At Strathmore Speakers’ Club’s last meeting in the Angus Hotel, Blairgowrie, the Training Session was chaired by Helen Gordon-Wilson, assisted by Andrew Brewster as Timekeeper.
First up was club president Muriel Smith who made a ‘speech construction’ talk which she called ‘Last Wills and Testaments’. Muriel wove together her own experience of family inheritances with many strange bequests to be found in history, such as William Shakespeare leaving his wife his second-best bed.
Douglas Wares evaluated, saying that Muriel’s speech had contained all the requirements of the assignment and it was a well-deserved pass.
The second speaker was Jim Smith who gave a ‘masterpiece’ speech entitled ‘The Italian Job’. Jim recounted the difficulties he had encountered when making a Trafalgar Day speech in the public dining room of a large hotel in Sorrento. Despite interruptions by a pair of singing troubadours throughout the evening, he had managed to put across the story of Admiral Nelson’s life and his untimely death at the Battle of Trafalgar.
In awarding a pass, his evaluator Alex Rae of Kirriemuir, said that this had been very proficient performance incorporating all the techniques of voice variety, humour, story-telling and suspense.
The Topics Session was chaired by Iain Orr of Kirriemuir who invited six members to speak for three minutes each at very short notice on a random set of one-word topics. David Howat cut the ice with ‘Scissors’, Douglas Wares made best use of ‘Time’, Alex Rae professed and denied ‘Guilt’, Robert Brewster blew hot and cold with ‘Glass’, Helen Gordon-Wilson suffered ‘Pain’, and Jim Gibb elaborated on the ‘Weather’.