Our speaker development programme is flexible and allows you to tailor your learning to suit your needs. Each meeting is self-contained, so it doesn't matter when you join the club.
Commercial public speaking courses are usually one to three days and are expensive. They'll teach you the key skills and may be worth considering if you need a 'quick fix'. However, our speaker development programme offers so much more than a typical training course.
"I joined the club to develop my techniques and confidence in public speaking for work reasons. In the short time I have been a member I have already begun to see and feel improvements". Lee
Our speaker development programme aims to build confidence as well as speaking and presenting skills. You will also gain experience chairing meetings and providing feedback to other speakers to help their development. And you'll have our support and guidance for as long as you are a member of Bromsgrove Speakers Club.
There's no reason why learning can't be fun, so as well as developing your speaking skills and confidence, we guarantee you'll have lots of laughs along the way!
Like what you've seen so far? Then why not book a free Taster Evening with us.
Read on to explore our Speaker Development Roadmap ...
"Membership of the club has enabled me to speak confidently in all situations, which helped me get my dream job as well as to be invited to speak at TEDx events." Anne
Speaker Development Roadmap
The roadmap is designed so that members can cover the essentials for speaking to an audience in six Level 1 foundation modules. It’s recommended these modules should be tackled in the order shown. However, if you have a different priority, flexibility could be applied.
This stage of the speaker development programme consists of modules 7 and 8 plus any three others. The order they are tackled is the speaker’s choice. M7 and M8 plus M1-M5 provide a sound foundation for further development. They are the key components of any speech or presentation.
Subsequent development levels have five modules, which can be tackled in the order best suited to gain further experience most appropriate for you. Completing each level will be recognised as a measure of experience achieved, not necessarily of expertise. Our aim is to help members be the best they can be personally, not in any hierarchical order within Bromsgrove Speakers or any other organisation.
For module speeches you are free to select your own subject. But you should not consistently speak on the same subject. Default speech times will be 6-8 minutes but will vary where appropriate for the module being tackled.
Below is the list of modules in our speaker development programme. Click on the module title to be taken directly to it. From there you can scroll up or down. PC/laptop users can also click on the green arrow (bottom right of the screen) to return to the top of the page.
Or leave the detail for now and book a free Taster Evening.
- M1 Introduction
- M2 Structuring a Speech
- M3 Body Language
- M4 Voice Variation
- M5 Using Notes
- M6 Foundation Review
- M7 Creating Images with Words
- M8 Using Humour
- M9 Impromptu Speaking
- M10 Delivering a PowerPoint Presentation
- M11 Speaking Without Notes
- M12 Questions and Answers
- M13 Persuasive Speaking
- M14 Storytelling for Effect
- M15 The Case For and Against
- M16 Presenting using Visual Aids (other than screen slides)
- M17 Speaking from a Full Script
- M18 Delivering an Educational Presentation
- M19 Ditch the Dull
- M20 Help Your Audience Remember
- M21 Debating
- M22 Chairing a Meeting
- M23 Providing Feedback
- M24 After Dinner Speech
- M25 Delivering a Presentation
This first module is an opportunity to introduce yourself briefly. You may want to mention why you’ve joined and what you are hoping to gain from membership, but it’s not compulsory. Alternatively, why not talk about something of particular interest to you. But don’t make it too challenging or try to fit in too much detail at this stage.
Aim to speak for between 5 and 8 minutes, but don’t worry if you’re a few seconds under or over. However, you should practise aloud and time yourself. You may be surprised how long you’ve spoken for.
Plan your speech by jotting down ideas and trying to link them into a coherent whole. You know your subject, so try not to have a full script – just a few notes to help keep you on track and to give you confidence. If you read from a script you’ll sound wooden. If you have a few notes you won’t say everything exactly how you intended, but no one will know and you’ll sound more interesting.
If you find that you have too much material for the time available, think about what’s really important for your message and prune out the less important stuff.
At this stage it’s not too important, but if you can structure your speech it will help. Ideally, you’d have an introduction, then the main part of the speech followed by a conclusion. And see if you can come up with an intriguing speech title that will keep the audience guessing.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on planning a speech.
