News from The Presidents Dinner in Preston on Saturday 29th October 2016

I made the 3 hr drive to Salmesbury near Preston on Saturday arriving at 1.30, just in time for the first seminar –  Women in Leadership and Entrepreneurship which was pretty inspiring as it was delivered by Bernie Morgan of Thanet Speakers.   Bernie has taken on many roles in leadership from parish council to developing a financial institution and bringing in big money deals under serious stress and pressure.  She now exercises her entrepreneurial skills in her chocolate cafe in Margate.

After a short break Nigel Thorne of Cardiff Speakers introduced us to the New National website for Speakers Clubs.  He has been working on this for many months and I must admit it looks a lot better than the previous website.  I encourage you all to visit the site: (the old site at is soon to be decommissioned).

In the evening we had a formal dinner and many quality after dinner speeches.

It was great to to network with all the interesting people within the organisation.  Salmesbury is a lovely part of the country and well worth the trip.

I am pleased to announce that our National President Neil Harvey has re-arranged his busy schedule so that he will be able to attend our Charter Dinner in March next year.

Wendy Wright

President Swindon Speakers Club

Winner of 2016 Club Topics Competition

The winner of this year’s Club Topics Competition was Brian who will go forward to the Area/District competitions next month. Wendy was a close second with Sue as runner up in a contest of nine participants, all extremely well presented. topicscomp-winner-2016

Photo: Club President Wendy presenting Brian with the award.

Topics Competion on Thursday …yay

Topics are a great way of getting used to standing up and saying something in front of an audience for just a couple of minutes.  Some of us are quite good at this, some of us like myself are still struggling with the experience but I choose to believe that is what its all about.  The competition part is irrelevant to me, it just adds a bit extra to the excitement.

What I’m trying to say is – come along and give it a go – there is a certain excitement to feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

The other part to it is that listening to every one else is entertaining and a learning experience – that worked well or he could have said that (so easy to think when you are in the audience).

See you Thursday


Cut those quirks with a video shoot

Been asked to give a speech at an important occasion? If so, there’s a good chance that it will be recorded for posterity and your unwanted mannerisms will be lurking there ready to embarrass you whenever someone digs out the video.

So, why not rehearse it on video first, or join a speakers club where you’ll also receive constructive feedback and useful advice on how to improve your speaking skills. When a speech is recorded you can watch it from an audience’s perspective and maybe spot some quirks which the audience may not consider worth mentioning but which you would like to try to avoid.


So, if you’re happy to wave your arms about, to stare wide-eyed at the audience, sway from side-to-side or scratch your nose incessantly – that’s fine. But these things can be avoided by practicing in front of a small audience or a video camera and speakers clubs can be the ideal place to do that.

Then when the day dawns for you to stand up and demonstrate your speaking prowess at your important event you’ll be confident in the knowledge that you’re making your best effort and any resulting rapturous applause will be well earned. Raise your glass!



Citations on “The camera cannot lie”:

The earliest citation of the precise ‘camera cannot lie’ phrase is from The Evening News, Lincoln, Nebraska, November 1895, complete with an intimation of the early doubts about the literal truth of the phrase: “Photographers, especially amateur photographers, will tell you that the camera cannot lie. This only proves that photographers, especially amateur photographers, can, for the dry plate can fib as badly as the canvas on occasion.”

In his book In the South Seas, published in 1896, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: “I doubt if these islanders are acquainted with any other mode of representation but photography; so that the picture of an event (on the old melodrama principle that ‘the camera cannot lie, Joseph,’) would appear strong proof of its occurrence.”