Another productive Committee Meeting was held last night with Colin Beveridge, Douglas Pigg, Luke McLachlan, Beverley Hepting and Christine Wallach in attendance. Douglas kicked things off, as Treasurer, with an update regarding our finances and he was happy to inform us that we have more than enough money in the bank to cover our costs, thanks in part to cost cutting measures put in place a few months back, plus a wave of new and very welcome members into Casterbridge Speakers; we’ve recently had Ali, Jon, Richard and Ron join us.

It was then up to me, as the PR guy, to give an update regarding our marketing initiatives. We recently partnered with the Princes Trust, in Dorchester, to coach students in the art of public speaking and presenting. Thanks to Bev Hepting, Rosie Barfoot and Christine Wallach for their support. We’ve also started a new initiative, motivated by Laura McHarrie, to advertise our meetings on Meetup.com. The Meetup page can be found at www.meetup.com/Dorset-Salisbury-Speakers. It was also suggested that we try to video our meetings and update our very inactive Youtube channel.

We also discussed dates for our International Speech Contest and it was agreed that this be held on the 15th February. The winner will advance to the area, division and then district levels, and then on to the semifinal and ultimately, hopefully, the World Championship of Public Speaking.

A reminder to all members who haven’t updated their standing orders/direct debits that our monthly fees have gone up from £10 to £12. We can in fact blame this partly on Brexit due to the depreciation in £-Sterling increasing our Toastmaster fees, and let’s hope that its value doesn’t deteriorate further!

See you at our next Casterbridge Speakers meeting on the 18th January! If you want to be a more confident and effective communicator, I recommend that you attend!

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