At this early stage in a speaker’s development, the feedback on their speech should be overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. Almost certainly there will be aspects that could be improved but just highlight one, or a maximum of two, to comment on. In a way that is easy to understand, demonstrate how the improvement could be achieved.
M2 Structuring a Speech
Speeches and presentations need to be structured to make it easier for the audience to follow and take onboard what is being said. In simple terms, there should be an introduction – speech body – summary/conclusion.
Unless it’s a very straightforward subject, it is better to break the main part of the speech into sections, ideally three. Each section will consider a different aspect of the subject.
The introduction should identify the purpose of the speech and outline the three elements to be addressed.
The key points of the speech should be highlighted in the conclusion, including any call to action you are hoping for.
If you can start with a powerful sentence and finish with one, so much the better. The former will catch the attention of the audience and the latter will indicate you’ve finished, removing the need for saying ‘thank you’.
In summary, the speech should be constructed as shown below:
- Body – Part 1
- Body – Part 2
- Body – Part 3
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on structuring a speech.
At this stage we’re just looking for a reasonably clear introduction – body – conclusion and flow. Nuances such as splitting the speech body into three and starting/finishing with powerful sentences are to be welcomed but not mandatory at this stage. However, there should be clear signposting of where the speaker is taking us.
As with Module 1, the feedback should be positive and areas for improvement tackled sensitively with a clear demonstration of how to achieve the upgrade.
M3 Body Language
The way you use your body can have a significant effect on the impact of the message you are trying to convey. If you are forever wandering about or waving your arms around, the audience will become distracted and, possibly irritated.
Aim to stand with your feet slightly apart. This will give you a steady base. If you have the use of a lectern, it may be helpful to hold it very lightly. Don’t grip it tightly as you may move it around or your knuckles may go white. If you don’t have a lectern, you could just let your arms drop down by your side. But be careful not to look rigid. As an alternative, try folding your arms slightly, roughly level with your hips, with one hand just resting on the other.
From this starting position you are ready to use your body to reinforce what you are saying. For example, if you are presenting the pros and cons of something, you could stand slightly to one side of centre for the positives and then move to the other side for the negatives. And if you’ve been fishing and one got away, you know exactly how to demonstrate its size!
Having warned against excessive movement, don’t just stand ramrod straight throughout your speech. That will look unnatural and undermine the enthusiasm that you have for your subject.
Even in a video meeting, you should be careful not to move excessively in front of the camera. The closer you are to the camera, the more even slight movement will be noticeable. This is especially true if you move forwards and backwards.
Your facial expressions can add extra impact to your performance but it’s difficult to control them, so it’s probably best to let your face react naturally.
Probably the single most important aspect of body language is how you use your eyes. If you read from a script, or look at the floor or ceiling the whole time, you won’t connect with your audience. It’s important to look at everyone in the room on a regular basis. But don’t stare at them. Just make brief contact with each one in turn throughout your presentation. It is better to do this on a random basis rather than regularly sweep the room like a lighthouse beam.
If it’s a video presentation, look at the camera, not the images of the audience. And try to set things up so that the camera is level with, or very slightly above, your eye line.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on body language.
For this module we’re looking for reasonably good eye-contact and not too much arm waving or wandering around – movement and gestures should look natural and not contrived because of the focus of the module. Conversely, standing stiffly with no movement at all will undermine the speaker’s ability to communicate their message effectively.
M4 Voice Variation
By this point you will have seen, and more importantly, heard a good number of other speeches, as well as having done three of your own. While not expecting ‘the finished article’, we need to hear obvious variation in volume and pace, including clear pauses.
A speech delivered at a constant speed at the same volume and without any pauses is likely to sound tedious, sleep inducing and will have little impact.
Speaking to an audience is different from conversational speaking, although the level of difference will depend on the room and audience size. The larger the audience, the louder you’ll need to speak, probably sounding to yourself as though you are shouting. And the room’s acoustics will also have a bearing. An irregular shaped room with lots of curtains, a carpet and full of people will absorb sound much more than a half-a-dozen people in regular shaped room without curtains and with a hard floor.
When you speak, you need to enunciate clearly. This is particularly important if you have an accent different from the audience’s.
