Australian visitors

Two VISITORS from Perth, Western Australia helped to swell the numbers at Strathmore Speakers Club’s meeting in the Kirriemuir Golf Club last week.

President Bill Walker of Blairgowrie gave everyone a warm welcome, particularly new member Helen Fleming of Forfar.

He then presented a report on the club’s successful visit to the Angus Council Public Speaking Group the previous week.

The training session was conducted by two Kirriemuir members, with Bob Stewart in the chair assisted by Ted Williams in the role of timekeeper for the evening. Unusually, there were three speeches from the advanced section of the syllabus.

First up was David Binnie of Broughty Ferry, giving a mini-lecture about the war between America and Britain in 1812, when the United States tried to annex Canada, taking advantage of Britain’s pre-occupation with Napoleon in Europe.

Alex Rae of Kirriemuir evaluated, saying how well David had captivated his audience with his depth of knowledge of the subject and the confident way he had put it across. Not only was it informative, but David’s use of humour had also made it entertaining and there was no doubt that it was a pass.

The second speaker was Helen Gordon-Wilson of Blairgowrie on the assignment of ‘visual aids’, for which she used power point. Her presentation traced the history of Stanley Mills, the unique complex of water-powered cotton mills on the banks of the River Tay, from its inception, through its working life and right up to its present day value as a tourist attraction.

In awarding a pass, her evaluator, Muriel Smith of Kirriemuir said this was a well constructed speech with lots of interesting and informative detail, well enhanced with appropriate pictures and illustrations on the screen.

Third to the lectern was Andrew Buist of Alyth, also giving a mini-lecture. His subject was Winston Churchill’s love-hate relationship with Dundee, having been its Member of Parliament from 1908 until his defeat in the general election of 1922, and how he eventually refused the offer of the freedom of the city.

The evaluation was given by Jim Smith of Kirriemuir who congratulated Andrew on a well developed talk punctuated with suitable word pictures and quotations which had kept his audience engrossed and undoubtedly deserved a pass.

The topics session was chaired by Eric Summers of Kirriemuir who had prepared 12 envelopes containing iconic paintings or photographs, inviting 12 members to speak about them for two minutes each at short notice.

In a clever twist, Eric then projected the images onto the screen as each topic taker went to the lectern.

David Binnie viewed the Earth from Space; Jim Smith managed to stifle The Scream; David Howat explained the DNA Double Helix; Bill Walker cruised through a Viking Longship; Alex Rae toyed with the Mona Lisa; Ted Williams visited President Regan at the Brandenburg Gate; Douglas Wares sympathised with an Afghan girl from the cover of National Geographical; David Affleck defied the tanks in Tiananmen Square; Pamela Howat marvelled at New York sky-walkers; Bob Stewart fought with Che Guevara; Muriel Smith was transported back to Times Square and Jim Gibb took a stab at Psycho.

General evaluator David Howat of Blairgowrie said it had been a convivial and enjoyable evening covering a fascinating span of subjects.

Anyone who would like more information about learning to speak in public in the friendly atmosphere of a speakers club should contact Jim Smith on 01575 574435 or Jim Gibb on 01250 875262.