stratford public speakers club
stratford public speakers club
stratford public speakers club

What We Offer.

Meet Our Members.

Contact & Where.

About The ASC.


Diary Dates.

What we offer

We use a programme of ten assignments to ensure that all members have the opportunity to develop to the point where they can deliver a masterpiece speech with confidence.  The assignments are described below (see here).  This programme is totally flexible so that members can develop at their own pace.  Each of your speeches is evaluated by fellow members, to provide you with constructive guidance for how to develop, in an atmosphere which is friendly and fun.   When you join you will receive a comprehensive printed Speakers Guide to help you on your way.


Membership costs £28 per year and the Guide £11.  There is a charge of £2 at each meeting to cover the costs of hiring the room.


At each meeting members have the opportunity to take on different roles - chairman, speakers, evaluators, time keeper and topics chairman.  Taking on the roles helps to develop your skills as a speaker.  In time you will find that this arrangement builds your confidence until you feel relaxed and confident when you take to the lectern.


Each meeting listens to three speeches which have been put together by the members in their own time.  These are evaluated and suggestions given for further improvement.


After a coffee break we come to the impromptu speaking session, where the topics chairman hands out subjects for speakers to talk on for 2 minutes.  These topics speeches are then assessed.  Note - this is all voluntary!!!  We don’t force anybody in to making speeches, you will always work at your own pace.  But be warned - it is addictive!


Finally the general evaluator for the evening assesses the evaluators and the chairman and topics chairman.


The Ten Assignments


Assignment 1 - Making a start

Your first speech allows you the opportunity to tell fellow members a little about yourself and therefore helps you to feel comfortable making your speaking debut.


Assignment 2 - Mean what you say

Having completed your first speech, this assignment is designed to develop your self confidence by speaking on a subject which you know well, and believe in.  You will have the opportunity to demonstrate sincerity, conviction and persuasiveness.


Assignment 3 - Speech Construction

The purpose of this assignment is to master the art of arranging what you want to say in a logical and consistent manner so that your audience can easily follow your train of thought and argument.


Assignment 4 - Use of Gestures

When you stand up to deliver a speech or presentation, the way you look and sound is just as important as what you say.  Your aim in this exercise should be to develop gestures which help to illustrate and add meaning or emphasis to your speech.  Used properly, your hands, your face and indeed your whole body can add greatly to your effectiveness as a speaker.


Assignment 5 - Use Your Voice

This exercise is designed to help you develop good voice modulation.  The voice is the most powerful weapon in the Speaker’s armoury, but it is only effective it if is used appropriately to amplify the power, drama and delivery of the speech itself.


Assignment  6  - Vocabulary and Word Pictures

This assignment gives an opportunity to concentrate on emphasising your message by careful choice of vocabulary and word pictures; using fresh, appropriate words and phrases to replace more mundane ones.  Word pictures add depth and substance to the description, whilst arresting the attention of the listener by being both memorable and appropriate.  They will help your audience to visualise the images you wish to create.


Assignment 7 - The Use of Notes

Writing suitable notes is a skill in itself, but delivering a speech from them without losing eye contact or fluency, whilst maintaining accuracy and spontaneity (real or apparent) is the mark of a quality speaker.


Most of us find that even with the best preparation, our memories can still fail us, and a speech needs to be supported by appropriate notes to act as a prompt when required.  We should not be ashamed of using notes, as they are a necessary aid, particularly in longer addresses, or where specific wording needs to be accurately delivered.


Assignment 8 - The Use of Humour

This assignment is intended to help you explore different types of humour, and to allow you to develop a style that fits your own character, whilst taking account of the needs of the audience.


A degree of humour is appropriate to almost every speech.  For the after-dinner assignment the audience expects to hear a funny speech, but on other occasions the humour may be more subtle or gentle.  Humour is useful in contrasting a serious point, thus emphasising the underlying serious message.


Assignment 9 - Audience Rapport

Building rapport with an audience is about speaking in such a way as to generate a sympathy in the audience, for ideas being put across by the speaker.  This assignment focuses on building these vital skills of the speaker.


Assignment 10 - The Masterpiece

This assignment complete your basic training as a public speaker and will confirm your ability to deliver a polished speech demonstrating all the skills that you have developed in the previous nine assignments.


Full details of all the assignments and comprehensive details of how to prepare for each assignment and also for more advanced assignments are given in your Speakers Guide - presented to you on joining Stratford Speakers Club.

“A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery!  A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart”.  ~Peggy Noonan


“The most precious things in speech are the pauses.”

Sir Ralph Richardson


“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.”  

Mark Twain


“Be sincere; be brief; be seated.”  

Franklin D. Roosevelt,



“Oratory is the power to talk people out of their sober and natural opinions.” 

Joseph Chatfield