What we do at WSC
What WSC is all aboutWolverhampton Speakers Club is a mutual self-help organisation - a group of people who come together to help each other gain confidence and learn a valuable life skill.
We learn about public speaking by:
- Speaking to the various Exercises that are available to us in our own Guide to Public Speaking
- Listening to and watching speeches given by members
- Listening and watching education speeches given by experienced members
- Participating in workshops
- Speaking in Topics (impromptu speaking)
- Participating in lots of other speaking activities
- By having fun!
Our system works because there is no substitute for experience gained in having a go, gaining feedback and absorbing experience by listening and watching others.
How we go about itFor our Initial Speaking Course we use a ten-stage programme that is monitored by our Education Director to ensure that all members have the opportunity to develop so that they can deliver speeches with confidence. This programme has been proven to work over many years but is totally flexible and means that new members are able to move at a pace they find most suitable.
The programme first breaks down public speaking into its basic skills, which you practise in our Exercises, and then gradually puts them back together one-by-one. You then have the opportunity to try for one of our club Certificates in Public Speaking.
Our training coursesThe initial training programme will cover the following skills:
- Speaking to a theme
- Constructing a speech
- Use of notes
- Use your voice effectively
- Word painting
- Speaking with your body
- Storytelling and narrative
- Giving a presentation
- Persuasive speaking
You can see more details
hereAnd after that, you can try our Advanced Skills Course or our Leadership Skills Course. You will also have the opportunity to learn skills such as chairing a meeting and giving presentations.
While the core of our speaking is following the Exercises we explore other forms of public speaking to add even more variety and enjoyment - impromptu speaking, news reading, speaking to camera … we have a whole boxful of new and enjoyable experiences for you.
Join us at a typical meetingOur meetings do vary from time to time, but we can describe a typical session to you.
One of the members acts as Chairman, who will run the whole evening and co-ordinate all the activities. Experienced members take their turn in doing this job.
Three or four members will give prepared speeches to the Club, often in the region of 5-8 minutes each. These speeches vary enormously in content, mood and delivery, but they are usually framed around the series of ten target exercises which lead us through the various speaking skills. There will often be an Education Speech given by one of the experienced members highlighting and teaching a particular aspect of public speaking, or we might all join together for a workshop where we develop and practise our techniques.
One of the great characteristics of our Speakers Club is the Evaluation. Here each speech will be evaluated by another member who will briefly go through the speech and highlight the strengths and weaknesses and give some advice for further improvement. This is done in a sincere, constructive and non-threatening way.
Impromptu speaking is a useful and often vital skill to develop and so we will usually have what we call a 'Topics Session' during our meeting.
The Topics Session
'Topics' is all about impromptu speaking. Impromptu speaking is speaking without any prior preparation and at short notice, and it is a very valuable skill. One member acts as the Topics Chairman and will have prepared a number of topics which the members are asked to speak about for 2 or 3 minutes when called to the front - the only snag is that we will have no time to prepare!
So why do we put ourselves through it? This might sound pretty hard work, but in fact these sessions are usually great fun and, at the same time, really do develop our abilities.
It is a useful skill in business meetings, interviews and also everyday social life. It also helps your normal public speaking and can lead to much greater confidence and fluency.
This sounds like a refined form of torture, but actually it is usually great fun!
Our method of evaluation is very supportive - no external examinations, but your speech will be evaluated (not 'judged' or 'marked') by one of your peers. Your evaluator will review your speech and highlight the strengths and weaknesses, and give sound advice.
This is all done in a friendly and non-destructive way and you can learn a lot from the wise counsels of the more experienced members. You will be told whether you are ready to move on to the next stage of the Guide to Public Speaking or whether you would be better having another try.
We have 10 stages of developing speaking skills. After successfully completing the first five stages you will be awarded the Basic Certificate of Achievement and after completing all ten you will receive the Certificate of Achievement. You can then go on to tackle advanced techniques.
Why Join Us?
A very good question!'To speak with confidence' is the basic answer - but that means different things to different people.
Being able to speak with confidence in public is something that almost anyone can do - given regular practice and expert advice in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.
Our members are men and women of all ages and backgrounds who have a range of speaking skills, from experienced speakers to nervous beginners. Frequent opportunities to speak within the club definitely helps us to overcome problems and build confidence. You will be guided by experienced speakers (who have all been where you are now) who are keen to pass on their skills.
How to join WSCIntrigued? Interested? Tempted? Why not come along and try us out!
As a visitor you will be made very welcome - come and see what we do - you might find that it's the thing for you.
Our meetings are held fortnightly on Wednesdays from September to June (with a break in July and August) at the Mercure Goldthorn Hotel, 126 Penn Road, Wolverhampton WV3 0ER at 7.30pm for a 7.45pm start.
We begin our season in September, but new members are welcome at any time! Do check our Calendar of Meetings.
How To JoinThe best way is to come along and try us out. You are very welcome to come along and sit-in on a meeting night and see what we do. You can just observe, or you can join in - but you will not be pressurised to do so. Why not try us out for a meeting or two? You can decide then whether you wish to join. Anyone 16 or over can join our club.
You can always contact us before you come: see our Contact Page.