Sunday the 15th of September saw the first workshop for the year in Division H. Over 20 members gathered on a decidedly wintery day and prepared to learn.
Our first session was delivered by Paul Carroll, a past winner of the District Table Topics Contest and current club champion. He gave us some amazing tips on how to approach Table Topics, some examples of past topics and we had the opportunity to practice and evaluate our performances. The key points for me were:
- Structure – P.R.E.P. Point, reason, example, point.
- Go with the first thing that comes to your mind, it’s where your subconscious is going and you would do well to follow.
The second session was with Jewels Carter of Solent Speakers. She had us all in a circle telling the group facts about ourselves in a neutral tone of voice, a very quiet tone and a really loud tone. She did a similar thing with body language, getting us to act out a piece of information. There was lots of laughter and fun and people really got a lot out of it. Bob had a chance to shout at a headteacher, but I think I know who won that showdown…
After some tea and cake and biscuits, we went into the final session of the afternoon. Gayna Cooper and Martin Berry presented a joint session on writing that humorous speech.. where do you get ideas from, use of props, story-telling and the importance of practice. I like the idea of having an ideas jar to store the odd random thoughts that occur during the day, to look at later when you’re in need of inspiration. Gayna demonstrated the ue of props in her latest speech and exhorted us never to throw away a speech. Go back to it, tweak it, develop it. Speeches evolve over time and that’s how they get really good!
Most of us adjorned to the village pub for a bit of socialising. Everyone enjoyed themselves and said the workshop was well-worth attending. I’m very pleased to have been able to provide a forum for some fun learning to take place. I’m looking forward to the Division Contest now, two workshops on offer in the morning, I hope you’ll come along!