Monthly Archives: March 2012

Thanet Speakers Club Report – 22nd March 2012 (by Doug Weale)

Ron Sheldrake chaired the meeting on March 22nd, at which the first half was devoted to a “workshop” illustrating aspects of public  speaking deemed vital . With no professional instruction, club members of  experience and long standing offered their advice on humour and rapport  respectively.

Doug Weale, with examples of how the introduction of humour into a  speech can be used as a persuasive factor, as well as being entertaining: among  his samples, he cited  the law courts, in which, having made the jury laugh,  at the expense of an unsure witness, a Counsel had used humour as  a vital factor in the acquittal of a client- and in a cause celebre-ensured a conviction.  Trevor Kenning, a speaker of immense experience,  brought home to the audience the value of establishing rapport, in speaking to an audience: an abstract, but essential quality. Audience participation produced the one word which seemed to define rapport- engagement. It was recalled that a former club member, of distinction, had famously said of rapport; “I am unable to define it but I recognise  it when I see it”.  Frances Pointer, Director of Education, a student of psychology, then gave a lecture on the subject of addiction-to sugar: which proved to be profound and absorbing,  illustrating the wide variety of subject matter which arises in a club meeting.

Margaret Jones then took the Chair for the customary impromptu speaking session: famous quotations were offered to the audience for their comment , prompting a diversity of responses.  In the true style of “Topics”, John Poole being awarded the Trophy for best response.  Having been absent on a course in furtherance of  his career, Andrew Thomson made a welcome return, in the assignment of general evaluator,with favourable comment on the value of the meeting, both as entertainment,and educational: sharing the opinion of all present.

For more details please contact Doug Weale 01843 592221 or or visit;


Thanet Speakers Club Report – 9th March 2012 (by Doug Weale)

Always seeking innovation in our agendas ,the meeting on March 9th, chaired by Trevor Kenning, listed a discussion conducted by John Poole, an inveterate enthusiast for expression of opinion, to take over the Chair: the subject was Equality, a profoundly controversial, and absorbing subject, as the ensuing discourse proved.  The voicing of opinion, in a coherent
manner, is a vital ingredient to public speaking, which is at the very hub of the objective of the Association to which the club belongs.  At the conclusion of the discussion a vote was invited by the Chairman, and  the majority opinion expressed was that there is no such thing as equality.

John Poole then delivered his number 6 speech ,in which he ably demonstrated his use of vocabulary, as required by the guiding manual compiled by the A.S.C.being awarded a “pass” mark by Ron Sheldrake in his evaluation.

There followed, after a customary interval, an impromptu speaking session-Topics, as it is known, conducted by Doug Weale, offering the opportunity to all present, a topical subject on which to speak, without prior knowledge or preparation;challenging  to the speaker and entertaining to the audience.  Evaluation, the core of our learning was given by Sally Dyos; in a first time in the role, offering a well-informed and constructive appraisal of not only each speaker, but the chairman, whose duty is to make a success of this vital part of the agenda.  The trophy, awarded for the best response, as juged by popular vote, was presented to Trevor Kenning, who can always be counted on for an exemplary interpretation of whatever the challenge in the Topics session.

For all details of visiting and membership please contact Doug Weale 01843 592221 or  or visit our website

My presentation has put my audience to sleep!

This can be quite distressing for a presenter and could be down to a couple of things.  Obviously, your audience could be bored so you need to check your materials and get someone to give you feedback on your delivery.

In most cases though, it may be that your audience may have not had sufficient breaks or that your presentation may be at the end of the day.

What you can do, if you see people popping off, is to engage them by asking questions.  You could also get the audience on their feet and get them doing some exercises.  The audience might think it odd, but it will make your session more memorable and more importantly will have reenergised them for your presentation.

For more presentation tips to improve your public speaking click here.

Are there other Public speaking clubs in Kent?

If you are unable to get to Thanet Speakers Club, there are two other clubs in Kent that are members of the Association of Speakers Clubs.  They are Chaucer Speakers Club based in Canterbury and West Kent Speakers Club based in Maidstone.  If you follow the website links you will find contacts who will welcome you to their respective clubs.

Ian Lockyer (Thanet Speakers Club Webmaster)