27 Jan 16 Meeting: Idols

By Richard A


steps-1-300A new room arrangement and experience was provided for Ascot Speakers at this, the second meeting in January. The stage at Jagz was brought into use; it will be interesting to hear the views of those who rose for the occasion.

23 attended the meeting including 5 new guests and 3 visitors from other clubs.

James H, Club President, called forward Dexter B to be welcomed as a member of Ascot Speakers, presented his membership certificate and commended him to all present.

Ruth M, Toastmaster of the Evening, took over and presented the outline of the evening’s programme, introduced those participating, and for the benefit of new members explained the protocols expected. She introduced the theme of the evening: Idols. Anne M, the Grammarian for the evening pronounced the word of the week – Aggrandise – for use by all wherever possible.

Prepared speeches

Giving his maiden – “Ice Breaker” – speech was Brian L with a talk titled “A Self Portrait in Miniature”. As one of the more senior members, Brian was able to reminisce about life as a youngster in the war raids in Swansea. It was a most engaging speech.

This was followed by Ian S using the features required for being entertaining. His subject was “Flow” and he explained about getting into flow, sometimes known as “getting into the zone”, during activities needing intensive concentration.

Through many examples he was informative with humour and particularly without notes. His efforts were rewarded with the vote as Best Speaker of the meeting.

Speech three was from Jacqui H who gave a first airing of a speech she’ll be giving at her second club, Chiltern Speakers in the International Speech contest.

Jacqui‘s speech was entitled “The Power of Trust”. She reflected on her role as a volunteer at the London Olympics then attending the final of the Ladies 4×4 relay race for blind athletes. The talk was to demonstrate the use of the right words and sentence structure to communicate ideas clearly, accurately and vividly. Jacqui certainly achieved these features.


Table Topics

After the refreshment break, James H – as Table Topics Master – introduced the impromptu Table Topics part of the evening.

The chosen theme for the evening was “Idols”. James construed a number of tricky headings for those he had cajoled into coming forward.

Paul C (visiting from 104 London Debaters) had to invoke a spirit of somebody who he thinks of in times of stress, he cited his father.

Moving to the business world, guest Julie H was placed into the role of a captain of industry. She demonstrated her words with a series of power poses.

Jamie C (attending as a guest the first time) was invited to give views on the merits of “Pop Idols” and talent shows.

Ascot members Hira was asked who she would resurrect from the silver world of Cinema, and Richard about what animal he felt could represent a spiritual belief.

Finally, Dexter B (our new member) had to invent a pseudonym for himself should he be on the path to becoming famous, a matter which he revealed he had at some time actually considered!

All the talks were most entertaining and afterwards it was felt all rose to the challenge of some tough topics and kept within the time limit.

Julie H was voted Best Table Topic speaker of the evening.



The third part of the evening was devoted to evaluations – starting with evaluations of the prepared speeches by Jonny C, Christina M (from Woking Speakers) and Paul C (Founding President, 104 London Debaters).

Anne M – as Grammarian – reported on the grammar used, use of the word of the day, and minor stumbles.

Paul RT (President, Croydon Communicators) completed the evaluations with his observations and recommendations about the meeting arrangements, the venue, the conducting and reception of the evening.

Club President James H presented certificates in the awards section for Best Use of Word of the Day to Julie H. Most Imaginative (or Expressive) use of English to Jacqui H. The certificate for Best Evaluator went to Paul C.

Paola K closed the meeting, thanking Paul RT for his comprehensive General Evaluation (a record-breaking 14m 13s).

Next meeting

The next meeting will take place on 10 February 2016 at Jagz from 7.20pm to 9.30pm.

This meeting will be our version of Bring-A-Friend.

Show someone you love the art of public speaking this Valentine’s to improve their communication, leadership and evaluation skills or just their confidence. Bring A Love along to our next meeting.

It’s free to attend. Please RSVP on Meetup or EventBrite. We can properly plan refreshments, printed agenda and seating if we have an idea of how many people to expect.


Ascot Speakers looks forward to welcoming you then.

P. S.

Thank you, Richard A, for designing and making the stage steps for Ascot Speakers. They will lift the club and its members to higher levels!


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