Posts Tagged ‘Public Speaking’

Neil’s fourth win on the bounce

Sunday, November 26th, 2023

Neil Wilson won the club speech contest for the fourth consecutive time on Thursday 16th November with a speech entitled “Live to Work or Work to Live” as he took stock of his career and his plans for an active and fulfilling retirement.

John Holian was runner up with a speech entitled “A Good Night” and Howard Herbert completed the contest with “Fitzroy”, the title derived from the shipping forecast area. The judge was Niki Boersma.

Neil and John will represent the club at the Area contests, likely to be in February 2024.

National Conference, Cardiff

Friday, April 28th, 2023

The Cardiff Masonic Hall was the venue for the ASC National Conference on 21st and 22nd April.

Chris Clissitt was runner up in the topics contest on Friday evening. The subject was “Quality or Quantity”. The winner was Rob Waldron of Stourbridge – the same winner as 2019 in Edinburgh when John Holian secured 3rd place.

Chris took 3rd place in the evaluation contest on Saturday morning when the target speaker was Ian Brown of our newly formed Newcastle Club who delivered a speech entitled “Land”.

Anne Todd of Halifax & Huddersfield delivered a marvellous speech on Saturday afternoon, “Wainwright or Wainwrong” and secured 3rd place (behind winner Diana Douglas of Garstang and runner up Grace Hendry Nash of Glasgow.) This is the 3rd consecutive year in which Halifax & Huddersfield have been placed in the speech contest after Anne’s 2nd in 2021 and Kathryn Loftus’s 3rd in 2022. Next time….

So a second and two thirds for Eastern – no golds, but we did win more trophies than any other region.

Certificate for Jan

Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

Jan Seymour received her Foundation Certficate of Achievement from our Club President, John Holian, in April. The certificate is awarded for completing the first five assignments in the Speakers Guide, which Jan has achieved with some aplomb, delivering several entertaining and memorable speeches

Area AGM, Regional contests and next meeting

Monday, March 6th, 2023

Our next meeting is at Linton Memorial Hall on Linton Lane, Linton, Wetherby LS22 4HL at 7.45pm for 8pm on Thursday 16th March 2023.

Before then, we have two events:

Regional Contests at 2pm on Saturday 11th March at St Giles Church Hall, Church Hill, Bramhope LS16 9BA. Please come and support the Wetherby competitors, Neil and Chris.

Yorkshire and North East Area AGM Monday 13th March at 7.30 via Zoom. Please contact your club president for joining details



Club Speech Contest 2022/23

Friday, November 18th, 2022

Neil Wilson made it a hat trick as he retained the club speech trophy on Thursday 17th November with a speech entitled “Cup of Dreams” about the joy and excitement of the forthcoming World Cup.

Jan Seymour was runner up with a speech entitled “Roots” which explored where we feel that we truly have our roots, appropriately enough!

There were four competitors in all with Niki Boersma and Howard Herbert also delivering fine speeches. The judge was Peter Wilson. Neil will represent the club at the next stage which will be at the Area or Regional contests. Jan may also represent the next stage depending on the number of clubs in the region who choose to participate.

National Conference St Anne’s On Sea

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

The Dalmeny Hotelm, St Anne’s On Sea hosted the 2022 National Conference on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th April.

All three Eastern Region contestants were from Halifax & Huddersfield – Jan Millar in topics, Anne Todd in evaluation and Kathryn Loftus in the the speech contest.

Kathryn took third place in the speech contest with “The Humble Potato”, a most entertaining and superbly delivered speech. A remarkable achievement when you consider that Kathryn only joined the ASC last November! The winner was Jill Finney of Leamington SC and Chris Clissitt was chief judge.

A report on the event can be found here on the main ASC website.

Kathryn in action at St Anne’s On Sea

Evaluation and topics contests

Friday, January 21st, 2022

Jan Seymour gave the target speech for the club Evaluation contest on 20th January, an intriguing piece entitled “The Importance of the Fronted Adverbial.” There were just two entrants with judge Jeff Denton declaring John Holian the winner and Neil Wilson runner up. Both will represent the club at the regional contests in March.

There were a few more entrants for the Topics contest, five in all, with the result decided by audience vote rather than by a judge. Chris Clissitt was the winner with John Holian runner up.

There will be no Area contests this year. There are only three clubs in the region entering contests (Wetherby, York and Halifax & Huddersfield) and all three will progress directly to the Eastern Regional contests in March.

