Spa Speakers

Member’s Stories

Congratulations Fiona, Area 39 Evaluation Champion!

Congratulations Fiona, Area 39 Evaluation Champion!
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Spa Speakers

Spa Speakers is a lively public speaking club based in Leamington Spa. Our mission is to help people like you become more confident communicators and leaders, no matter what your current level and experience.

The best way to find out if it’s for you is to try it! Visit us as a guest, totally free, with no obligation to join, and see if we have something to offer you.
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Fiona Clayton knocked it out of the park again! On 8th April, she went head-to-head with the 5 best speech evaluators in our area and proved the quality of her craft by taking the top spot at the contest! Absolutely…

Two STARs in one month!

Two STARs in one month!
Spa Speakers
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Spa Speakers

Spa Speakers is a lively public speaking club based in Leamington Spa. Our mission is to help people like you become more confident communicators and leaders, no matter what your current level and experience.

The best way to find out if it’s for you is to try it! Visit us as a guest, totally free, with no obligation to join, and see if we have something to offer you.
Spa Speakers
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We’ve been awarding members who have made an extraordinary leap in their speaking or have contributed to the club in an exceptional way our STAR award on a monthly basis. This March, we saw fit to award two STAR awards…

Joining Spa Speakers: Zoe’s Story

Joining Spa Speakers: Zoe’s Story
Zoe Eccleson

Zoe Eccleson

Much loved former Vice President of Membership at Spa Speakers
Like many I joined Spa Speakers purely to improve my public speaking techniques. My professional background is within Project Management where I worked for 13 years on numerous Telecommunications and Highways projects. I love most sport but after several injuries, I reluctantly decided to hang up my football boots and gracefully retire taking up tennis as my new chosen sport! I am married to Peter and have 2 children (Rory & Zara).
Zoe Eccleson

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  Our former Vice President of Membership shares what her first 9 months at Spa Speakers was like! I’ve been attending Toastmaster meetings at Spa Speakers for nearly 9 months now. I remember the first night I attended in mid…

Speaking and leading with confidence, thanks to Spa Speakers

Speaking and leading with confidence, thanks to Spa Speakers
Fiona Clayton
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Fiona Clayton

Former President and Social Secretary at Spa Speakers
I sought out Spa Speakers because I work with some very good public speakers and I was inspired to improve my own communication skills. But I didn’t realise just how much I would benefit. My confidence to stand up and speak in front of others has grown massively and this has been noticed by my work colleagues. By taking part in a number of roles in the club I believe I’ve become a better leader and facilitator.
Fiona Clayton
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I find I never know when my Spa Speakers experience is going to come in handy but when those moments arrive the confidence to stand up and have my voice heard is very reassuring. I was recently at an Amnesty…

The Importance of Mentoring at Spa Speakers: Jas’s Story

The Importance of Mentoring at Spa Speakers: Jas’s Story
Spa Speakers
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Spa Speakers

Spa Speakers is a lively public speaking club based in Leamington Spa. Our mission is to help people like you become more confident communicators and leaders, no matter what your current level and experience.

The best way to find out if it’s for you is to try it! Visit us as a guest, totally free, with no obligation to join, and see if we have something to offer you.
Spa Speakers
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Wednesday, 7.15pm. When I entered the sanctum of a Spa Speakers meeting for the very first time, I remember hearing the excited hubbub as chairs were being laid out, agendas distributed, members chatting and everything being organised. However, rather than…

Michael Roberts, Our Travelling Toastie!

Michael Roberts, Our Travelling Toastie!
Michael Roberts-Owen

Michael Roberts-Owen

Member at Spa Speakers
With a degree in Animal Science and Health, a strong interest in research, and a love of farm animals, I ended up working in a livestock research centre.I recently started my master’s degree in Molecular Parasitology and Vector Biology, which I am doing part time around my existing job.Ultimately I want to get my PhD (in parasitology, of course).Alas, this sort of thing is much better for people who can speak in front of other people, which is how I ended up joining Spa Speakers.
Michael Roberts-Owen

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A couple of months back, I came across an e-mail about “Travelling Toasties”.  The idea is for club members to visit other clubs, with the aim of supporting them and also gaining insight into other ways of running their own…