Speaking very quickly makes it harder to speak clearly, so you may need to speak slower than you do in conversation. But you can inject a little pace when you want to build excitement.
Most people new to speaking often speak too quickly. That makes it difficult for the audience to take in what you are saying and equally difficult for you to find time to breathe.
A good technique when you are about to say something really important is to slow down and drop your volume slightly. Then the audience will have to really concentrate to hear you.
Pausing before and after an important statement is also a good way to make sure the audience can absorb it. Likewise, if you use humour, pause when the audience laughs to let them (and you) enjoy the moment.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on using your voice.
The amount of variation used will depend on the type of speech being delivered. But the aim should always be to enhance the ability of the audience to absorb the key information being presented.
Has there been variation in volume and pace at appropriate points and have pauses been used to allow the audience thinking time? A pause between the different sections of the speech i.e. after the introduction, the sections of the speech body and before the conclusion will help to separate them from each other in the same way that chapters do in a book.
M5 Using Notes
By now, notes should be notes, not anything approaching a script. That is, unless you are required to stick to a prescribed text, as covered by Module 17.
Reference to notes should be reasonably limited and not adversely affect eye-contact.
If you have the use of a lectern, then take advantage of it by having A4 sized notes. Card is better than paper because it lies flat and is easier to turn over if you have more than one page. Tip: turn up one corner to make it easy to grip to turn over.
Use a large font and space everything so that you can easily find the words you are looking for. Two pages well-spaced are better than one page of dense information.
If you are planning to use a quote, have it written in full. Consider having it on a separate, smaller card and don’t be afraid to pick it up and make it clear that you are reading.
If you don’t have a lectern, then small cards are the answer. 15cm x 10cm (6” x 4”) card is probably the best size compromise.
The risk with cards is dropping them. Make sure they are clearly numbered – good practice whatever the format. Consider joining them with a treasury tag or an ordinary piece of string looped through a hole punched in the corner.
Mind maps can be a useful format for speech notes if you are familiar with the concept.
NB For this module, a copy of your speaking notes should be given to the person providing feedback before you speak.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on using speech notes.
By this point in their development, the speaker should be able to manage with notes so that it isn’t too obvious they are using them.
As an alternative, it’s fine if the speaker pauses and looks down, briefly studies the next section of notes, then looks up before speaking again. Just so long as it only happens occasionally.
Whichever approach is used, the speaker should spend the majority of the time making eye contact with the audience.
M6 Foundation Review
This speech should bring together all of the learning from above, before you set your own route for further development. This should be 7-8 minutes, or even slightly longer, to allow all elements to be demonstrated.
By this stage, the speaker should be able to deliver a speech incorporating all of the key elements from the previous modules, used in an appropriate manner. In other words, they should demonstrate they have the necessary foundations in place to enable them to go on to develop their skills and confidence with other modules of their choice in Level 2 and beyond.
Level 2 and beyond
Level 2 consists of modules 7 and 8 plus any three others. The order they are tackled is the speaker’s choice.
M7 Creating Images with Words
We retain images in our memory far more effectively than words. Think about the important events in your life. Good or bad, it’s images that come into your mind isn’t it?
This module is about harnessing the power of words to create images in the listeners’ minds. Note: This is not storytelling – see later module (M14).
The aim is to describe things in a way that helps the audience to visualise what you are saying. To turn your words into images in their minds.
Sometimes a simple change of words can create an image. Which conjures up a more vivid picture for you: walking slowly or ambling?
And words can be used to create familiar, metaphorical images. I slept like a log conveys an easy-to-understand message without needing to say, “I slept soundly from 11.00pm until 7.00am”.
Try to use metaphors that the audience will be familiar with. If you compare something to the height of a double decker bus, most will be able to picture it. But if you relate something to the capacity of a number of Olympic swimming pools (a popular metaphor for volumes of water), most of us will be none the wiser.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on how to paint pictures with words.
This speech should build on the Level 1 modules to increase the impact of the speaker’s delivery. There should be a clear demonstration of word pictures without going over-the-top or using excessively flowery language. To some extent, this will depend on the type of speech and its context. However, the speaker should have chosen a subject that lends itself to benefitting from word pictures to aid its understanding and memorability.
