So, what can Abingdon Speakers Club do for you?

We can provide you with a safe, supportive environment to learn and practice your skills in public speaking. Our members are a pretty mixed bunch with a variety of experience in public speaking. We’re all on a journey to strive to improve in the way we communicate with the outside world and we’d like to invite you to come along with us.

A few words from our President…

When I joined Abingdon speakers club it was solely to prepare for a Best Mans speech which I had to deliver. I planned to do a couple of speeches and then get out as quickly as possible! Very quickly, however, I learnt that not only was this invaluable to my development in terms of being able to communicate, but everyone at Abingdon also had a lot of fun whilst learning. Having a friendly, welcoming environment aids the learning process and although some of what we do at Toastmasters pushes the boundaries of our comfort zones, that’s a good thing. We should all learn to be able to speak under pressure and with confidence.

The knowledge and skills I have picked up the past 2 years have been immense. There are very few places you can go and speak in public. There are even fewer places where you can go and speak in public and receive appraisals to take onto the next public speaking encounter.

We have a very varied club membership roster with people from all walks of life. We also have a very varied program. No two meetings are the same and this makes meetings enjoyable also.

So COME ALONG, all are welcome. There is no pressure to join but if you enjoy the experience as much as I have over the past 2 years you’ll come back again… and again… and again.

Richard Borrill

President – Abingdon Speakers Club

Abingdon Speakers Club President

Below are some testimonials from members giving their experience of Toastmasters, and a little of what they have gained from the programme…

When I joined Abingdon Speakers Club just over 2 years ago I confess that I was a bit of a wallflower when it came to public speaking.  Now I’d rate myself a “confident wallflower” but I am still growing, having just spent a morning on a soapbox in Abingdon town centre, bellowing at passers-by about the benefits of joining our wonderful club, I am ready for my next challenge.

Having visited other Toastmasters Clubs, I decided to join Abingdon Speakers because of the very special atmosphere at the club.  On an average Wednesday night meeting we have 18 members attending.  And what a wonderfully eclectic mix of members we have – from all different age groups, members who are retired or just entering college, IT consultants, charity collectors, accountants, HGV drivers, hypnotists, an ex-mayor of Abingdon & an ex-Brigadier are among some of the characters at the club.

All these members had one thing in common – they all wanted me to succeed & they all supported me every time I rose to speak.  That’s the attitude that prevails throughout Toastmasters but I think particularly so at Abingdon Speakers. We aim to provide the ultimate soft landing for anyone wishing to develop their speaking skills or their self-confidence.  We embody the spirit of the famous Miles Davis Quote: “Do not fear mistakes – there are none”.

Now close your eyes and imagine for a moment a more confident you.  When you have done this, drop us an email and allow us to help you make it happen.

John T. (Past President) 

Abingdon Speakers Club President

I joined toastmasters back in February because I was asked to be a best man and I wanted to get some practice in speaking, become better at it and ultimately “do a decent job” with my best man’s speech. I didn’t set out to enjoy the meetings, that wasn’t my main goal, but I’ve found that the meetings have not only been worthwhile from a personal development perspective but also have been really entertaining. To get up in front of an audience is a daunting task for some, but with Toastmasters, everyone is there to support you and encourage you along every step of the way.

Richard B.

“Stand up, face the audience but talk louder.” I didn’t think there was much to public speaking until I met Mairi – a personable Indian lady who invited me to a Speaker’s Club. I heard interesting speakers and, most impressively, how other club members helped them to improve. “Body Language”, “Vocal Variety”, and “Structure” were all important and I had never even heard of them. But the speeches I heard, even that first night, were much better than I could have done. And it was all done by “learning by doing”. I was hooked! Since that night I have learned a lot from the constructive criticism that club members have offered in “Evaluations” and I have been able to tackle quite tricky speaking engagements. I’m retired now but still come on club nights because the talks are funnier and more informative than anything on the Telly.

Alan J.

I went to the excellent Abingdon Town Council “Clubs & Societies Day” looking for new interests. There I met a most enthusiastic member of the local Speakers Club and was invited to come to a meeting to find out more. I needed to make presentations at work and had some experience, but believed I needed more training.

I found a friendly and sociable atmosphere, learnt a lot, and quite a number of years later I am still a regular attendee. I enjoy seeing others, like me, improving their confidence and instead of being nervous in front of an audience making presentations, telling us about their passions and inviting us to join their campaigns. The subject matter for members’ speeches is always varied and from a wide range of topics – in themselves interesting and educational. We learn from each other and how to encourage, praise and improve for the next time.

I am proud to say that, directly helped by my friends at the Club, I practiced interview presentations and got their feedback to improve and get the jobs. I have done radio interviews for work and voluntary interests and also I am now one of Abingdon’s Town Criers!

Our Club provides a low pressure environment to learn at your own pace and also an enjoyable way to help others do the same.

Penny C.

When I joined Abingdon Speakers Club I had been speaking for many years. I liked to think that I was pretty good at it too. I quickly learnt that I had lots to learn.

Thankfully, Abingdon Speakers Club is a great place to learn. I’ve had so many great evaluations and I’ve learnt many techniques from the wide range of members. Best of all I’ve been given a great environment to practice in. I’ve had many opportunities to try things, not all of them have worked but I have always been well supported by the club members.

I can not recommend Abingdon Speakers Club highly enough.  It has not just helped me and taught me so much but it continues to help me develop as a speaker. Come along, I’ll see you there.

Duncan B.

Abingdon Speakers Club was formed in 1999 as Ridgeway Speakers.

The club is run by a committee of volunteers as follows:

President – Richard B.

Vice President of Education – Roger M.

Vice President Membership, Treasurer and Webmaster- Stephen D.

Secretary – Tash H.

Past President and Vice President Public Relations – John T.

Past, Past President – Martin M.

Sergeant at Arms – Unfilled

If you’d like to visit Abingdon Speakers Club, please pop along to one of our meetings

(1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, 19:15 for 19:30 start).

You’ll be made very welcome and can see first hand what we do.