Monthly Archives: February 2010

Success for Thanet at Kent Public Speaking Competittion

Competitive speaking is an integral part of the learning curve of Thanet Speakers Club: in recent competitions at club and Kent  Area level , an eminent member of Thanet Speakers, Bernie Morgan, has distinguished herself by not only winning the coveted Club Evaluation Competition, but last weekend the Kent Area Evaluation Competition.

Evaluation is the process by which all new and existing members improve their style and efficiency in the art of delivery and composition of a speech:  Bernie will now proceed to the next competitive level:  at the District competition in March.

The exitement heightens as District winners then meet in  the final round at the National meeting in April.

Watch this space ! 

Thanet Speakers Club Report – 25th February 2010

Chairing the meeting on 25th February, Doug Weale welcomed guests from the Ambassadors Speakers Club of Toastmasters International who share the same ideal, to practice and improve the art of speaking in public.

President Ron Sheldrake, in the business session, recalled the club`s success at the Kent Area competitions: Bernie Morgan taking first place in evaluation, with other commendable performances by fellow Thanet entrants, to the impromptu, and set speech events. Ron will succeed Margaret Jones as Kent Area President shortly; maintaining the constant support of our club in office beyond club level.

The meeting then, departed from the usual agenda of prepared speeches, as all members and guests read chosen poetry or prose; the result, both entertaing and essentially an exercise in an aspect of the educational syllabus set by both clubs represented.

The second half, in usual format was devoted to impromptu speaking;equally challenging, and an essential in the speaker`s armoury. Evaluation of the responses were given by Ian Lockyer: the meeting as a whole was given a complimentary appraisal by Trevor Kenning who, by popular vote, was presented with the Topics Trophy by Educational Director Andrew Thomson.Visitors are welcome to all meetings: for details please contact Doug Weale on 01843 592221 or visit the website

Dealing with nerves

Firstly take time at the beginning, you are the one people have come to see so don’t rush yourself. To combat your nerves breathe deeply…there is no point in getting into a tizzy…it will only affect your performance. Then get comfortable, look around and take the whole audience in. Take position, make eye contact with the audience, smile and then introduce yourself.

Ian Lockyer

The Value of Public Speaking

One of the best things that I have ever done was to visit a public speaking club. I learnt a huge amount of skills, made a lot of friends and improved my confidence immeasurably. It has also given me a lot of opportunities because most people tend to take a step backwards when the opportunity comes up to make a presentation.

Having the confidence and ability to communicate effectively in public is a valuable asset in both your personal and professional life. A public speaking club can help you to develop your skills and make you more relaxed about giving presentations. A structured programme and friendly, supportive members provide a safe environment to practice your presentation skills, experiment with new techniques and build confidence.’

I have been to various clubs at the Association of Speakers Clubs (ASC). The ASC is a national organisation comprising approximately 150 clubs in England, Scotland and Wales. It helps members acquire and improve skills and techniques for effective public speaking.

Each member receives a manual giving guidance on various matters such as chairing meeting or developing particular skills in public speaking. It contains the ten tasks, which make up the basic manual (such as developing vocal variety, improving body language or constructing a speech).

In a traditional meeting, you will see 3 members give prepared presentations of 5-10 minutes in length. Each will be practising a particular aspect of public speaking such as gestures, speech construction, and use of voice or rapport. After the interval, everyone will be given the opportunity to give an impromptu 2-minute speech on a subject chosen by the Topics chair. At the end of the evening some of our experienced members will constructively evaluate every speech, each evaluator and the evening as a whole. They will offer praise, encouragement and useful tips for improvement.’

The Association of Speakers Clubs is a fantastic environment in which to develop speaking skills in a friendly and constructive environment. Knowing that one has the skills to deliver a presentation is terrific for personal confidence.

For more details about the ASC go to

Ian Lockyer