A talkative session at recent meeting

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CLUB president Bill Walker opened last week’s meeting of the Strathmore Speakers’ Club and welcomed 16 members and two visitors from Arbroath.

He then handed over to Douglas Wares to chair the training session assisted by Edwin Petrie who was the timekeeper for the evening.

First to speak was Helen Gordon-Wilson with ‘What’s Happened?’

Helen’s subject was James Bond movies, having recently seen Skyfall, she felt obliged to compare it with the earlier Bond films and ask the question. Whilst she agreed that it would appeal to a younger audience, she had felt somewhat disappointed by the changes in style, action, gimmicks, and above all the portrayal of 007 himself.

In awarding a pass for ‘speech construction’, her evaluator, David Binnie, remarked on how Helen had started quietly, developed her theme calmly, and introduced good content on Bond girls, Bond villains and Bond gadgets.

Pamela Howat then came to the lectern with an impromptu speech, having been given three subjects and only 10 minutes to prepare.

Pamela’s choice was ‘Greyfriars Bobby’, and while she freely admitted that she had only a passing acquaintance with that story, she went on to deliver a fascinating talk on dogs and dog breeding.

This concluded with her view that many modern dogs have problems due to over-breeding, and most owners don’t understand that because dogs no longer work at hunting or herding, they now need much more stimulation.

Iain Orr awarded Pamela a pass. He felt she had made the right choice, allowing her to speak confidently on a subject she knew about. He had enjoyed her thoughtful remarks, her excellent vocabulary, and her confident build-up to a strong conclusion.

Third up was Ted Williams with ‘A Play on Words’, his second attempt at an ‘Audience Rapport’ speech. Returning to his former theme, Ted gave examples of the many different ways you can use words to capture and amuse your audience, including malapropisms, puns, jokes, rhyming slang and double meanings.

In his evaluation, Eric Summers congratulated Ted on passing the assignment, remarking that by using wit he had got his audience with him and demonstrated real ‘rapport’.

Muriel Smith chaired the topics session in which she invited seven members to speak for three minutes each at short notice on the theme of ‘Most’.

Bob Stewart enjoyed his most ‘Memorable Holiday’; Lis Hill recalled her most ‘Embarrassing Moment’; Jim Gibb described his most ‘Exciting Adventure’; David Howat admitted to his most ‘Expensive Luxury Purchase’; Robert Peat recollected his most ‘Humbling Experience’; Graham Carr summoned up his most ‘Terrifying Film’; and Bill Walker remembered his most ‘Boring Journey’.

General evaluator David Affleck said it had been a splendid evening from beginning to end with lovely speeches, well balanced evaluations, and a topics session which everyone could relate to.

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.