Oxford Speakers Club

Become a speaker. Become a leader. Receive feedback.


Speaking

You have the opportunity to practice speaking in front of a friendly and receptive audience who are there to help and support you.

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Leading

We have some very experienced members at the club, who can give you precise and constructive feedback so you can improve your leadership skills.

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Club history

One of the oldest Toastmaster clubs in England. The club was first called Oxford Toastmasters Club.

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Visit us

We meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month in Oxford Town Hall. The meeting starts at 7.15 pm and lasts until 9.30 pm.

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Practice Public Speaking


The first half of a meeting consists of a Table Topics session – where participants give impromptu 1-2 minute speeches on a random topic given to them by the Table Topics Master. Previous topics have included things beginning with the letter B (such as a bucket, beards, and bishops), or selling stuff like double-glazing and a grey squirrel charity.

At the end, everyone votes on slips of paper for their favourite speaker and the session gets evaluated by the Table Topics Evaluator, who gives all participants (including the Table Topics Master) useful pointers for improvement and commends them on what they did well.

This part of the meeting can be challenging, but it is also great fun and a terrific way to develop your ability to think on your feet. After some practice, you will be able to speak on any topic in a very structured and fluent way. Very impressive and useful!

In the second half, members give Prepared Speeches and are given constructive evaluation to help them improve. In this part of the meeting, three or four Club members will give Prepared Speeches for which they will receive constructive pointers for improvement from an Evaluator and everyone else.

Each speech usually lasts for five to seven minutes and is aimed towards improving a particular aspect of speaking (eg vocal variety, using visual props etc) that is listed in either the Competent Communicator Manual or Advanced Communicator Manual.

The speakers choose their own topics for the speeches. Everyone votes for the Best Speaker and Evaluator before the General Evaluator gives their thoughts on how the meeting was run and evaluates each Evaluator.

At the end, the President of our Club presents prizes to the Best Speaker, Best Evaluator, and Best Table Topics.



Practice Leadership


Almost every meeting we have consists of a Table Topics Session and Prepared Speeches. Sometimes, we hold speaking competitions and special presentations.

For each meeting, members take it in turns to assume the roles of Toastmaster of the Evening, Sergeant-At-Arms, Grammarian, Timekeeper, Speech Evaluator and General Evaluator. As a result, everyone gets to lead and speak in public during each meeting, and every meeting we hold is unique!

The Toastmaster of the evening acts as a genial host, introducing participants and guests, and keeps the program running smoothly.

The Table Topics master prepares and presents the theme of topics to give to participants. Each speaker is given a random topic to talk about.

The Table Topics Evaluator gives feedback on all the Table Topics performances.

The Evaluator gives feedback to the speaker that he/she is assigned to. The purpose of an evaluation is to help the speaker to become less self-conscious and to grow into a better speaker.

The General Evaluator evaluates everything that has taken place during the meeting.

The Grammarian introduces the "Word of the Day".

The Timekeeper is responsible for keeping track of time.

The Sergeant at Arms sets up the rooms, collects votes, and welcomes the guests.



Club History


One of the oldest Toastmaster clubs in England. The club was first called Oxford Toastmasters Club. It received its charter (Charter 3297) in 1961 at the Randolph Hotel, Oxford in the presence of the Mayor of Oxford, Alderman Lionel Harrison and the Toastmasters County Area Governor, Wyn Roberts.


Here is a slightly shortened version of the printed history of the club compiled by Sheila Lee as part of the fortieth anniversary celebrations in 2001 together with a review of the years 2001 to 2011, written by Andrew Moss.



Andrew Moss, Oxford Speakers Club Past President:

People ask me why I keep coming back to Toastmasters after 25 years. That’s easy. It’s because of the repeated excitement of watching members who start with very limited speaking skills blossom into a new-found confidence as speakers and leaders. It’s the process I went through years ago and I am still learning now.

Ning-Ning Li:

I joined Toastmasters because I was sick of being absolutely terrified when talking to an audience greater than one. Giving good presentations is an excellent transferable skill for any profession, and I love attending because it gives me the chance to meet people outside the university circle with loads of interesting experience to share. No other place offers such a friendly and supportive environment for public speaking - the only way to improve is to get up there and do it!

Paul Ardern:

Having spent most of my life avoiding speaking in public, it took me a while to summon up the resolve to go to my first meeting. It’s come as rather a shock to realize that that was the hardest part. It’s a very friendly, supportive group and an ideal place not just to learn how to communicate better, but also to organize and run meetings and to work in a team. Being part of Toastmasters teaches lots of skills which are invaluable both in work and in life more generally. And it’s fun. You’ll never have to be scared again. .I wish I’d known about this earlier!

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Visit us


If you want to join, first come along to one of ours meeting to see what the club is like and what we do! You will be made very welcome. You can come to a few meetings as a guest (it is free for guests). If you enjoy yourself and learn a lot, then you become a member.

We meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. The meeting starts at 7.15 pm and lasts until 9.30 pm. We do not have any meetings in August.

Where we are:
The Court Room, 1'st Floor
Oxford Town Hall
St. Aldates
Oxford, OX1 1BX.
Click here for a detailed map.

Please do e-mail us at oxfordspeakersclub@gmail.com if you want to find more about Oxford Speakers Club.

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