A Typical Meeting

Adults learn best by "doing" and that's how Powertalk works.  Skills learned include speech organisation, voice effectiveness, body language, image and persuasion - in other words, how to express yourself clearly, to the point and with maximum effect.

Club Meeting

At Nelson-Waimea Club, we like to think of our meetings as being professional and educational in a warm and friendly environment.

Every club has its own personality and ours leans towards informality with good, clean humour.

There are some events, such as inter-club speech competitions and debates, where a greater degree of formality is appropriate and we like to enter fully into the spirit of such occasions.

The format of a typical club meeting can vary quite a bit but most of our normal meetings tend to include three or four main elements:

  • A business session lasting approximately half an hour every three months
  • Three or four prepared speeches of typically 5-8 minutes although the more advanced speakers will often undertake longer assignments
  • A session of short ‘impromptu’ speeches known as ‘Table Topics’ – the ‘Table Topics Leader’ picks out willing volunteers who give speeches of typically 90-seconds on a subject introduced ‘on the spot’
  • Each prepared speaker and impromptu speaker will be ‘evaluated’ by one of the more experienced members to provide valuable feedback and recommendations for improvement
  • Interactive workshops
  • Guest Speakers

As the club is essentially about speaking, all members take turns to perform the meeting ‘functionary’ roles which include Programme Leader, Table Topics Leader, General Evaluator and Timekeeper.

New members are encouraged to take on roles and present assignments at their own pace.



What Happens at a Meeting?

Powertalk meetings are a safe, friendly environment in which to learn.  Particpants have a variety of opportunities to learn about and to practise public speaking at every meeting. 

We learn by:

  • Speaking in front of the group
  • Listening to others speak to the group
  • Evaluating and listening to evaluations of speeches
  • Participating in the Accreditation programme

Improve your self-confidence by practising speaking to a group in an environment where everyone is also learning, you become more comfortable with the task. The more you do, the easier it becomes.

  • Learn at your own pace
  • Opportunities every meeting to speak at the lectern
  • Do what you want – prepared or impromptu speeches

Think on your feet  One of the features of a Powertalk meeting is impromptu speaking where participants are asked a question on a specific topic and present a speech with no preparation.  This can be on a wide range of topics but allows the speaker a chance to think on their feet and put together a cohesive response.  Practice helps and your confidence will grow with every meeting.

Evaluation Everyone who speaks at a meeting has their speech evaluated by another member; this enables you to be encouraged with positive feedback and also constructive suggestions on how to improve.  Afterall that is why we are here – to improve our public speaking.

Education Every meeting includes some training element – whether it is on speech construction, oral reading or how to conduct a business session.

  • Presentation skills
  • Getting your message across
  • Training for all members
  • Learning from others