The end is nigh!

Did COVID 19 mean the end of our meetings?

As COVID 19 struck it may have felt to many the end was nigh. With meeting s everywhere being cancelled, how could the Swindon Speaker’s Club continues?🎤

picture of 15 faces on a zoom call

Well we did, we held our penultimate meeting last night on Zoom. We are a resourceful group and started using Zoom in April to enable members to continue learning and improving their skills.

Oh and let’s not forget socialising. We held a social evening on Zoom and had an enjoyable and educational quiz night. 🎤

An AGM to end the year

On the 4th June, we had a very busy evening  as the Swindon Speakers Club had its AGM (Annual General Meeting) which is necessary in order to keep the meetings running smoothly.

We were able to hear reports from our president, treasurer, education, publicity and web officers.  Looking back on an interesting year that – as life itself – was full of both good and difficult times. We have had 14 assessment speeches with at least 3 members reaching level 5, which awards them a certificate and the possibility of getting onto our Speaker Bureau.

We also listened to 12 prescription speeches and ran four competitions so far. Some of these you can see on our Youtube channel which is now divided into different section to make it easier to find the different area of public speaking we explore.

So, far from the end being nigh, we have risen to the challenge.  We learned new skills in the realms of public speaking. That is how to handle the technology and keep a virtual audience engaged.

Onwards and upwards

We have one more meeting in this current season, on 18 June, when we’ll be taking part in Novels competition. With an incredible number of participants, so it is going to be unforgettable evening.

We always welcome guests no matter whether it’s our first meeting of the year or our last club meeting. So if you wish to join us, let us know. We will be delighted to see you online or in person. 🎤

February Evaluation

This was a month for a competition all in good fun.

 

Evaluation competition

We also had some fun at the evaluation competition. It was challenging for quite a few members  as they had not evaluated before. Sue receiving trophy for the evaluation competition

The speech to be judged was performed by our very competent Brian, how had already given 2 speeches that day at other events.

He did a wonderful job of turning it into a rant and looking at the ceiling among other errors for the evaluators to pick up on.

The judges had a very hard time deciding which was the best evaluation but ultimately the winner was Sue.

 

 

New Year – New you?

As we approach the New Year there is certainly an air of new you, as on the 5th Dec Carl passed his A10 and Sarah-Jane her A5 and will receive their certificates very soon.

We have learned about the man who changed the world  thanks to Brian doing a prescriptive speech. Here is one example

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This type of speech is also new to the group. It can be done by members at any level and is evaluated by the group by a show of hands as to whether they have met the purpose of the speech. It can be to inform, persuade,entertain or pay tribute.

 

members at the dinner tableOur social event  which like last year had a wonderful raffle, raised £76. The money went to  the local stroke association which meet at the Lawn community Centre. raffle prizes at the Swindon speakers club social dinner

We also had speeches and jokes by the members. The aim was to  entertain us as well as share with family and friends a flavour of what we do on Thursday nights.

 

So if your New Year resolution is to improve your confidence, when it comes to public speaking, look no further. We will support you and help you be the speaker you want to be. It might not be a new you but it will be a good start. You can attend twice, free of charge, to give you the opportunity to see if you like the group and may be even challenge yourself by taking part int a topic session.

Challenging new season

September marked the start of the new season for the Swindon Speakers club. Members are ready to challenge themselves and grow in the process.

Not only do we have a new season, (and I am not talking about Autumn) we have some new committee members too, duly elected at the June Annual General Meeting.

New committee members
New committee members

 

The speakers club not only helps you improve your speaking skill it offers you challenges in lots of areas.

The start of the year brought a new experience for one of the members who chaired the topics session for the first time since joining a year ago. She revealed how this was much more challenging for her than the speeches.

You can see what a topics sessions can be like on our youtube channel

 

In a training session, we also learned about the challenges of evaluating a speech. The whole point is to help members improve, but the danger in honest feedback, is that it may crush the person. A fine balance of praise and learning points is required to help all our members grow.

Even if you are a seasoned speaker you may still find enough in the group to stretch and challenge you in different ways.

 

 

Competi-fun time

February and March

Time for challenges in the form of evaluation competitions and the speech competition, as well as members taking on speeches for the first time.

Also some of the other roles in the club such as: lights, topics and chairing.  All of  these are required to keep everything running smoothly. As usual details of each meeting can be found in the meeting notes.

Sue receives Evaluator's trophy
Sue wins Evaluation competition.

Sue won the Evaluator’s competition.

Other videos have also been made public from the open mic session and other speeches. These are of great help for self evaluation and learning and can be found on our youtube channel.

 

A social event which had been planned in January, but which was  postponed because most members were unable to attend, finally happened on the 23rd March.

It was great to eat together, play games ( as you can see from the pictures) and get to discover things about each other that would not come to light at the usual meetings.

Including how competitive one member was!

It was all good fun. A big thank you to Dorothy for organising and raising £31 for the stroke association.

January goes off with a bang

The New Year started off with a bang.

January’s first meeting brought new visitors from near and far!

We certainly hope the few omissions, made on their first night at the club, doesn’t put them off visiting again. Especially, as they did really well at the topic session.picture: Laura gets trophy for her practice speech

The omissions were put down to recovering from the festivities.

Laura won the  evaluator’s cup for her practice speech. The topic was the launch of a new range of hair care products, for her work.

 

 

Open Mic

We had open mic session which was meant to help members practice using a microphone. However more than half chose not to use it.

Nonetheless it was a very interesting an enjoyable evening.

We had poems, stories, where we learned about Wiltshire, a relaxation ‘magic trick’ which involved changing the weight of stones, a very good joke from a Cardiff visitor and an amazing song.

Most of the evening was videoed so that members could judge and evaluate themselves once the recordings were put onto our youtube channel.  This is yet another learning opportunity.

More details of the meetings can be found on the meeting notes page