When you join any speakers club which is a member of the Association of Speakers clubs you will be presented with a copy of the speakers guide.
The Speakers Guide covers the art of public speaking from beginner to advanced level together with helpful advice on chairmanship, impromptu speaking, evaluation and many aspects of running a Speakers Club.
The guide, also known as “the manual”, provides the framework for the development of speaking skills. There are ten assignments to complete covering different aspects of public speaking from delivering your first speech through speech construction, to using your voice, gestures and humour. With each speech the focus is different, but each will develop and improve your public speaking skills and confidence.
For the more experienced speaker there is an advanced section, which offers opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the first ten assignments in a wider range of circumstances, both within the club and externally. These include use of microphone, visual aids, speaking without notes, business presentations and outside assignments.
Each assignment has its own particular evaluation requirements, and these are included in the Guide. By working through the Guide speakers have the opportunity to develop both their speaking and evaluation skills.
Certificates of achievement are awarded for successful completion of the ten speech assignments and five appropriate assignments from the advanced section.
The ten assignments in the main section of the manual are:
|Assignment 1 Making A Start||Often called the ‘Icebreaker’ this is the new member’s opportunity to speak on a subject of choice. It gives the speaker a chance to ‘try their hand’ in front of a supportive audience.|
|Assignment 2 Mean What You Say||This aims to develop a speaker’s self-confidence by speaking on a subject on which they know well and have definite opinions. This gives the opportunity to develop arguments and show sincerity and persuasiveness.|
|Assignment 3 Speech Construction||This assignment develops the speaker’s ability to arrange speech content in a logical and consistent manner that the audience can easily follow, develop the main themes, summarise and conclude in a memorable fashion.|
|Assignment 4 The Use of Gestures||This assignment develops the ability to use gestures of face, arms and the whole body to complement, illustrate and add meaning or emphasis to a speech.|
|Assignment 5 Use Your Voice||The voice is the most powerful weapon in the speaker’s armoury. This assignment develops effective voice modulation. By using variety in pitch, pace, power, pause and inflection.|
|Assignment 6 Vocabulary and Word Pictures||This assignment concentrates on enhancing and illustrating the message of a speech by using fresh but appropriate words and phrases and vivid, arresting descriptions, or word pictures.|
|Assignment 7 The Use of Notes||This assignment facilitates the use of notes, which do not interrupt the flow or distract from the delivery of a speech, but give support and confidence to the speaker.|
|Assignment 8 The Use of Humour||This explores different styles of humour and allows the speaker to develop their own style of naturally introduced humour, which enhances both the subject matter and speech delivery.|
|Assignment 9 Audience Rapport||This assignment aims to build an affinity with the audience, to engage them and generate a sympathy with the ideas being put across by the speaker by a variety of techniques, including eye contact, pauses and short questions.|
|Assignment 10 The Masterpiece||This completes basic training and confirms the speaker’s ability to deliver a polished speech demonstrating all the skills acquired through the previous nine assignments. The speaker will by now have considerable experience to draw upon, and must achieve a high standard of presentation.|