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10 January 2017 – Club Meeting & Speech Contest

10 January 2017 – Club Meeting & Speech Contest

We arrived at our normal venue only to find it locked up, all the lights off, and a notice saying “Power Failure – the club will be closed for 2 days”. However, Paul Johnstone saved the day by immediately going round to the Methodist Hall next door and procuring a room for no more than our usual rate. We all tramped over to the new room and set up the meeting there instead and (even without our normal lectern and lights) it turned into excellent evening with 9 members present and a closely fought Speech Contest 🙂

The club president, Keith Dickerson, conducted a warm-up session on the significant events that had happened to each speaker in 2016. All the speakers related very personal events and none of them so much as mentioned Brexit 😉

Speeches

There was only one prepared speech this time as most of the evening would be devoted to the Speech contest. Philip gave his A8 Humour speech “The Humour of Teaching” which was evaluated by Paul Johnstone. The humour certainly came across and we sympathised with Philip who had not been formally trained as a teacher and did very well in the circumstances.

How to use the Voice effectively

Keith introduced a tutorial on Use of Voice although, as we had less time than usual, the practise sessions will happen at future meetings. Keith explained how the speaker could use changes in pitch, pace and volume while adding pauses in the right places, in order to add emphasis and make a speech more effective and memorable.

Speech Contest

After the break the club Speech Contest was chaired by Keith Dickerson . This turned into a well fought contest between 3 contestants:

  1. Michael Scales
  2. Sandra Harvey
  3. Stephen Tuthill

The judges were District President, Paul Johnstone, and club Education Director, David Couldrey. The contest was won by Michael Scales who who will represent Colchester at the East Area contests to be held at UCS, Ipswich on 16 February.

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 21 February, which has been moved from 14 February as of course this would have been Valentine’s Day and most club members wanted to spend this with their loved ones.

Don’t forget to also come along to the ASC East Area Speech, Evaluation and Topics contests that will be hosted by Ipswich club at University College Suffolk on 16 February starting at 7.30pm.

13 December 2016 – Club Meeting & Evaluation Contest

13 December 2016 – Club Meeting & Evaluation Contest

An excellent event, both enjoyable and educational, with 10 members, two new guests, two thoughtful and insightful speeches, and a closely fought Evaluation Contest with two contestants. What more could you ask for really?

The club president, Keith Dickerson, conducted a warm-up session on what members would really like to happen to them at Christmas compared with how they thought it would turn out. A lot of members would prefer to travel to somewhere hot (or very cold) for Christmas rather than stay in the UK as usual 😉

Speeches

There were 2 speeches:

  1. Lorraine gave her A2 Construction speech “Laughter: is it a good form of medicine” which was evaluated by Stephen Tuthill. This speech was full of humorously delivered statistics. Did you know for example that even 4-month old babies can laugh, and that we laugh 400 times a day at the age of 5 but only 40 times a day at the age of 40? Laughter generates oxytocin in the brain and makes us fitter and healthier – a good laugh could be the equivalent of 10 minutes on the rowing machine 😉
  2. Jemala also gave her A2 Construction speech “Questioning the Purpose of Life” which was evaluated by Keith Dickerson. Did you know that we spend 25 years sleeping, 1.5 years in the bathroom, 2.5 years cooking and 17 years trying to lose weight. Apparently we should spend more time thinking about the meaning of life and what we want to do and not leave this until too late 😉

Both of these speeches could be a future contest winners once the speakers have mastered the techniques from the Use of Voice, Gestures and Audience Rapport assignments in the Speakers Guide.

How to use Notes effectively

Several more speakers practised the techniques introduced in October on how to use notes effectively to speak while not reading at the same time.

Evaluation Contest

After the break Keith Dickerson chaired the club Evaluation Contest. 2 contestants evaluated the same speech given by Trevor White, President of Felixstowe Club, who spoke on “The Self Preservation Society”. Judges were Trevor and our Area President Duncan Broatch. The contest was won by Stephen Tuthill with Philip Baldock as runner up. Stephen will therefore represent Colchester in the East Area Topics contest to be hosted by Ipswich Club on Thursday 16 February.

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 10 January. This will also be our club Speech contest with the winner going through to the East Area Speech contest to be hosted by Ipswich club on 16 February.

