The primary goal of this society is to improve the members' competence in speaking in public.
Communication is the foundation of our society and a part of daily life. How we present ourselves and how well we can get our points across influences how we are perceived by those around us, and their responses to us.
We are a very employability focused society, with the skills learned here being applicable in almost every area of work. From the actor that captivates their audience, the politician that persuades others convincingly, the teacher that invokes curiosity in a subject, to the team leader that motivates and inspires their teammates, how effective they are at getting their points across is determined by their understanding of the principles of public speaking. Getting more comfortable with speaking in public is also a great opportunity for personal development, as you will be able to build confidence in yourself, and thus the confidence others have in you.
This society offers a structured, organised, and supportive environment in which members are given a means to learn and practice public speaking skills, and to receive and give useful feedback from each other and more advanced speakers, with the aim of preparing members to be able to deal with real-world public speaking scenarios successfully.
What We Do
Our typical sessions are structured to allow as many people as possible get a chance to improve their public speaking skills, and actively engage with the content of the sessions. Our regular meetings are broken up into three main activities: The presentation of prepared speeches, followed by a series of table topics, and evaluations for each speaker.
This part of the session focuses on a speaker's ability to develop a speech around a topic of their choice in their own time. The speaker is encouraged to think of an engaging topic to talk about, prepare a short speech lasting two to five minutes, and deliver it to the group.
This is intended to promote good planning, use of creativity, and allows the speaker to rehearse their speech before they present it.
This part of the session involves speakers being given a topic by the table topics master of the session, that they have not had the chance to prepare for. The speaker is then expected to deliver a speech around that topic to the group, lasting up to two minutes.
This kind of on the spot, impromptu style of speaking is important for developing the ability to remain calm and able to speak clearly under pressure, to generate new ideas quickly, and to recall relevant thoughts from memory and form them into a coherent speech.
For each speaker during the above activities, they are assigned an evaluator, who has the role of assessing the performance of that speaker according to the criteria specified in the Speechcraft workbook for the chapter the speaker is doing.
This is the opportunity for other members of the group to develop their analytical skills by critiquing other speakers, helping them to better understand their strengths and areas for improvement.
The Speechcraft Program
The Speechcraft Program is an entry-level project made up of a series of learning objectives and exercises, aimed at introducing new speakers to the various communication principles that are the foundation of successful speaking. This is run alongside our sessions throughout the year, and each chapter is designed to help you work on a different aspect of public speaking, and will take around seven weeks to successfully complete.
Our sessions, and this program, is run in partnership with the Camolodunum Speakers Club, a member of Toastmasters International, a globally recognised public speaking and leadership improvement organisation. Each week, experienced speakers from the club join our meeting and act as coaches/mentors, guiding the progress of the society and monitoring the progress of those taking part in the Speechcraft program.
Taking part in this program is available to all paid members of the society, which includes the Speechcraft workbook, and upon completion, certificates approved by the Camolodunum Speakers Club and the Public Speaking Society.