President Kathy introduced the theme and welcomed members and visitors. She talked interestingly about some amazing sights from nature, right on her own doorstep ( which was under the flight path of migratory birds ) and of rescued stray swan, Maria.
Then we started preparations for the activity. Here's the list of topics.
1. My favourite book. 2. Manners maketh the man. 3. Lipstick powder and paint. 4. Health is wealth
5. How I would deal with the Health Crisis. 6. Will we ever win the fight against crime?
7. You can't choose your family, but you can pick your friends. 8. What I would like to see for my neighbourhood. 9. Roses are red, violets are blue, my garden is my haven, what about you?
10. What a difference a day makes.
Anyhow maybe you might have some strategies as to how you would go about talking for up to 4 minutes on your choice of any of the above? As usual members and some visitors took on the challenge and made interesting, entertaining speeches.
When everyone who wished to speak had finished ( it's always voluntarily at the Speakers' Circle), the guest adjudicator for the evening, Mavis Turner, distributed written critiques and gave her observations and some very useful tips on tackling this type of activity. She considered it important to choose your topic carefully, then stick to it, and clarify it, in the ten minutes available as preparation time.
Stance was important, relax, drop your shoulders etc. even smile - Announce your subject, then stop and take a breath. Have bullet points in your prepared notes, and to help you smoothly from one point to the next, use link phrases like, ' be that as it may', however etc. Keep your hands by your side, don't fidget as it distracts audience. Keep eye contact, scan audience etc. Use of recall can bring back memories. Be careful of using lists of things as this can become monotonous. Be careful also of your tone of voice - if you start too high, you've nowhere else to go. Diction also requires care - take time to finish words. If you think you are going to exceed the time limit, prepare your last sentence and try to tie in the end of the speech with the beginning.
Kathy closed the meeting by thanking the adjudicator for her very helpful advice and invited everyone to take some refreshments.
Next Monday, 3rd November, we have our Hallowe'een Party night, so scary costumes and ghost stories welcome............and of course, any of you, out there who care to join us.