Report of the Meeting Held on Thursday 25 September 2014, by Doug Weale

An extremely entertaining evening, at a standard meeting of the Club, was chaired by Bernie Morgan, our immediate Past President, on Thursday 25th September. Following a customary warm –up the Business session by our Club President Trevor Kenning outlined a comprehensive programme for the forthcoming season; joint meetings, hosted by our fellow Kent Clubs, and ourselves , speech competitions, the annual dinner, all in the interest of the constant pursuit of the aims of the Association of Speakers Clubs to which we are affiliated – the practice and improvement of speaking in public.

On concluding the business session, Dr. John Beale was the first to be invited to the lectern; he delivered a customary profound and most interesting speech recalling a duty as medical officer on air-sea rescue duty, to the aid of a seaman with serious spinal injuries: the speech was his fourth in the Manual, designed to illustrate the use of gestures in speech; he is of course, by virtue of his profession, able to call upon such experience , and does so adding a variety of qualities, which make for interest and entertainment.  The Club has an eclecticism of membership, offering in the speeches, a corresponding variety of speaking content as each member proceeds through the guide book, following its helpful notes.

The President himself then, in response to an assignment, gave an impromptu speech; as befitting his experience this was a test set by the Advanced Manual:  to compose a speech in ten minutes, from a choice of three titles offered by the Chairman without his having any previous knowledge. He proceeded to deliver a most profound, yet humorous masterpiece referring to the recent Scottish referendum.

Evaluation of the speeches was given by Ron Sheldrake and Doug Weale respectively; each drawing attention to the points of high standard recognised by the A.S.C., together with factors for improvement; this process, as the speakers and fellow members listen, forms the essence of our learning by which we practise and improve.

The established impromptu speaking followed, whereby responses are invited to “Topics” prepared, in this instance by Doug Weale, who, with a rather more challenging theme than usual, was especially appreciative that members and visitors alike rose to the challenge. Dr. John Beale, currently holding the Trophy for best response, with his distinctive speech at the previous meeting, relinquished the title to Trevor Kenning this week. This award adds a certain spice to the session, and is a coveted award in recognition of a skilful quality in impromptu speaking.

Ben Harris, in a general evaluation of the meeting, drew attention to the apposite comment of Vice President, Garry Costain, in his approval of the challenging aspect of the “Topics” session.

A most satisfactory aspect of the meeting was the enthusiastic participation of visitors; the Club is on course in a drive to increase membership this season; to this end visitors are welcome to all our meetings, without any obligation other than to listen, observe and enjoy what we have on offer.

For details please contact Doug Weale on 01843 592221 or d.weale2012@ or visit