Fuel Not Fear: Seeing Failure Differently

Fuel Not Fear: Seeing Failure Differently
Harriet Cummings
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Harriet Cummings

Novelist, script writer and member at Spa Speakers
Harriet is a debut novelist with a background in history of art and gender studies. As a script writer, she’s had work performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as independent venues around London. While studying at Faber Academy, Harriet threw herself into her first novel and hasn’t looked back since. We are very lucky to have her as our Vice President of Education.
Harriet Cummings
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My name is Harriet Cummings and I am a failure. I’ve failed at many things throughout my life so far – from my grade 7 piano exam, to learning French and baking cheese soufflette. But why am I telling you…

Marina O’Callaghan, DTM and founder member of Spa Speakers shares her story

Marina O’Callaghan, DTM and founder member of Spa Speakers shares her story
Marina O'Callaghan

Marina O'Callaghan

Founder member and DTM at Spa Speakers
Marina has had a truly distinguished career with Toastmasters. Since joining Oxford Speakers Club in late 2000, she has been a VPM, a Club President and Area Governor, helped launch two clubs (Spa Speakers and Bicester Achievers Club), and has earned the highest award at Toastmasters, the fabled Distinguished Toastmaster Award (DTM). Marina is currently taking a break due to health reasons, though still mentors 2 very lucky Toastmasters.
Marina O'Callaghan

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Dear Spa Speakers, You might have seen the article from Martyn Tilson on the 10th annivesary of the club which we recently reshared on our social media. Martyn is a very important person in the annals of Spa Speakers as…

Read Bill Bate’s account of joining Spa Speakers

Read Bill Bate’s account of joining Spa Speakers
Spa Speakers
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Spa Speakers

Spa Speakers is a lively public speaking club based in Leamington Spa. Our mission is to help people like you become more confident communicators and leaders, no matter what your current level and experience.

The best way to find out if it’s for you is to try it! Visit us as a guest, totally free, with no obligation to join, and see if we have something to offer you.
Spa Speakers
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    Spa Speaker and man of many talents Bill Bates shares his experience of contesting at his very first Toastmasters speech contest. This is a great read thanks to Bill’s brilliant writing skills and genuine, humble nature. Click here…

An introduction to the peculiar customs of Toastmasters clubs

An introduction to the peculiar customs of Toastmasters clubs
Sally Lewis

Sally Lewis

Former club president at Spa Speakers
It was with grim reluctance a couple of years ago that I crossed the threshold into my first Spa Speakers meeting. Feeling much more comfortable in an audience than under a spotlight, my preference would have definitely been for there not to be a need to join a public speaking club. However, my best endeavours to secure a job that didn't require me to make myself understood through the spoken word had proved unsuccessful, so in the interests of professional survival I came along to Spa Speakers. Once I got over the initial perplexity of the Toastmaster meeting etiquette (clapping, handshakes and the opening address), I could see that it would be my best chance at having a 'safe environment' to practice speaking skills, develop confidence and learn from some very talented members.

I still don't quite know how I've ended up as the 2014/15 Club President, it certainly hasn't been borne out of a newfound love of hearing my own voice. However, it is something of which I'm so proud. I like to think we have a really friendly group of diversely interesting members which in itself seems to attract more of the same from new guests, most of whom choose to become members. So whilst I still struggle to see past the irony that I - an employee who still makes heartfelt efforts to avoid giving presentations at work - can call myself President of a public speaking club, there's a lot of pride in the fact that for this year I'm heading up such a great group of people.

So a little about myself: I've worked in various analytical roles in the energy industry for nearly 10 years and am currently working in electricity regulation. Outside work, if I'm not at a Spa Speakers meeting I can sometimes be found on a spinning bike at the gym or on a (not particularly long) run, sweating it out whilst probably mulling over what might be a good topic for my next speech. For me it's all about calories-in/calories-out and these activities are definitely a means to an end ... which for me is wanting to minimise the guilt I feel when indulging in my top pastime: eating vast quantities of Maltesers. I'm also a great procrastinator and love to peruse news sites when I'm meant to be doing more productive activities.
Sally Lewis

Latest posts by Sally Lewis (see all)

It’s nearly two and a half years (at time of writing!) since taking my first tentative steps across the threshold of Helen Ley into the illustrious public speaking world of Toastmasters. But I have to say, despite the time that…