The Speakers Guide

The Speakers Guide was rewritten and relaunched in 2020 and is structured around “The ASC Development Pathway” through which you become a better New Speakers Guidespeaker, a better presenter and a better leader. It covers the art of public speaking from beginner to advanced level together with helpful advice on chairmanship, impromptu speaking, evaluation, and many aspects of running a Speakers Club.

Become a better speaker: progress at your own pace through the assignments in the guide (see below), receive lots of encouragement and constructive feedback in a friendly and supportive environment, and be rewarded at the end of each section with a certificate of achievement.

Become a better presenter: there is a range of activities which enable you to build on your speaking skills, abilities and confidence. These include individual speaking competitions in speech, topics (impromptu speaking) and evaluation (giving feedback), team contests, debates, storytelling, online speaking, games, poetry and applied speaking amongst others.

Become a better leader: like any other skill, leadership can be learned and developed through practice. The Association offers a range of opportunities from chairing meetings, organising events, judging competitions and holding office at club, area and national level.

Speakers Guide 2 websiteEach assignment has its own particular evaluation requirements, and these are included in the Guide. By working through the Guide speakers have the opportunity to develop both their speaking and evaluation skills.

Speakers Guide 1 websiteCertificates of achievement are awarded for successful completion of the ten speech assignments and five appropriate assignments from the advanced section.

The ten assignments in the main section of the manual are:

Assignment 1 Making A Start Often called the ‘Icebreaker’ this is the new member’s opportunity to speak on a subject of choice. It gives the speaker a chance to ‘try their hand’ in front of a supportive audience.
Assignment 2 Speech Construction This assignment develops the speaker’s ability to arrange speech content in a logical and consistent manner that the audience can easily follow, develop the main themes, summarise and conclude in a memorable fashion.
Assignment 3 Mean What You Say This aims to develop a speaker’s self-confidence by speaking on a subject on which they know well and have definite opinions. This gives the opportunity to develop arguments and show sincerity and persuasiveness.
Assignment 4 Gestures and Body Language This assignment develops the ability to use gestures of face, arms and the whole body to complement, illustrate and add meaning or emphasis to a speech.
Assignment 5 Using your Voice Effectively The voice is the most powerful weapon in the speaker’s armoury. This assignment develops effective voice modulation. By using variety in pitch, pace, power, pause and inflection.
Assignment 6 Vocabulary and Word Pictures This assignment concentrates on enhancing and illustrating the message of a speech by using fresh but appropriate words and phrases and vivid, arresting descriptions, or word pictures.
Assignment 7 Using Notes and Microphones This assignment facilitates the use of notes, which do not interrupt the flow or distract from the delivery of a speech, but give support and confidence to the speaker.
Assignment 8 Use of Humour This explores different styles of humour and allows the speaker to develop their own style of naturally introduced humour, which enhances both the subject matter and speech delivery.
Assignment 9 Audience Rapport This assignment aims to build an affinity with the audience, to engage them and generate a sympathy with the ideas being put across by the speaker by a variety of techniques, including eye contact, pauses and short questions.
Assignment 10 The Showpiece This completes basic training and confirms the speaker’s ability to deliver a polished speech demonstrating all the skills acquired through the previous nine assignments. The speaker will by now have considerable experience to draw upon, and must achieve a high standard of presentation.