Leicestershire Speakers – Annual General Meeting

This is the May 2016 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

The first part of our Annual General Meeting concerned business. Anne French was inaugurated as our President for 2016 taking over from Josephine Burgess who said her term of office had been enjoyable and interesting. She hoped that Anne would enjoy her year and wished her success.

Then it was on to the fun part of the evening. Three groups of four each told a story and the audience had to decide whether they were being told the truth or a pack of lies.  This offered up a mixed bag of anecdotes.

The serious was admixed with some great humour. One speaker told us of when he was born in the days when there was no such thing as paternity leave. The father was informed that he had a daughter when in fact he had a son. The ensuing birth notices led to the impression that twins had been born!

We listened to a very plausible explanation of as to how the surname Jones originated – the speaker had us all hoodwinked. We all howled with laughter when an incident of a chocolate biscuit purchased, promptly popped into a handbag and forgotten. The purchaser then sat down in a café sharing a table, saw what she perceived her Kit Kat being eaten, she glared at the poor chap, snatched back her treat, ate it, and later discovered her Kit Kat in her handbag! In the cash strapped days of yesteryear one member described how he was asked to design a stained glass window for a church and to discover his fee had been donated to a home for unmarried mothers.

An incident which took place many years ago, in a science lab when an experiment went wrong causing an explosion, was related to us. The Health and Safety Executive would be running around in circles should this happen today!

Many years ago a young scout attempted to join his troop who were camping in the Campsie Hills. He had a Saturday job so had to set off late. He cycled through wind and rain well into the night and couldn’t find his fellow scouts. Nothing for it but to spend a miserable night, wet and cold, in a barn to discover the next morning the troop were in the field next door.

We listened in rapt attention as we heard how one of our members, a few years back, had been hauled by police from her car on three occasions whilst making a journey though France. She was astounded by their actions and didn’t understand why. All was revealed when she related her tale to a fellow airline passenger. He calmly said “Well you do look like the escaped member of Baader Meinhof!”.

Three guests were plucky enough to have a go at telling stories. We heard from one how it could have appeared she had stalked Michael Jackson. A Christmas Eve fiasco was described by another guest. The third guest described an incident of dreadful road manners. All their stories were true.

Sadly, all good things have to come to an end. So it was cheerio until our June meeting.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Down the Rabbit Hole!

This is the April 2016 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

We welcomed three guests to our April meeting and hope that the evening’s programme tempts them to return.

Dot Barnard chose to read Wendy Cope’s poem “The Daily Help” she explained her choice had been influenced by the fact that the poet had been commissioned to write a poem to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on 23rd April.

The first speech of the evening delivered by Sue Coleman who gave a very informative speech concerning animal bravery and the award of the PDSA’s Dickin Medal to some amazing animals.

Next up was Daniel Cole who gave us an extremely interesting biography with the title, Me, Myself and I, which he. peppered with humour

Our President, Josephine Burgess delighted and fascinated us with her speech “Down the Rabbit Hole”. She certainly set the bar high, we were treated to a superb speech that may inspire one to re-read Alice in Wonderland to look for the clever play on words and the parody of characters with prominent people of the time.

A very amusing and interesting speech on the evolution of the toothbrush, dental hygiene and toothpaste was delivered by Margaret Barrett.  War brings about very many changes, and it was noted that GI’s were introduced to the practise of cleaning their teeth when they joined up during WW2 – would this be the start of the obsession with chewing gum?

An hilarious topics session was chaired by Neil Barker who invited speakers to role-play historical figures to give their excuses why something went wrong, such as Lord Cardigan’s disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade, and why King Alfred burnt the cakes.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information, ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Photos from the Annual President’s Dinner 2016

The Annual President’s Dinner took place in honour of our President Josephine Burgess, at the Leicestershire Cricket Club on Saturday 19th March. It was a most enjoyable evening, which was graced by the presence of Baroness Byford of Rothley. Below are a few photos from the evening.

