Vice-President Bill Walker of Blairgowrie welcomed fifteen members to the latest meeting of the Strathmore Speakers Club.
After conducting the usual business he chaired the training session, consisting of three speeches followed by evaluations.
He was assisted by Jim Gibb of Blairgowrie in the role of timekeeper for the evening.
The first speech was given by Ted Williams of Kirriemuir on the assignment of ‘Use of Notes’, in which he had to supply his evaluator with a copy of his notes in advance so that he could be marked on how well he had stuck to his prepared speech.
Under the heading of ‘Sport’, Ted talked about playing football, cricket, tennis and hockey in his youth before settling on fishing as his main leisure activity.
Ted went on to describe his progression from sea-fishing to coarse-fishing and finally to fly-fishing and the widespread variety of places in which he had enjoyed all of them.
Graham Carr of Alyth evaluated.
He said it had been a very interesting speech which had largely followed the written notes and had been delivered confidently with good use of the voice and touches of humour.
In awarding a pass he advised Ted to be careful of his timing in the future.
Next to the lectern was Pamela Howat of Coupar Angus making a ‘Speech Construction’ speech with the title ‘W.F.J.’
In her introduction Pamela pointed out that while Dundee was known for its three Js, Jute, Jam and Journalism, Blairgowrie could equally well be described by three letters, standing for Water power, Flax and Jute.
The main part of Pamela’s speech was devoted to an explanation of Blairgowrie’s involvement in the weaving of jute for more than a hundred years from the middle of the nineteenth century, including details of the dirty and dangerous working conditions in the mills.
In awarding a most definite pass, Helen Gordon-Wilson of Blairgowrie congratulated Pamela on her clever opening, the interesting details of Blairgowrie’s involvement with jute and the jute trade and its demise with the selling-off of the weaving machinery.
The delivery had been excellent with a good strong voice, perfect eye contact, noticeable and relevant gestures and brilliant use of notes.
Third up was Eric Summers of Kirriemuir with a speech entitled ‘Insanely Great’.
This was a tribute to the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. in 1976.
Eric painted a picture of this astonishingly successful man, tracing his achievements through Apple computers, Pixar animations, then back to Apple and the development of iPod, iPhone, iPad and iTunes, making it now the most successful company in the world.
His enlightened and forward-thinking attitude has produced an IT revolution and put the creative tools into the hands of ordinary people. Eric predicted that Steve Jobs will go down as a major historical figure.
In his evaluation Andrew Buist of Alyth said that Eric’s speech had contained everything you would expect from such an experienced speaker: expert construction, a wealth of detail from which he drew balanced conclusions, and a passionate delivery which revealed Eric’s intense enthusiasm for Steve Jobs and Apple products. This was an unqualified pass.
Alex Rae of Kirriemuir chaired the topics session.
He invited six members to speak for three minutes each at short notice on the theme of memories from their youth or childhood.
After each topic was taken, the audience would be asked to guess whether the speaker had told the truth or made up a false story.
Bill Walker played with his ‘favourite toy’; Jim Gibb of Blairgowrie reflected on his ‘favourite subject at school’; Jim Smith of Kirriemuir worked away at his ‘first job’
David Howat of Blairgowrie remembered his ‘favourite pastime during the school holidays’; Muriel Smith of Kirriemuir excelled at her ‘favourite sport when young’; and Hannah Williams of Rattray dredged up her ‘earliest memory’.
General evaluator Bob Stewart of Kirriemuir said it had been an interesting evening with good chairmanship, speeches and evaluations.
He felt that the topics had all produced unusual and entertaining responses.
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.