helping to develop speaking and leadership skills 
Wokingham Speakers Club

News, May 2014 

 
Culture Comes to Wokingham 
Ian Rodwell 
 

The first themed evening was held by Wokingham Speakers on 20 May 2014 to help promote Wokingham Council’s Cultural month. With Club members from all around the globe, the evening was a testament to our own united nations and how well they get on together. 
 
 
Speakers Paul Gardner, Mia Towndrow, Jorge de la Calle, Tsitsi Madzinigra and Nadir Ahmed with Amanda Bouch (VP Education) and Steve Catchick (President) 
Five prepared speeches were presented, all of a very high quality from a project 1 to a project 10 speech. The speakers were from Aden (Nadir Ahmed); Philippines (Mia Towndrow); Zimbabwe (Tsitsi Madzingra); Spain (Jorge de la Calle) and from just around the corner (Paul Gardner). Costumes were worn and we learned about other cultures. A lot of laughter and harmony was in evidence, and Tsitsi was voted Best Speaker of the evening. 
 
In order that speakers receive specific feedback to help improve their presentations and to recognise their strong points, each speech is evaluated. The evaluators this evening were Brian Moffatt (Nadir); Therese Edkins (Mia); Mell Sheppard (Tsitsi); Christina MacGuire (Paul); and Steve Catchick (Jorge). The people present voted Mell the Best Evaluator. 
 
In-between the speakers and the evaluators there was a cultural themed table topics session where members and guests are invited to give a short speech on the spot. Jo Thayer was the Table Topics Master for the first time and she did a sterling job. The audience was very supportive of all the table topics speakers, willing them on to give their best. 
 
Table topics speakers this evening were Sandra Rodwell, Jenifer Compton, Asha Prasanna, Richard Shearing, and Cherif Hemia. The best table topics speaker on the night was Richard. 
 
In order that the evening runs smoothly members volunteer to carry out roles during the evening. Tonight the role players were: Ian Rodwell (Toastmaster of the Evening); Timer (Catalina Pedraza); and the Grammarian (Richard Moore). The entire evening is evaluated by a General Evaluator and tonight this was diligently conducted by Amanda Bouch
 
The success of the evening was evidenced by the level of talking in the break and after the meeting. No one wanted to go home! Or to the pub! However we all eventually set off into the night with our spirits lifted, our knowledge of other cultures expanded, and our chuckle muscles fully exercised. 
 
Please come and meet with us at the next meeting of Wokingham Speakers and join in the fun! 
 
 
New Committee Elected 6th May 2014 
Steve Catchick 
 
We had a very vibrant evening, commencing on time at 7.30pm with no fewer than 10 visitors. The first part of the evening was the club's very first AGM, facilitated by President Steve Catchick. 
 
The committee had submitted their reports and sent to the club in advance. They came to the front to answer any questions on their role for the previous year. Steve thanked and praised the committee for their effort and success in building such a vibrant and successful club. The new committee roles were the last item on the agenda. The new committee was voted in as follows: - 
 
President Amanda Bouch 
VP Education Ian Rodwell 
VP Membership Paul Gardner 
VP Public Relations Therese Edkins 
Treasurer Jo Thayer 
Secretary Jo Thayer 
SAA Mia Towndrow 
 
With the business of the AGM closed, the meeting moved onto the speaking element, with President Steve Catchick also being the Toastmaster of the evening. 
 
Three speakers were scheduled, but due to last minute illness on the day, only 2 were able to attend. Nevertheless, we were entertained by two very able speeches by Jenifer Compton, on rudeness in public transport, and Richard Shearing. 
 
To make up for a speaker dropping out, we managed to involve more members in the impromptu speaking session (table topics), eight speakers in all, ably facilitated by Marce Colluci
 
Our evaluators gave an excellent summing up and evaluation of the speeches, TsiTsi Madzinigra evaluating Jenifer Compton and Mandy Sunner evaluating Richard Shearing
 
Mia Towndrow volunteered to evaluate the table topics, the first time she had done so, and did an excellent job of evaluating 8 speakers, so much so that she won the best evaluator award. 
 
The evening was rounded up by Paul Gardner, who as general evaluator evaluated the whole evening, and the evaluators.