Sans Souci Speakers Club

Club Evening Reports

11/02/15 – Club Evening

The club meeting on Wednesday 11th February was a first in many ways. A temporary venue change, an A1, a new Topic chair and a President being called to open the evening just after the interval.

The evening promised to be a success and in many ways was just that. A large room welcomed us and after a small amount of furniture shifting we were once again ready to champion the cause of public speaking. Speeches ranged from an A1 to an A10 with Mary Smith of Solihull Speakers Club joining the group to evaluate the A10.

First up to the lectern was our newest member, Howard with an A1 entitled “Marketing analysis for the dodo”. If you didn’t know your PEST and SWOT (both management tools) you were certainly left with a clear definition in how the extinct bird of Mauritius would have analysed their position in the market. A worthy start on the journey of speaking, one which we all recall vividly from the first time we stood at the lectern and just hoped that the next six minutes or so would vanish like the poor Dodo.

Janet E gave good feedback, some pointers for Howard to take home but with an emphasis to move on and we look forward to hearing his A2.

The next speaker, Tom, gave his A9 “To be or not to be (cool)”. The Chair had been reminded of the importance of putting cool in brackets. Whilst this wasn’t a Shakespearean piece we ventured into the world of whether our parents were cool. Something many of us found thought provoking and could remember cringing when seeing dad’s dancing.

Evaluated by David, with tips on how to bond with the audience and emphasise the message of the speech, this was a sound evaluation.

Our final speaker of the night, having worked his way through the grades was James with his A10 Masterpiece on “Positivity”. Become what we think about and changing negatives to positives gave us all a clear message in this troubled world. In the words of Monty Python “always look on the bright side”. Linking to the great work of Martin Luther King, James gave his speech to the nation (well Hockley Heath).

With A10’s there are two evaluators, Lilian from Sans Souci and Mary from Solihull Speakers Club. A task which took these two esteemed evaluators until well into the second half of the meeting to prepare, such is the importance of achieving good feedback and constructive advice.

As time was on our side, Oscar kindly offered to do an Impromptu speech, something that had not been programmed. With a choice of titles being quickly sourced by the chair, Oscar was given 10 minutes to prepare a speech on one of the following: “Taking a chance”, “Big Steps” (based on the fact that the evening was the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s walk to freedom) and “My first love”. With the group voting on what they thought Oscar would choose, we were dismally wrong and he plunged into an excellent impromptu speech entitled “Big Steps” telling us about the musician Bigfoot from the redwood forests of California. You’ll excuse the author for not having much to write about this speech but she was mesmerised by the outstanding ability of our youngest member to lead us through the life of a musician who plays with bones.

Evaluated by Hilary, there was definitely a few of us looking for this musicians calendar of dates, Oscar was praised for the structure, content and audience rapport of his speech. A much deserved winner of the Speech Trophy.

Club Business covered the potential for a new permanent location for the club at the Hockley Heath Village Hall. At £10 per night with the ability to store the lectern the group felt it was certainly worth investigating further. To the extent of at least having one meeting there before the end of the season.

Calls for participants to enter our own Ruth Friday Poetry competition on Wednesday 25th February and volunteers to represent Sans Souci in the forthcoming Spouters Stump Competition on Friday 6th March in Leamington Spa. The titles being: Love, Honour and Obey. Love having already been taken by Oscar. Volunteers and a person to chair on behalf of the team to contact Jayne.

The evening got back on track with Liam chairing a very entertaining Topics session on “School Days”. Covering everything from homework, detention, school uniform it certainly took some of us back………… a long way!

Evaluated by Ivan, it was clearly a tough choice as the topic choice had so well lent itself to everyone to give of their best. Janet being the winner with a recollection of a school outing with her son.

All that was left, oh yes not to forget the President’s farewell, was for Hilary to evaluate the evening as a whole. A succinct overview to what had been an enjoyable evening with everyone in the room having participated in some way. Evaluation Trophy being awarded to David.

A night of firsts with memories that will last.

Jayne Youdan (11/02/15)

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