Training session at latest meeting of speakers’ club

PRESIDENT Edwin Petrie of Blairgowrie welcomed thirteen members and one guest to the most recent meeting of the Strathmore Speakers Club.

Jim Gibb of Blairgowrie chaired the training session which consisted of three speeches followed by evaluations. 

He was assisted by David Howat of Blairgowrie in the role of timekeeper for the evening.

The first speaker was Bill Walker of Blairgowrie with a ‘use your voice’ speech entitled ‘The Bigger Picture’. 

His main point was that human beings are endowed with the ability to think, write, read and remember, so we should be learning from generation to generation and not taking unnecessary risks. 

We should take a step back, see the bigger picture and ask the right questions before plunging in and spending lots of money.

If this advice had been taken we wouldn’t have had the banking crisis. 

Bob Stewart of Kirriemuir evaluated, saying that this had been a very interesting speech and Bill had undoubtedly passed his assignment. 

His voice had been well modulated, clear and audible with varied speed of delivery and good emphasis in the right places.

Next to the lectern was Helen Gordon-Wilson of Blairgowrie, who gave an ‘audience rapport’ speech with the title ‘First Lady of the World and an International Woman’. 

Her evaluator was Alex Rae of Kirriemuir.  He felt that this had been a tremendous speech full of facts and well rounded, which opened the door on a remarkable life. 

Helen had remembered to include all the previous elements in the curriculum: construction, use of the voice, facial gestures, humour and eye contact; although he felt there was room for more hand gestures and perhaps better use of notes. 

That said, she had passed the assignment and achieved ‘rapport’ through her audience’s absolute attention and open acknowledgement of the facts she produced.

Third up was Jim Smith of Kirriemuir with a ‘use your voice’ speech entitled ‘The Name Game’.  This was a light hearted look at the different ways nations have introduced surnames into their culture, naming them after their jobs or skills, or their parents (Mac, Mc, Son and O’). 

In his evaluation Douglas Wares of Blairgowrie said that this was a clear pass for a speech with obvious preparation and planning.  Jim’s audibility, articulation, pace, pitch, breathing and humour had all been superb, and he had even managed to fit in several amusing dialects.

David Affleck of Kirriemuir chaired the topics session, inviting five members to speak for three minutes each at short notice on single word topics.

David Howat wasted no ‘Time’; Edwin Petrie warmed to ‘Solar Power’; Ted Williams of Kirriemuir turned ‘Waste’ into time; Douglas Wares powered ahead with ‘Water’; and Alex Rae discussed the problems of world ‘Population’.

General evaluator Pamela Howat of Coupar Angus said it had been a fine mixture of enjoyable and informative speeches and topics coupled with slick handovers and chairmanship.

Anyone who would like more information about learning to speak in public in the friendly atmosphere of a speakers club should contact Jim Smith on 01575 574435 or Jim Gibb on 01250 875262.