M8 Using Humour
Humour is one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience. For this module your subject matter can be light-hearted or serious. Even a serious subject will benefit from gentle humour to provide contrast with the serious elements.
Humour generally works best when done with subtlety not jokes. We’re not looking for a comedy routine here.
A great way to connect with the audience is to poke fun at yourself. Is there a situation where things went wrong for you that’s relevant to what you are speaking about? If so, why not mention it, if nothing else, as a learning point for others. This works particularly well early on in your presentation when the audience are still not fully engaged with you or your subject.
Once the audience has laughed the first time, they will relax and look for other opportunities to laugh. This means they are more likely to pay attention than if the speech is presented in a totally serious manner.
Of course, humour should be appropriate to the occasion. In an after-dinner speech or a wedding speech, the audience will be expecting humour. But be careful not to offend anyone. ‘If in doubt, leave it out’ is a good mantra to apply.
In a business presentation it’s unlikely the audience will be expecting to be entertained. They want information. Nevertheless, all but the most serious of participants will enjoy a little levity if it is relevant to proceedings.
It’s probably best to plan your presentation – get the key message in place. And then think about where you might inject humour. Think about what makes you laugh. It’s often things that aren’t intrinsically funny, isn’t it?
When delivering the speech, don’t rush the humorous elements. Give the listeners time to absorb what you’ve said and to see the humour. And if they laugh, pause until they have settled again.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on how to use humour in speeches.
Has the speaker used humour appropriately to develop rapport with the audience? Does the humour complement the speech and add to its impact? Has the speaker allowed time for the audience to laugh and then settle again? Has the speaker taken advantage of any laughter breaks, for example, to take a drink or to consult their notes?
Occasionally, particularly with longer speeches, it may be appropriate for the speaker to use humour to take the audience away from the subject briefly before re-focussing them on the key message.
Note: When providing feedback on this module, aim to sit where you can see the faces of the audience so that you can detect smiles as well as laughter.
(The order modules are tackled is your choice – module number is for identification purposes only.)
M9 Impromptu Speaking
You’ve turned up at a meeting, conference or presentation. At the last minute a speaker has pulled out. As you have some subject knowledge, you are asked to stand in. You have ten minutes to prepare a short speech.
This module provides practise for that situation. You will be able to leave the meeting for 10 minutes preparation.
Quickly jot down all you know on the subject. Highlight the most important elements. Group together related aspects. Aim for three main groups. Anything peripheral that doesn’t fit can be discarded.
Now write some brief notes. How are you going to introduce the presentation? Include the three areas of subject matter that you’ll discuss.
Note each of the three elements plus any key points related to each.
Then plan the conclusion. Try to end with a strong sentence that leaves the audience in no doubt that you’ve finished.
Review your notes and you’re ready to go. Good luck.
“And that is how to prepare an impromptu speech in 10 minutes!”
(That’s a strong finish, if delivered with conviction.)
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on Impromptu Speaking.
As well as incorporating all of the learning from previous modules, has the speaker delivered the speech confidently? Has their delivery been good despite having no more than a few minutes to prepare and no time to practise?
M10 Delivering a PowerPoint Presentation
(Prezi and other formats can be used instead of PowerPoint.)
If delivering presentations is a priority for you, this module can be included at the Foundation stage.
If you would like to practise a presentation for work etc, you can do so. This module could be longer than the ‘standard’ time if required. Discuss this with the education officer in advance.
Using PowerPoint to provide a real visual aid to your message needs careful thought and planning. Images not words on the slides are the key here. As mentioned in M7, we retain images in our minds much more effectively than words.
Prepare your presentation as you would for any other speech. Work out what you want to say. Plan and structure your presentation. Perhaps practise it a couple of times before you go any further.
Now think about what parts of your message might prove challenging for the audience to take on board. Would an image help their understanding? If the answer would be ‘yes’ then, and only then, is it time to turn on PowerPoint.
PowerPoint allows you to do all sorts of fancy things. Just ask yourself if any of them will really help the understanding of the audience, or will they be a distraction? If in doubt, keep it simple.
When you deliver the presentation, remember to look at the audience, not at the screen. Ideally, stand close to the screen so that the audience can see you, but be careful not to get in the way of the beam from the projector.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on making a powerful presentation.
