Surge of interest in public speaking?



At Thursday’s meeting, we had 13 guests, 10 new and 3 returners.  It’s not that we don’t attract guests to the meetings, we do, just not that many in one evening.   We like guests – come again. 

You could feel the energy and anticipation in the room before the meeting even started and it continued throught the evening.  Louise Kirk was in charge, as Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), and she did what a good TME should do, facilitate the evening with good introductions and smooth transitions, for the benefit of speakers, role players and audience.  Sometimes TME’s think it’s their opportunity to perform. It’s not – the TME is there to guide the audience through the evening with the minimum of fuss. 

Louise was helped by her team of role players – Michael Devaney as Timer, David Dick as Wordmaster/Grammarian with his word of the day, parlous, and  myself  as Ah Counter, trying to co-ordinate buzzing, writing and listenimg, at the same time.  I haven’t done this role for a long time and I now have a new respect for Ah Counters everywhere.  In her introduction, Louise asked us what we thought of Valentine’s Day and although there were a few cynics present (I liked the description ‘Hallmark holiday’),  it seems that most of us are just plain old romantics.

Paul Bailey gave the first speech, Ferrula (CC2 – Organise your speech).   Paul introduced us to the  ferrula, used to control unruly adolescents at his Jesuit school when he was a child.   With an effective mix of shock and humour, topped off by the surprise ending – an ex pupil developed a taste for ferrula administration when he was an adult – Paul kept everyone on the edge of their seats wondering what was coming next.  We can’t wait for CC3!

Renee Philippi was the second speaker with Drink More Water! (CC9 – Persuade with Power).  Renee is also the first exchange speaker from the other Edinburgh club, Capital Communicators (the 2 clubs introduced a monthly speaker exchange to give their members practise speaking outside their own clubs).  In a fact filled 7 minutes, Renee summed up the perils of not drinking enough water and the huge benefits of getting your daily allowance.  It was clear, succinct and to the point, and if it goes up on YouTube, I will give the link in a later blog.  It’s worth watching and if the run on the water jugs outstripping the rush to the teacups at the break, was anything to go by, we were persuaded.

Table Topics was facilitated by Graeme Buck who started off the session with the first few lines of a story, then sat back and chuckled as members tried to keep the tale going, and at the same time incorporate the random words that Graeme was throwing at them.   All the speakers rose to the challenge, kept up the flow without hesittaion and wove a fantastic tale of gorrillas taking over the fire service.  There may even be a book in there.

The evening ended on time, and the comments on the guest feedback forms told us that they had enjoyed the evening with several asking for membership forms. 

You can visit Waverley Communicators at

One comment

  1. Great atmosphere and really enjoyed the Table Topics TT – and proudly took my bookmark ribbon home.
    I came to TI for the speech-making practice and stayed for the TT because thinking on your feet in business is needed more often than formal speeches. However, I am on course to deliver a speech a month to business groups as part of this year’s marketing plan.
    To voluntarily speak 12 times in a year would have seemed like a nightmare when I first joined TI. Now I look forward to it.

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