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.