2015 has got off to a great start for Sutton Coldfield Speakers’ Club. In January we held an internal competition to select our representatives for the West Midlands Area Speech and Topics competitions. Gary Allmark was victorious in both sections of competition and will represent us on February 26th against teams from Wolverhampton and Stourbridge. Lots of our members will be present to support him because this year Sutton Coldfield Speakers’ Club is hosting the competition and it will be at our regular venue of Aston Wood Golf Club.
On February 4th we were invited by The Rotary Club of Wylde Green to provide three judges for their ‘Youth Speaks’ competition, held at Sutton Coldfield Town Football Club. Highclare, Bishop Vesey (two teams) and Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls were in contention and the standard was extremely high. The young people spoke with passion on subjects close to their hearts: ‘Footballers deserve to be paid more than doctors’, ‘Why is there poverty in the 21st century?’, ‘The Tears of a Clown’ (about depression) and ‘Android v IOS, which mobile phone operating system is better?’ Judging was close but Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls was declared the winner at the senior level and will go forward to the next round of this national competition, along with the intermediate team from Bishop Vesey.
Competitions are only a tiny part of the programme for Sutton Coldfield Speakers’ Club. We meet twice a month to support each other in gaining confidence and improving our public speaking skills. Each evening has a theme to inspire the preparation of speeches but members are also free to go ‘off-subject’ in order to practise for a particular event, for example a best man’s speech or a work presentation. Themes for the next few months include Literature, Inventions and Discoveries and The Twentieth Century.
We also hold social events and the next one will be our Annual Dinner which is to be held in April.
Sally Jenkins (February, 2015)