The Association of Speakers Clubs provides a structure for learning through a programme of speeches that cover a variety of different aspects of speaking which are suitable for even the most inexperienced speaker to tackle. Starting with an ‘icebreaker’ short speech, members are then encouraged to progress through the different skills and consider the use of the voice, props, passion and other attributes of a polished speaker. Individuals therefore have their own goals to achieve.
Each speech receives an evaluation from an established member who focuses on the positive aspects of the speech while also identifying aspects that could be improved in the future. Everybody shares the evaluations and the emphasis is on learning from others rather than a formal examination. Roles are swapped around for each meeting giving everyone the opportunity, when they are ready, to practice different roles and receive feedback on how well they did.
By learning from each other, a very supportive environment is provided that, in turn, increases confidence week by week. In a short period of time, members can be seen to have developed a range of improved speaking techniques that will make a profound difference to every occasion they are asked to speak.
The second half of the meeting is normally used to improve ad hoc speaking. A topic is offered to members who give a two minute ad hoc speech without preparation. This is often a lively part of the meeting while offering an excellent opportunity to develop ‘thinking-on-your-feet’ skills. Finally the whole meeting is conducted in an atmosphere of fun that ensures personal growth and development without the struggle of formal study.