The Spirit of the Speech


Maidenhead Speakers Club – Monday 24 Feb 2014

With Guest Blogger, STEVE CANN

With the recent flooding in our region now starting to diminish, SAA Doreen Gowing opened our meeting in cheerful fashion as she paid tribute to the ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ of communities that had joined together to overcome the recent devastatthey as they endeavor now to return to some sort of normality.

TME Sandra Davison brought her own brand of sunniness to the evening as she spoke of some key events from this day in history (some very old, some rather more recent!), and relaxed us all with her humour.

TTM Joyce Rhodes led a fun Table Topics session, which she coined ‘Joyce’s Choices’! Rajeev Sawhney spoke of his busy life and lack of holidays, until he finally got the chance to visit places he’d always wanted to see thanks to a slightly unexpected turn of events. Mohammed Aziz spoke of his love of books (and drinking coffee!), and driving in his leisure time. Cheryl Brickell spoke animatedly about her two favourite seasons, spring and autumn. Next speaker Paul Aherne spoke of giving up on his ambition to become an artist after discovering his slight colourblindness, but vowed to also remain dark and mysterious! Eric Elliott spoke of his experiences of barbecues, bistros and banquets… tonight’s being his Spaghetti Bolognese! Norman Rhodes humorously surprised us by imparting whom he’d like to spend his perfect day with… a small, cuddly and cheeky koala bear! On being asked where she’d spend her perfect night out, penultimate speaker Lorraine Hamilton decided she’d rather stay in and watched her favourite TV drama series on Netflix. Final TT speaker Grant Oliver, on being asked if he were a saver or a spender, sensibly told us that he prefers not to spend money on frivolous things that he doesn’t need!

Best Table Topics ribbon was awarded to Paul Aherne.

Next up, our prepared speeches. Alan Grayly entertained us with his ‘Plastic is Fantastic’ talk – the plastic in question being credit cards, and how they can really be a good thing if used sensibly. He even provided us with some diagrams to prove his point! He also spoke of the benefits of store and loyalty cards too.

Richard Davies was next, with his catchily-titled ‘This Speech Will Save Your Life’ – a title that certainly caught everyone’s attention! He spoke of the dangers of car phones (even hands-free ones), and of not making ‘negative’ New Year’s resolutions, which make you crave the negative things you’ve given up even more. He also spoke of Geometric Projection, as he peppered his speech with lots of fascinating facts and statistics.

Clive Pugh entertained us with ‘What Goes Around, Comes Around’, and spoke of generosity of spirit, and the joys (and benefits) of simply giving unconditionally. He went on to speak of how this would make society better, and people in general much kinder – and also spoke of the benefits of simply smiling, and how it makes you and people around you feel so much better.

Best Speaker  ribbon was awarded to Clive.

We had two debutante evaluators tonight in Moyn Islam and Sandra Chavez, who both made an excellent job of creating well-structured speeches. More experienced evaluators Yohan McDonald and Mell Sheppard gave fine evaluations too, with the ribbon for Best Evaluator going to Mell.

General Evaluator Steve Cann gave a summing up of the evening, and Table Topics Evaluator Helen Elliott gave a thorough review of tonight’s TT session. Finally, it was over to Grammarian Nick Spooner to give his feedback on tonight’s usage of language – all presided over efficiently by Timer Fatiha Lafkar.

All in all, a most enjoyable and inspiring evening! Many thanks too to Julie Farrell for the loan of her laptop, so I could write this week’s blog.

The next meeting will be on Monday 10th March at 19:30. See you all there!

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