Northampton Speakers 10th Meeting was served with cakes (4th Aug 2014)

Deep into the holiday season we were delighted to see two new guests, three returning guests, and seven members virtually taking every seat in the boardroom at 53 Billing Road.


Josie débuted as Evaluator and promptly take the award for the best evaluator! Well done!


First time guest Julie storms in with a joint share of best Table Topics speaker with Derek and goes on to get best use of Humour as well as the General Evaluators award. Brilliant simple brilliant Julie and well done Derek as well!

Sue opened the meeting with by asking everyone to introduce themselves and comment on summer festival that hey would love to attend. We leaned a lot about everyone ranging from music, to dance and from food to farming, etc. The word of the day was chosen a festive or festival.



1) Izzy delivered her Icebreaker entitled “fears”, such as the fear of public speaking and explored her fear of spiders.

Competent Communication Manual #1 – The Ice Breaker(4:00-6:00 min)
Speak before an audience; Use existing speaking skills; Introduce self to fellow club members.

Izzy has a propensity to do the crazy lady escape the spider dance if one of the wee beasties gets remotely close. As a mathematics trained scientist she graphed her fear against leg count and concluded that eight legs was the worst of all invertebrates by a significant margin. Lovely hand drawn visual aids showing an artistic flair inherited from her mother.

Josie evaluated Izzy and picked out the great content and story and then recommended that Izzy develop her delivery to include more use of the stage area and body language.

2) Lynda came to the recue, on the spur of the moment, with a speech entitled “Eek” based on the Competent Communicator manual project 5 “Your body speaks”. 

Competent Communication Manual #5 – Your Body Speaks(5:00-7:00 min)
Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact to express the message and achieve the speech’s purpose; Make body language smooth and natural; Focus on methods of delivery as well as speech content.

Lynda described how one drizzly day in the dark predawn stillness she heard a sudden demonic screeching. Jumping to the conclusion that her Guinea pigs were under attack she leaped out of bed in total darkness and made her way out across the cold and sodden lawn. All was well, but Lynda was as wet as a drowned rat with her pyjamas doing justice to any wet t-shirt contest. Making her way back towards her front door she was horrified to see looming out of the darkness the silhouette of a strange man standing inside the open door of her home. In an instant the stranger spotted her and both screamed in shock and fled. It transpired that it was the milkman on his rounds and he was startled to find the house wide open and dark and he ventured over the threshold to see if anyone needed help.

Derek bravely came forward as a debut evaluator and did very well picking out a lot of strengths and made several intelligent recommendations.

Table Topics

Ganesh was débuting as Table Topics master and adopted the approach of providing a series of slightly obscure words and inviting speakers to come forth an hazard a definition for each word

  1. Adumbrate –Sue described her overshadowing festival –fairy light enhanced -shelter to prevent excess sunburn
  2. Hackneyed –Derek described the well hackneyed banter of hackney cab drivers
  3. Malediction –Kodi described how any of his addictions always seemed to be bad for him and thus maledictions (and thus presumably the search goes on for a good a one, i.e a benediction?)
  4. Pugnacious –Lynda described how her son had managed to turn her car into a pungent pugnacious mobile when he did the oil change…eventually she narrowed it down to him leaving his hamburger under the bonnet on a very hot pipe.
  5. Parsimony –Julie developed a definition from the old French of an elegant way of describing a woman who chooses not to marry.
  6. Vicarious – Reena spoke of the vicarious vicars who are privy to all the best gossip in town during the confessional.

Daniel evaluated the session and commended the way Ganesh was able to creatively manage the time and extend the session to include more people and compensate for the late loss of one of the planned speeches. In time, as Ganesh gets more familiar with the role, it will be easier to set up a good introduction and then summarise before asking for votes. It was also a tough test of impromptu speaking and Ganesh handled it well allowing people to say NO, but in the longer term other approaches will make sessions more accessible to novices. One recommended approach is the familiar set of questions…If you could go to any point in time when would that be and why? If you ruled the world what would you do?…If you had a super power of you choice what would it be and why?

The Motley Crew

Sue starred as President and Toastmaster of the Evening. Lynda was General & Meeting Evaluator and minded us all to keep tidy handovers with hand shakes. Daniel doubled up as time keeper and Kodi counted the grunts.

Next Meeting

18th August 14 at 19:15 at 53 Billing Road, Northampton

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Note the club aims to be present with a stall at the Umbrella Fair 16 & 17 August at Northampton racecourse ( All welcome to volunteer to man the stand. Liaise with Sue Savage please.

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