Word up! Speakers club celebrates with two gongs

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A speakers club is going from strength to strength after scooping two awards at a speech contest.

Members of Thame Speakers Club Jo Blenkinsop and Mike Roarty came up trumps at the area finals of International Speech and Evaluation contest earlier this month.

Jo was awarded the International Speech Competition and Mike Roarty took home the Evaluation prize.

Club president Angus Galbriath, 61, said: “We’re a self-help club made up of like-minded people who want to improve their public speaking. We have people coming for all sorts of reasons, such as wanting to prepare for a best man’s speech.”

Members are given a booklet of projects to work through to brush up on their speaking and leadership skills, be it using gestures, the powers of persuasion or visual aids to help them.

Angus, of Long Crendon, said: “Feedback is very important and we have an evaluator at the end of each session. They comment on the number of ‘ums’ and ‘ers’ in our speech, as our aim is to eliminate those.”

The club has around 30 members of all ages, both men and women, but new faces are warmly welcomed.

Members meet the second and fourth Wednesday in every month at Chinnor Rugby Club between 8pm and 10pm. For more information, call 01844 358189 or visit