National Finals 2014

National Speakers Finals in Glasgow – 25-27 April 2014

This year’s National Conference was held in the Blu Hotel in  Glasgow and was attended by over 200 members of the Speakers Association. Our Eastern Area was represented in the Topics competition by our own James McGinty . Other speakers in the Eastern District came from Wimbledon, Horsham, City, West Kent and Chaucer.


James McGinty in Glasgow Civic Centre

James McGinty in Glasgow Civic Centre

An evening reception at the Glasgow Civic Centre was followed by the Topics Competition. James McGinty came third with the topic “Spring is in the Air”. The acoustics in this HUGE room were difficult and it must have felt like the “long march” to reach the stage. However James was magnificent and delivered a rounded topic that spoke to the subject. Feedback from the judges was that the standard was high, the topic was hard but try to stick to the subject.


National AGM followed by a workshop on “Where you want your club to be in five years time?”

The Speech Contest took place in the afternoon in hotel room that resembled a refrigerator! Aly Harold from West Kent came fifth with her speech titled “Women talk and Men Listen (sometimes)”.  Aly controlled the room and delivered in her speech with rapport and gusto. Feedback from the judges was that the standard was high, pick your subject matter and ensure rapport with the audience.

The day was rounded off with a highland dancing display, a piper and a sumptuous gala dinner. Club presidents also had a drinks reception as a thank you for all their hard work!


The Evaluation Contest was chaired by our District President, William Warren. Michael Roynane from Wimbledon came first. He spoke on the B6 target speech delivered by Bob Cocksedge with the title “Twenty Five Years of the Internet”. This was a difficult speech to evaluate on ‘word pictures and vocabulary’ but Michael rose to the occasion against strong competition. Feedback from the judges that evaluators should provide feedback on the speech (not to say what they would have said had they been giving the speech), identify what had worked well,  provide pointers on areas for for improvement – the idea being to encourage speakers to develop.

Competition Results for our District:

  • Topics            James McGinty came 3rd
  • Speech          Aly Harold (West Kent) came 5th
  • Evaluation   Michael Ronayne (Wimbledon) came 1st