Why would I want to join the Thanet Speakers club?
There are several reasons for joining the Thanet Speakers Club. It combines learning the skills of public speaking and presentations, with a friendly supportive atmosphere. You can enjoy speaking about many different subjects as well as learning and practicing other skills such as chairing meetings, giving feedback and leading short training sessions. As well as being extremely enjoyable it is a fantastic way of increasing your confidence and self-esteem and meeting new and interesting people who then talk about fascinating subjects. A better question might be, why would you not want to join Thanet Speakers?!
What is the club about? Is it an evening class?
It is similar to an evening class in so far as we meet twice a month, between 8.00 and 10.00pm and we meet people, learn speaking skills and socialise afterwards. It is different because it is independent, inexpensive and interesting.
Who teaches the skills, and who is in charge?
As a private independent club, we are all in charge. We elect a few people to run the club – that changes every year. Members are often keen to get involved and we encourage this. In addition to that, several of our members have done extremely well in competitions, and all of them give their extensive knowledge and skills to the club free of charge. However we all learn from each other and that is one of the things that makes it a special club.
What sort of people join? What ages?
Anyone and everyone can join. We have members from 16 to 70+. We have both men and woman. It does not matter if you are working, retired, unemployed, or studying. We have a wide range of people, with wide skills and varying degrees of confidence. You will fit in! We are all nice welcoming people and of course we reserve the right to refuse membership or admittance to anyone who the committee feel does not respect the club’s values.
What happens at a typical meeting?
Although each club is different, most follow a similar agenda for their meetings. A typical evening could follow the outline below.
- 8.00 start – we are always prompt!. We aim to finish prompltly at 10.00.
- Introduction and outline of the evening and alterations to the programme.
- Optional mini tutorial or learning point.
- 3 prepared speeches of about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Evaluations, each speech is evaluated with learning points identified.
- Break for a drink at the bar (optional)
- Impromptu speaking session, called Topics, this is a chance for anyone to be given a generic topic and attempt to speak for up to 2 minutes. (You do not have to – nobody is forced to speak, only gently encouraged.
- Topic evaluations and learning points.
- Final Evaluation and close.
Some evenings will follow a theme, and others will be more general in nature but all of them will create good learning opportunities whilst listening to interesting speakers. Sometimes we use PowerPoint for part of the meeting, sometimes we do not.
Can I come along try it and see for myself?
Of course you can and you will be most welcome. You can attend as a guest without any cost whatsoever. You can just turn up, or email/ring us so we know to look oout for you. Please do tell people it is your first time. Once you have tried a couple of meetings, we hope you will want to join.
How much is membership?
There are two costs involved and they are both very small. Our annual membership is £28.00 with a £2.00 charge per evening to cover the cost of hiring the room at the Royal Temple Yacht Club.
I am nervous about attending my first meeting any advice?
Simply call or email us and we will make sure that you are welcomed, someone explains everything to you, sits with you and makes sure you enjoy your first visit. We will introduce you to a few members so that you will quickly feel right at home.
What is the ASC?
The ASC stands for the Association of Speakers Clubs. Sometimes it also indicates the aim of the organsition Achieve Speaking Confidence. The ASC is a UK national organisation of over 40 years standing. The 130+ clubs hold, in the main, fortnightly meetings where members can deliver speeches, learn public speaking skills and receive valuable feedback through evaluations. The clubs normally meet in the evenings and create a safe, supportive atmosphere that helps to develop confidence, whilst ensuring a good sense of fun and camaraderie.
How is the ASC organised?
The ASC divides the country into 8 Districts, and these in turn are subdivided into smaller areas of normally 4 or 5 clubs. Whilst each club operates independently, it does so under the general guidance and structure of the National Organisation. Clubs in the same area or district will often meet and share competitions and resources.
Not every member is interested in speaking competitions, but for those who enjoy the challenge, each club will hold competitions in the three main disciplines, Prepared Speaking, Impromptu Speaking and Evaluations. The winners of the club competitions will compete in an Area final, and those winners in a District final. Finally all 8 District winners will compete at the National Finals held in April each year.
In addition to individual events, most districts have a couple of team speaking events which add interest and addition challenge to the speakers. If you do not want to compete, it is still worth going to the Area and other finals as the standard of speaking is usually very high and there is always an opportunity to learn from others. By the time you are ready for competitions, we will be able to advise you on the best route to this aspect of speaking.