How Public Speaking Can Help You in Your Business or Career

How Public Speaking Can Help You in Your BusinessIf you’re passionate about building your career or are working hard to push your own business forward  – and you’re looking for any advantage you can to help you achieve the growth you want – the chances are you’ve never really given any thought to how Public Speaking can help you in your business or career.

The truth is, there are many ways that Public Speaking can help you when it comes to growing in your business or career and anything that gives you some kind of advantage in your market place – and over your competition – ought to be investigated.

And here’s an ideal opportunity for you!

Here at Wessex Speakers, we’re running an evening aimed solely at helping you understand how Public Speaking can help you in your business or career. We have three excellent speakers who are all keen to share with you some of the benefits that they’ve gained as a direct result of their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and speak in public.

Steve VearFirstly, we have Steve Vear, who was recently appointed as General Manager (Retail) at Tech Data UK – a major UK company that you may not have heard of. The reason for this is that they’re a major wholesale supplier of all kinds of IT equipment to all of the major high street retailers that you will have heard of.

Having had almost 15 years experience with Tech Data UK, Steve’s got lots to share with us from his experiences and will be talking about coaching to achieve your goals.  Of course, Public Speaking skills can have a big impact on our confidence in many areas of our business or career.

Steve BimpsonSecondly, Steve Bimpson (that’s me!) will be talking about how Public Speaking can be used from a marketing perspective.

If you talk to the right people, in the right way, at the right time, you can use Public Speaking to get more business for your company.

In fact, you can use it to get you a lot more business, and as a Sales & Marketing professional, I have a wealth of experience to share on this subject.

Finally, we have Jean Gamester with us.

Jean GamesterJean’s a Distinguished Toastmaster and is currently responsible for supporting the learning and development of 3,000 Toastmasters International members in the South of the UK. She’ll be talking to us about the unexpected leadership and entrepreneurial skills that she has developed as a result of joining the organisation. 

She joined Toastmasters International 9 years ago because she wanted to develop the confidence to speak in front of the project teams she was supposed to be leading. In that 9 years, she has developed the skills to lead large programmes of transformational change in the public and private sector, become a CEO of an educational charity, and most unexpectedly of all, set up and runs her own successful consulting business.

In her talk she will discuss both the expected and unexpected benefits she has gained from being a part of Toastmasters, and unlock the secrets of how these benefits are possible by getting the most out of being part of this fantastic organisation.

“If you get out of Toastmasters all there is to get out of Toastmasters, you’ll never get out of Toastmasters.” Helen Blanchard, DTM, 1985-1986 Toastmasters International President

If you really would like to know how Public Speaking can help you in your business or career, you really should come along to Wessex Speakers on Wednesday the 25th February. Aim to arrive for 7:15pm as we’ll be starting at 7:30pm sharp.

If you’d like to join us, just let us know using the form, below:

International Speech Contest Workshop – Jan 28th Meeting

Members of Wessex Speakers and a series of guests, in a departure from the normal club meeting structure was delighted to welcome Past District Governor Freddie Daniels, where he conducted an International Speech Workshop.

Freddie has 10872802_878032632247141_3994986641522628556_oattended 4 World Championships in person, was a judge in the 2013 finals and has attended many workshops by World Champions. He is also a professional speaking coach and 2012-13 District Governor for Great Britain & Ireland.

As ‘speech season’ approaches in the Toastmaster calendar, Freddie gave us a fantastic talk on what sorts of things it takes to win the world championships of public speaking. As well as focusing on speaking technique, he discussed the use of humour, character development and how to structure the story you are going to use for your speech. Everyone at the club took a lot from the session, and it was great to see visitors from Basingstoke, London as well as our usual Wessex Speakers team.

In the second part of the evening, club member Steve Vear gave a presentation from the “Successful Club Series” as part of his journey to Advanced Leader Bronze,  all about the current Toastmasters Educational system, encouraging our new and existing members to set their Toastmaster goals for the coming calendar year. We were delighted that Freddie Daniels agreed to be Steve’s evaluator for the evening and was able to give some top class advice and show us all how powerful an evaluation can be!