Did the slides predominantly use images rather than words? Did they add to the audience’s understanding of the message? Were they relevant and an integral part of the presentation?
Did the presenter handle the technical side of the presentation well? Were slides removed from the screen after use? Was the projector turned off or a blank slide inserted?
M11 Speaking Without Notes
You will appear more knowledgeable and authoritative if you can speak well without notes. It also means you can use eye-contact with the audience to full effect.
As always, plan your speech carefully. The structure is even more important with this module because you want a logical flow to help you know where you are when you speak.
Don’t attempt to memorise the speech. Just rehearse it sufficient times to feel confident that you know where you are going next at each point of the speech.
Remember, the audience will have no idea what you intended to say, so if you don’t say exactly what you intended, no one will be any the wiser.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on how to speak without notes.
Has the speech been delivered confidently and naturally i.e. without appearing to have been memorised? Has eye contact been maintained with the audience rather than the speaker looking at the floor or ceiling while trying to recall their words?
M12 Questions and Answers
Here you’ll deliver a speech or presentation on a subject on which members are likely to have some knowledge and understanding. At the conclusion, the audience will ask questions which you’ll need to address confidently and reasonably concisely. If appropriate the audience may interrupt to ask questions during the presentation. You should try to address them without losing the direction and flow of the presentation. To allow time for questions and interruptions, this module could be longer than ‘standard’ e.g. 10-12 minutes.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on Questions & Answers.
Have questions been answered confidently, taking time to think before answering? If questions have been asked during the presentation, have they thrown the speaker off track or has the speaker dealt with them as an integral part of the presentation?
M13 Persuasive Speaking
This module is probably relevant only if you have a specific cause you want to promote and where there’s a realistic chance of you persuading the audience to your point of view.
You will choose your subject. It could be to persuade the audience to take up a sport, buy local produce, join the National Trust, join an art group, if running a business, to take on an apprentice, grow vegetables, plant a tree, take an exotic holiday and so on. The possibilities are endless so long as the usual requirements for it to be in good taste and not involve potentially divisive subjects such as politics, sex and religion.
The module could be an opportunity to practise a sales presentation, albeit, not with the intention of selling to the audience. In this case it would require the audience to try to put themselves in the place of the target buyer.
All of the previously learned speaking skills should be deployed but with particular emphasis on those required to be persuasive.
There would be a vote, either by a show of hands (speaker looking away) or paper ballot, to enable the audience to indicate whether they were persuaded to take the action.
If the outcome of the vote is positive, the feedback should highlight the key reasons the presentation succeeded, including use of particular speaking skills.
If the audience hasn’t been convinced, then the feedback should try to identify the reasons and how changes could be made to increase the chance of a positive result.
M14 Storytelling for Effect
This isn’t a story purely for entertainment. It’s about creating a story to help convey a message and to make it memorable to the listeners. If relevant, it could be your own story, perhaps of how you overcame adversity to achieve your goal.
Alternatively, it could be a customer’s story or that of a work colleague or friend, outlining how they have achieved success or a positive outcome, perhaps with your help or that of someone else.
It shouldn’t be a boring narrative. You need to use descriptive vocabulary to create images in the minds of your audience. The closer the images are to their own experience, knowledge or understanding, the easier it will be for them to process them in their minds.
Go to our Speaking Blog article on building Public Speaking Confidence for an example of storytelling.
Has the speaker created a story with word pictures that enables the typical audience member to engage with the message being conveyed? Will you retain the images and the story in your mind long after the presentation?
M15 The Case For and Against
There are two approaches that could be applied here.
- You would present a balanced argument explaining the pros and cons of a subject equally. You would not express an opinion as to which is the better option. Using your voice or body language differently between pros and cons could be considered to be expressing an opinion, as well as the specific words used.
- Here, you would present one side of the argument in a convincing fashion. And then demolish this position with even more convincing advocacy for the opposite view.
A vote might be taken on the outcome in either case.
For 1, the feedback would offer a view as to whether the case was presented equally for both sides of the argument.
For 2, feedback would look at the strength of the first case and then the techniques used to counter it.
