Monthly Archives: April 2014

Report of the Meeting held on 24 April 2014, by Doug Weale

Garry Costain chaired the meeting on Thursday 24th April: a customary warm-up inviting all present to speak briefly on a topical subject, as a prelude to the agenda to follow: our purpose to select a team to represent the club in the annual Hopper Cup team speaking competition.

Members seeking selection are assigned to speak with cohesion on a set theme; this year- “An Electric Light Bulb Moment”. As expected, a variety of ingenious responses made selection by no means simple; however, by unanimous vote John Beale, Ben Harris, Ron Sheldrake and Kathleen Smith, all speakers of recognised ability, will represent us at the prestigious venue the Kent & Canterbury Club shortly.

Impromptu speaking followed; on the agenda of every meeting as we practise the art of speaking in public, promoted by the Association of Speakers Clubs to which we belong. Bernie Morgan taking the Chair for this session, whose innovative subject matter was matched by imaginative response, in brief speeches without preparation or prior knowledge  of the “topic”. The trophy was awarded, by popular vote, to John Beale, who has established a personal style of adding a dash of humour to the intelligence of his speaking.

John then proceed to address his challenging assignment of dual role; evaluation of the Topics and the meeting as a whole. His prescience and insight into the proceedings drew that personal opinion of a fellow member, which in the absence of professional instruction, forms the basis of our learning. He highlighted aspects generally recognised by the A.S.C. as proficient -to be encouraged-and drew attention to points for improvement. The meeting had, he declared, succeeded, maintained the club standards, had been of educational value and been, above all, enjoyable as, he added, were all our meetings. Final compliments were given to the chairmanship displayed, and to the enthusiasm of all present.

Visitors are welcome to all our meetings. For details please contact Doug Weale on 01843 592221 or or visit


Report of the Meeting held on 10 April 2014, by Doug Weale

Chairmanship is but one of the vital aspects listed in the Guide Book issued by the Association of Speakers Clubs to which we belong, and by which the many other qualities of speaking in public are acquired. An object lesson in chairmanship was demonstrated to all members and visitors present at the meeting on Thursday 10th April, by the most experienced member of our club, Trevor Kenning, whose engaging, skilful authority ensured the success of the evening,  organised by the Education Director.

A customary warm-up initiated the proceedings, affording everyone an early opportunity to speak briefly on a given theme, laying the foundation for the ensuing agenda. Firstly, Ron Sheldrake addressing an assignment from the Advanced Manual, giving an informative and entertaining speech on the appropriate subject of communication, expressing his view of  modern technology and its potential. As  a former soldier, with immense experience in his subject, he structured  progress since his younger days, offering an insight into the future for the present youth.

The regular impromptu speaking session followed, directed by Frances Pointer, with an opportunity for all to respond, without preparation, to “Topics” on a theme of  “A dilemma”; proving challenging, but designed to be well within our capability;  impromptu speaking is adjudged to be yet a further quality to be practised in the art of speaking.

Evaluation throughout the evening by, in turn, Ben Harris, John Beale and Doug Weale, offering appraisal of the speeches, complimentary where appropriate and indicating  personal opinion of points for improvement, forms the basis of our learning and consequent progress. A final, overall evaluation by Doug Weale drew attention to the contribution of skilful chairmanship, to the success and enjoyment of the evening, reflecting also with credit on the important part played by the Education Director, Frances Pointer.

Visitors are always most welcome to our meetings; for details please contact Doug Weale on 01843 592221 or or visit