Bob pips Douglas in evaluation contest

President Edwin Petrie of Blairgowrie welcomed seventeen members and one visitor to last week’s meeting of the Strathmore Speakers Club.

The meeting started with the topics session chaired by Pamela Howat of Coupar Angus.

She was assisted by Alex Rae of Kirriemuir in the role of timekeeper for the evening.

Pamela invited six members to speak for three minutes each at short notice, and gave them an envelope containing three words randomly selected by her computer.

They could choose any subject they liked, but they would have to create a story incorporating their three words in the order given.

Jim Gibb and Douglas Wares of Blairgowrie and Kirriemuir members David Affleck, Bob Stewart, Jim Smith and Marion Wallace all managed to fulfil the assignment, producing a wide variety of stories in the process.

The second half of the evening was given over to the annual evaluation contest, with Graham Carr of Alyth in the chair.

After explaining the rules, he invited Bill Walker of Blairgowrie to deliver the eight-minute speech to be evaluated.

Jim Gibb and Edwin Petrie were the Judges.

Bill Walker’s speech entitled ‘What Did I Say?’ was a masterpiece speech in which he demonstrated that what we say is not always interpreted the way we meant it buy the people who hear it.

He ranged over several scenarios where offence can be taken when none was intended: the family; workmen; stand-up comedians; and even Jeremy Clarkson’s recent utterings.

Seven members took notes during the speech and then went to another room where they were given a further eight minutes to finalise their thoughts.

They were then brought back one at a time to deliver four-minute evaluations on Bill’s speech

They were expected to comment on his construction, content, preparation, delivery, vocabulary, word pictures, gestures, and whether he had achieved success.

Chief judge Jim Gibb congratulated all of the contestants for the high standard of their evaluations and declared Bob Stewart as the winner and Douglas Wares as runner-up.

Bob will now go forward to represent the club at the North Tay Area heats of the competition at Arbroath in February.

General evaluator David Howat of Blairgowrie summarised the evening, saying that the business session was well organised, the topics went very smoothly, and the evaluation contest was enjoyable and educational.

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.