An organisation which has supported and mentored local schoolgirls to achieve significant public speaking successes is to hold a conference at Nottingham Conference Centre.
Robin Hood Speakers’ Club, which helps its members to develop confidence in speaking, presentation and leadership skills has been a huge success since its inception two years ago; attracting those from a variety of careers and professions, including students, those for whom English is not their first language and recovering stammerers.
The not-for-profit Club, part of Toastmasters International which teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a world-wide network of nearly 15,000 clubs – was founded by local businessman John Cox who says he is now delighted to be bringing The Toastmasters International District 71 Conference – The Robin Hood Conference – to the Nottingham Conference Centre in the heart of our vibrant city.
John and his wife and co-member Roma work on a voluntary basis, using the Toastmasters International Youth Leadership Programme, with pupils at Our Lady’s Convent School, Loughborough – which takes girls from Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. The girls are keen to improve their skills and to achieve success in speaking contests.
Former Head Girl Holly Newing from Upper Saxondale, now studying History of Art at Warwick University, came third in a recent Catenian Association Contest National Final and was the highest placed female in the contest.
Holly said: “I really enjoyed the Programme; it helped me to develop all aspects of my presentation and speaking skills as well as contributing to my contest successes. I also think it gave me extra confidence and interview skills when applying to University. I feel these are all skills which will stand me in good stead throughout life.”
Head of Sixth Form at the school Chris Gallagher said of John and Roma: “Their experience, expertise and coaching has really enabled the girls.”
The Conference itself, being held from 15-17 May, will bring together members of clubs similar to Robin Hood Speakers’ from the Midlands and North of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and will feature, as well as national speaking competition finals, educational workshops given by local speakers, a fancy dress event featuring Robin Hood, a Robin Hood City Tour and performances by local musicians and artists including the Nottingham Youth Jazz Orchestra.
“We are keen to involve as many people with local connections as possible and students from Nottingham Trent University will be responsible for the videography/photography during the Conference as well as supporting us in other ways. We also hope to have some of the girls from Our Lady’s Convent School at the Conference to talk about their achievements,” said Conference Director John.
John founded his first club in the area, East Midlands Speakers’ Club, eight years ago. Robin Hood Speakers was set up as a response to demand from Nottingham members; and the Leicester Club he set up just a few months ago is already attracting interest from across the area.
He says: “Nottingham is perfectly positioned as a conference destination. It is centrally situated in the country, with great transport links at all levels. But more than that, it offers visitors a wealth of history to explore, some of the best shops and restaurants in the country, and amazing local talent. And we have been wowed by the facilities at the Conference Centre. We are already experiencing a high level of activity on our Conference website and are expecting around 200 to attend. Members of all three clubs are working together to make it a big success.”
Anyone wishing to find out more about the Clubs or the Conference can contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07774 190695