Successful end to the 2012 Speakers’ Club season

PRESIDENT Bill Walker welcomed the Strathmore Speakers’ Club members to Kirriemuir Golf Club for the last meeting of the year.

The training session was chaired by David Howat, assisted by Bob Stewart, in the role of timekeeper for the evening. There was a full programme of three prepared mini lectures, and each was evaluated.

First to the lectern was Alex Rae with ‘So Near’. Alex was making the point that most of us tend not to visit the tourist attractions that we live near unless we have visitors to show around. He then went on to talk about the history of Glamis Castle, the families who have owned it down the centuries, and the royal connections.

In awarding a pass, his evaluator, Andrew Buist, congratulated Alex on an interesting talk jam-packed with facts and detail and presented with excellent gestures, voice and eye contact.

Jim Smith was second to speak. His title was ‘A Struggle for Supremacy’ and he told the story of the German Battleship Bismarck, launched in 1939. Together with the Prinz Eugen and six destroyer escorts, Bismarck planned to break out into the Atlantic in May, 1941, and join the U-boat fleet in destroying the convoys from North America which were Britain’s lifeline. They were met by a Royal Navy task force led by HMS Hood and Jim described the epic encounter in which the Hood was sunk with the loss of over 1,400 men.

Graham Carr evaluated, saying that Jim’s lecture had contained just the right amount of facts, figures and quotations, and all the aspects of public speaking expected of such an experienced speaker. His vivid word pictures and the shades and variety of his delivery had kept his audience enthralled throughout. It was undoubtedly a pass.

The third speech was given by Marcus Buist. Under the title ‘The Twelve Caesars’, Marcus took his audience back to the Battle of Actium in 31 BC after which the victorious Augustus Caesar re-defined the relationship between the Roman leaders and the people. His successful philosophy of keeping firm control of the army, courting the populace with cheap food prices and public entertainment, and following the law, established a powerful leadership model for himself and the 11 Caesars who followed him.

His evaluator, Pamela Howat, awarded a most definite pass. She said that Marcus had captivated the members with his obvious fascination for his subject, the details of people and dates he was able to incorporate, and the logic and strength of his argument. She particularly praised his confidence at the lectern and the fact that he spoke for the full ten minutes without notes.

Helen Gordon-Wilson chaired the ‘Topics Session’ in which she invited six members to speak for three minutes each at short notice on the theme of Winter Sports.

Muriel Smith got things going with Curling, Helen Fleming tackled Ice Hockey, Jim Gibb sped into Snow Triking, Pamela Howat glided through Ice Skating, Edwin Petrie slid into skiing and Andrew Buist grudgingly accepted Snowboarding.