ASC National Conference in York – 27th-29th April 2018

The conference

This year’s ASC National Conference was held in York on 27th-29th April.

It was attended by several members from our District including John McGhee and WendyW from Swindon SC.

The weekend included a variety of competitions and seminars, including two sessions presented jointly by Wendy (Swindon SC) and StephenD (Cardiff SC) on impromptu speech techniques.

The seminars were appropriately named “Tip Top Topics” and were well received by the large audience.

Nerys-Sheila with a trophy
Photo shows Nerys and Sheila with one of the trophies.

The Competition

Two members from our District were runners up in the competitions, competing against clubs from across the UK. Namely, Sheila Jackson (Melksham SC) who came second in the evaluation competition and Nerys Jones (Cardiff SC) who came second in the speech competition.

This was a great achievement and we thank them both for representing our District so admirably.

To finish

A new National President was elected – Jackie Mafi from Wigan Speakers Club.

A lavish banquet was held on Saturday evening followed by some amusing speeches and musical entertainment from a local band.

Next year’s National Conference will be held in Edinburgh.

District Meeting in Bristol – 8th April 2018

The rescheduled District Meeting was held at the Aztec Hotel near Bristol.

In addition to meeting up with our friends and colleagues from other clubs in the District we were joined by Paul Taylor the ASC National Secretary.

The day started with the AGM which included Area Presidents (Stephen D and John McGhee) giving their reports.

A workshop on Speech Construction was given by NEC guest Paul Taylor and the District Speech & Evaluation competitions were held.

Photo shows Sheila being presented with the District Evaluation trophy by ASC National Secretary Paul Taylor.
Photo shows Sheila being presented with the District Evaluation trophy by ASC National Secretary Paul Taylor.


Brian put up a good show in the Speech competition which was won by Nerys from Cardiff with Sheila J from Melksham coming second.

Sheila went on to win the Evaluation Competition with  Wendy from Swindon coming second. A successful day for our Area. Well done to all.

The helpers

Thanks to Wendy who was one of the Speech Contest judges, to John McGhee who did the Target speech, Brian for managing the light/timings and to  Dorothy for handling the raffle and buffet finances.

District Meeting in Newport – 19th November 2017

Meeting friends and learning

This year the district meeting was held at the Coldra Court Hotel in Newport.

As always, it was pleasant to meet up again with our friends and colleagues from other clubs in the District.

The ASC National President and his wife also attended the meeting plus Anne Bouget from the NEC.

The day started with the AGM. It also included Area Presidents (StephenD and JohnMc) giving their reports followed by a workshop on Evaluation given by NEC guest Anne Bouget.

Beating friends

The Topics & Novels competitions were held.

Swindon member, Brian Barber won the Novels Competition with an intriguing time travel story involving the Kennedy assassination. Congratulations Brian!

Photo shows Brian being presented with the trophy by ASC National President Eric Baker
Brian being presented with the trophy by ASC National President Eric Baker

Well done also to Swindon members:

  • JohnC for competing in the Topics Competition
  • WendyW who was one of the judges.

A big thanks also to JohnC, the District Secretary, for organising the district meeting and ensuring everything ran smoothly.   [JMcG]

ASC National Conference – Hilton Hotel, Gatwick Airport

This year’s ASC National Conference was held in the Hilton Hotel at Gatwick Airport and provided a great opportunity to meet and mingle with speakers from other clubs who came from across the UK.

Our area (South West England) was represented by Wendy Wright, John Crawford and myself from Swindon SC and Amanda Rose from Dorset SC. We were especially proud of Wendy who was appointed Chief Judge in the Final of the National Speech Competition and gave an eloquent summary of this year’s top speeches before announcing the winners to a packed conference hall.

Our District (South West England & Southern Wales) had even more to celebrate when  Stephen Dance from Cardiff SC  came second in both the Speech Competition and the Topics Competition… a tremendous achievement.

The excitement continued when Wendy competed in the Final of the National Evaluation Competition, competing against no less than 3 members of the National Executive Committee, including the eventual winner. Wendy put on a great show and came away with a certificate and prize and much applause.

The weekend also included the AGM, several useful seminars and an opportunity to dress up in dinner jackets and elegant dresses for Saturday night’s Gala Dinner where we heard some amusing after-dinner speeches and were entertained by a stand-up comedian before stepping onto the dance floor for the disco.

John McGhee

Winner of 2017 District Evaluation Competition

Congratulations to Wendy on winning the ‘Southern Wales & South West England’ Evaluation Competition at the District AGM!!

Wendy was presented with the trophy by the ASC National President, Neil Harvey and will now go forward to compete in the ASC National Finals held in the Gatwick Hilton Hotel in April.

Well done to JohnC who was runner-up in the Speech Competition and praise goes to the other Swindon competitors – Brian, Carl and JohnM – for their worthy contributions. Thanks also to Dorothy for providing lots of laughter in her humorous Topics interlude and for her efforts in running the raffle.

We were pleased to welcome all those who travelled down from Wales and the attendance of the National President was much appreciated. The day was enriched by the presence of Rosalie Harrop and Lindsay Dutch who travelled down from York. Lindsay (the ASC’s National Development Officer) also delivered an enlightening presentation on speech techniques which was well received.

Presentation of club badges and awards

On completion of their first ‘prepared’ speech at level A1 (The Icebreaker) each speaker receives an ASC (Association of Speakers Clubs) lapel badge. On 19th January 2017 three members (Steph, Ade & Dan) successfully achieved this and were presented with their badges by the club’s education director, JohnM.

At the end of each standard-format meeting the General Evaluator presents the Evaluator’s Cup to a member considered to have made a significant effort that evening. Photo shows evaluator JohnN presenting the cup to Sandra for her contribution on 19th January 2017.

This is just the beginning of the road to speaking improvement. On completion of levels A5 and A10 a speaker receives an achievement certificate from the ASC.

(Photo shows JohnC receiving his A10 certificate from President Wendy).

There are also four annual competitions where trophies are presented and the winner goes forward to the Area and District Competitions, namely the  Speech competition, Evaluation competition, Topics competition and Novels Competition. The eventual District winners go forward to compete in the National Competition Finals.