Monthly Archives: December 2013

Report of the Meeting Held on 12 December 2013, By Doug Weale

The meeting on Thursday 12th December was an opportunity for members and visitors to engage in one of the most challenging features of public speaking: debate. The custom of a Cogers Debate dates back to 1755, when convivial, yet earnest discussion would prevail in the coffee houses of the city of London, opening on reading of items published in  the daily newspaper, fostering the tradition of the “Opener”.

In the role as described, Dr. John Beale, offered a wide variety of subjects gleaned from recent publications. Doug Weale in the Chair then kept order as differing opinions and fiercely held views were voiced and upheld.  Subjects of controversy ranged from over-paid footballers to selective abortion.

Education Director, Frances Pointer, then fulfilled her assignment of evaluation of the proceedings: paying tribute, firstly, to the Opener for his astute selection of issues which he had chosen of ideal subject matter; then complimenting the speakers on the forcefulness of their expression of opinion.

In the customary general evaluation of the evening as a whole, Ben Harris said how much he had enjoyed, what for him-and others present-was an original taste of an exciting aspect of the Club`s programme.

We adjourn for the Festive Seasonal break until January; the second and fourth Thursdays monthly: visitors are always welcome; for all details please contact Doug Weale 01843 592221 or or visit

Report of the Meeting Held on 28 November 2013, By Doug Weale



As always, the meeting on Thursday 28th November was devoted to the practice inthe  art form of speaking in public under the guidance of the Association of Speakers Clubs. Chaired by Bernie Morgan, the Club President, members and visitors enjoyed a variety of both composed and impromptu speeches.

Firstly, Garry Costain was assigned the challenge, with just ten minutes to write and subsequently deliver a speech, from a choice of three subjects. His response was an exemplar of all that a good speech should be.  Evaluation, the process by which we learn and improve, was given by Stuart Thomson, a guest from Chaucer S.C.; drawing attention to the finer points of the speech, and then to aspects for improvement; whilst recognising the speaker`s overall ability to afford an entertaining account on his selected subject.

Dr. John Beale, followed with a successful assignment to demonstrate the use of gestures in support of the spoken word; having been invited by previous evaluation to a second attempt, incorporating the improvements recommended: he succeeded with an informative and entertaining account of the life of the heroic William Wilberforce, and awarded a “pass” by Doug Weale.

The customary impromptu speaking session was organised by Education Director Frances Pointer, with a most innovative theme, inviting all present to speak on  a controversial “topic”-with no preparation of course- for three minutes, offering points for and against the controversy. This was to serve as an introduction to the next meeting.

At the final meeting of the year, the Club will engage in one of the most exciting aspects of public speech, debate; dating back to the eighteenth century, the Cogers (pronounced Cojers) Society, initiated in the coffee houses of the city of London, debated the local and world news. The traditions of the Cogers Debate will be observed at our usual venue, the Royal Temple Yacht Club, Thursday 12th December, commencing at 8pm.

Visitors are welcome, as always to any of our meetings. This event will be an excellent opportunity to sample what we have to offer; no need to speak-just sit, listen and enjoy; for  further details contact Doug Weale 01843 592221 or  or visit