Here is the club line up for the regional contests:

Speech:          Neil Wilson & John Holian

Evaluation:     John Holian & Neil Wilson

Topics:           Chris Clissitt & John Holian

Club Speech Contest 2021/22

Friday, November 5th, 2021

Neil Wilson retained the club speech trophy on Thursday 4th November with a speech entitled “Playing the Game”, in which he extolled the virtues and benefits of participating in sport. He previously won the trophy in 2019, with 2020 being a fallow year owing to lockdown restrictions.

John Holian was runner up with a speech entitled “Who do you think you are?” which explored the premise that you can anything you want to be.

The judge was Chris Clissitt. Neil and John will represent the club at the Vale of York Area Speech Contest on 6th February 2022 in York.

The evening also featured a debut from our newest member, Jan Seymour,  who delivered a most entertaining speech entitled “This is me.”

Sandra Barton

Friday, May 7th, 2021

We were saddened to learn of the death of Sandra Barton on 9th April.Sandra Barton 2003 (2)

Sandra was a great friend to Wetherby Speakers Club. Over the years she regularly attended our dinners, judged our contests and was a constant source of advice, wisdom and humour.  She was a member of Leeds SC and when the club folded she joined Wharfedale SC.

Sandra was probably the first lady to visit Wetherby Speakers Club when we became a mixed club many years ago.

She was a great servant to the ASC and was National President in 2002-3, only the second lady to hold that office. The picture is from her presidential year handing the Speaker of the Year trophy to Simon Weston in Cardiff in January 2003.

Evaluation and Topics contests

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

John Holian retained the club topics crown on Thursday 16th January with Chris Clissitt runner up. Unfortunately John is barred from further progress in the topics contests as he came third in the national final last year, but this gives a great opportunity to Lisa Duffield who came a highly commendable third to enter the Vale of York Area Contests on 2nd February.

As last year, the decision was made by judges rather than audience vote. Philip Solity and Catriona Webb obliged as adjudicators.

Jeff Denton gave the target speech for the Evaluation contest, a discourse on Superman  entitled “Man of Steel”. In a repeat of last year’s result, Chris Clissitt was the winner with John Holian runner up.

The Vale of York Area contests take place at York RI Bowls Club on Sunday 2nd February 2020. Howard Herbert is unable to attend and John Holian will take his place. Here is the club line up for the area contests:

Speech:          Neil Wilson & John Holian

Evaluation:     Chris Clissitt & John Holian

Topics:           Chris Clissitt & Lisa Duffield

Silverware at National Finals in Edinburgh

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Ramana, Chris and 3rd placed Lucy Pitts with speech contest trophies

Ramana, Chris and 3rd placed Lucy Pitts with speech contest trophies

Chris Clissitt won the National Speech Contest for the third time in Edinburgh on Saturday 27th April with a speech about customer satisfaction surveys entitled “How was it for you?” The runner up was Ramana Sundara, known to us as Eastern District President and a member of York RI SC, but this time representing Midlands District through his membership of Newark SC. Both are past national winners, Ramana in 2016 and Chris in 2013 and 2015, becoming the first person to win three times.

There was more silverware for Wetherby SC in the Topics Contest where John Holian gained third place speaking on the subject “Mistakes.”  John delivered an excellent topic, well worthy of the honour in a high standard competition.

That’s York TV at York RISC meeting

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

That’s York TV filmed the meeting at York Speakers Club on Thursday 8th March. You can see the footage used for broadcast here.

That’s York TV is run by York St John University and is available on Freeview channel 7.

Speaking with a purpose

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

Why do we make speeches? At speakers club it is often to practise a speaking skill, to get better public speaking or simply for enjoyment. But many of us make speeches to prepare for outside speaking assignments at work, to groups or at social occasions.

Bill Mitchell ran a seminar at the club meeting on Thursday 3rd March on Prescription Speaking, an approach which encourages us to make speeches with a broad purpose and a specified objective. The broad purpose is one of four – to inform, to persuade, to entertain or to pay tribute.

The specified objective is read out to the audience beforehand and after the speech they vote to say whether or not the speaker has achieved it.

Bill explained the concept with great lucidity and persuasiveness – he certainly achieved his broad purpose! We heard a demonstration Prescription Speech from John  Holian (he achieved his specified objective) and the event was attended by members from the Wharfedale, York and Bradford clubs as well as Wetherby.

