the very old and much out of tune piano!!) the results were ready to be announced. 
The Winner of the International Speech Contest was..... Therese Edkins. In Second Place was Ian Rodwell
The Winner of the Evaluation Contest was.... Steve Catchick. Second was Marce Collucci
Both first and second place will go through to the Area Round on the 5th April. Unfortunately Marce is unable to attend so Ian Rodwell will represent Wokingham Speakers in his place. 
Another great evening, we have officially popped our international cherry (!) and we wish all of our contestants the best of luck at the next round. 
An evening of learning 
4th March 2014 
Therese Edkins 
The members enjoyed an exceptional evening of learning at Wokingham Speakers Club which commenced with an educational speech about contest evaluations by Christina MacGuire. Christina is a seasoned evaluator at Toastmasters and she explained eloquently the art of evaluation. This speech was very timely as the Club will be holding its first evaluation contest in two weeks' time. 
Deborah Broadhurst was the second speaker to the stage who gave her inaugural icebreaker speech entitled “Learning to ski” whereby the audience got to know about Deborah's background, upbringing and of course the ski-ing. Mandy Sunner enlightened us with her speech “Driving Experience” and got us thinking about our own highs and lows behind the wheel. We also heard from Jo Thayer who delivered her speech “Penalised?”, giving us historical information about the penal system and providing thought provoking statements about life behind bars. 
Jo Thayer won the award for best speaker. 
Our breakmaster, Brian Moffat duly served refreshing tea and coffee before we returned to our seats. 
Our Table Topics Master was Carole Connolly who brought her own distinctive style to warming up the audience. In this instance, we all practised controlled breathing for a second or too which seemed to inspire the impromptu speakers who gave lively, spirited and humorous speeches. Carole adopted the role of a fairy godmother and granted wishes of different natures. Richard Shearing spoke about the advice he would give himself at the age of 18, Catalina Pedraza travelled back in time, Paul Gardner chose three famous people to take to the pub. Richard Moore was given the magic of having any job in the world and Monica Horten had a minute in which to talk to the whole world. 
Best Table Topic speaker went to Monica Horten. 
The next part of the evening turned to evaluations which were expertly delivered by Rachel Tinker, Monica Horten, Steve Catchick and Amanda Bouch. The award for best evaluator went to Amanda Bouch. 
It was then time for the Grammarian, Marce Colucci to stop his intense listening to provide feedback to the speakers on their use of language and grammar. This was followed by Mell Sheppard who as General Evaluator, commented on the evening as a whole and on the evaluators in particular. 
The Timer for the evening was Ian Rodwell who monitored the time and assisted with achieving a prompt finish. 
My thanks go to all of you who made it another fast and furious evening of speaking at Wokingham Speakers