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.