Our President awarding Val Christie the President’s Shield for Val’s brilliant and inspiring progress as a public speaker since she joined the group, and also as a thanks for her hardwork in providing refreshments for club members at our meetings:

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Some club members enjoying a drink by the bar:

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Guests sitting after having a delicious dinner:

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The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining. We offer enthusiasm and encouragement to help turn nervous wrecks into confident speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop In Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 277 2295 or visit http://leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

 

 

 

A Kaleidoscope of Colours with Words

This is the March 2016 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Our March meeting was hugely successful, although at first it seemed we may be a little thin on the ground owing to the local flooding. But Leicestershire Speakers proved they are a very resilient lot and the meeting got underway with a full complement of members and four visitors!

During the evening there was an assortment of interesting items. We listened to a eulogy for Baroness Betty Boothroyd. John Baron gave us a speech on the history of Islam. In this month’s education slot Wyn Glen illustrated how the use of vocabulary and alliteration can describe a scene and create an atmosphere in the mind of a reader.

We then moved to an extremely entertaining topics session organised by Hiten Vyas. He announced his subject “Body Parts”. Everyone waited pensively to see what came next. To the relief of all there was no embarrassment. The explanations and the use of the head, eyes, neck, fingers and knees created a great deal of mirth and laughter.

All too soon a very entertaining evening at Speakers came to an end and it was time to say farewell until April.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website www.leicspeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Magic, Synesthesia and Fun!!

This is the February 2016 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Pam Ayres’ poem ‘Call the Mountain Rescue’ was superbly read by Heather Mawbey. This was a precursor to a lively entertaining meeting.

Dot Barnard was chairman for this month’s meeting with literature being the predominant theme. Our appetites were whetted by Morag Wilkes’ book review of Martin Middlebrook’s “The First Day on the Somme” Inspired by Harry Potter Wyn Glen delivered a magnetic speech on Magic. All appeared to be riveted. There will probably be a queue at the local libraries as a result of Morag and Wyn’s offerings.

Imagine listening to Beethoven and having the sensation of tasting chocolate – a dieter’s dream! Neil Barker told us about ‘synesthesia’ a condition whereby numbers or colours can stimulate ideation. Neil told us how he saw the days of week as colours (Tuesday, his brightest day, being yellow!).

We had great fun with the topic session devised by Anne Jones. The speaker was required to demonstrate how to undertake a task by use of gestures. The talents of members shone through. There were tips on what to do and what not to do! There was great amusement when our President, Josephine Burgess, described how to re-cover a chair. Bev Capewell’s talk on hanging wall paper may inspire others to have a go. Making an omelette was superbly demonstrated by Shobana Patel – it was her first visit to speakers.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website: http://leicespeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Out of Order

This is the January 2016 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

A New Year and a change to the format for our January programme followed a reading of ‘Ballad of Salad’ written by Dylan Thomas for his school magazine and discovered some seventy years later.

Instead of the usual practise of planned speeches and reviewers assigned prior to the meeting. Mark Glover, our programme planner, suggested titles be put into a hat for members to pick one. Fifteen minutes preparation time was allowed. Each speaker was asked to follow suggested guidelines contained in the Basic Speaking section of our manual covering ‘expression and movement’. Following the speech a member was asked to review it. This was an exercise that was not only fun but also educational giving an opportunity to hone impromptu speaking and reviewing skills. Our President Josephine Burgess awarded Mark ‘Star of the Month’ for his innovative approach to this month’s programme.

The diversity of subjects ranged from the frivolous to the serious. Sue Coleman once again inspired us with her amusing, constructive and sometimes wry speech on ‘Out of Order’. Neil Barker‘s subject was ‘Keys’, leading him divulge amusing anecdotes of his experience with keys. A tale of revenge was heard from Heather Mawbey.

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website: http://leicespeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Leicestershire Speakers Pre-Christmas Social

This is the December 2015 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Our December meeting afforded us an opportunity for some jollification and celebratory pre-Christmas nibbles. Traditionally during our December meeting members are asked to read an appropriate piece of prose or poem suitable for the season.

The diversity of the readings was great. We had serious pieces such as a narrative ‘After the Storm from a Robin’s Perspective’ by Wyn Glen. Frank Kovacs gave us the history of Joseph Mohr’s carol “Silent Night”.

