It's all to play for
As we head toward election time
December 19th, 2014
December 16th, 2014
A very enjoyable evening was experienced by all at the Speakers' Circle last Monday. Many photos were taken, and just as soon as I have overcome the technical glitch on my computer : < )) - I will discover the correct pathway to transmit them to you.
The Circle resumes again on 12th January and we extend best wishes to all our readers and aspiring public speakers for the Festive season and the new Year.
Last Monday evening at the Belfast Speakers' Circle, our industrious and energetic committee member Maureen gave us some valuable tips on the techniques of news reading. We had been invited to gather some news items during the previous week and to present them newsreader style. Yes, it was a useful discipline to adopt appropriate voice and body language to report the events of last week. There was even something humourous to report, which was encouraging to hear.
President Kathy thanked everyone for their contributions to the evening and reminded us about the Christmas celebration for next week. We hope to see a good turn out of members and as usual guests are very welcome. Maybe see you there?
Well, hello blog readers again. If you weren't there last night, you missed a really good evening. President Kathy welcomed members and guests and introduced the activity for tonight - to present a favourite piece of music and talk about associated memories.
Last year's President, Barry, was first up and talked about his early fascination with Bohemian Rhapsody. Tom then gave us a quiz on our knowledge of the Beatles. Then, a guest recounted his experience of taking piano lessons as a stress-buster, and his pride in achieving grade 1. Austin spoke movingly about the power of a special piece of music to pose heart-searching questions about purpose and plan for our lives. He reminded us that life is change, growth is optional and to choose wisely. Sage words indeed. Kate spoke about the musical life and memories of her late brother and read from an absorbing book ' Irish Folk, Traditional and Blues - A Secret History, by Colin Harper and Trevor Hodgett. Yours truly spoke, and eventually succeeded in playing some favourite pieces by Barbara Dickson, the McGarrigle Sisters as well as some Latin American Tango music from a CD purchased in Montevideo. Michael gave us a moving guitar recital including pieces by Handel. Well, I could go on, of course, but I hope I've given you at least a flavour of the range of the evening..............
Kathy thanked everyone for their contributions and reminded us that next week's activity will be to simulate being a newsreader and assemble items of our choice.
As usual, hope to see you along - take part or observe, as you wish...........................
This was one of our most successful evenings. President Kathy was pleased to welcome a good attendance both of members and guests this week. She introduced the evening's activity and invited Austin to present the topic. He spoke about some of his favourite works of art with characteristic verve and enthusiasm. Other members similarly spoke about artists they admired and brought examples of their work. Some of our guests made very impressive presentations and we hope that they will retain their enthusiasm for the activities of the Circle.
Before inviting everyone to have some refreshments, Kathy thanked everyone for their contributions to the evening's enjoyment and reminded us that next week's activity will involve bringing along a favourite piece of music and speaking about it. CDs or even musical instrument playing will be welcome. As usual, guests, or interested observers will be made very welcome.
Well, hello again to you folks interested in keeping up with what the Speakers' Circle are doing. Hopefully we'll see some more of you come along, either to observe or participate. Many have survived the experience and enjoyed it.
We were pleased to welcome some visitors to our Pandora's Box evening last Monday. President Kathy had arranged a mysterious box, complete with a collection of items therein, to be extracted and described as imaginatively as possible by members. We had the usual range of the humourous, the quirky, the scarcely believable etc. by the usual suspects. Even our guests joined in with much appreciated contributions to the evening's enjoyment.
Kathy concluded the evening by thanking everyone for their stories, invited everyone to take some refreshments and reminded us of next week's activity - talking about Art. So if you have a favourite work of Art at home and would like to challenge yourself by talking about it to an interested, supportive audience - maybe we'll see you come along next week?
Hello again Blog readers - hope I've got the spelling of that scary type evening right? Once again President Kathy presided over a great evening's fun and craic! My only regret is, that I hadn't brought my camera to do justice to the costumes and buffet afterwards.
We revived the art of spooky story-telling in fantastic style and a great evening's entertainment was enjoyed by all present.
When all the conjured up memories of ghosts and ghouls had been sent from the building, Kathy brought us back to earth, thanked everyone, members and guests for their valued contribution and invited everyone to a wonderful supper. She reminded us of next Monday's activity, and to bring a mystery ( wrapped up ) object for Pandora's Box! You might remember what this involves - that's to say, speaking about the object you take out of the hat, for up to three minutes, in such a way that your amazing powers of description make it obvious what it is. So are you up for the challenge of engaging in more verbal gymnastics? See you there, usual venue and time..............and more of which anon..................
Well, I must say this was a really interesting and useful night. How enjoyable/challenging it is, to be given a list of topics, then ten minutes to prepare what you're going to say to a supportive audience, for a maximum of 4 minutes.
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.