Battle Speakers Club

A VISITOR said how much he enjoyed the last Battle Speakers Club meeting – he hadn’t known what to expect, and found it a good evening.

Guests are welcome to any club meeting, and you don’t even need to pay!

Gordon Piggott was Toastmaster, not the red-coated one, but an experienced speaker who took on the role of introducing speakers and providing stories and links between speeches.

Alison Pringle shared a self-effacing story of having the police and forensic out when she had her purse ‘stolen’, only to find it twenty-four hours later! She told it with energy and humour.

We were particularly delighted to see Wendy Turner and Mark Mulcahy deliver their tenth speech to the club, and be awarded Competent Communicator, in recognition of their hard work, progress and skills development.

Wendy was on her ‘soap box’ about modern living, with vigour, passion and eloquence, Mark was praising the benefits of improving our speaking skills and joining a club like Battle Speakers, for business and personal development, and inspired with the story of how Battle Speakers members mentored recent Princes Trust programme participants to speak at their end of programme celebratory evening, when some would barely stand up and say their name in front of the group at the first speaking workshop.

Speeches were evaluated effectively and with strong, personal feedback from Dorothy Margison, Dec Cluskey and Graham Gardner.

Their encouragement, spotting of good techniques and improvement recommendations gave each speaker something to work on for the future.

Linda Hooper’s table topics had the speakers become sales people of an object pulled out of a bag, with hilarious results.

Peter Matthew swiftly and cleverly turned a talk on Richard Branson’s book Virginity, into a recounting of his virgin speech at a US conference, Denise Mulligan lit up the room selling a light bulb, Caroline Sherrard performed her way out of trying to sell loo paper and our guest Ian Ellery impressed by selling a bike rider’s helmet with great wit, and showed an instant ability to think on his feet.

Battle Speakers welcomes beginner and experienced speakers, and encourages speaking skills in a fun and supportive environment.

Each meeting is chaired by a different person.

Members deliver prepared speeches intended to achieve a particular purpose, such as improving body language, vocal variety or use of humour.

There is also the opportunity to practice speaking for up to two minutes without preparation.

Another member gives constructive feedback to the speaker.

This positive encouragement and personal feedback is crucial, as we never normally receive it in the ‘real world’.

We improve, strengths are built on and skills learnt. The club is friendly and sociable and members enjoy ending the evening in the bar!

Guests are very welcome; there is no charge. The club meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at The Battle Club, rear of 91 High Street (entrance next to Yesterday’s World), Battle, TN33 0AQ from 7.15pm to 9.45pm.

Further details can be found at www.battlespeakers.co.uk, or call Giles Robinson on 01424 773972.