Like many organisations, lockdown forced the ASC to pivot! Nearly everything we did this time last year, was done in person at club meetings, and it’s fair to say there were more than a few of us that just 12 months ago, were total strangers to Zoom! But pivot we did, and the ASC has wholeheartedly embraced this new medium and the many advantages that it brings. Far from standing still or facing decline, many of our clubs have moved online, joined forces with other clubs around the country, tried new speaking techniques, adapted existing techniques and welcomed new members. Necessity has undoubtedly been our friend.
With that in mind, last month we launched Club of the Month which it’s hoped will carry on long after COVID has diminished. It’s an acknowledgement not just of the amazing wins that some clubs have achieved in the last 12 months but also a recognition of all the hard work that so many of our members put in.
Denny Speakers Club
Our first winners, were Denny SC Club (Falkirk, Scotland) which was formed in the 1950s and has had a strong membership for many years, at one point boasting some of the youngest members of the Association, namely Thomas Scott, Macgregor Scott and Lisa Rogers (later Lisa Scott) plus a Past National President Bill Hall.
Despite the pandemic and enforced shift to Zoom, the club is reported as going from strength to strength, with 17 members (and still growing)! In fact, it’s fair to say the Speakers of Denny have embraced Zoom and have welcomed a number of speakers from across the UK who wish to be linked to Denny Speakers Club UK until normal meetings can once again be enjoyed. At every Zoom meeting, Denny Speakers runs a full and formal programme with speeches, evaluations, and educationals sessions and they always ensure fun, laughter and learning are on the agenda.
Denny Speakers Zoom meetings meet once a fortnight on a Wednesday evening, 7.15pm for 7.30pm, and all are ensured of a warm welcome. You can contact the ASC for meeting details.
Surrey Speakers Club
On 10 January 2018, Surrey held the first meeting of Surrey Speakers Club in the top room of a Guildford pub called The Keep. As with any new club, the initial months were tough, with new members not having the experience or confidence to take on roles and the founding members (Angus and Hannah both experienced members from Horsham SC) were often juggling roles between us. After a year, use of Meet Up saw their membership increase to 9/10 which was a real boost to their numbers. Unfortunately, their initial venue couldn’t keep hosting them so they were forced to move and September 2019 saw Surrey SC move into a new venue at the YMCA, Guildford.
Lockdown represented an unsurprising challenge, however, they’ve managed to successfully carry on with full meetings and have even managed to grow their membership! The other big win for Surrey Speakers Club was achieving Chartered status in October 2020. Their fortnightly meetings always have a packed agenda of prepared speeches and they’re fast gaining a reputation as a young, dynamic and welcoming club! So, well done Surrey Speakers Club!
Surrey Speakers meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month (via Zoom at present) and always have a warm welcome for visitors! Get in touch if you’d like to attend or find them on Facebook here.
Want to see what’s all about?
If you want to improve your public speaking, presenting, and leadership skills why not get in touch. We have clubs across the country.