Morag Wilkes treated us by reading the Christmas Story in the Northumbrian dialect which was really very moving. Unfortunately the ‘word count’ restricts all readers and poems to be listed. Suffice it say there were pieces that gave us cause for reflection and light hearted ones causing much laughter.

All too soon it was time to go home after wishing one another happy Christmas as we look forward to our January meeting.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website http://leicespeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Remembrance

This is the November 2015 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club

Our meeting opened on 11th November with Margaret Barrett reading three poems which included “Everyone Sang” by Siegfried Sassoon, a poem resonating relief that the horrors would cease and optimism for the future. We all know what happened thirty years later!

Hiten Vyas delivered his speech entitled “BAFTA”. This was a researched speech that contained many interesting facts about BAFTA’s inception and the work this charitable organisation does in promoting the British Film industry.

There may be rush on booking cruises on the River Danube next year as a result of a superb speech by Frank Kovacs. A word of caution, it may not be plain sailing, if the river level rises, one may be required to disembark to enable passage under some bridges!

John Baron spoke about the nuclear accident that occurred in October 1957 at Windscale and the obfuscation of politicians attempting a cover up.

The star of the evening was Daniel Cole. Glactosemia was the subject of his speech and he was brilliant! To give a maiden speech on the second visit to the club was remarkable.

Wyn Glen was topics chairman this month. Members were asked to talk on the development of cultural and everyday activities through the ages. This produced some great factual and also amusing speeches.

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website http://leicespeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

 

Greyhounds, Bubbly & Richard III

This is the October 2015 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club.

The mood was set for our October meeting with Neil Barker reading an amusing account of the development of Champagne taken from ‘A Thousand Years of Annoying the French’.

We were treated to a brilliant speech, the first of the evening. This was entitled ‘Hawk’ delivered by Sue Coleman in an imaginative and original style. The introduction was an audio recording of a greyhound track event. The whole room was transfixed as we learned of the stupendous racing achievements of Westmead Hawk. Sue delighted all ending her speech with the live appearance of her pet greyhound Jill a grand-daughter of Westmead Hawk.

Our President Josephine Burgess based her speech entitled ‘Good or Bad’ on the ‘Belief and Passion’ section of our manual. Her belief and passion that Richard III was a good king was demonstrated by her delivery of a strong, convincing and evidenced-based case. She cited historical facts, the changes he made to the legal system for justice and the protection of the common man.

The education slot was led by Margaret Barrett who gave advice on how to achieve a successful topics session. ‘Topics’ are three minute impromptu speeches on a given subject. This was followed by a topics session led by Hiten Vyas, which was very successful!

Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website http://leicespeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.

Anyone for Basket Weaving?

This is the September 2015 Report of the Leicestershire Speakers Club.

We enjoyed a lively September meeting. Our attention was held by John Baron reading Edward Lear’s The Dong with a Luminous Nose. The poor Dong is yet still searching for his love!

Val Christie talked about walking the West Highland Way. Neil Barker gave an extremely interesting speech on the ancient craft of growing wicker and shared his knowledge of its production and uses. Wyn Glen read an article concerning Himalayan balsam and used the opportunity to encourage listening to what the writer wanted to convey. Is it bad luck to quote Macbeth? Apparently it has been quite ‘dicey’ to perform in the play or be in the audience according to Margaret Barrett who told of previous tragedies connected with productions of Macbeth. Margaret held the audience with her humourous style of delivery.

During the topics session Mark Glover invited people to talk about events or inventions during the Queen’s reign. One speaker, Ann Dixon extolled the virtues of microwaves to Her Majesty!

The Leicestershire Speakers welcome anyone who would like to learn the art of speaking in public. Our meetings are supportive, informative and entertaining, helping to turn nervous wrecks into confident, speakers. We meet at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of each month at the Blaby Drop in Centre. For more information ring Anne Jones on 0116 2772295 or visit our website at http://leicespeakers.co.uk. We can also provide entertainment and talks to other societies and groups.