Spa Speakers

member’s stories

Joining Spa Speakers: Louise’s Story

Joining Spa Speakers: Louise’s Story
Former Vice President of Public Relations and Secretary at Spa Speakers
In my day job I am a developer of environmental management information systems. Like the majority of our members I joined because I wanted to improve my presentation skills. I am married and have 2 sons. If I’m not on the sidelines watching my kids' sporting triumphs I like to run (slowly) and we also have an allotment which needs regular TLC.
Louise Weickert
Latest posts by Louise Weickert (see all)

Dear Toastmasters, Louise Weickert, who has served on the committee and has achieved the Advanced Communicator Bronze and Advanced Leader Bronze awards has shared her story with Spa Speakers. Big thanks to Louise for this article, and for her ongoing…

An introduction to the peculiar customs of Toastmasters clubs

An introduction to the peculiar customs of Toastmasters clubs
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…

Martyn Tilson – The Story of Spa Speakers

Martyn Tilson – The Story of Spa Speakers
Founder at Spa Speakers
Martyn Tilson has always lived in the county. Trained as an accountant he ran his own business in the 80's. After 12 years in employment and health & safety, he has spent the last 10 years managing a narrowboat marina near Southam. He has been both an Area and Division Governor before achieving his Distinguished Toastmaster Award in 2009. He is still active in voluntary work, concentrating on being chair of trustees for PRCF (prcf.org.uk).Martyn has a large family including 12 grandchildren(!)
Martyn Tilson
Latest posts by Martyn Tilson (see all)

Dear Members We have a very very special article for you. Founder of Spa Speakers Martyn Tilson has been kind enough to write an account of how he set up our club back 2004. We owe Martyn a big thank…

Two STARs in one month!

Two STARs in one month!
Follow Spa!
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
Follow Spa!

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
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
Latest posts by Zoe Eccleson (see all)

  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…

Founder member Trish shares why she joined Toastmasters

Founder member Trish shares why she joined Toastmasters
Founder member and former President at Spa Speakers
I made my icebreaker speech in April 2004. Some of the committee roles I have had include Secretary, Vice President of Membership and Mentor Manager. I was elected President in 2010. I have also taken part in many speech contests, table topics and evaluation. Taking part in contests is very challenging, not least to know you have faced your deepest fears! Founder of Toastmasters International Ralph Smedley said "we work together to bring out the best in each of us, and then apply our skills to help others". That sums up for me the ethos of the club.
Trish Bennett

Like many others it was for career progression. I was being asked to give talks and presentations more and more often in my role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the NHS. Not only that, but as my career progressed…

Joining Spa Speakers: Rachael’s Story

Joining Spa Speakers: Rachael’s Story
Member at Spa Speakers
I first heard of Toastmasters many years ago in my last year at Teacher’s College in New Zealand. I went along to my first meeting that week and was immediately hooked! When I came to live in England, one of the first things I did was to check out online where the closest club would be. I was excited to discover Spa Speakers. I really enjoy preparing for speeches and roles, and always feel really positively charged at the end of each meeting!
Rachael Siggers

Fellow Toastmasters, Rachael (who might just be our most energising member!) has kindly shared her experiences of Toastmasters and Spa Speakers. This is a great read so enjoy! The Spa Speakers Committee I first heard of Toastmasters many years ago…

Joining Spa Speakers: Steve Bird

Joining Spa Speakers: Steve Bird
Vice President of Education at Spa Speakers
I have worked in Coventry / Warwick for many years and finally relocated approximately 6 years ago. I spent my first 50 years living in Chelmsford / Braintree, Essex. My background is Project / Programme Management and I have had the good fortune to work for and with many interesting people in the Roads technology sector. I joined Spa Speakers 5 months ago with the objective to improve my public speaking abilities.My experience to date confirms I made the correct decision. I have even found myself becoming involved in the organisation of the clubs activities and I am enjoying the complete experience. I am looking forward to the future and what it will bring.
Steve Bird
Latest posts by Steve Bird (see all)

Dear readers, What’s it like joining Spa Speakers? Steve Bird shares his early experience with us. The Spa Speakers Committee I have been a member of the Spa speakers group for a very short time having been introduced to the…