Club Speech Contest 2015/16 – a hat trick for Niki

Sunday, November 15th, 2015
Niki Boersma made it a hat trick of wins at the club’s Annual Speech contest on Thursday 5th November, extending her title for a third year with a speech entitled “To see or not to see – that is the question.” Neil Wilson was runner up with “The glory of golf?” There were 5 contestants, 5 entertaining speeches, and our very able and experienced judge was Sandra Barton, past National President and current member of Wharfedale SC.

Niki and Neil will represent the club at the Vale of York Area Speech Contest on 7th February 2016 in York.

National President’s Dinner, Oxford

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

William Warren held his National President’s dinner at St Cross College Oxford on Saturday 24th October, an initiative begun in 2013 in York by Lindsay Dutch.

Eastern District was represented by the President, Martin Bishop, Bill Mitchell who led one of the afternoon seminars (on prescription speaking) and Chris Clissitt, one of the dinner speakers.

The 66 guests were arranged on three long tables, and with his characteristic wit and bonhomie, William Warren, acting as MC, kept the evening moving along with good pace and humour.

The dinner followed a welcome by the South East District President, Bernie Morgan, and after dinner we had eight (yes, eight!) speakers rounded off by a vote of thanks by Jackie Mafi. As at York in 2013, Chris Clissitt was the last of the speakers, following an accomplished line up of Thomas Scott, Anne Bouget, John McGhee, Andrew Western, Margaret Robertson, Paul Johnstone and Bruce Golding.


ASC (spoof) Sponsorship Dinner – After Dinner Speech Contest

Saturday, March 31st, 2012
This traditional light hearted contest took place at The Bridge Inn, Walshford on Friday 23rd March with yet another spoof scenario. Imagine that following BBC2’s “The Speaker” three years ago public speaking became as big as cooking, choirs and home renovation. Speaking organisations thrived, and now large businesses are competing to sponsor the ASC and their great value product. At this dinner they set out the reasons why they should be chosen.

Jan Millar receives the trophy from Lindsay Dutch

After six entertaining speeches, Jan Millar was declared the winner for her highly amusing take on the part of Jacqueline Goldmine, Chief Executive of a lingerie and sex accessory chain.

The other speakers were Michael O’Dearie (Peter Wilson), Jim Trytrytryson (Howard Herbert), Richard Iamthebrandson (Neil Wilson), Mark Sugarmountain (Chris Clissitt) and Alan Zucker (John Holian). The MC was Miss Feasance (Niki Boersma) and the judge was Lindsay Dutch, Eastern District President.

Club Speech Contest 2011/12

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Congratulations to Neil Wilson on winning the Annual Speech contest on Thursday 15th December. Neil has represented the club in various contests at Vale of York Area, but this is the first time he has won the club speech contest, so we have a new name on the trophy. Neil spoke about Bill McLaren with his speech entitled “They’ll Be Dancing In the Streets of Hawick.”

The runner up was Jocelyn Brooks who dragged herself off her sick bed to deliver a very entertaining speech entitled “Reflections of a Church Warden.” Jocelyn will join Neil in representing the Club at the Vale of York Area contest on Sunday 15th January. If either Neil or Jocelyn prevail, we predict that they’ll be dancing on the streets of Wetherby!

There were 7 contestants in all, 7 high quality speeches, and a very close decision, according to the judge, Barbara Cresswell of White Rose Speakers Club.

Club Topics Contest

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Peter Wilson chaired the annual Topics Contest on 1st December and asked members to speak for three minutes on topics based on modern phrases in current use such as “Silver Surfers”, “Spin Doctor” and “Biodegradable”. Votes were cast by all present and the winner was John Holian with Chris Clissitt runner up. Both will represent the club at the Area Topics Contest to be held in York on Sunday 15th January.

Terry Ryan wins Area Speech Contest

Sunday, January 16th, 2011
Terry Ryan won the Vale of York Area Speech Contest on Saturday 15th January with his speech “Thanks A Bunch Nancy.” Terry will represent our club and Vale of York Area at the Eastern District contest on Saturday 19th February.

Terry Ryan receives the Area Speech Contest trophy from Chief Judge, Tony Morris

It was a Wetherby 1-2 in the speech contest, as Chris Clissitt claimed the runner up spot with his speech “The Idle Brume.”  In fact, Wetherby made clean sweep of silver medals, as John Holian was 2nd in the evaluation contest, and Chris Clissitt 2nd in the topics contest. Lindsay Dutch of York RI Speakers Club was victorious in both these contests.