Our next meeting at the Winchester Raquets and Fitness Club is on Wednesday 11th February at 7:15 for 7:30 start. We look forward to seeing you there!



First Meeting of 2015

Wessex Speakers returned for their first meeting of the new year on Wednesday and got 2015 off to a great start. Mark McKay took on the responsibility of being our Toastmaster for the evening and did an excellent job at running the meeting, working hard to make our three visitors feel welcome and to make sure they enjoyed their first experience with us.

Everyone enjoyed our two prepared speeches. First of all, Tom Hallet who is working through his Competent Communicator award gave us a really engaging presentation on what whats an effective website. Tom used visual aids to enhance his presentation and did a really good job. Steve Vear, who is working from one of thughesblack_2223147ghe advanced communications manuals, working towards his advanced communicator bronze award asked the meeting to imagine they were at a cricket presentation dinner in preparation for a toast which he had prepared. Steve’s toast was a tribute to Phillip Hughes the Australian batsman who died in November after being injured on the field. The toast was an emotional but fitting tribute to a sportsman who died only days before his 24th birthday.

Steve Bimpson took on the role of our table topics master for the evening, setting some of our speakers an impromptu question and asking them to come up with an on the spot speech. This weeks table topics theme centred around our ideal situations. Ideal modes of transport, ideal holidays and ideal countries to live.

It was another enjoyable meeting for everyone and club members are looking forward to working through their new year goals for public speaking and leadership skills.

If you would like to come along to a meeting, we would love to see you – details on dates and venue can found in the above links

Christmas Event & Annual Awards 2014

Christmas reached Wessex Speakers recently when members enjoyed their annual visit to the Winchester Hotel for festive celebrations and the annual awards ceremony to recognise the achievements of our members during the last calendar year.

Thanks must go to our immediate past president, Eric Skates for arranging such a wonderful event which was enjoyed by all, including several guests!

After dinner entertainment was provided by Steve Vear, delivering a Christmas spoof poem, Julian Gee who gave a 10685509_10152881821296382_8742889254551854279_n rendition of “Ernie” (The Fastest Milkman in the West) and Ravi B who never fails to deliver entertaining speeches that make us laugh!

Several people agreed to take part in Christmas Song themed table topics, the prize being the famous Wessex Speakers Christmas Table Topics Trophy! Many congratulations to Tom Hallett who was this years winner!


Several of our members were formally recognised by the President for their educational achievements over the course of the year. The winners were

  • Steve Vear – Competent Communicator Achievement
  • Eric Skates – Advanced Communicator Silver Achievement
  • Conrad Hoe – Advance Communicator Silver Achievement
  • Presidents Award (Toastmaster of the Year) – Steve Vear

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 14th January 2015

Merry Christmas!!

Club Members Wins Divisional Contest!

1512301_10152757213991382_4569422852594972240_nCongratulations to our very own Eric Skates, who after winning the Humours Speech Contest at club level went onto the claim first prize at the Divisional contest held in Southampton.

We wish Eric every success as he competes this weekend at the national level.


Our next meeting is at a different venue and date. It will be on Thursday 13th November at Badger Farm Community Centre – Winchester. 

If you would like to come along to find out what Wessex Speakers and Toastmasters is all about – please feel free to join us as our guest.

Humorous & Table Topics Speech Contest

Each year every Toastmaster club runs at least two sets of competitions.

On Wednesday, Wessex Speakers will be holding their 2014 Humorous and Table Topics contest.

For the humorous contest, the speakers are asked to prepare and deliver a speech of between 5 and 7 minutes with the aim of which to include relevant humour!
Table topics is all about practicing impromptu speaking, so for this contest no prior knowledge as to the subject is given to the contestant before they step up to speak.

The winner of the club contest will go through to the area final, which leads to a regional final. We are all looking forward to watching the six members who will be taking part showing us their skills!

If you would like to learn more about how Toastmasters work or are just interested about how we run our speech contests – come along!