8 November 2016 – Club Meeting & Topics Contest

8 November 2016 – Club Meeting & Topics Contest

The club president, Keith Dickerson, welcomed 10 speakers including the President of Felixstowe Club, Trevor White, and his wife Margaret. Keith conducted a warm-up session on any signifiant events which had happened to members over the last month. Fortunately the red light bulb had been replaced and so we were able to time speeches effectively again 🙂

Speeches

There were 3 speeches:

  1. Richard gave his A4 Gestures speech on “Moto GP” which was evaluated by new member Caitlin Johnstone. I learnt a lot about Moto GP which was a lot more complicated than I thought…
  2. New member Caitlin gave her A1 Icebreaker speech “Me Myself and I” which was evaluated by David Couldrey. Caitlin has been a member of the ASC for over 10 years and has recently moved to Witham from Cardiff. Caitlin had won the National Evaluation Contest in Aberdeen this year and will be a great asset to the club.
  3. New member Jemala also gave her A1 Icebreaker speech simply titled “Introduction” which was evaluated by Keith Dickerson. Jemala originated in Turkmenistan and we learned a lot about her life and experiences in UK. Did you know that 70% of the gas supplied to Europe comes from Turkmenistan?

How to use Notes effectively

Several speakers practised the techniques introduced in October on how to use notes to speak while not reading at the same time.

Topics Contest

After the break Keith chaired the club Topics Contest: 2 contestants spoke for 3 minutes on the subject of “My Favourite Country”. The contest was won by Caitlin with Paul as runner up. Caitlin will therefore represent Colchester in the East Area Topics contest to be hosted by Ipswich Club on Thursday 16 February.

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 13 December. This will also be our club Evaluation contest with the winner going through to the East Area Evaluation contest to be hosted by Ipswich club on 16 February.

11 October 2016 – Club Meeting

11 October 2016 – Club Meeting

The president, Keith Dickerson, welcomed 10 speakers and conducted a warm-up session on signifiant events which had occurred to members over the last month.

Speeches

There were 2 speeches before the break:

  1. Mircea gave his A2 Construction speech on “Neuroplasticity” which was evaluated by David Couldrey. All I will say is that the brain is an amazing thing…
  2. Philip gave his A7 Use of Notes speech “The Coming Biotech Revolution” which was evaluated by Michael Scales. This was also a very stimulating speech in Philip’s inimitable style which made us think.

These were evaluated after the break. An additional challenge this month was that the red light bulb (signifying the end of the stated time for the speech) had blown and we had to make do with the green light coming on again.

Workshop on How to use Notes effectively

The president then led a workshop on how to use notes to speak while not reading at the same time. The idea is to look down, take in a phrase or line of text, look up and then deliver it to the audience it. It becomes 2nd nature after a while – it improves eye contact while slowing down the speech and lending a hint of gravitas. The best form of notes for this is where you have an easily memorable phrase or sentence (in large type and easy to remember) double spaced on each line. There was time for all members to practise the techniques, and next month members will bring in their own notes and deliver them using the same techniques.

Topics

Finally Stephen Tuthill led a topics session on the theme of Colchester which was evaluated by Keith Dickerson. The highlight was David Couldrey telling us (with lots of humour) about Colchester Castle (which hasn’t always been a castle), the tunnels under the High Street and the lorry full of orange juice spilling its load.

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 8 November which will also be the club Topics contest.

13 September 2016 – Club Meeting & AGM

13 September 2016 – Club Meeting & AGM

The club president. Keith Dickerson, welcomed 14 speakers to the first meeting of the new season with a warm-up session on the subject of “What did you do over the summer?”. There were lots of interesting and informative responses and it was clear that most speakers had made significant achievements.

Speeches

We managed to fit in 2 speeches before the break and another 2 afterwards:

  1. Lorraine gave her A1 Icebreaker speech “Old Habits Die Hard” which was evaluated by Keith Dickerson. This was more than an Introduction as a well rounded and entertaining and educational speech.
  2. Paul gave his A5 Use of Voice speech “Why is Donald Trump so Popular” which was evaluated by Philip Baldock. He almost convinced us that Donald Trump was taking the US by storm 😉
  3. Bronwyn gave her A1 Icebreaker speech simply titled “An Introduction” which was also a very interesting and informative introduction the the speaker.
  4. Michael gave his A3 Mean What You Say speech entitled “Should Drugs be Legalised in the UK” which was ably evaluated by Stephen Tuthill.

AGM

Somehow we also managed to fit in an AGM which was held in around 10 minutes flat before the break. I’m very pleased that we managed to elect a full committee for the following year. We also agreed to keep the membership fee stable at £40 but, if paid now, the membership will be valid until the end of 2017.

Topics

Finally David Couldrey led a topics session on various apparently unrelated themes. The highlight was Allan Karsten trying to convince us (with lots of humour) that the planet Saturn is really a giant UFO.

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 11 October.