President Muriel Smith conducted a busy evening for the Strathmore Speakers’ Club at the Kirriemuir Golf Club recently when a programme of speeches was combined with the Annual Topics Competition.
Bob Stewart of Kirriemuir chaired the training session assisted by Graham Carr of Alyth in the role of timekeeper for the evening.
First up was Eric Summers of Kirriemuir giving a mini lecture entitled ‘The Penguin Theory of Leadership’. He put forward excellent recommendations on enthusiasm, teamwork, clear targets, hard work and loyalty as the keynotes for successful leadership. Iain Orr awarded Eric a clear pass for a first class message put over with just the right degree of humour and masterful use of the pause for effect. He had avoided the danger of just presenting a list of points by interjecting video clips at appropriate times.
The second speaker was Alex Rae of Kirriemuir with a ‘use your voice’ speech entitled ‘Watery Stairs’, the story of Caledonian Canal’s construction. His evaluator, Jim Gibb said this had been a very successful exercise. In awarding a pass, he also mentioned the good use of gestures and excellent eye contact.
Jim Smith chaired the Topics Contest, explaining that the seven contestants would be in the charge of Steward Ron Harrow. He would take them away and bring them back into the room individually when they would be told the topic. They could then walk round the room once, proceed to the lectern and speak for three minutes with penalties awarded for anyone significantly under or over time.
The contest was judged by Eric Summers and Hannah Williams who, after hearing the contestants speak on ‘Music’, announced the winner as Iain Orr, with Jim Gibb in second place and Andrew Brewster third. The next stage of the competition will be the North Tay Area heats in Forfar next February.