Spa Speakers

Club Business

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

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

Latest posts by Marina O'Callaghan (see all)

Dear Spa Speakers, Marina O’Callaghan was an instrumental figure in founding Spa Speakers and kindly shared her account of how our favourite club got off the ground back in 2004. Thank you Marina, we continue to benefit from the great…

An introduction to the peculiar customs of Toastmasters clubs

An introduction to the peculiar customs of Toastmasters clubs

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 been quite a while 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 has elapsed since then, I have…

Why keeping your commitment to doing a speech is so important

Why keeping your commitment to doing a speech is so important
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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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One of best things about being part of Spa Speakers is that you get the chance to deliver speeches of on any topic you choose at regular meetings. You can share your passion with a captive crowd; practice delivering a…

How does Pathways affect the Distinguished Club Award?

How does Pathways affect the Distinguished Club Award?
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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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Like all Toastmasters clubs, Spa Speakers aims to be the best public speaking and leadership club it can be. Each year, we aspire to achieving the hallowed President’s Distinguished Award, and as a club have been very successful in doing…

Expand your comfort zone and speak at another club!

Expand your comfort zone and speak at another club!
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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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Expanding your comfort zone is a key part of the Toastmasters experience. When we first join Spa Speakers, presenting to our members can be pretty intimidating. What’s great however is that by regularly giving speeches and doing meeting roles we…

One tiny thing every member can do to help the club HUGELY

One tiny thing every member can do to help the club HUGELY
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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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As enthusiastic Spa Speakers, we want to play our part in making the club super successful, don’t we? Here is something really simple and easy that you can start doing right away that would not only make every meeting run…

Is it time you became a mentor?

Is it time you became a mentor?
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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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If you’ve been with the club for a while (say 6 months or more) you’ve probably acquired enough knowledge and experience to support a new member in taking those scary first steps getting acquainted with the club. Spa Speakers continues…

The enormous power of a well timed nudge

The enormous power of a well timed nudge
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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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“I’ll do it later” “I’ll do it next week” “I haven’t got time” “I don’t feel like it right now” Such innocent words. Such deadly words! Sometimes self-talk like this does reflects reality; there is a genuine lack of time.…

Some thoughts on how to deliver an excellent evaluation

Some thoughts on how to deliver an excellent evaluation
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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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Evaluation is the feedback we give to each other in Toastmasters.  A well-structured and appropriately delivered evaluation lets us know what we did well and what we could improve on. In the context of Toastmasters we may be called upon…

5 reasons why Toastmasters doesn’t work for everybody

5 reasons why Toastmasters doesn’t work for everybody
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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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Toastmasters International has over 350,000 members worldwide and has been around for ages. Why? The educational program works. Rather than focussing on endless theory and book learning, members engage in highly participative learning that involves regularly giving speeches and taking…