Thursday, 17 June 2010

Speak easy

Back in the dim and distant past (a year ago) before I had this job, I used to venture out once a fortnight to Stockport Ladies Speakers club, supposedly to perfect and hone my public speaking skills. The pressures of dealing with pastoral and discipline in a thriving sixth form college, on top of a near full teaching load, soon put paid to that! Over the last few months the little darlings have been preoccupied doing their exams and I have had a bit more time to myself.
The upshot is that yesterday I managed to get out to speakers’ club for the second fortnight in a row and have discovered I do need to refresh those old skills. I mentioned at work that I was speaking and had a long conversation with a colleague about things which we dread or make us anxious. I had volunteered to speak briefly on an impromptu topic and the subject, aptly enough, was fear!
I do recommend the ASC ( Association of Speakers Clubs)as a great place to develop confidence and meet friends, and possibly have a nice drink in the bar afterwards.


  1. Funny you should mention this, as today I had to prepare a supporting statement for an assistant lecturing post I'm chasing (so many of the Dept.'s PhDs get to fill these posts, but there is stiff competition!).

    One thing I noted, when giving some background, was the reason why I began to take seminars and lead courses (for colleagues and nursing and doctors at the hospital where I last worked) was because I hated public speaking and was frightened of doing it. My usual means of overcoming fears is to throw myself into something that involves my fears! Now I'm quite good at it (according to the feedback forms and medical and nursing schools’ course tutors), which just goes to show anyone can do it with a little 'push' (or in my case 'jump').

    Perhaps this is something I will pursue...

    Thanks for this.


  2. Since when have women been allowed to speak? This is a very unscriptural organisation and should be BANNED forthwith!

  3. Thanks, Stephen! I don't know if you've ever read that "Feel the fear" book (Susan Jeffers) I'm not too keen on self help books, I knew someone once who had a shelf full of books with titles such as "How to become a millionaire in less than a year" and I vowed NEVER to possess anything resembling them! But a friend recommended the Jeffer's book - and it is quite interesting.
    I find that, even within teaching, a lot of people are daunted (even petrified) at the thought of public speaking. A colleague once came around all our classes to promote a trip he was running. He told me later he had been thinking of publicising it at the lower sixth assembly we had just had, but he was too scared, so he spent a week of his free periods going around classes!!!
    I thought, "well, at least it's not just me!"

  4. If you check your bible more carefully I think you'll find it is acceptable to God because we are all LADIES, Fr Jass:

    But I am glad to see that you are engaged in a campaign to stop women who wear tea cosies in the deluded belief that this will transform them into bishops.

  5. By God, I've been wearing a tea cozy for years....had no idea I was in episcopal orders!