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.

Our meeting / AGM / Competition

Sunday 19th March 2017 – AGM and Competitions.

11:15 am. Let’s start off that AGM’s are boring – they may be important, but they are boring. So if you will allow me to brush over the initial part of today, there were lots of people discussing important things and electing new people to positions that ensure the smooth running of our clubs. Excellent – perhaps that is why I turned up 45 minutes into the session?

Anyhow the reason for this blog is to try something new, we are going to try a live blog as the day’s competitions progress – We have a Speech competition this morning and an Evaluators competition this afternoon, which I am a competitor. (I may already know who has won in my head…)

So lets wait and see what the first competition brings.

11:20 am. Competition has started – we have 6 speeches all being assessed and a winner will be announced. We are going through official bits – times, people in charge the necessities for competitions, I won’t bore you all but we are going through how the points are scored, presentation, contents and impressions are being discussed. So lets wait for the first Competitor.

11:23 am. Brian Barber “The exploding Grandma.” Funny, entertaining and memorable, for probably all the wrong reasons? Possibly the best ending for a ‘lovely’ lady..? And nothing to the family. On time and great delivery.

11:31 am. Dave Holden “Is change good?” Informative, different perspective and engaging. He just shot the district President with a paper aeroplane (might be some points deducted.. or added?) Good conclusion and finished on a high.

11:39 am. Wendy Wright “Just do it.” Just do something! Should be an advert for a sport clothing company maybe….? Let’s forget the singing element, good content and some great advice on getting fit-‘ter’. Motivational and some great word pictures coming through.

11:47 am. Steven Dance “Something to look forward to.” Strong voice, great gestures and something we are all going to have face – Old age! Good delivery and appropriate use of humour. Old people dancing Salsa.. No wonder hip replacements are so common? Great message delivered.

11:56 am. Welham Jones “Why that song is stuck in my head” – Ooops – nose bleed skipping to the next speaker, the excitement may have been too much?

11:57 am. John Crawford “There is always tomorrow.” Lamborghini owner? Stock markets going wrong? John explains why we are going to get (not so) rich… Good education on how not to get rich, animals on Wall Street? Bear market.. Deer or dear? Worried about my downside exposure now – but Donald Trump Ent sounds like a sure future. Funny, entertaining and great story teller.

12:05 pm. Welham is back…Starting his talk about chewing gum, how much he loathes it, with good audience interaction. Going well, waiting for the big reveal… The song about chewing gum! Great solution get the chewing gum companies to pay for clean up, or just ban it? Good thought provoking talk – opening debate.

That is the end of the Competition, we are probably going to break for dinner whilst the judges finish their marking… Back at 1pm…

1.33 pm. Lunch took longer than we thought we are now back – we have the evaluators competition next – and I am up first. So it might be quiet for a while. Awaiting the target speech and then some serious scribbling.

1.36 pm. Lindsey Dutch giving the rules and expectations… Another boring part, timings, scoring.. etc. No.. no.. got that wrong, he is giving a quick run down of why speaking and how it all works he has promised it is a 30 minute input. Good fun, interaction and knowledge share. Breaking down the speakers guide – running through the assessment speeches from A1 to A10, explaining what we need to look for and how they should be delivered.

2.06 pm. We have passed the 30 mins and are just getting to A4..

2:18 pm. We have just got to the A5.. only a few more to go..? Well half way…

2:36 pm. An hour in to a 30 minute input and we are at A7.

2.45 pm. All done. we finished on A8 and it was a good input. Chance for a quick break, now competition time! Nigel Speedy is up and chairing the competition. Now the rules and the order in speaking… Me first.

2:50 pm. Claire Thompson gave her target speech “Apprenticeships” between 6-8 mins needing assessment on key area of the assessment guide. He speech was actually very good, all about her experiences of ‘to uni, or not to uni…’ Speech finished now taken off for the assessment phase. We have 8 minutes to write our reviews and then go back and deliver them.

———-No laptops and no cheating ——————

Sorry this is where it gets a bit flimsy – I know I gave my review, followed by John, then Wendy, then 3 others not from our club… All very good feedback, delivering good and bad points.

Straight after the competition, sorry I could not get my laptop to finish this all off, but the results were read off…

Steve Dance won the speeches competition and our own club president Wendy won the evaluators competition.

The meeting closed quite quick and we were all out the room just after 4pm. What a day, I am shattered!

Well done to John Crawford for organising an excellent event and the rest of the team for supporting and stepping in, not forgetting Dorothy for organising all the raffles and doing an impromptu topics session.


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.

Merry Christmas!


Wishing all our members a Merry Christmas a Wonderful New year!

To our our members, followers and friends (old and new), everyone from Swindon Speakers would like wish you the most wonderful Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.

If you have a New Years resolution to become more confident, or to join and become involved in a fantastic group, it would be great to see you at our first club meeting of 2017.

We hope that Santa will bring you all the presents and wishes you want fulfilled.

Merry Christmas!


How to write a speech.

How I write a speech.

Firstly anyone who speaks and wants to write their own speech needs to realise there are many ways to do it and only one way that will work for you.

I am happy to tell anyone how I write my speeches and then prepare for my assessment speeches, but instead of mixing it all up in text I thought a bullet point list would be easier.

  1. Think of a subject (if you struggle stick to what you know.)
  2. Work out a title.
  3. Just start writing (get your laptop out and start with the words ‘One Day’)
  4. Stop typing when you get to 1,000 words (You’ll have great content in it, I promise)
  5. Go back over it, delete, amend and refine.


Your speech is complete – Next is the Practice. This stage start 2-3 days before your talk is due.

  1. Get your phone out and find the voice recorder and have a pencil close by.
  2. Read through your speech word for word.
  3. Mark the paper with the pencil where it does not read right.
  4. Modify the speech
  5. Record it again
  6. See how long you talk is (it will be listed next to the voice file)
  7. Listen to and continue practicing your speech.
  8. Put it away and relax

On the day of your speech Early morning, get your speech out and read it through over a cup of tea (this is how I do it). Amend, modify bits, but it is too late to make major changes.

Throughout the day keep your speech on you and refer to it when you get the chance or listen to it on your phone (keep a set of headphones with you).

Attend your meeting, group or club and deliver a first class, well rehearsed speech and gain praise and recognition for doing a great job.

If you follow these rules and find they do not work for you – do not worry, there are always other ways and our club has excellent speakers, all prepare differently, so ask around and you will find the right guidance that works for you.