Sue Shaw – Joined April 2009
As a floral demonstrator, I am used to speaking to groups. However, I am hidden by the flower arrangements I create. It is great for the audience to see beautiful blooms, but with flowers in one hand and scissors in the other it can be a challenge to connect to the audience. It is important to emerge from time to time and these are the bits I found that I was enjoying the most. I decided to try to put together some talks … no flowers.
I then took on an area role within the flowers clubs and decided it would be a good idea to get some formal speaking skills.
I joined West Kent Speakers’ Club in April 2009 and have found everyone really encouraging. It is great to be able to speak on a variety of subjects and to practice skills on a regular basis. It is also good to speak to a group who has different interests. You also learn from watching other people and listening to the evaluations, which are always constructive.
I have found that it has helped my confidence at work as well as my floral performances. Each of the assignments that you do, concentrates on an element of speaking and helps develops your mastery of language. Speech construction, use of gestures, language and voice are all important tools in the speakers armoury. And my biggest learning so far; I now appreciate the importance of … the pause.