helping to develop speaking and leadership skills 
Wokingham Speakers Club

News, October 2013 

 
From Charter to Contest 
Thoughts on the joys of competitive speaking 
Therese Edkins 
 
This is the inaugural year of existence for the club and what a rapid and exciting journey we are on. 
 
In the space of the first 10 months, Wokingham Speakers has been chartered, visited by the Mayor of Wokingham and now has just completed its first speech contest. Whilst public speaking is at the heart of what we do, delivering a speech as part of a contest takes the members into a new environment. One with a competitive element. 
 
Wokingham Speakers held its humorous speech and table topics speech contest on 17th September 2013 where I won best speaker. This entitled me to represent Wokingham Speakers at the area contest on 5th October 2013 where I would deliver the same humorous speech and compete against representatives from the Toastmaster clubs from Maidenhead, Windsor and Chilterns. 
 
For the table topics contest, Amanda Bouch won best speaker and Marce Colucci came second, both would represent Wokingham speakers at the area contest. 
 
I delivered my speech entitled "How to win friends and irritate people" and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Mostly as I had already given the speech to my club so it was a chance to improve upon my performance. Notably, a number of my colleagues from Wokingham speakers, Jen Compton, Cathy Wells, Paul Gardner, Jorge de la Calle, Mell Sheppard, Ian and Sandra Rodwell took time out of their Saturday mornings to come down to support Amanda, Marce and myself. 
 
It certainly helped, as I won second place. (Editor's Note: Deservedly so!) 
 
The humorous speech contest was won by Chris Boden from Maidenhead who is invited to perform at the divisional contest on 19th October. In fact, he also won the table topics contest which shows what an accomplished speaker he is. 
 
Impressive Icebreakers and Healthy Computing 
Notes from our meeting on 1st October 2013 
 
 
Another fun and energetic at Wokingham speakers, facilitated this evening by President Steve Catchick – who was the Toastmaster of the evening. 
 
Initially with 5 speakers planned, two dropped out for family reasons and ill health, leaving us with three speakers on the night. 
 
This did not deter, and Steve stepped up and filled the gap with a 10-minute impromptu education slot, on how to use structures in impromptu speaking. 
 
We had two excellent icebreaker speeches, by Gareth Smith talking about his journey, and his job as an IT manager 
 
Himanshu Sahni then gave his speech entitled “I bit off more than I could chew and chewed as fast as I could”. An intriguing title, as he spoke about his journey, and how he ended up in England. 
 
If we hadn’t been told it was Gareth’s and Himanshu’s first speech, no one would have realised it. Both were confident, delivered with no notes and impressive stage presence, and were well structured chronologically. 
 
The final speaker was Cathy Wells, who gave a very professional speech, about her profession. Cathy is a clinical massage therapist, and gave a speech entitled “A guide to Healthy Computing”. In seven minutes she managed to give a very good overview on how to use computers sensibly, and how to avoid, RSI or back & neck injuries, with some practical demonstrations and visual aids. 
 
Next was our impromptu session, where the speakers put into practice some of the tips and structures for impromptu given by our President Steve Catchick, in his education spot. It was good to see afterwards how different strategies and structures were used. 
 
The power of Toastmasters would not be strong without evaluations and feedback, and tonight was no exception. Four excellent evaluations by Jorge De La Calle (on his first evening back from spain after a few months abscence), Rachel Tinker, our VP-Membership, Therese Edkins and Ian Rodwell
 
Finally, the evening was rounded off by General Evaluator Andrew Sims, who pointed out that indirectly each speaker had a reference to computers or IT. Gareth as an IT manager, Himanshu as a technical Marketing manager for Cisco, and Cathy, by referring to RSI and the like when using computers and especially laptops. 
 
Best speaker award went to Cathy Wells. Best evaluation was given to Therese Edkins and best topics (impromptu speaking) was awarded to Paul Gardner
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Steve Catchick delivers an impromptu education slot.