M16 Presenting using Visual Aids other than screen slides
This will require using physical objects as visual aids, maybe including a demonstration e.g. flower arranging, creating artwork, juggling etc. Use of a flipchart could also be included if appropriate. This module might be longer than ‘standard’ if it involved creating something as part of the presentation.
Was the presentation successful in the way it used visual aids? Did they reinforce the message or get in the way of the presentation? Was the presenter able to talk and demonstrate at the same time? Did the presentation inform, educate, persuade or entertain?
M17 Speaking from a Full Script
This is relevant if you are likely to be required to deliver the exact words on a script, possibly one written by someone else. To be successful, the speech should be delivered without you appearing to be reading the script.
The key to success is to rehearse many times to ensure that you are completely familiar with the script. NB – this is not the same as memorising it.
The font used for the script should be easy to read and of the largest size practicable balanced against having too many pages. Lines should be well spaced and with ‘paragraph’ breaks. This is to make it easier to see where you are on the page without having to look down and study it carefully.
This type of speech requires the use of a lectern or, possibly, an autocue/teleprompter in a business or political environment.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on speaking with a script.
This module requires two participants for feedback.
One should have a copy of the script and read it as the speech is delivered, marking any deviations of the speaker from the script.
The other person would observe and note the speaker’s performance as normal.
Before the feedback is given, the two need to consult so that the speech reader can advise of any deviation from the script to the person delivering the feedback.
M18 Delivering an Educational Presentation
This can be on aspects of speaking or on a completely different subject that may be of interest to our members. If it is educating members about aspects of speaking, presenting, chairing or providing feedback, it will be in the ‘by invitation’ category below.
If you have been invited to deliver an educational presentation to an outside body, then this module could be used to practise it and receive feedback.
While this module can be delivered as a ‘straight’ lecture, it is more likely to involve visual aids of some description, whether physical, PowerPoint or a combination.
If you are unknown to the audience, particularly if they have been required to attend, you should be prepared to work harder than normal to develop a rapport with them. Consider an interactive approach by making it more of a conversational presentation.
It is likely this will be longer than ‘standard’ modules.
As with any presentation, visual aids should be an aid to delivering the speaker’s message, not a prop or replacement for notes.
Has the presenter held the audience’s attention and interest throughout? Have they engaged with the audience through questions and answers? This is particularly relevant with longer presentations.
M19 Ditch the Dull
Some subjects can be pretty boring for anyone who isn’t passionate about them. For this module you need to avoid being as dull as ditch water (or dish water) by using a variety of techniques to make your presentation entertaining and informative.
This module should not be delivered in your normal style. You need to inject excitement into your presentation, possibly being prepared to be a little ‘over-the-top’ if that is what’s required to make an impact.
Using humour, creative graphics or props, word pictures or story-telling could all help, depending on the subject and the audience.
Note: This module could link in with M18 to help engage an audience for an educational session.
Did the presenter succeed in gaining and keeping audience interest and conveying the key elements of the message in a way that was appropriate for the audience and subject? What were the factors in success (or otherwise)? Did they make a bigger impact than usual rather than present in their normal style? Was this a high standard speech in other respects?
M20 Help Your Audience Remember
This is about using rhetorical techniques as a powerful way to help the audience remember your key points. They can also be used to trigger a particular response, such as laughter or applause.
These techniques are often used in more formal speeches or presentations but they can be deployed widely to add impact to your message.
Perhaps the most commonly used is the rhetorical question: Why are we all here? You don’t expect an answer because you are going to provide it.
Rhetorical devices often make use of the power of three. And they can be combined with rhetorical questions used to focus audience attention. An example is Tony Blair’s declaration of his priorities if he became prime minister:
“Ask me my three priorities? Education, education and education.”
Building the audience’s anticipation and then changing direction can elicit laughter, as well as highlighting the point you want to make. One of the most well-known examples is:
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Again, this uses the power of three but in a different way.
Phrase reversals are another way, as in this quote by Stephen Covey.
“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success. Leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”
Alliteration is another easily used technique. Instead of referring to a good presentation, a powerful presentation has more punch (the last word is a bonus!).
Not everyone likes chocolate, but you could simply say you do. However, using contrast can emphasise the point: You may prefer vegetables, but I like chocolate.
