By Jacqui Hogan
One of the things I love about Ascot Speakers is the sometimes crazy things we’re asked to speak about in Table Topics. Our meeting on 10th July 2019 was no exception. But more on that later.
The evening began with four prepared speeches on topics as varied as an Icebreaker from Tom through to a speech extolling the virtues of autonomous vehicles from Mike. All speeches were from the new education programme, Pathways. An Icebreaker speech is the first speech a new member presents in the club and is an opportunity for the other members to get to know the new member a little better and to give them feedback on their strengths as a speaker, plus a few tips on what they can do to improve. We also had a speech about an interesting work topic from David plus a speech about how to become more successful. from Bindu. Bindu’s speech won her the best speaker of the evening award. All our speeches are around 5-7 mins long and are timed.
But the highlight for me was the impromptu speaking in the second half of the meeting! Kiran, our Table Topics master gave us the challenge of explaining why selected celebrities had chosen new careers. In Table Topics, the speech topic is read out, then a speaker is chosen at random to speak about that topic for 1-2 minutes. As you might have guessed, my topic was to explain why Leonard de Caprio was now a train conductor! This could have been a difficult task for the speakers, but everyone rose to the occasion admirably and had the audience in stitches throughout.
We finished the evening with a feedback session for all the speakers, which is designed to help all of us improve, and is a useful exercise in improving our listening skills. We were fortunate to welcome our new Area Director, Tom, as guest General Evaluator to give his insights on what we do well, and what we could improve as a club.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening as always!