After this week, our next meeting is on Wednesday 8th OctoberToastmasters Logo


Summer Meeting – August 2014

The Winchester Racquets and Fitness Club was the venue for another great night at Wessex Speakers. Summer holidays meant that numbers were not as high as usual, but a great night was had by all, hosted by toastmaster for the evening, Ravi Bhatta.

Capitol HillSteve Vear gave the first of three prepared speeches – a very interesting talk on the history and features of the Presidential inauguration of the United States. Steve has now completed seven of the ten speeches required for his competent communicator award and is making great progress towards this first milestone as part of the Toastmasters educational program. John O’Shea gave a very engaging speech about middle and long distance running. John is a level three coach and was great to benefit from a selection of his knowledge and experience.

The third speech slot of the evening was taken up by the annual “moments of truth” session which gives the club an opportunity to self evaluate its success and plan to build an even better speaking club for the future. This gave the committee and the membership some good starting points for what promises to be a great toastmaster year.

After each of the speeches in the first half of the meeting was kindly evaluated by three of our members, it was then onto Table Topics. This is a chance for our members to be presented with a question or topic which they must respond to with an impromptu speech of between 1 and 2 minutes. Our Table topics master for the evening, Steve asked the meeting various questions with a theme around improvements to the UK TV channel selection.

The winner of ‘best evaluator’ was Andrew Keevil, with guest Sm Fry, a student from Southampton University winning best table topics speaker.
Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 10th September at 7:30pm


Great Meeting! 24th July 2014

edinburgh-castleIt was a very full meeting at the Winchester Racquets and Fitness club on Wednesday, the home of Wessex Speakers. Immediate Past President Eric Skates opened the meeting and introduced the Toastmaster for the evening, Les Brown.

Les set a great theme for our warm up exercise that got everyone talking about what ‘Scotland’ means to them. In the prepared speeches section of the meeting, Steve Vear spoke about some stories from the court system giving a good mixture of seriousness and humor in what he put across. New member George commenced his journey through the competent communicator manual with his first speech ‘the ice breaker’. So impressed with George’s story about his change of direction in life, he was awarded best speech. The final prepared speech came from Eric Skates, who presented an award speech from the advanced communicator manual series.

The all important evaluations of the speeches were delivered by Tom, Conrad and Robin who each gave the speakers valuable feedback including personal views on tips for the future. For his efforts Conrad was awarded best evaluator.

John O’Shea then took control of the meeting in his position as Table Topics Master for the evening. John picked a theme of holiday activities and invited each of the six table topic speakers to speak about a range of holiday topics from weekend activities to evenings out to the best activity for teenagers. Even one of our guests who had joined us for the first time stepped up to try one of the questions and did a great job, proving the value in the Toastmasters ‘learn by doing’ approach.

With Tom Hallett winning best table topics speaker, it was back to Eric Skates to formally close the meeting and reflect on a great meeting leaving us all to look forward to the next one on 13th August.

Meeting Review – 9th July 14

Steve Bimpson - New Club President

New Club President Steve Bimpson

It was another great meeting at Wessex Speakers on 9th July, where Steve Bimpson opened the meeting for the first time as the new clubs president.

Julian Gee ran the meeting as Toastmaster and guided the meeting through the agenda and as always was an excellent MC for the evening.

Two prepared speeches were give by members. First new member John O’Shea delivered his first speech and first project from the ‘competent communicator’ manual. John gave a great speech on his journey to Toastmasters. The second speech from Steve Bimpson was a project from the advanced communicator series. Steve focused on his experience in sales as he delivered a speech entitled ‘7 steps to more sales without selling’.

After the usual refreshment break where the meeting can take advantage of the on site bar, evaluations were given by members on the speeches heard, giving some great tips for future speeches. Evaluation is key to everything we do at Toastmasters so we are grateful to Julian and Tom for providing such valuable feedback.

The table topics, which helps members practice their ‘on the spot’ speaking skills was won by visitor Trevor Davis.

Another great meeting and we look forward to the next one on 23rd July.