Go to our Speaking Blog for more information on rhetorical techniques.
Did the speaker use a number of rhetorical techniques to gain the audiences’ attention? Is the use of those techniques likely to aid recall of the key points? Ask yourself, do you recall them and are you likely to recall them tomorrow or next week?
Were the rhetorical devices used appropriate for the speech? What were the factors in success (or otherwise)?
This module assumes a planned debate i.e. where the key participants have prepared their speeches. The module would be applicable to the challenging role of Principal Opposer of the motion being debated. It requires having a planned speech to counter what the Proposer is likely to say, and then thinking on your feet to amend the content to respond more effectively to the Proposer’s speech. Your speech should make full use of the foundation components of a successful speech and is likely to use rhetorical techniques to make it more memorable.
Has the speaker delivered a high standard speech that effectively counters the key points made by the motion’s proposer? Have any rhetorical techniques been deployed to reinforce the opposer’s argument
These modules will normally be undertaken at the invitation of the education officer i.e. when it is felt that the member is ready for these challenges. As with other modules, they are part of a member’s overall development.
M22 Chairing a Meeting
This should be a meeting with a full agenda, ideally with visitors present. You should take control of the evening, arriving early to arrange room layout and staying after the meeting to ensure all equipment has been put away and the room left clean and tidy.
You should control all the key elements of the meeting, including the agenda, and should provide a clear explanation to the audience of all aspects of the meeting.
To succeed, this module requires you to plan ahead, prepare well and arrive early to take charge of proceedings.
It is almost inevitable that you’ll overlook some detail. The key is to realise this and correct it at the first appropriate opportunity.
Note: This module applies to physical meetings, not those held online.
Detailed guidance will be provided by the education officer prior to taking on this role. It may be that you will need to chair more than one meeting to gain the experience required to achieve the objectives of the module.
This could be provided by someone appointed specifically for the role or by the overall meeting reviewer.
Was it clear that the person chairing had taken note of the guidance and applied it appropriately? Were they clearly in charge of the evening from before the start until after the close of the meeting? If they made minor mistakes or overlooked anything, did they realise and make the necessary correction at the first opportunity, without being overly apologetic?
M23 Providing Feedback
This module is about preparing and delivering feedback to another member on one of their speech modules. This will include the written feedback provided post-meeting.
Your review should be overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, especially for newer members. The feedback should highlight specific elements that were done well as learning points for everyone.
Likewise, any aspects that could be improved should be identified as learning opportunities for all, including a clear demonstration or explanation on how to achieve the improvement.
Modules should NEVER be identified as having been passed or failed. A speaker should be advised to move on to their next module if they have achieved the key objectives of the one under review. If there is significant room for improvement, they should be advised that it would be beneficial to have another go at the module.
This module is about the speaker and how they and the audience can learn and develop, it’s not about you other than as the facilitator of that development.
Speaking in a Different Environment
These modules will require a speech or presentation in a non-speakers’ club environment. You will need to discuss with the education officer how evaluation and feedback may be provided, if practicable. In addition, you will be invited to give an account of the event in the club’s Spotlight feature, to include a question-and-answer element.
M24 After Dinner Speech
This module also relates to wedding speeches etc. Usually, the speaker will be expected to entertain the audience, some members of which may not be entirely focussed on you.
Depending on the venue, the audience may be seated at tables either side of the speaker, as well as in front. This will require a greater effort than usual to make eye contact with the audience.
Your speech should take into account the make up of the audience and be aware of possible sensibilities, particularly related to language and humour.
M25 Delivering a Presentation
It is likely that this will be of an educational or informative type such as at a fundraising event, networking meeting or U3A meeting. It will probably include visual aids, but this isn’t mandatory.
It will be beneficial if you are able to attend a similar presentation in advance to allow you to be familiar with the audience and the venue. As a minimum, if you are planning a PowerPoint presentation, you should aim to arrive early to set up and ensure that everything is working correctly.
In addition to the above modules, we have additional activities to help members gain experience. We try to make our meetings as varied as possible and to provide development opportunities that are relevant to members’ work and social requirements.
Ready to book your free Taster Evening with us? Yes please, book me now.
Public Speaking: Background, purpose and history.